CALIFORNIA SOCIAL WORKERS
YOUR SOCIAL WORK CAREER IS IN JEOPARDY!!
This site has recently been updated, there are many facts available.
URGENT LEGISLATIVE ALERT!
IMPORTANT UPDATE --The date for the Assembly Consumer Protection Committee Hearing has been changed from Tuesday June 16th to Tuesday June 23rd!!
To verify date & time of hearing please contact Kyla at Senator Haynes office (916) 445-9781.
SB-288, legislation which will
eliminate the oral exam and prohibit the BBS from substituting a "California"
exam for the current, nationally-recognized AASSWB written exam, will be heard in the Assembly Consumer
Protection Committee on Tuesday, June 23rd at 9:00 a.m.
SB-288 has been held hostage in this committee by its chair, Susan Davis, since July 8, 1997. Therefore, it is
CRITICAL that SB-288 be passed out of this committee on June 23rd! If SB-288 is not passed, it WILL be dead
and we will be unable to initiate new legislation until next year.
If passed through the Assembly Consumer Protection Committee, SB-288 will then go on to the Assembly Health
Committee, Assembly Appropriations Committee, and a vote of the full Assembly no later than August 30th. It will
then go to Governor Wilson for signature no later than September 30th and will take effect January 1, 1999.
NASW-CA and the CA Society for Clinical Social Work (CSCSW) have launched a massive mobilization effort to defeat SB-288. As has been the case since the introduction of SB-288, because NASW CA hass been unable to justify its opposition to SB-288 with facts and logic, NASW-CA has resorted to a divisive campaign of fear and misinformation pitting LCSWs against MSWs and MSWs against MFCCs. NASW-CA has been appealing to the fears of LCSWs by telling them they will lose their jobs and experience a decrease in income should SB-288 pass. NASW-CA has been appealing to the fears of MSWs by telling them LCSWs will not be "as good" as MFCCs if the oral exam is eliminated. There is absolutely NO evidence to support these claims and nothing of this sort has occurred in the other 49 states which do not require an oral examination for social workers. NASW-CA's "unholy alliance" with the BBS is disheartening for California social workers who expect our professional organization to represent ALL social workers -- not just those who are licensed or have a vested interest in maintaining the oral exam.
Therefore, we must do all we can to counteract NASW-CA's efforts and get SB-288 passed! If YOU do nothing, you can rest assured that NASW-CA and CSCSW will do all that they can to defeat SB-288. Network members must make their voices heard. WE HAVE ALL WORKED TOO HARD TO LOSE THE BATTLE NOW!
This is what YOU need to do NO LATER THAN JUNE 16TH:
1. Write/fax/E-Mail/phone the members of the Assembly Consumer Protection Committee and the Assembly
Tell them you support SB-288 and ask them to vote likewise when it is heard in their respective committees.
A listing of the Committee members is attached as well as a sample letter.
2. It is critical that you make a PERSONAL VISIT to the committee members if you are a constituent and
provide them with information on SB-288. Please review Talking Points with Legislators. Feel free to refer legislators to The Network for informational materials.
3. If you are a member of NASW or CSCSW , be sure to mention this in your interactions with legislators. Let them know that NASW-CA and CSCSW do NOT represent or speak for you on SB-288.
4. Plan to ATTEND the Assembly Consumer Protection Committee hearing on Tuesday, June 23rd at 9:00
a.m. in Room 447 at the State Capitol. Network members will meet in Senator Haynes' office (Room
4082) at 8:30 a.m. and proceed to the hearing room as a group. If you plan to attend, contact The Network
or Senator Haynes' office (916) 445-9781 one week prior to the hearing to confirm that the hearing date/time
has not been changed.
5. Please make a FINANCIAL DONATION to The Network. We are a grassroots organization and depend
on your financial support to be able to continue our efforts on your behalf. (Heartfelt thanks to those of you
who have already contributed.)
6. Join The Network and spread the word to others! Look for our 1/4-page ad in the June issue of the
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE NOW!
LET'S MAKE THE MAY ORAL EXAM THE LAST ORAL EXAM!
For the most accurate, up-to-date information on SB-288,
contact The Network at:
Camille DiRienzo-Callahan, LCSW
42300 Acacia Ave., Hemet, CA, 92544-5082
Phone: (909) 927-2871/FAX: (909) 927-8644/E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any contacts you have with The Network -- phone calls, letters, donations, etc. -- are strictly CONFIDENTIAL.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Joint Legislative Sunset Review Committee voted 5 to 1 on March 17, 1998 to throw out the Dept. of Consumer Affairs' recommendation "to retain the oral examination during ongoing review of the program" and instead made a motion and voted in favor of elimination of the oral exam! The lone dissenter was Assemblymember Susan Davis, MSW, who receives campaign contributions from NASW-CA's PACE. Senators Polanco and Johannessen forcefully stated during the hearing that they wanted the oral exam eliminated effective January 1, 1999!
Assemblymember Davis also informed Network members that she had recently taken a "mock oral" and passed and felt it was a valid process. This "farce" clearly demonstrates the utter lack of validity and reliability of the oral exam when an individual such as Ms. Davis (who does not possess the requisite 3,200 hours of clinical experience and has never taken the written exam) is able to pass the oral exam and yet social workers with the necessary prerequisites and years of experience are unable to do so.
SB-288 DID NOT die in committee. In fact, a hearing has been tentatively scheduled for June 16th before the Assembly Consumer Protection Committee in Sacramento. According to the legislative calendar, SB-288 would go to Governor Wilson for signature no later than September 1st. This means we do not have much longer to go in our efforts. (We began on February 7, 1997.)
GOVERNOR WILSON DOES NOT INTEND TO VETO SB-288!! At no time has governor Wilson indicated that he will veto SB-288. We urge you to verify this information by contacting his office yourself. You may contact the Governor at (916) 445-2841 or Email him at email@example.com.
OVER 80% OF CALIFORNIA LCSWs HAVE NOT PASSED THE CURRENT ORAL EXAM!! According to the BBS, in March of 1998 there were a total of 13,741 LCSWs practicing in the state of California, of this number 11,051 were licensed prior to 1992 which was the year the "new, improved" oral exam was implemented.
Rather than protecting the social work profession in CA, NASW-CA's opposition to SB-288 will lead to the "extinction" of the social work profession in CA. Controlling the LCSW "market" by instituting artificial barriers to licensure and keeping the pool of LCSWs artificially small undermines the ability of competent social workers to compete in the marketplace. According to the BBS, there are currently over 10,000 more MFCCs than LCSWs and nearly 6,000 more MFCC interns than Associate Social Workers. In many locations, LCSW positions go unfilled and are RECLASSIFIED to MFCC/LCSW positions which are more easily filled due to the greater availability of MFCCs.
NASW-CA has stated it opposed SB-288 because it does not eliminate the oral exam for MFCCs and would eliminate a "level playing field" between the two professions. The truth is, NASW-CA opposed SB-288 even when the legislation would have eliminated the oral exam for LCSWs and MFCCs. NASW-CA has consistently held that without an oral exam for social workers we would be unable to compete with MFCCs although there are states which require an oral exam for MFCCs/MFTs but NOT social workers.
NASW-CA has written in reference to the Sunset Review Committee that, "Should the BBS be unable to justify the existence of an oral exam in any form, NASW is committed to re-examining its position on SB-288." Since its introduction, three Senate committes as well as the full Senate, have rejected the NASW-CA/BBS' repeated appeals to maintain the oral and have voted overwhelmingly to pass SB-288. In light of the most recent March 17, 1998 vote in the Joint Legislative Sunset Review Committee (5-1) to eliminate the oral exam, will NASW-CA keep their word and re-examine its position on SB-288?
According to Sherry Mehl, Executive Officer of the BBS, in less than 1 year, the BBS will be replacing the current nationally recognized AASSWB (American Association of State Social Work Boards) written exam with a "California" written exam. (The AASSWB exam is recognized by the social work licensing boards of 48 other states and is what allows for CA LCSWs to receive reciprocity for licensure in other states.)
If you move to another state, the "California" written exam will not be recognized or accepted and you will have to take the AASSWB written exam to obtain licensure.
California is the ONLY state which continues to require passage of an oral exam for social work licensure. The pass rate on the oral exam NEVER exceeds 39 percent although the pass rate on the written exam (taken by the same individuals) exceeds 80 percent.
The oral exam has no "right"
answers. The BBS has yet to provide examinees with this information despite
The oral exam sample vignette contains only 7 sentences. Applicants are given 5 minutes to review these 7 sentences and take notes. They are then asked 10 questions regarding the vignette and allowed 30 minutes in which to respond (allowing @ 3 minutes per question). Applicants are "graded" on 7 different content areas. In content area II of the oral applicants are evaluated on 12 different associated knowledges within that one content area. Applicants receive one single numerical score for each content area. The score will not provide you with any information regarding why the response was determined deficient or which of the different associated knowledges was not covered sufficiently.
The oral examination process is unnecessary. At the time of testing, applicants have already obtained and MSW degree, attained 3200 hours of supervised post-graduate clinical experience, and passed a national written exam. In any other state, this would meet or exceed the requirements for social work licensure!
The oral exam appeals process is rife with abuse. Appellants are denied access to ANY information relating to the scoring process and are denied the due process right provided to appellants convicted in criminal proceedings!
The Network is a grassroots organization that was founded for the sole purpose of organizing social workers to support SB288. SB288 would eliminate the oral exam requirement and retain the national AASSWB national written exam and prevent substitution of a CA only written exam.
Members of the Assembly Consumer Protection Committee addresses & emails
Talking Points with Legislators
NASW-CA's Information: Fact or Fiction?
Discussion of MFCC comparison and oral exam flaws
Get Involved with "The Network"
Members of the Assembly Health Committee addresses & emails
NASW-CA's "PROGRESS" in working with the BBS to "fix" the oral exam
Actual Bill Text
Please sign our guestbook!!