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Updates

Free Virtual CE From OHA on Culture Awareness and Suicide Prevention.

This 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 in January.
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.


BLSW Rules Currently Under Review


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.

COVID19 Vaccination Information

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 wende.thatcher@blsw.oregon.gov

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



COVID19 VACCINE INFORMATION

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.

https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/viewSingleRule.action?ruleVrsnRsn=273074

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.

 

Randy Harnisch


OHA COVID 19 Update

Scroll down about 2/3 for Guidance for Healthcare Settings.

Regulatory Guidance, Data, and Reports : State of Oregon

Building a Safe and Strong Oregon

Plan, Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019


Emergency Clinical Social Work Authorization – Individuals licensed in another state/province - discontinued as of April 1, 2022.

The 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 oregon.blsw@oregon.gov

·       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 oregon.blsw@oregon.gov 


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.

 https://www.aswb.org/covid-19

TEMPORARY POLICY AND PROCEDURE UPDATES TO COMPLY WITH COVID19 RESTRICTIONS

In 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.

 

Renewals 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 inactive status.

You can request inactive status by sending an email to the board at wende.thatcher@oregon.gov 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

Current BLSW 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.

https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/viewSingleRule.action?ruleVrsnRsn=273078

COVID19 Resources from the Oregon Health Authority

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.

WHAT'S NEW?

New Rule Changes Adopted September 2020

877-20-0071
Temporary Clinical Social Work License During a Declared Emergency for People Qualified in Another Jurisdiction.
https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/viewSingleRule.action?ruleVrsnRsn=273074

877-020-0081
Temporary Clinical Social Work License During a Declared Emergency for Expired Oregon LCSW
https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/viewSingleRule.action?ruleVrsnRsn=273075

877-30-0090
General Provisions Governing Conduct
https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/viewSingleRule.action?ruleVrsnRsn=273076

877-001-0020
Fees for Certification and Licensing
https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/viewSingleRule.action?ruleVrsnRsn=273077

877-020-0010
Plan of Practice and Supervision
https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/viewSingleRule.action?ruleVrsnRsn=273078

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.