Licensing for more social workers passed by House


The licensing of more social workers, whether voluntary or mandated, would be phased in during the next four years, under a bill now on its way to Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk.

The modified regulations are part of HF1191/ SF753*, which the House passed 131-0. Rep. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) and Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont) sponsor the bill. The Senate passed it 59-4 April 2.

Under current law, a social work license is required to practice in Minnesota, except for some for whom licensing is voluntary, such as individuals employed by city, county and state agencies.

Beginning July 1, 2016, social workers currently exempt from licensure could voluntarily obtain a license from the Board of Social Work and may be charged a fee for the board to perform a background check on the licensee.

Newly hired social workers at city or state agencies after that date would be required to be licensed in order to work as a social worker. However, city, county and state agencies would still not be required to employ licensed social workers.

The bill would apply to persons seeking licensure as a licensed graduate social worker, a licensed independent social worker, a licensed independent clinical social worker, and temporary licensees. Those voluntarily seeking a license would have between Jan. 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2014, to submit an application and the required fee.

Definitions pertaining to drug and alcohol counselors would also be modified.