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New York State Capitol- Albany, NY

Continuing Education to Become Mandatory for NYS Social Workers

By Rachel L. West
Advocacy & Community Outreach Specialist

Update September 23rd 2014: Get the Details on how this new law will be implemented here.

Starting in 2015 all licensed social workers in New York State must complete 36 hours of continuing education in order to maintain their licenses.  New York was the lone holdout with every other state already requiring continuing education courses as a contingency for holding an active license in social work.

There is still much unknown about how this law will be regulated.  Robert Schachter, Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers New York City Chapter, recently wrote a piece about the new law.  Of particular interest to macro social workers is this section:

Social workers who are not engaged in practice will be exempt from the requirement.
• The State Education Department will need to determine what the definition of practice is.
• Does practice include or exclude administration, policy, planning, research or teaching, or does it    mean that a license holder is simply not working in social work?  (source)

I have written about the difficulty of finding macro social work CEU classes in the past. The bulk of courses being offered are for those working in direct practice particularly those in mental health.  It is nearly impossible to find courses for social workers specializing in public policy or community organizing.

The law takes effect January 1, 2015.  You can read the legislation here. As always feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.
photo credit: s.m. bush via photopin cc

Posted by Rachel L. West

In addition to being the founder of The Political Social Worker blog, I am a consultant. My consulting practice offers advocacy and community outreach solutions to nonprofits, social good organizations, and private practitioners. Additionally, I offer career coaching to macro social work students and professionals.

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