COVID19 Emergency Rules Extended- 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.
Emergency Clinical Social Work Authorization – Individuals licensed in another state/province
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=269053
To apply for the emergency clinical license, 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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.