Mission

To provide support and services to the social work regulatory community to advance safe, competent, and ethical practices to strengthen public protection.

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ASWB President[/caption] A nonprofit association’s board of directors is a group of individuals who work collaboratively with and empower the association’s chief executive officer to lead the organization toward a sustainable future. The ASWB Board achieves this responsibility by embracing healthy, ethical, and legal governance and prudent financial oversight; ensuring adequate resources; and focusing on issues pertinent to our membership. The Board examines generative questions, scans the horizon, and is forward thinking about the association, member board needs, and public protection. The Board is keeping two issues that are affecting member boards at the top of current priorities: how to engage in positive interactions with legislators and how to respond to pressures to eliminate licensure exemptions so that public protection is strengthened. Both issues rose to the top during interviews with members when the Board was developing the 2019–2021 Strategic Framework last year. As part of the strategic planning process, the Board chose “Preparing and Partnering for Legislation and Regulation” as the theme of the 2019 Education Conference. The Board also made eliminating exemptions one of the objectives of the strategic framework, supporting our vision “All social workers are licensed in order to protect clients and client systems.”
The ASWB Board of Directors examines generative questions, scans the horizon, and is forward thinking about the association, member board needs, and public protection.

Legislative partnerships

In the current atmosphere of overarching regulatory reform, member boards are experiencing reductions in resources, increasing constraints on processes, and alterations to board structures. These challenges threaten boards’ ability to fulfill their mission of protecting the public. Each of these actions are the handiwork of jurisdictional legislative activities, making positive interactions with legislators a necessity for accomplishing our shared mission. Those of us dedicated to public protection often feel uneasy interacting with legislators, as they can appear larger than life. The REAL Committee is to be commended for turning the theme of legislative partnership into a rich, interactive learning experience during the 2019 Education Conference in April. More than 90 regulators representing 40 member boards participated in the conference, which offered presentations and interactive panels focusing on the current regulatory climate and regulatory activities, legislative partnership strategies, and techniques for working with legislators to promote public protection. Evaluations indicated that the speakers and topics resonated with attendees.

Licensing exemptions

Efforts to respond to pressures to exempt or remove licensing requirements for certain groups of individuals practicing social work were also addressed at the 2019 Education Conference during a breakout session. Both U.S. and Canadian regulators presented examples of how these pressures play out in reality. Without licensure, exempt individuals are not accountable to a regulatory board. Members shared their concerns, citing educators and child protective services workers as groups currently exempt from licensure in many jurisdictions. The Board spent time during its April meeting engaging in generative discussion about the first goal of the strategic framework to advance knowledge and acceptance of social work as a licensed profession. The Board will continue to strategize about opportunities to assist member boards in eliminating social work licensure exemptions in their jurisdictions so all social workers become licensed.

Working for member boards

The Board is elected by member delegates to oversee the ongoing business of the organization. As part of the Board’s governance role, we are attentive to member boards’ needs. I hope that what I’ve shared with you in this article demonstrates how the Board—in collaboration with the CEO—is listening, responding to current needs, and thinking ahead to anticipate future needs." ["post_title"]=> string(28) "Member needs are top of mind" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(28) "member-needs-are-top-of-mind" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-06-26 08:31:11" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-06-26 12:31:11" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(63) "https://www.aswb.org/?post_type=aswb_announcements&p=75904" ["menu_order"]=> int(1) ["post_type"]=> string(18) "aswb_announcements" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#2160 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(75858) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2019-06-26 01:45:33" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-06-26 05:45:33" ["post_content"]=> string(6040) "Regulatory research and ASWB have gone hand in hand for decades, so much so that it is a central purpose of the association’s bylaws. By incorporating research into the strategic framework, the ASWB Board of Directors acknowledges its continuing importance to members and the regulatory community at large. Icon of a head in profile with gears turningAlthough nursing and medicine are at the forefront of health care regulatory research, ASWB has been doing its part to expand the research being done in social work regulation. Since the 1990s, ASWB has provided funding through its research arm, the American Foundation for Research and Consumer Education in Social Work Regulation. Over the years, the Foundation funded a dozen research projects on such topics as consumer protection, professional continuing education, social work supervision, complaints against licensees, and knowledge of licensure and regulation among social work faculty and students. These projects will become part of the library of resources available to members. To protect the researchers’ right to publish, these projects are currently available by sending a request to info@aswb.org, subject: research.
Although nursing and medicine are at the forefront of health care regulatory research, ASWB has been doing its part to expand the research being done in social work regulation.
In 2017, the ASWB Board of Directors voted to take the activities of the Founda­tion in-house, committing staff and resources to manage existing research and support the funding of new research. That decision was prescient, given that “Curating research for best practices in regulation” is the third goal of the 2019–2021 Strategic Framework. As research activities were brought in-house, new opportunities arose to expand research through collaboration with educators. An extensive literature review was completed as part of the development of the Curricular Guide for Licensing and Regulation, which was published in November 2018 through the collaborative efforts of ASWB, the Council on Social Work Education, and the NASW Risk Retention Group. In addition, scholars accepted into ASWB’s Path to Licensure Institute commit to completing a research project on a current regulatory topic. The five scholars in the 2017 cohort are making progress on their projects, which are due in 2020. The six scholars in the 2019 cohort just completed their intensive and are in the very early stages of research idea development. In this first year of the strategic framework, the Member Services and Strategic Initiatives department is focused on providing the ASWB Board of Directors with options to select the type of library that it believes ASWB should develop to be responsive to members and the regulatory community at large. The Board’s decision will set the stage for defining the activities and role of ASWB in the regulatory research arena. A research strategy team has prepared the options and is working on developing plans for a storage system to curate the regulatory research reports and data. The system will most likely have multiple platforms in order to be accessible to a range of stakeholders, according to Jennifer Henkel, senior director. “We anticipate that our members and other regulatory stakeholders will access these research materials through a web-based portal or an online request form,” she said. The research strategy team expects that it will have designed a project plan and long-range budget for establishing research priorities by the end of 2019. In 2020, the team anticipates that regulatory research priorities will be identified with input from members and other stakeholders. The 2020 Education Conference will be central to the development process for gaining insight from members. Regulatory research is the theme selected by the ASWB Board of Directors for the conference. ASWB issued a call for proposals with a deadline of July 8, 2019, inviting submissions from researchers wishing to present. The members of the 2019–2020 REAL Committee have begun planning the upcoming conference and will have more to report at the Annual Meeting of the Delegate Assembly in November. Insights from other regulatory stakeholders will be gained in large part from ASWB’s participation in the Healthcare Regulatory CEOs group, which formed in 2014. ASWB has been a member since the group’s founding, along with other regulatory associations representing medicine, nursing, pharmacy, psychology, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. The CEOs meet twice a year to share their professional knowledge and discuss regulatory issues such as practice mobility, exam development, and continuing competence. Part of the group’s mission is to “develop, conduct, or commission joint regulatory research projects [and] share, calibrate, and utilize information about planned and completed strategic research or projects.” The CEO group is currently developing a collaborative health care regulatory research agenda and exploring the potential for future joint research projects. ASWB has participated in early discussions about these projects and continues to be involved. “It has been important for ASWB to be at the table with the other health care regulatory organizations,” said ASWB CEO Mary Jo Monahan.  “We have seen how issues and research interests align and repeat across our disciplines, which shows how collaborating can strengthen not only our collective efforts but also our individual efforts such as ASWB’s regulatory research goal.”" ["post_title"]=> string(46) "Make room for social work regulatory research!" 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