Board of Social Work Examiners contact information

BOARD OF SOCIAL WORK EXAMINERS & PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS THERAPISTS
www.swpc.mt.gov


301 South Park, 4th Floor (
map)
P.O. Box 200513
Helena, MT 59620-0513
Fax: (406) 841-2305
E-mail:
dlibsdswpc@mt.gov

Board Office Contacts:

For information on applications and licensing contact:
Telephone: (406) 841-2203
E-mail: DLIBSDLicensingUnitC@mt.gov

For information on renewals, license verifications, and name changes contact: 
Telephone: (406) 841-2205
E-mail: DLIBSDLicensingUnitA@mt.gov

For information on continuing education and course approval:
Telephone: (406) 841-2204
E-mail: DLIBSDAuditingUnit@mt.gov

For information on filing a complaint against a licensee contact:
Vicki Bair, Compliance Specialist
Telephone: (406) 841-2357
E-mail: dlibsdcomplaints@mt.gov


Board Management:
Cyndi Reichenbach, Executive Officer
Board Management Bureau
Telephone: (406) 841-2392
E-mail: dlibsdswpc@mt.gov


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Montana Board of Social Work Examiners and Professional Counselors Frequently Asked Questions


Specific questions regarding licensure as an Professional Counselor


Specific questions regarding licensure as an Social Worker

 

 

1.  How do I change my name on my license?  Name changes must be requested in writing with documentation of your legal name change included (copy of marriage license, divorce decree, etc.).  If you would like a copy of your license in your new name, you must include a check or money order for $5 for a duplicate license. <return to top>

2.  I’ve moved since my last renewal and need to change my address.  How do I do it?  Please use the address change form located under the “Forms” tab on this website, or send a signed written notice of address change via US Mail or fax.  All licensees are required to notify the Board of an address change within 10 days. <return to top>

3.  What is e-Pass and how do I use it?  All on-line commerce functions for the State of Montana are now using e-Pass as an additional layer of security to protect your information.  You will need to set up an e-Pass account to renew your license, purchase fishing or hunting licenses, etc. more information on e-Pass. <return to top>

4.  How do I find out license or discipline information about a licensed individual?  You can go directly to the License Lookup System.  This site is a primary source for verification of licensed individual’s credentials. The Montana Department of Labor & Industry, business Standards Division, presents Licensee Lookup information as a service to the public.  The Division relies on information provided by licensees to be true and correct, as required by statute.  It is an act of unprofessional conduct for a licensee knowingly to provide erroneous information to the Division.  The Department of Labor & Industry makes no warranty or guarantee concerning the accuracy or reliability of the content of this website. Assessing the accuracy and reliability of information obtained from this website is solely the responsibility of the user. If you have questions regarding information found within this Licensee Lookup website, please contact the specific licensing board directly. Please note that some disciplinary actions against licensees may not appear immediately on the website. Appeals, effective dates of orders and other administrative processes may delay posting on the website. Please contact the specific licensing board directly if you require discipline information that occurred prior to July 1, 1996.
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Questions regarding licensure as an Social Worker

5. My degree program was 36 semester hours in 1975.  How can I become eligible for licensure in Montana? 

  1. Montana requires a 60 semester graduate credit counseling degree in order to be considered for licensure (24.219.604)
  2. There are provisions for those with older degrees that have least 45-semester credits.  You can obtain the additional 15 credits within 5 years.  You need to work closely with the board to ensure that all of your additional credits will meet the board’s licensure requirements {37-23-202(2)}
  3. For those with less than 45 semester credits, you can obtain a post graduate specialist degree of at least 24 additional semester hours, or
  4. Earn another graduate degree that satisfies the licensure requirements.  Depending on a university’s standards, the board can allow up to 20 semester credits of your previous graduate counseling degree to be transferred into the new graduate program.
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6. What constitutes “non-direct client hours”?  This could include a wide variety of activities – case notes, scoring of assessments, report writing, consultation with other appropriate professionals, time with supervisor, staff meetings that directly related to the client’s being served, billing, and professional research directly related to the needs of the clients being served.  These suggestions are given as guidelines and are not meant to be totally inclusive.
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7. Does working in a school counseling setting count toward the supervised post-degree hours? 24.219.604(3)(b) At least 1,500 hours must be obtained post-degree. . . which shall include at least: 24.219.604(3)(b)(i) 1,000 hours direct fact-to-face contact in a clinical setting.  No more than 250 client hours of which may be in a group or co-facilitative counseling situation.

This allows up to 500 hours to be earned in a counseling setting at the discretion of the applicant and their supervisor.  Any hours above this applied to the remaining 1,000 hours post-graduate hours must meet the strict clinical guidelines as defined and as a general rule the guidance functions of a school counselor do not usually meet the “clinical” criteria.  An applicant needs to read the clinical guidelines very carefully.  If there is any doubt to the clinical nature of the work experience submitted to the board, the applicant has the sole responsibility of substantiating that their work experience meets the clinical guidelines.  The applicant should read all of the clinical guidelines and not be tempted to apply a liberal translation.  They should be taken at face value.  The purpose of these requirements is to align Montana’s professional counselors with those of other states around the country.  As it is, Montana is ahead of a few states and behind others.  New applicants should be cautious and not spend a long of time in activities that will not be accepted by the board. <return to top>

8. How do I document supervised hours if my supervisor is deceased?  If the process had been done correctly there should be a paper record to document.  If not, gather as much information as possible such as time cards, paycheck stubs, evaluations or some kind of notarized statement from your supervisor’s supervisor.  Submit as much information to the Board to support your hours.  The board will rule on a case-to-case basis with no guarantee that the information will be accepted. <return to top>

9. Does supervised experience count if it is done on a volunteer basis?  Supervised experience, which is done on a volunteer basis, can count if the supervisor and the experience meet all the criteria for licensure. See Sub-Chapter 6, 24.219.604 ARM <return to top>

10. Can I count group supervision as “face-to-face” supervision with my supervisor?  No, “face to face’ supervision means one on one direct with only the supervisor and the supervisee. <return to top>

11.What Activity constitutes supervision specifically in reference to the 100 hours of individual/group, and 10 hours of direct observation - 24.219.504(1)(b)

b) supervision, on a form approved by the board, which shall include at least 100 documented hours of individual or group supervision by a qualified supervisor. At least 50% of the 100 hours shall be individual and face-to-face by a licensed social worker, and at least 10 hours of which includes direct observation of the service delivery. Each supervisory session shall be documented with the following information:
(i) date and length of supervision in increments not less than 15 minutes;
(ii) names of applicant, supervisor (including type of license and number) and signatures of both;
(iii) content summary (excluding confidential information).
It must be individual or group supervision, a real time interactive process for the entire 100 hours of individual face-to-face, the additional 40 hours of individual or group supervision and the 10 hours of supervision associated with the direct observation.  This could be telephone, interactive video, Internet live chat, two way radio, etc.  This does not include review of notes or correspondence (postal or Internet).

Regarding the 10 hours of direct observation:  The intent of this requirement is that the supervisor must have an opportunity to observe an unedited interaction between the social worker and the client.  This could include sitting in on a clinical session, observing behind a one-way window, viewing a video recording, or listening to an audio recording.  Reading detailed process notes would not qualify.  Also, just observing this interaction for a total of 10 hours does not constitute supervision.  This observation process would be of no value if there were no follow-up supervisory feedback to this observation.  It is reasonable that an accompanying hour for hour supervisory session would follow the 10 hours of direct observation. <return to top>

12. Why are there two forms to document the 3,000 hours, when they both ask for essentially the same information?  The documentation of 3000 hours of supervision is very important to ensure a high level of competency.  One form is a log of the actual hours describing the type of supervision.  The other form is a summary of those hours documented in the log. <return to top>

13. The individual(s) who supervised me is (are) deceased or have moved away – how do I document that supervision?  You can have another licensed individual from the entity who was there at the time your supervisor worked there write a statement that the individual was employed during the time of supervision, was licensed by the jurisdiction, and did indeed supervise your clinical experience. <return to top>

14. I will have documented 3,000 hours of supervised practice in approximately 21 months.  Can I apply for licensure before the 24-month requirement is met? The short answer is no.  The Statute 37-22-301(2)(b) states “(b) has completed at least 24 months of supervised post master's degree work experience in psychotherapy, which included 3,000 hours of social work experience, of which at least 1,500 hours were in direct client contact, within the past 5 years. . .” <return to top>

15. Does my supervision have to be provided by a Montana Licensed individual?  If you are gaining your supervised experience in Montana, then yes, the supervisor does have to be licensed in Montana.  If you are gaining your supervised hours outside of the State of Montana, the supervisor must be licensed in the jurisdiction (state) of practice as a clinical social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist. <return to top>

16. Why can’t a licensed clinical professional counselor supervise a social work applicant or provide a reference letter?  A social work applicant is seeking licensure as a social worker not as a professional counselor.  In many jurisdictions (states) supervision is only accepted by licensed social workers at the level of licensure sought.  If you moved out of state, to one of those jurisdictions, you may not meet the minimum licensing requirements of that jurisdiction if your supervision is by any other professional than a clinical social worker. The licensed clinical social worker should as a minimum competency meet the Medicare standards (the licensee will want to be able to bill Medicare in independent practice), and the professional counselor is not recognized at this time under Medicare law as a qualified provider of service.   Psychiatrists, and PhD psychologists are recognized providers under Medicare, thus they can provide part of the supervision and give reference letters.   The statute was written with those considerations in mind and with the given reality of the rural nature of the state. <return to top>

17. What if my 3,000 post-degree supervised hours took more than five years to complete?  The statutes state the following: 37-22-301. License requirements (2) (b) has completed at least 24 months of supervised post master's degree work experience in psychotherapy, which included 3,000 hours of social work experience, of which at least 1,500 hours were in direct client contact, within the past 5 years.  <return to top>