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State Initiative Action Plan
Arkansas Chapter

Introduction

 

The Arkansas Social Work Reinvestment Initiative
(SWRI)
Introduction
 
The Background and Intent of the Social Work Reinvestment Initiative
 
The Social Work Reinvestment Initiative is a project designed to unify and advance the social work profession. The initiative's goal is to "pursue legislative, policy and regulatory mechanisms that recognize the role of professional social workers in the delivery of health and human services and in improved outcomes for individuals, families and communities."
 
Based on the mission statement of the SWRI: “To advocate for federal and state investments in professional social work to enhance societal well-being”, Arkansas has developed the following three areas to aspire:
 
        Legislation
                -Become proactive in the state
                -Create relationships/Join coalitions
                -Recruit Arkansas NASW members to act
        Public Education
                -The diversity of Social Work
                -The need and advantage of Social Workers
        Workforce Development
                -Recruiting Social Work students
                -Retaining and supporting Social Workers
 
The Process of the Arkansas Social Work Reinvestment Initiative Plan
 
Along with the state data provided by NASW, Arkansas derived the plan from their 2007-2008 Goals and Objectives created in July 2007. As a consequence of a small chapter, the Executive Director and the MSW intern have been the taskforce for the Social Work Reinvestment Initiative. Input from the members and from the Board of Directors have been continually accepted and considered.
 
Feedback and approval from the Arkansas Board of Directors will be obtained before the submission of the Arkansas Social Work Reinvestment Initiative Plan to the National Office by the January 18, 2008 deadline.


 
Arkansas Social Work Labor Force
 
 
Categories of Licensure
 
There are three types of Social Work licenses in Arkansas: Licensed Social Worker (LSW), Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), and Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW). As enacted by the Arkansas Legislature (Act 791 of 1981) and regulated by the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board:
 
        The LSW requires a bachelor's degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education         (CSWE); successful completion of a Board-approved    examination; and has applied a criminal background check and has not been found guilty of or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere         to any of the offenses listed in A.C.A. 17-103-307(f).
 
        The LMSW requires a master's degree in social work from a       program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education;        successful completion of a Board-approved examination; and has applied for a criminal background check and has not been found         guilty of or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to any of the       offenses listed in A.C.A. 17-103-307(f).
 
        The LCSW requires a master's degree in social work from a       program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education;        two-years (4000 hours) postmaster's LCSW supervised social         work experience; successful completion of a Board-approved         examination; and has applied for a criminal background check  and has not been found guilty of or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to any of the offenses listed in A.C.A. 17-103-307(f).
 
In order for a graduate to practice before passing the licensure exam, the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board can issue a provisional license:
 
        First-time applicants for LSW or LMSW licensure will be issued a        provisional license upon approval of his or her application. A     provisional license will be issued one time per person and will       expire exactly one-year from the date of issuance. Provisional         licensing is prohibited at the LCSW level.
        An applicant for licensure through reciprocity will be issued a six-      month provisional license pending receipt of the results of his or         her criminal background check.
        Applicants must apply for a criminal background check prior to  being issued a provisional license. The fingerprint cards and instructions for having a background check will be mailed to the    applicant upon receipt of his or her application.
 
Maintenance of Licensure
 
Also regulated by the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board; Arkansas Social Workers must complete forty-eight hours of social work continuing education during the two-year license period to be eligible for license renewal. 
 
Social work continuing education has been defined as formalized activities that are directed at developing and enhancing an individual's social work knowledge base and service delivery skills in the applicable areas of social planning, administration, education, research or direct service with individuals, couples, families and groups. These activities may include short academic courses, audit courses in colleges and universities, independent study courses, internet courses, workshops, seminars, conferences, and lectures oriented toward enhancement of social work practice, values, skills and knowledge. 

The Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board does not have the capacity to pre-approve all continuing education workshops. It is the licensee's responsibility, using his/her professional judgment, to determine the workshops that are applicable and appropriate to his/her professional development as a social worker. The Continuing Education guidelines as defined in Section 17-103-203 of the Arkansas Code are as follows:
 
        A. Definition:
                1. Social Work Continuing Education (SWCE) has been      defined as those formalized activities that are directed at        developing and  enhancing an individual's social work         knowledge base and    service delivery skills in the applicable  areas of social planning, administration, education, research         or direct service with individuals, couples, families, and         groups. These activities may         include short academic courses,       audit courses in colleges and        universities, independent study         courses, Internet courses, workshops, seminars, conferences,  and lectures oriented toward enhancement of social work practice, values, skills, and knowledge.
                2. A SWCE Credit Hour represents one clock hour (60       minutes) of a SWCE activity. A credit hour represents actual time  in the SWCE activity. For example, a workshop that begins  at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break         would provide five credit hours for the participants.
                3. Continuing Education Units are generally offered by      colleges or universities at the rate of one CEU for each ten-clock       hours of instruction. A licensee receiving two CEU's would then     have completed 20 SWCE credit hours.
                4. Academic Credit Hour: One academic credit hour is       equivalent to fifteen (15) clock hours for the purpose of license      renewal. Credit for auditing an academic course will be for the  actual number of clock hours in attendance, not to exceed the         academic credit.
       
        B. Basic Requirements:
                1. Each licensee is required to complete 48 credit hours of        SWCE during each two-year licensure period. Of the 48 hours, a  minimum of three hours must be in professional ethics.
                2. SWCE may be documented on the form for reporting     continuing education supplied by the board or any other form provided the same information is presented. A typed or     computerized list of training that is kept by the social worker's employer is acceptable for documentation. The list must include         the same information as the form for reporting SWCE and the  employer's name, address and phone number. The licensee and       the licensee's supervisor or employer must sign the list certifying         that the social worker was in attendance at all of the sessions listed.
                3. Documentation of the SWCE must be maintained by the       licensee for a period of two years following the renewal date. A    summary sheet will be mailed to the licensee with the notice of    license renewal. The licensee must complete the summary sheet,       sign it certifying his/her attendance at the workshops listed and        return it to the Board with the renewal fee and application.
                4. After each renewal period, the Board will, in it     discretion, audit a percentage of the renewal applications to       ensure that the continuing education requirement has been met.  Each licensee audited will be required to provide documentation    of all the continuing education workshops listed on his/her       summary sheet.
       
        C. Examples of Acceptable Social Work Continuing Education     (SWCE):
                1. Seminars, workshops, or mini-courses oriented to the  enhancement of social work practice, values, skills and  knowledge.
                        a. Cross-disciplinary offerings from medicine, law,                   administration, education and the behavioral sciences are                        acceptable if they are clearly related to the enhancement                         of social work practices, values, skills and knowledge.
                        b. Clock hour credit will be given for the actual                                number of hours in attendance.
                        c. In-service training can be provided by the                           employer using presenters from the staff or from outside                       agencies.
                        d. Training specifically related to policies and                          procedures of an agency may not be counted.
                2. Academic social work courses or social work related      courses such as mental health, administration, health and social      research, psychology, sociology, human growth and       development, child and family development, counseling and         guidance taken for credit or audited
                        a. An official transcript may be used to verify courses               taken for credit. One academic credit hour is equivalent to                     fifteen (15) clock hours for the purpose of license renewal.                     Credit for auditing will be for actual clock hours in                             attendance, not to exceed the academic credit.
                3. Presentation for the first time of an academic social     work course, in-service training workshop or seminar, or other         professional seminar.
                        a. A copy of the course syllabus and verification that                       the course, workshop or seminar was presented may be                         used as documentation. The actual number of hours of                        presentation plus an equal number of hours for preparation            will be allowed. A maximum of ten (10) clock hours will be                       allowed for preparation and presentation during each two-                  year licensure period.
                4. Preparation for the first time of a professional social    work paper published in a recognized professional journal or     given for the first time at a statewide or national professional        meeting.
                        a. A copy of the paper and verification of publication                        or presentation at a professional meeting must be                              submitted to the Board for evaluation and certification of                 the number of hours of credit to be allowed. A maximum of                ten (10) clock hours will be allowed during each two-year                  licensure period.
                5. Independent home studies/internet courses that are    directed at developing and enhancing the licensee’s knowledge         base and service delivery skills in the applicable areas of social    planning, administration, education, research or direct service       with individuals, couples, families and groups. A maximum of    twenty (20) clock hours will be allowed during each two-year      licensure period.
 
        D. The Board does not have the capacity to pre-approve all       continuing education workshops. It is the licensee's      responsibility, using his/her professional judgment, to determine the workshops that are applicable and appropriate to his/her    professional development as a social worker.
                1. If a licensee submits documentation for training that is        not clearly identifiable as SWCE, the Board will request a written      description of the training and how it applies to the individual's  professional development as a social worker. If the Board        determines that the training cannot be considered SWCE, the  individual will be given three months to replace the hours not       allowed. Those hours will be considered replacement hours and         cannot be counted during the next licensure period.
                2. Continuing education hours that are clearly not social  work related will be unacceptable, and the individual will not be    given time to replace those hours.
       
        E. If credit is not given for the SWCE submitted, the licensee    may request a hearing before the Board.
       
        F. Extenuating circumstances that prevent licensees from         completing the continuing education requirement will be        reviewed on an individual basis.
 
 
Census of Arkansas Social Workers
 
According to the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board, as of November 2007, the census is:
 
        Licensed Social Workers (LSW)                                   609
        Licensed Master Social Workers (LMSW)                   733
        Licensed Certified Social Workers (LCSW)              1260
        Total number of licensed Social Workers                 2602
 
Demographics of Arkansas Social Workers
 
The following data was gathered from the records of the National Association of Social Workers - Arkansas Chapter as reported by 779 active members. Percentages do not add up to 100% due to non-responses:
 
Gender
        Female                                                              83.4%
        Male                                                                  14.7%
       
Race/Ethnicity
        African American                                                 6.0%
        Native American                                                  1.2%
        Asian or Pacific Islander                                       0.4%
        Chicano/Mexican                                                 0.0%
        Other Hispanic/Latino                                          0.1%
        Other                                                                0.1%
        Puerto Rican                                                       0.0%
        White/Caucasian                                                 55.3%
       
Field of Practice
        Aging                                                                1.3%
        Child/Family Welfare                                            8.5%
        Criminal Justice                                                   0.9%
        Occupational Social Work/                                   
                Employee Assistance Program                       0.1%
        Health                                                               8.2%
        Mental Health                                                     14.8%
        Other                                                                5.5%
        School Social Work (All Schools)                            1.0%
       
Social Work Experience
        Under 2 years                                                     4.5%
        2-5 years                                                           5.1%
        6-10 years                                                          6.0%
        11-15 years                                                        6.0%
        16-20 years                                                        4.7%
        21-25 years                                                        2.7%
        Over 25 years                                                     2.2%
       
Work Setting
        Business/Industry                                               0.0%
        College/University                                               2.1%
        Health-Inpatient                                                 9.1%
        Health-Outpatient                                               6.3%
        Court/Justice System                                           0.6%
        Managed Care                                                     0.0%
        Mental Health-Inpatient                                               0.4%
        Mental Health-Outpatient                                     2.1%
        Other                                                                0.0%
        Public Assistance/Welfare                                     0.5%
        Private Practice-Group                                          1.4%
        Private Practice-Solo                                            4.2%
        Residential Facility                                              2.1%
        School Social Work                                              0.9%
        Social Service Agency                                           3.0%
       


 
Arkansas Social Work Education Programs
 
 
CSWE Accredited BSW Programs
 
Arkansas State University, Jonesboro
 
Harding University, Searcy
 
Philander Smith College, Little Rock
 
Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia
 
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
 
University of Arkansas, Little Rock
 
University of Arkansas, Monticello
 
University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff
 
CSWE Accredited MSW Programs
 
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
 
University of Arkansas, Little Rock
 
Arkansas Social Work Program Enrollees
The following data was gathered by contacting the schools directly. Note that the number of enrollees refers to the current enrollment status; and the number of graduates refers to the Spring 2007 graduates.
 
Arkansas State University, Jonesboro
        BSW Enrollees                                                    180            
        BSW Graduates                                                   57
 
Harding University, Searcy
        BSW Enrollees                                                    88            
        BSW Graduates                                                   21
 
 
Philander Smith College, Little Rock
        BSW Enrollees                                                    #             
        BSW Graduates                                                   #
 
Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia
        BSW Enrollees                                                    50            
        BSW Graduates                                                   4
 
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
        BSW Enrollees                                                    124          
        BSW Graduates                                                   12
 
        MSW Enrollees                                                    23            
        MSW Graduates                                                  11
 
University of Arkansas, Little Rock
        BSW Enrollees                                                    80            
        BSW Graduates                                                   23
 
        MSW Enrollees                                                    215          
        MSW Graduates                                                  59
 
University of Arkansas, Monticello
        BSW Enrollees                                                    109          
        BSW Graduates                                                   7
 
University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff
        BSW Enrollees                                                    92            
        BSW Graduates                                                   19
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Arkansas Chapter Plan
 
 
 
 Legislation 
  • Promote the influence of Social Work values and ethics in policy decision making through increased participation of Social Workers in the political process.
    • Develop strategies to enhance Social Workers’ knowledge and awareness of current legislative and political issues.
    • Become well versed in the applications of CapWiz in order to fully develop and utilize the program to its potential.
    • Host a Lobby Day where students and professionals are informed regarding current legislative issues and are able to lobby for issues that affect Social Workers and/or their clients.
    • Hold Branch Meetings where members are updated on local and statewide legislative issues.
    • Arkansas PACE will endorse candidates whose stances on vital issues are congruent with NASW policy.
  • Build and strengthen relationships with entities and other appropriate groups (i.e. legislators, private and public agencies, National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW), Schools of Social Work, Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board, Association of Medical Social Workers) to collaborate on policies and legislation related to Social Work issues.
    • Continue relationship with the Kids Count Coalition and Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
    • Develop relationships with appropriate officials to advance legislation for loan forgiveness for Social Workers.
    • Continue participation in the steering committee opposing the current Arkansas ballot initiative to ban non-married, co-habiting couples to adopt or foster children, and any legislation similar.
  • Develop a legislative agenda that identifies issues of concern to Social Workers and/or their clients.
    • Work to tighten existing laws against domestic violence.
    • Champion for immigration rights by supporting bilingual Social Work services in addition to educating the public about NASW’s policy about immigration laws as they pertain to Arkansas issues.
    • Educate the public about recent research on adopted and fostered children raised in non-traditional homes, the incredible need for adoptive and foster parents, and the process for becoming an adoptive or foster parent.


 Public Education
  • Increase the public’s knowledge of Social Work and the voice of NASW
    • Provide speakers for high school and college career fairs.
    • Develop a brochure highlighting diverse Social Workers in diverse settings to be used for recruitments tools.
    • Obtain billboard space and public radio spots during Social Work Month.
    • Produce a DVD and print media that will highlight diverse Social Workers in a variety of settings to be used as an education tool in high school career fairs and college classrooms.
    • Provide Social Work employing agencies and employers who could potentially employ Social Workers with an information packet during Social Work Month. The contents of the packet will demonstrate a Social Worker’s skills, educational background, training, roles, etc.


Workforce Development 
  • Work toward an increased pool of competent Social Workers.
    • Continue to accept and mentor Graduate and Undergraduate interns; guiding them into the field.
    • Develop a brochure highlighting diverse Social Workers in diverse settings to be used for recruitments tools.
    • Expand and improve our email job announcement service.
    • Publicize NASW Specialty Practice Sections.
    • Identify and utilize diverse ways to provide Continuing Education programs statewide.
    • Provide Continuing Education opportunities concerning current Social Work practice issues.
    • Advance, promote, and endorse legislation for loan forgiveness for Social Workers.


 

Completed: 1/16/2008

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