Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 135-5-.03 - Master's Social Workers

(1) The Practice of Licensed Master's Social Workers.
(a) The Practice of Licensed Master's Social Work. A licensed Master's Social Worker may render or offer to render to individuals, marriages, couples, families, groups, organizations, governmental units, or the general public, service which is guided by knowledge of social resources, social systems, and human behavior. The licensee may provide evaluation, prevention and intervention services which include but are not restricted to community organization, counseling techniques, and supportive services such as administration, direction, supervision of bachelor's level social workers, consultation, research or education.
(b) First Two Years of Practice. The first two years of practice after the issuance of the Master of Social Work license shall be under direction and supervision.
(c) Practice After Two Years of Experience. After two years of Social Work practice under direction and supervision, the licensee may engage in private practice however, a master's licensee whose practice includes counseling or psychotherapeutic techniques may only engage in such practice under supervision and only for such period of time as is prescribed for qualification to take the clinical social work licensing examination.
(d) Private Practice by a Licensed Master Social Worker After Qualifying for Clinical Social Work Licensure. In order to continue in the private practice of social work that includes counseling or psychotherapy, a licensed master's social worker must apply for a Clinical Social Work license within 60 days of meeting the experience and supervision requirements for that license. The licensee must then take the first scheduled examination for which he/she qualifies, unless good cause is shown for postponement, in which case the licensee shall take the next scheduled examination. Upon receipt of notification that the licensee has passed the Clinical Social Work licensing examination and after meeting all requirements as prescribed in O.C.G.A. 43-10A-8 and 43-10A-72, the Board will issue a Clinical Social Work license. If the Licensee fails the examination, the Board shall require that the licensee's work remain supervised until the applicant has taken and passed the examination. The exam must be taken at the next scheduled exam date unless the Board, in its sole discretion, approves the postponement for good cause. The exam may be taken a total of three times. If the licensee fails the examination three times the licensee shall not engage in the private practice of counseling or psychotherapy in the State of Georgia until such time as he/she has taken and passed the examination, absent a statutory exemption.
2) Licensure Process-(Please refer to the section entitled "Definitions" for clarification of terms).
(a) Education. An applicant for licensure as a Master's Social Worker must have earned a master's degree in Social Work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Candidacy, conditional or accreditation status must have been in effect at the school when the degree was awarded.
(b) Practice while Preparing to Take the Licensing Examination. Persons who have obtained a master's degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and who are practicing social work under direction and supervision while preparing to take the master's social work licensing examination, may practice for a period of up to one year following the granting of such degree.
(c) Examination. Within one year of graduating from a social work graduate program the individual practicing social work in the State of Georgia must apply to take the licensing examination. If the applicant fails the exam the first time it is taken, then the applicant is required to take the examination at the next scheduled exam date, unless good cause is shown for postponement. The applicant mays it for the examination a total of three times. An applicant who fails the examination three times, shall not continue to engage in the practice of social work in the state of Georgia, until such time as the applicant has taken and passed the exam absent of statutory exemption. [Certain exemptions may apply, these are designated in O.C.G.A. 43-10A-7(b)].
(3) Definitions.
(a) Direction means the ongoing administrative oversight by a director of the work of a Social Worker. The person providing direction shall be responsible for assuring the quality of the services rendered by the practitioner and shall ensure that qualified supervision or intervention occurs in situations which require expertise beyond that of the practitioner.
(b) Director means the person who provides direction and who is either the employer of the person who receives direction or is the superior in the employment chain of command to the person who receives direction.
(c) Supervision means the direct clinical review, for the purpose of training or teaching, by a supervisor of a Social Worker's interaction with clients. The purpose of supervision shall be to promote the development of the practitioner's clinical skills. Supervision may include, without being limited to, the review of case presentations, audiotapes, videotapes and direct observation. For supervision to enable the applicant to qualify for Clinical Social Work licensure, it must comply with requirements specified in Rule 135-5-.04.
(d) Supervisor means an individual who promotes the development of the Social Worker's clinical skills and who is a licensed Clinical Social Worker, Professional Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist, Psychologist or Psychiatrist and has met the requirements to be considered a supervisor in their particular discipline. Supervision provided for an individual seeking licensure as a clinical social worker must be in compliance with Rule 135-5-04. A supervisor of a bachelor level social worker must meet the requirements specified in O.C.G.A. 43-10A-7(b)(14).
(e) For Experience acquired prior to 7/1/96, one year means 800 hours acquired in no less than 12 months and no more than 36 months.
(f) For Experience acquired on or after 7/1/96, one year means 1000 hours acquired in no less than 12 months and no more than 36 months.


Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 135-5-.03
O.C.G.A. Secs. 43-7A-12(a)(1), 43-10A-12, 43-10-12(a)(1), 43-10A-12(a)(1); 43-10A-12 b, S.B. 137, p. 14.
Original Rule entitled "Master's Social Workers" was filed on May 23, 1986; effective June 12, 1986. Amended: Filed November 7, 1986; effective November 27, 1986. Amended: Rule repealed and a new Rule of same title adopted. Filed June 26, 1987; effective July 16, 1987. Repealed: New Rule, same title, adopted. F. Dec. 3, 1991; eff. Dec. 23, 1991. Amended: F. Jul. 17, 1992; eff. Aug. 6, 1992. Amended: F. Jun. 27, 1995; eff. July 17, 1995.

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