Author: Jennifer Connor Godbey, President, KSCSW Board
Earlier this year the effort for restructuring our Boards was delayed, recently there is a substantial “rumor” that Governor Bevin will be signing an Executive Order to restructure our independent KY Board of Social Work, along with 39 other boards that the Public Protection Cabinet is determined to restructure into “unit” boards before the end of the year. KSCSW and NASW-KY along with other professional boards have collaborated to maintain the position that our independent KY Board of Social Work must remain independent and not be restructured as part of an eight board unit. We must stress that restructuring does not save tax payer money because it is our licensure dues that support our independent KY Board of Social Work. In fact, our licensure dues may go into the General Fund and we are deeply concerned about how our dues will be used to maintain and support the current excellence, and future growth, of our KY Board of Social Work if this Executive Order is signed.
It’s not just about the money though, our KY Board of Social Work has consistently provided expertise, effectiveness, and efficiency, for our licensees and future licensed social workers. Our KY Board of Social Work provides licensure protection for licensed social workers, our profession, and our citizens. It is not in the best interest of our KY Board of Social Work to be combined with multiple mental health/counseling boards, under the direction of one Executive Director. We have a stellar Executive Director, staff, and social work board focused exclusively on our professional licensure and our very specific education, training, scope of practice, code of ethics, and our unique skill sets.
We are encouraging social workers across Kentucky to write to Governor Bevin and our Legislators to confirm that we are against the restructuring of our KY Board of Social Work. We are the voices that need to be heard, silence implies consent, especially during such a difficult time in our state. Past legislators were the ones to enact legislation that resulted in the creation of our independent boards and consolidating boards is in violation of the laws that created our independent boards. Examples in other states have shown us the risks of consolidation and the progress that can be made with independent boards. This month NASW-KY and KSCSW sent a joint letter to Gov. Bevin and Attorney General, Andy Beshear explaining our concerns and offering alternative solutions. To read a copy of the letter, go to www.kscsw.org
Please join us and help us to engage other social workers across the state who may not be aware of this “rumored” Executive Order to restructure our KY Board of Social Work before the end of 2017. Please do not delay in sending emails or faxing letters to Governor Bevin and copying your Legislators so that our collective voices are heard before. Let us work together to make sure our voices resonate before the end of 2017, and beyond.