Guidance on Mask Usage
The Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers recognizes that although requirements for wearing masks in the healthcare setting was lifted by the state public health authority, there still may be situations in which mask wearing is appropriate.
Social Workers are encouraged to consider needs of vulnerable individuals or those experiencing disabilities when making decisions about wearing masks.
Board Member Vacancy Announcement
The Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers is looking for an individuals interested in serving on the Board as professional and public representatives. The Board has seven members, three members must be Licensed Clinical Social Workers; one member must be either a Clinical Social Work Associate, Licensed Masters Social Worker or Registered Baccalaureate Social Worker; and the three remaining positions represent the public in general. The Governor appoints members to the Board of Licensed Social Workers. If you are interested in a Board position and would like to apply, go to the Governor’s Executive Appointment website at:
Follow the instructions to complete and submit a Board Member application online. If you have questions about the Board and the work that they do, please contact the Board’s Interim Executive Director, Lou Savage, at (503) 372-1163.
All Application Fees Waived - Starting February 1, 2023
February 1, 2023 and for the next year, all fees for new applications
will be waived. Funds to support professional license applicants were
allocated by the Oregon Legislature to help increase the number of
licensed behavioral health professionals practicing in Oregon.
updating our application portal to accommodate the fee waiver, you will
not be able to submit new applications. Once the system is updated you
will be able to submit a new application with only a minor processing charge.
Here is a link to the OHA Press Release related to the application fee waivers.
state offices, the
Board of Licensed Social Workers (BLSW), is now open to the public from
8:30 AM until 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
However, to promote the safety and well-being of staff members and the
public, staff members will continue to work part-time from home. To make
sure that the right person is available when you plan to come in,
please email or call ahead and make an appointment. This will ensure
that you get to speak with someone who can assist you with your
Free Virtual CE From OHA on Culture Awareness and Suicide Prevention.
is a free course via Zoom that will be accepted as either a culture
awareness activity, or Suicide Prevention. Be sure to keep a completion
certificate or proof of attendance. The link below is a flier to assist
you in registering. This class will only be offered twice in July.
2022 OHA Military Culture Awareness and Suicide Prevention Training
July 1, 2022
Requirement of the
cultural competency and suicide risk assessment, treatment, and
management requirement will be enforced as of January 1, 2023.
Requirement has been approved by the board, and available for entering as
of now. Official notice will be going out shortly to all licensees.
Begin looking for and taking these courses now in order to be prepared
CSWA's will also be required to submit continuing education in Cultural Competence and Suicide risk assessment, treatment and management. These details are coming soon.
May 2, 2022
Most state offices, including the
Board of Licensed Social Workers (BLSW), is now open to the public.
However, to promote the safety and well-being of staff members, reduce
the number of people in the building at one time, and ensure the
necessary staff is available in-person, agency staff will be available
by appointment only on an as-needed basis.
The online Licensing Portal now allow most tasks to be completed online, and staff remain available via email and phone for assistance.
As of April 1, 2022 the Oregon State of Emergency has been lifted. No new emergency authorizations to practice will be issued. Please see our applications page to apply for an Oregon license if you wish to provide services to clients in Oregon.
All Current emergency authorizations will expire as of June 30, 2022.
NEW Temporary BLSW Rule to Enforce OHA COVID Prevention Measures
Recently, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) adopted rules requiring immunization or an approved exception for healthcare workers, and the Governor has issued an Executive Order with the same requirement for state employees. The OHA rules define what happens to healthcare workers who are not in compliance with the requirement after October 18, 2021. The Oregon Department of Justice drafted template rules for immediate adoption to address concerns that healthcare workers may be caring for clients and interacting with the public without having been vaccinated for COVID-19. The expectation is that all state healthcare regulatory boards, including the Board of Licensed Social Workers, will adopt these rules to address concerns that unvaccinated healthcare workers are working with the public after the Governor's October 18 deadline. The Board of Licensed Social Workers (BLSW) adopted temporary rules based on the DOJ template that take effect on October 18. This temporary rule defines “unprofessional conduct” for social workers to specifically include failure to comply with OHA COVID-19 rules regarding vaccination and masks. The purpose of all healthcare regulatory boards is public safety, not advocacy for a profession. The Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers, like all Oregon healthcare regulatory boards, is a part of the Executive Branch, and reports directly to the Governor. The adoption of temporary rules is a standard administrative procedure for emergency situations. Temporary rules are in force for 180 days. At the end of 180 days, if needed, the rules can be made permanent through the regular public rule hearing process. The BLSW has jurisdiction only over the social worker’s license; the board does not have any jurisdiction or authority over social worker/employer issues such as staffing numbers, facility policy disputes, or other HR or employment matters. The BLSW can only act on complaints it receives. If the Board receives a complaint about a social worker’s practice, it will initiate an investigation. If it does receive a complaint, the board can investigate only if it has the appropriate jurisdiction, authority, and information regarding the situation. Each complaint investigation is conducted solely on the facts of that case. Complaints received that are related to OHA COVID-19 vaccine or masking requirements will be investigated by BLSW staff following the board’s standard investigatory process. If the board does seek disciplinary action against a license, the licensee is afforded due process rights, including right to a hearing before any discipline is final. Rumors that health boards are acting to automatically revoke a person's license on the Governor's deadline have no basis in fact. If you have questions about the new temporary rule, please contact the board at oregon.blsw@BLSW.oregon.gov, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions
OHA 3879 Healthcare Provider and Healthcare Staff Vaccine Rule FAQs (state.or.us)
Oregon Secretary of State Administrative Rules 877-030-0090
Oregon Secretary of State Administrative Rules 877-030-0091
The above link will take you to the OHA information regarding COVID Vaccinations. We will update the information as we receive it.
COVID19 Emergency Rules Extended- Updated August 24, 2021
The Emergency Declaration of March 2020 has been extended several times, most recently to cover the period until December 31, 2021. At this point we expect that the emergency declaration will expire on that date. Any authorizations already approved will be given 90 days until full expiration.
Please be aware that depending on how COVID develops over the next months, the Governor may choose to terminate the emergency declaration earlier than December 31, 2021 or may extend that declaration beyond that date. We will update the website as soon as we have new information.
Governor Browns executive order website: State of Oregon: Administration - Executive Orders
Order: eo_21-36.pdf (oregon.gov) **This may take a little time to load.
Updated September 25, 2020
In March, at the beginning of the COVID19 emergency, agencies were encouraged to change rules to respond to, what were then potential issues. At that time the BLSW made the following changes:
- Create a process for social workers who are licensed in another state to practice temporarily in Oregon.
- Create a process for social workers who had been licensed in Oregon, but who had let their license expire, either because of retirement or change of employment, to practice temporarily.
- Provide a process to enforce Governor's Executive Order provision.
- Authorize the board to waive late fees if a SW failed to renew on time for any reason related to the COVID emergency.
- Allow CSWA supervision meetings to be held by phone or video conference, rather than in-person.
On September 24, 2020 these rules were re-adopted as permanent rules and will continue in effect throughout the remainder of the emergency declaration. The rules will not expire on September 26, 2020 as it appears very likely that the COVID19 emergency will still be with us for some time.
We hope that COVID is a once-in-a-generation event. But we also know that there is always the possibility of other emergencies, wild-fires, storms and the ever-present threat of a significant earthquake. These rules give the BLSW the ability to respond more quickly in the event of an emergency or state-wide or regional disaster.
We have attached a link to the language of the new emergency declaration rules below.
Thank you for your professional response to the COVID19 emergency. We hope that this current emergency comes to a conclusion soon and that we learn from it and are better prepared in the future.
Scroll down about 2/3 for Guidance for Healthcare Settings.
Emergency Clinical Social Work Authorization – Individuals licensed in another state/province - discontinued as of April 1, 2022.
Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers filed OAR 877-020-0070 that
will allow individuals who hold an independent, unrestricted clinical
social work license in another state or province to practice clinical
social work in Oregon.
Here is a link to the rule: https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/viewSingleRule.action?ruleVrsnRsn=273074
To apply for the emergency authorization to practice, send the following items to email@example.com
· Pages 1 and 2 from our regular application (ignore the section about fees); Emergency Authorization Application · A copy of your license to practice independent clinical social work issued by another state or province;· A copy of your current U.S. Passport or driver license; and·
A statement requesting an Oregon emergency clinical social work
license, including if relevant, the agency or organization with whom you
will be working.
We would prefer the materials be sent as PDF attachments. There is no fee for this authorization.
This is not a permanent license. If you want to apply for a regular, ongoing license to practice social work in Oregon, check https://www.oregon.gov/blsw/Pages/LicenseDescriptions.aspx for a description of the types of applications and https://www.oregon.gov/blsw/Pages/Applications.aspx for application instructions.
Emergency Clinical Social Work Authorization - Individuals who are Retired or an Expired Oregon LCSW- discontinued as of April 1, 2022.
Temporary authorization to practice for retired, or expired Oregon LCSW's has been created for those wishing to assist clients during this time of the COVID19 pandemic. This authorization will only be honored while the state of emergency is in effect. Once the state of emergency is lifted from the Governor of Oregon, the authorization will cease.
If interested, please contact the Board of Licensed Social Workers at firstname.lastname@example.org
ASWB Exam Updates
Please refer to ASWB's COVID-19 update page for information regarding testing changes and schedules. Their page will also link you to the Pearson Vue COVID updates.
TEMPORARY POLICY AND PROCEDURE UPDATES TO COMPLY WITH COVID19 RESTRICTIONS
an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon and protect employees
and the public, the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers will be changing
the way it provides services at its office in Salem starting Monday, March 23.
Offices will closed to the public, but open for business and can be reached by
email and phone during regular business hours. In-person interactions between
staff and the public will be by appointment only as necessary.
will continue to be processed online.
Telehealth Practice In Oregon
The Oregon Board of Licensed Social
Workers has not established any specific limitations on licensed social work providers
practicing via various forms of electronic communication, for example meeting
by telephone or video-conference. The standards regarding ethical practices,
ensuring confidentiality of communications, and record-keeping would still
apply. In addition, if a social worker is providing services across state lines
the social worker will have to ensure that they are in compliance with the
requirements of the other state.
Below is a
link to the NASW, ASWB, CSWE, and CSWA Standards for Technology in Social Work
Practice. These standards offer social work practitioners guidance in utilizing
technology in their practice.
Standards for Technology in Social Work Practice
CSWA's With Changes in Regards to Their Practice
A CSWA whose approved Plan of
Supervision is in a school based setting or agency that has closed, and you are no longer
able to see clients in any capacity, contact the board and request inactive
status until your agency re-opens. If your Plan is in an agency that is no
longer seeing clients in-person, your agency may choose to continue to serve
clients through telehealth. If you are no longer practicing at all under your
Plan you should contact the board and request inactive status until the
services resume. If you are not practicing in any capacity you should request
You can request inactive
status by sending an email to the board at email@example.com
or by using our online CSWA Inactive Status Request form.
If you are still practicing at some level, be sure to remain in compliance with your supervision requirements.
Supervision In-Person Meeting Requirements
rules require supervision meetings occur in-person or by video-conference.
Video-conference meetings are permitted if the initial, final and at least one
meeting per quarter occur in-person. Under the current COVID19 social
distancing guidance, supervision meetings may all occur by video-conference, or by telephone.
There is no need to contact the BLSW for approval to make this adjustment.
Health care workers
in Oregon can support their community’s response to COVID-19 by registering
with SERV-OR and their local Medical Reserve Corps. Visit https://serv-or.org/
to learn more and register! #MedicalReserveCorps #ESARVHP
The State Emergency
Registry of Volunteers in Oregon (SERV-OR) is putting out a call to licensed health
professionals to sign up, train, and deploy in support of the State’s COVID-19
pandemic response. If you have ever thought about volunteering your time,
energy, and invaluable medical skills to a worthwhile and potentially
life-saving cause, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), fellow health
professionals and systems, and all Oregonians could use your help.
New Rule Changes Adopted September 2020
Temporary Clinical Social Work License During a Declared Emergency for People Qualified in Another Jurisdiction.
Temporary Clinical Social Work License During a Declared Emergency for Expired Oregon LCSW
General Provisions Governing Conduct
Fees for Certification and Licensing
Plan of Practice and Supervision
ASWB Early Exam Authorizations
ASWB has changed their policies, which no longer allow the Board of Licensed Social Workers to approve ASWB clinical exams prior to being regulated for at least 24 months. We will maintain our 75 hours minimum, but will also require the CSWA to have been certified to practice for 2 years (24 months).
Email Address Changes
Board of Licensed Social Workers has changed email domains. All agency email addresses have changed from @state.or.us to @oregon.gov. Please be sure to accept our new email addresses in order to ensure all emails are received.