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Updates

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.

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

Emergency Clinical Social Work Authorization – Individuals licensed in another state/province

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=269053

To apply for the emergency clinical license, 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.


Building a Safe and Strong Oregon | Reopening Criteria

https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-Reopening-Framework

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


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.

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?

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.


 

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