Testimony on Raised Bill 807: AAC The Legislative Commissioners’ Recommendations For Revisions To The Public Health Statutes

Insurance and Real Estate Committee

February 11, 2019

On behalf of the National Association of Social Workers, CT Chapter representing over 2,500 members we find Section 13 of Raised Bill 807 to be insufficient and very problematic.

Section 13 would add the title of “social worker” to protected titles reserved for those individuals who hold a license as a Licensed Master Social Worker and/or a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. By so doing, Section 13 would disallow individuals with social work degrees who are not licensed from using the title of social worker. Not all professional social workers in Connecticut are eligible or required to have a license, however they have earned the right to call themselves a social worker.

Section 13 would disallow the title of social worker for all baccalaureate social workers (BSW). Connecticut has seven universities that graduate BSWs, which is the entry level for the social work profession. Such graduates have earned the right to the title of social worker. The universities in Connecticut are: UCONN, Central CT State University, Eastern CT State University, Southern CT State University, Western CT State University, Sacred Heart University and University of Saint Joseph.

Section 13 will also disallow individuals with a Master Degree in Social Work (MSW) who are not licensed due to not practicing clinical social work from using the title of social worker. Non-clinical practice is not required to be licensed and there are numerous MSWs in administration, policy, community organization and other non-clinical functions who are not licensed. This includes most, if not all, of the seven MSW state legislators. A portion of MSW graduates from the following Connecticut schools would be negatively impacted by Section 13: UCONN, Southern CT State University, University of Saint Joseph, Sacred Heart University, and Quinnipiac University.

We appreciate the intent to protect the title of social worker. NASW/CT supports protection of the title social worker and bills have been proposed to accomplish this in a way that covers all individuals with social work degrees issued from a Council on Social Work Education accredited program. Unfortunately, the proposed language in Section 13 does not cover all professional social workers, thus we must oppose its usage.

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