Testimony on AAC Marital and Family Therapist Associates – SB 68

Testimony on AAC Marital and Family Therapist Associates – SB 68

 February 16, 2016

 Submitted By: Stephen A. Karp, LMSW

On behalf of the National Association of Social Workers, CT Chapter that represents nearly 3000 members statewide we support AAC Marital and Family Therapist Associates.

Raised bill 68 offers the public increased consumer protection and assurances of qualifications of those individual practitioners who practice as a marital and family therapist. Current statute does not have a provision for a newly degreed marital and family therapist to be licensed, thus the public is not adequately protected in the event of a non-licensed marital and family therapist violating standards of practice. This bill rectifies that problem by requiring all marital and family therapists to be licensed.

In 2010 the legislature passed licensure for new master degree social workers (MSWs) who practice clinical social work. In 2014 the Licensed Master Social Worker program was initiated. Our experience with the LMSW has been most positive both in terms of public protection and assuring that all MSWs practicing clinical social work have passed a nationally recognized examination. Raised bill 68 will have the same positive effect for marital and family therapists.

We do want to correct the record however as to the Licensed Master Social Worker license. The LMSW is a full level license that a social worker may hold for as long as they choose to practice under it. The LMSW has a clinical scope of practice and is not, as some advocates of SB 68 have portrayed the LMSW, an associate level license.

NASW/CT supports licensure for all practitioners who are practicing clinical behavioral health. Consumers are only fully protected and qualification of practitioners only best assured through licensure. Connecticut lags behind many states in licensing programs, which makes for weak governance over professional practice. Thus we are pleased to see legislation that will provide for licensure of all marital and family therapists.

Speak Your Mind