CHAPTER 383b*
CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKERS AND MASTER
SOCIAL WORKERS

      *See Sec. 19a-88b re renewal of certain professional and occupational licenses, certificates, permits or registrations which become void while the holder is on active duty in the armed forces of the United States.

Table of Contents

Sec. 20-195m. Definitions.
Sec. 20-195n. Licensure requirements. License by endorsement.
Sec. 20-195o. Application for and renewal of license. Fees. Licensure without examination.
Sec. 20-195p. Disciplinary action. Grounds.
Sec. 20-195q. Use of title. Certain activities not prohibited.
Sec. 20-195r. Use of title by certain persons employed by the state in the classified service prior to October 1, 1996.
Sec. 20-195s. Scope of practice.
Sec. 20-195t. Issuance of temporary permit to practice as a master social worker.
Sec. 20-195u. Continuing education requirements: Record-keeping; exemptions; waivers; reinstatement of void licenses.
Sec. 20-195v. Implementation of licensure requirements relating to master social workers by the Department of Public Health.
Secs. 20-195w to 20-195z.

      Sec. 20-195m. Definitions. As used in subsection (c) of section 19a-14, section 19a-18, sections 20-195n to 20-195q, inclusive, sections 20-195s to 20-195u, inclusive, and this section:

      (1) "Licensed clinical social worker" means a person who has been licensed as a clinical social worker pursuant to this chapter;

      (2) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Public Health;

      (3) "Department" means the Department of Public Health;

      (4) "Clinical social work" means the application, by persons trained in social work, of established principles of psychosocial development, behavior, psychopathology, unconscious motivation, interpersonal relationships and environmental stress to the evaluation, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of biopsychosocial dysfunction, disability and impairment, including mental, emotional, behavioral, developmental and addictive disorders, of individuals, couples, families or groups. Clinical social work includes, but is not limited to, counseling, psychotherapy, behavior modification and mental health consultation;

      (5) "Licensed master social worker" means a person who has been licensed as a master social worker pursuant to this chapter;

      (6) "Independent practice" means the practice of clinical social work without supervision;

      (7) "Under professional supervision" means the practice of clinical social work under the supervision of a physician licensed pursuant to chapter 370, an advanced practice registered nurse licensed pursuant to chapter 378, a psychologist licensed pursuant to chapter 383, a marital and family therapist licensed pursuant to chapter 383a, a clinical social worker licensed pursuant to this chapter or a professional counselor licensed pursuant to chapter 383c; and

      (8) "Professional supervision" means face-to-face consultation between one supervisor, who is a person described in subdivision (7) of this section, and one person receiving supervision that consists of not less than a monthly review, a written evaluation and assessment by the supervisor of such person's practice of clinical social work.

      (P.A. 85-531, S. 1; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-116, S. 1; 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 10-38, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 93-381 replaced department and commissioner of health services with department and commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-116 changed "certified independent" to "licensed clinical" social worker and defined "clinical social work"; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 10-38 applied definitions to Secs. 20-195s to 20-195u, redefined "licensed clinical social worker" in Subdiv. (1) and added Subdivs. (5) to (8) defining "licensed master social worker", "independent practice", "under professional supervision" and "professional supervision".

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      Sec. 20-195n. Licensure requirements. License by endorsement. (a) No person shall practice clinical social work unless such person has obtained a license pursuant to this section.

      (b) An applicant for licensure as a master social worker shall: (1) Hold a master's degree from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or, if educated outside the United States or its territories, have completed an educational program deemed equivalent by the council; and (2) pass the masters level examination of the Association of Social Work Boards or any other examination prescribed by the commissioner.

      (c) An applicant for licensure as a clinical social worker shall: (1) Hold a doctorate or master's degree from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or, if educated outside the United States or its territories, have completed an educational program deemed equivalent by the council; (2) have three thousand hours post-master's social work experience which shall include not less than one hundred hours of work under professional supervision by a licensed clinical or certified independent social worker, provided on and after October 1, 2011, such hours completed in this state shall be as a licensed master social worker; and (3) pass the clinical level examination of the Association of Social Work Boards or any other examination prescribed by the commissioner. On and after October 1, 1995, any person certified as an independent social worker prior to October 1, 1995, shall be deemed licensed as a clinical social worker pursuant to this section, except a person certified as an independent social worker on and after October 1, 1990, shall not be deemed licensed as a clinical social worker pursuant to this chapter unless such person has satisfied the requirements of subdivision (3) of this subsection.

      (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the commissioner may grant a license by endorsement to an applicant who presents evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that the applicant (1) is licensed or certified as a master social worker or clinical social worker in good standing in another state or jurisdiction whose requirements for practicing in such capacity are substantially similar to or higher than those of this state, and (2) has successfully completed the master level examination of the Association of Social Work Boards, or its successor organization, or any other examination prescribed by the commissioner. No license shall be issued under this subsection to any applicant against whom professional disciplinary action is pending or who is the subject of an unresolved complaint.

      (e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, the commissioner may grant a license by endorsement to an applicant who presents evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that the applicant (1) is licensed or certified as a clinical social worker in good standing in another state or jurisdiction whose requirements for practicing in such capacity are substantially similar to or higher than those of this state, and (2) has successfully completed the clinical level examination of the Association of Social Work Boards, or its successor organization, or any other examination prescribed by the commissioner. No license shall be issued under this subsection to any applicant against whom professional disciplinary action is pending or who is the subject of an unresolved complaint.

      (P.A. 85-531, S. 2; P.A. 89-115, S. 1, 7; P.A. 94-91, S. 1; P.A. 95-116, S. 2; P.A. 04-221, S. 19; P.A. 10-38, S. 3.)

      History: P.A. 89-115 required that applicants educated outside the United States or its territories have completed equivalent educational programs; P.A. 94-91 amended Subdiv. (3) to remove requirement regarding certification by the association; P.A. 95-116 changed certification to licensure, required a license to practice, required professional supervision to be by a licensed clinical or certified independent social worker, changed the required examination from advanced level to clinical level and deemed as licensed those certified before October 1, 1990, and those certified after that date if the Subdiv. (3) requirements are met; P.A. 04-221 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a), added Subsec. (b) re licensure by endorsement, and made technical changes in Subsec. (a); P.A. 10-38 redesignated existing Subsec. (a) as Subsecs. (a) and (c), added new Subsec. (b) re qualifications for licensure as master social worker, amended redesignated Subsec. (c) to add "provided on and after October 1, 2011, such hours completed in this state shall be as a licensed master social worker" in Subdiv. (2) and make technical changes, redesignated existing Subsec. (b) as Subsec. (d) and amended same to authorize commissioner to grant a license as master social worker by endorsement to applicant licensed or certified as master or clinical social worker who otherwise satisfies specified requirements and added Subsec. (e) re commissioner's authority to grant a license as clinical social worker to applicant licensed or certified as clinical social worker who otherwise satisfies specified requirements.

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      Sec. 20-195o. Application for and renewal of license. Fees. Licensure without examination. (a) Application for licensure shall be on forms prescribed and furnished by the commissioner. Each applicant shall furnish evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that he or she has met the requirements of section 20-195n. The application fee for a clinical social worker license shall be three hundred fifteen dollars. The application fee for a master social worker license shall be two hundred twenty dollars.

      (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 20-195n concerning examinations, on or before October 1, 2012, the commissioner may issue a license without examination, to any master social worker applicant who demonstrates to the satisfaction of the commissioner that, on or before October 1, 2010, he or she held a master's degree from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or, if educated outside the United States or its territories, completed an educational program deemed equivalent by the council.

      (c) Each person licensed pursuant to this chapter may apply for renewal of such licensure in accordance with the provisions of subsection (e) of section 19a-88. A fee of one hundred ninety dollars shall accompany each renewal application for a licensed master social worker or a licensed clinical social worker. Each such applicant shall furnish evidence satisfactory to the commissioner of having satisfied the continuing education requirements prescribed in section 20-195u.

      (P.A. 85-531, S. 3; P.A. 87-212, S. 3, 4; P.A. 89-251, S. 105, 203; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6, S. 26, 117; P.A. 94-91, S. 2; P.A. 95-116, S. 3; P.A. 97-213, S. 10, 13; P.A. 98-247, S. 14; P.A. 03-252, S. 21; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 213; June 19 Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-1, S. 18; P.A. 10-38, S. 4.)

      History: P.A. 87-212 deleted reference to the period of time during which the commissioner could issue a certificate without examination and added provision re satisfying requirements prior to October 1, 1986; P.A. 89-251 increased the application fee from $75 to $94; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6 raised application fee to $195; P.A. 94-91 amended Subsec. (a) to increase the fee to $250, amended Subsec. (b) to prohibit issuance of certificate without examination after February 1, 1995, and added Subsec. (c) to provide for annual renewal and fee; P.A. 95-116 changed certification to licensure, extended from February 1, 1995, to January 1, 1996, the time to apply for a license without examination and from 1986 to 1993 the deadline for having met the requirements for such application and increased the renewal fee from $25 to $150; P.A. 97-213 extended the grandfather deadline from 1996 to 1998 and added federal employment prior to 1986 as satisfactory condition for licensure without examination, effective June 26, 1997; P.A. 98-247 amended Subsec. (c) to require continuing education and adoption of regulations; P.A. 03-252 amended Subsec. (c) by designating existing provisions as new Subdiv. (1), making technical changes therein, and adding new Subdiv. (2) re professional development activities as substitute for continuing education requirements; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 amended Subsec. (a) to increase fee from $250 to $315 and amended Subsec. (c)(1) to increase fee from $150 to $190; June 19 Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-1 made a technical change in Subsec. (c)(2), effective July 1, 2009; P.A. 10-38 amended Subsec. (a) by prescribing $220 application fee for master social worker license and by making conforming and technical changes, amended Subsec. (b) by replacing former requirements re licensure without examination with requirements applicable to master social worker applicants who, on or before October 1, 2012, seek licensure without examination, and amended Subsec. (c) by specifying that $190 license renewal fee applies to both licensed master social workers and licensed clinical social workers, by deleting provision re adoption of regulations pertaining to continuing education requirements, by deleting former Subdiv. (2) re continuing education requirements and by making technical changes.

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      Sec. 20-195p. Disciplinary action. Grounds. The commissioner may take any action set forth in section 19a-17 if the license holder fails to conform to the accepted standards of the social work profession, including, but not limited to, the following: Conviction of a felony; fraud or deceit in obtaining or seeking reinstatement of a license to practice clinical social work; fraud or deceit in the practice of social work; negligent, incompetent or wrongful conduct in professional activities; emotional disorder or mental illness; physical illness, including, but not limited to, deterioration through the aging process; abuse or excessive use of drugs, including alcohol, narcotics or chemicals; wilful falsification of entries in any hospital, patient or other record pertaining to social work; violation of any provision of this chapter or any regulation adopted hereunder. The Commissioner of Public Health may order a license holder to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if his physical or mental capacity to practice safely is the subject of an investigation. Said commissioner may petition the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to enforce such order or any action taken pursuant to said section 19a-17. Notice of any contemplated action under said section 19a-17, of the cause therefor and the date of hearing thereon, shall be given and an opportunity for hearing afforded as provided in the regulations adopted by the commissioner.

      (P.A. 85-531, S. 4; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-116, S. 4; 95-220, S. 4-6; 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1, S. 49, 121.)

      History: P.A. 88-230 replaced "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" with "judicial district of Hartford", effective September 1, 1991; P.A. 90-98 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1991, to September 1, 1993; P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 93-381 replaced commissioner of health services with commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-116 changed certification to licensure and added fraud and deceit in seeking reinstatement as a ground for disciplinary action; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1 made a technical change, effective June 24, 1998.

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      Sec. 20-195q. Use of title. Certain activities not prohibited. (a) No person shall (1) use the title "licensed master social worker" or any initials associated with such title, or (2) advertise services under the description of a licensed master social worker, as defined in section 20-195m, unless such person is licensed as a master social worker pursuant to this chapter.

      (b) No person shall (1) use the title "licensed clinical social worker" or any initials associated with such title, or (2) advertise services under the description of a licensed clinical social worker, as defined in section 20-195m, unless such person is licensed as a clinical social worker pursuant to this chapter.

      (c) Nothing in this section shall prohibit: (1) A student enrolled in a doctoral or master's degree program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education from performing such work as is incidental to his course of study, provided such person is designated by a title which clearly indicates his status as a student; (2) a person holding a doctoral or master's degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education from gaining social work experience under professional supervision, provided such activities are necessary to satisfy the work experience required by section 20-195n and such person is designated as "social work intern", "social work trainee" or other title clearly indicating the status appropriate to his level of training; (3) a person licensed or certified in this state in a field other than clinical social work from practicing within the scope of such license or certification; (4) a person enrolled in an educational program or fulfilling other state requirements leading to licensure or certification in a field other than social work from engaging in work in such other field; (5) a person who is employed or retained as a social work designee, social worker, or social work consultant by a nursing home or rest home licensed under section 19a-490 and who meets the qualifications prescribed by the department in its regulations from performing the duties required of them in accordance with state and federal laws governing those duties; (6) for the period from October 1, 2010, to October 1, 2013, inclusive, a master social worker from engaging in independent practice; (7) a social worker from practicing community organization, policy and planning, research or administration that does not include engaging in clinical social work or supervising a social worker engaged in clinical treatment with clients; and (8) individuals with a baccalaureate degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education accredited program from performing nonclinical social work functions.

      (P.A. 85-531, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-11, S. 3, 70; P.A. 95-116, S. 5; P.A. 98-247, S. 13; P.A. 10-38, S. 5.)

      History: May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-11 amended Subsec. (b) to correct a statutory reference by replacing Sec. 17a-635 with Sec. 17-635; P.A. 95-116 changed references from certification to licensure, deleted prior Subsec. (b), which exempted social workers at educational, governmental and community institutions and added new Subsec. (b) re exemption for certain students, trainees and those in other fields; P.A. 98-247 added Subsec. (b)(5) re social work in nursing homes; P.A. 10-38 added new Subsec. (a) re use of title licensed master social worker, redesignated existing Subsec. (a) as Subsec. (b) and made conforming and technical changes therein, redesignated existing Subsec. (b) as Subsec. (c) and added Subdivs. (6) to (8) therein re additional work activities that are not prohibited.

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      Sec. 20-195r. Use of title by certain persons employed by the state in the classified service prior to October 1, 1996. Nothing in sections 20-195 to 20-195q, inclusive, shall prevent any person employed by the state prior to October 1, 1996, with a title in the social work series of the classified service from using a title in such series to describe or perform his duties in the course of his employment with the state.

      (P.A. 95-116, S. 10.)

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      Sec. 20-195s. Scope of practice. (a) An individual licensed as a master social worker pursuant to section 20-195n may: (1) Practice clinical social work under professional supervision; and (2) offer a mental health diagnosis provided such diagnosis is offered in consultation with a physician licensed pursuant to chapter 370, an advanced practice registered nurse licensed pursuant to chapter 378, a psychologist licensed pursuant to chapter 383, a marital and family therapist licensed pursuant to chapter 383a, a professional counselor licensed pursuant to chapter 383c or a clinical social worker licensed pursuant to this chapter. Except as provided in subsection (c) of section 20-195q, a licensed master social worker may not engage in independent practice.

      (b) An individual licensed as a clinical social worker pursuant to section 20-195n may practice clinical social work. A licensed clinical social worker may perform all functions of a licensed master social worker and, in addition, may engage in independent practice.

      (P.A. 10-38, S. 2.)

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      Sec. 20-195t. Issuance of temporary permit to practice as a master social worker. The department may issue a temporary permit to an applicant for licensure as a master social worker who holds a master's degree from a social work educational program, as described in section 20-195n, but who has not yet taken the licensure examination prescribed in said section 20-195n. Such temporary permit shall authorize the holder to practice as a master social worker as provided for in section 20-195s. Such temporary permit shall be valid for a period not to exceed one hundred twenty calendar days after the date of attaining such master's degree and shall not be renewable. Such permit shall become void and shall not be reissued in the event that the applicant fails to pass such examination. The fee for a temporary permit shall be fifty dollars.

      (P.A. 10-38, S. 6.)

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      Sec. 20-195u. Continuing education requirements: Record-keeping; exemptions; waivers; reinstatement of void licenses. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, each clinical social worker, licensed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, and, on and after October 1, 2011, each master social worker licensed pursuant to this chapter shall complete a minimum of fifteen hours of continuing education during each registration period. For purposes of this section, "registration period" means the twelve-month period for which a license has been renewed in accordance with section 19a-88 and is current and valid.

      (b) Continuing education required pursuant to this section shall be related to the practice of social work. Such continuing education shall consist of courses, workshops and conferences offered or approved by the Association of Social Work Boards, the National Association of Social Workers or a school or department of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. A licensee's ability to engage in on-line and home study continuing education shall be limited to not more than six hours per registration period. Within the registration period, an initial presentation by a licensee of an original paper, essay or formal lecture in social work to a recognized group of fellow professionals may account for five hours of continuing education hours of the aggregate continuing education requirements prescribed in this section.

      (c) Each licensee shall obtain a certificate of completion from a provider of the continuing education for all continuing education hours that are successfully completed and shall retain such certificate for a minimum of three years following the license renewal date for which the activity satisfies the continuing education requirement. Upon request by the department, the licensee shall submit such certificate to the department. A licensee who fails to comply with the continuing education requirements prescribed in this section may be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to section 20-195p.

      (d) A person licensed pursuant to this chapter who holds a professional educator certificate that is endorsed for school social work and issued by the State Board of Education pursuant to sections 10-144o to 10-149, inclusive, may satisfy the continuing education requirements contained in this section by successfully completing professional development activities pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (l) of section 10-145b, provided the number of continuing education hours completed by such person is equal to the number of hours per registration period required by this section.

      (e) A licensee applying for the first time for license renewal pursuant to section 20-195o shall be exempt from the continuing education requirements of this section. The department may, for a licensee who has a medical disability or illness, grant a waiver of the continuing education requirements or may grant such licensee an extension of time in which to fulfill the requirements, provided the licensee submits to the department an application for waiver or extension of time on a form prescribed by the department along with any documentation required by the department. The department may grant a waiver or extension not to exceed one registration period, except that the department may grant additional waivers or extensions if the initial reason for the waiver or extension continues beyond the period of the waiver or extension. A waiver of the continuing education requirement may be granted by the department to a licensee who is not engaged in social work during a given continuing education registration period, provided the licensee submits a waiver request prior to the expiration of the continuing education period, on a form prescribed by the department.

      (f) Any licensee granted a waiver of the continuing education requirements pursuant to the provisions of subsection (e) of this section shall be required to complete seven hours of continuing education not later than six months from the date on which such licensee returned to active practice. In addition, such licensee shall comply with the certificate of completion requirements prescribed in subsection (c) of this section.

      (g) Any licensee whose license has become void pursuant to the provisions of subsection (f) of section 19a-88, who applies to the department for reinstatement of such license, shall submit with such application evidence documenting that such applicant has successfully completed seven hours of continuing education within the one-year period immediately preceding the date of application for reinstatement.

      (P.A. 10-38, S. 7.)

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      Sec. 20-195v. Implementation of licensure requirements relating to master social workers by the Department of Public Health. The Department of Public Health shall only be required to implement the provisions of this chapter as relate to the licensure of master social workers, if appropriations are available for such implementation.

      (P.A. 10-38, S. 9.)

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      Secs. 20-195w to 20-195z. Reserved for future use.

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