Effective January 1, 2016 certain licensed health care practitioners, including LMSWs and LCSWs are required to attain two hours of continuing education on veterans and/or veteran’s families.
Each licensee applying for renewal is required to complete at least two contact hours of training or education (and not less than once every six years thereafter) on the topic of mental health conditions common to veterans and family members of veterans.
You may acquire the hours all at once or over time, as long as you reach two hours within the required timeframe. Hours acquired on this topic prior to January 1, 2016 will not count toward this new mandate.
This new requirement was passed by the CT legislature in the 2015 session. NASW/CT was the only organization to publicly oppose the bill when it was raised for public hearing. The chapter had concerns as to prescribing continuing education requirements related to specific populations when not all social workers work with veterans or their families. We also believe that practitioners should be able to self-determine what continuing education they best need. The bill when first raised was for 2 hours every year however, through the lobbying efforts of NASW/CT and the CT Psychological Association, we were able to change the bill to every 6 years. Efforts to kill the bill were fruitless as legislators were not going to oppose a bill on veterans that had no cost to the state and on the surface seemed like a good idea.
Just as you do with all continuing education hours it is up to each licensed practitioner to keep track of their continuing education hours on veterans for at least three years. When you renew your license you sign the renewal notice attesting to having gotten the required continuing education hours. Since the new mandate is for every six years we suggest holding onto your certificate on veterans training for the full six year period vs. the required three years for all other proof of continuing education. This way, if you are asked to show proof of meeting the requirement, you will have documentation.