November 20, 2013
Catherine Atkins, JD
Deputy Chief Executive Officer
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As of September 30, 2013, the Board had spent $1,707,636 reflecting 21 percent
of the total budget, $8,063,000. This budget is a slight decrease from last
year’s budget. Reductions in the Board’s equipment replacement
costs and department pro rata costs can be attributed to the slight decrease.
The Board’s loan balance to the General Fund is $12.3 million. Repayment
of the $6 million loaned to the General Fund during the 2002 Budget Act is
scheduled to occur in multiple fiscal years. These fiscal years are not specified.
Repayment of the $6 million loaned to the General Fund during the 2008 and
2011 Budget Act is scheduled for fiscal year 2015/2016.
There is currently one vacancy in the Licensing Unit. This position will function
as a LPCC Licensing Analyst in the Licensing Unit. The Board has begun recruitment
and the vacancy has been advertised. The Licensing Manager is currently reviewing
the candidate applications and interviews will be scheduled soon. The Board
anticipates filling this vacancy by December 2013.
This quarter the BBS saw a 53% increase in MFT Intern applications, and a
27% decrease in MFT Examination applications. The MFT Exam Application processing
is currently at 217 days, which is 15 days longer than in the second quarter
of 2013. The LCSW Exam application processing is at 189 days, which is 11 days
shorter than in the second quarter. Stakeholder groups raised concerns about
the delays, while acknowledging the hard work of BBS staff.
The Enforcement staff received 206 consumer complaints and 315 criminal convictions
representing a 12 percent decrease and 28 percent increase respectively from
the previous quarter. There were 534 cases closed this quarter and 29 cases
were referred to the Attorney General’s office for formal discipline.
As of July 1, 2013, there are 33,713 LMFTs, 16,385 MFT Interns, 20,076 LCSWs,
and 427 LPCCs.
The BreEZe system is now in place. Currently, services include filing a complaint,
verifying a license, and paying any outstanding fines. In four months, all
BBS license types will be able to renew their license or registration online.
In six months, all BBS license types will be able to change their address,
ask for a re-scoring of their examination, or apply for a retake of their
LPCC Grandpareting exam. The Exam Eligibility applications will be available
after the BBS’ exam restructure is implemented, a date we have not
yet been given.
In the third quarter, 825 LPCC grandparent applications from LMFTs were approved,
bringing the total number of applications approved via the grandparenting
process to 1782. (Note: “approved” means the applicant has satisfied
all requirements for licensure.)
All LPCC grandparent applications have now been reviewed. As of November 8,
2013, there are 500
LPCCs and 566 Professional Clinical Counselors.
AB 186 (Maienschein) – Military Spouses; Temporary License
This bill would require the BBS to issue a provisional license to an applicant
who holds a current license in another state in the same profession for which
he/she is seeking a California license and is married to, or in a domestic
partnership with, an active member of the U.S. military who is on active duty
in California. The bill does NOT require that the licensing requirements from
the other state be substantially equivalent to the requirements in California
nor does it require the applicant to pass the required Board administered exams.
The BBS voted to oppose unless amended to require the applicant to provide
a transcript to the Board, to allow delayed implementation to accommodate DCA’s
transition to the BreEZe database system, and to require the applicant to pass
the California law and ethics examination prior to issuance of a temporary
To date, the requested amendments have not been made. This bill is now a two-year
AB 213 (Logue) – Licensure/Certification; Military
This bill would require that schools accredited or approved by boards offer
credits towards licensing requirements to submit proof that they have procedures
in place to evaluate an applicant’s military education, experience,
The Board took no position. This bill is now a two-year bill.
AB 252 (Yamada and Eggman) – Social Worker Title
This bill would only allow the job title “Social Worker” to be
used by a person who has a degree from an accredited school of social work.
This title protection applies to all individuals, including those who work
in exempt settings. (Those people in Social Worker positions prior to January
1, 2014, may continue in that title.) If an employer hires someone without
a degree in social work to fulfill duties similar to a social worker, the employer
would be required to give that person a different title. The BBS would have
the ability to impose discipline against licensees who are employed as “social
workers” and do not have the requisite social work degree, though the
main intent of the bill is to ensure agencies do not misuse the title.
CAMFT noted it has a position of “oppose unless amended.” CAMFT
would like to see the implementation of this bill delayed to allow for adequate
time to educate agencies about the changes and for the agencies to make the
requisite title changes. Furthermore, CAMFT believes the enforcement remedy
is too severe and recommends agencies be allowed to take corrective action
once they are aware of the possible charge before charges are instituted. NASW-CA
indicated it would be open to modifying the enforcement mechanism and delaying
The Board adopted a “support if amended” position on this bill,
and requested several specific amendments be made. This bill is now a two-year
AB 376 (Donnelly) – Regulations; Notice
This bill would require the BBS to notify all affected parties when it enforces
a regulation that has been promulgated. Currently, when there are pending regulations,
the BBS notifies everyone who subscribes to the Board’s notification
service and posts the notice on the BBS website.
The Board voted to oppose this bill. This bill is now a two-year bill.
AB 790 (Gomez) – Child Abuse; Reporting
This bill deletes a provision in the current law that allows a team of mandated
reporters to designate one member to make a single mandated report. Therefore,
all mandated reporters who obtain knowledge of suspected child abuse or neglect
would be required to make their own report.
CAMFT opposes this bill because the reporting requirements would be duplicative
and inefficient for both the mandated reporters as well as for the county and
community departments that receive the reports and are already overburdened.
The Board opted to take no position on this bill at its May 23, 2013 meeting,
but directed staff to provide technical support to the author’s office
on specified points. Staff has provided the author’s office with the
This is a two year bill.
AB 809 (Logue) – Telehealth
This bill allows the verbal consent to telehealth given by the patient at its
initial use to apply in any subsequent use of telehealth. However, it does
not correct another problem that requires the heath care provider to obtain
the verbal consent at the originating site (the location of the patient),
which seems contrary to the purpose of telehealth. The author is still working
to resolve this issue in a subsequent version of the bill. This bill is an
urgency measure, which means it would become effective immediately upon signature
by the Governor.
The Board took no position on the bill. This bill is now a two year bill.
SB 22 (Beall) – Health Care Coverage; Mental
This bill requires health care service plans and insurers to submit an annual
report to the Department of Managed Health Care or Department of Insurance
which would contain an analysis of the plans’ compliance with state
law. The reports must contain a survey of plan enrollees and a survey of
plan providers. The intent is to enforce mental health parity laws.
The Board voted to support this bill. This bill is now a two year bill.
SB 126 (Steinberg) – Health Care Coverage; PDD
This bill extends the operation of existing law until January 1, 2020. The
existing law requires health care service plans contracts and policies to
provide benefits, including coverage, for behavioral health treatment for
pervasive developmental disorder or autism, except as specified.
The Board voted to support this bill. This bill was signed by the Governor.
SB 243 (Wyland) – LPCC
This bill amends the requirements for an LPCC who opts to treat couples and
families so that the required training and education does not need to be
in addition to the minimum training and education required for licensure.
The intent of the original bill was that this training and coursework may
be taken as part of the education and experience required for licensure.
The bill also references that the licensee have not
less than 1750 hours of direct counseling with individuals, groups, couples
The Board voted to support the bill. The bill was signed by the Governor.
SB 282 (Yee) – Confidential Medical Information
bill extends a provision in existing law to LMFTs. Current law requires that
a settlement or compromise offer against a physician or surgeon to be
accompanied by an authorization to disclose medical information to the malpractice
CAMFT is the sponsor of this legislation. AAMFT-CA supports this bill.
The Board voted to recommend support if amended to include LCSWs and LPCCs.
The bill was not amended. The bill was signed into law by the Governor.
SB 578 (Wyland) – LMFTs; Unprofessional Conduct
This bill adds certain dual relationships to the list of provisions that may
be considered unprofessional conduct. It clarifies that dual relationships
that constitute unprofessional conduct are relationships that are likely
to impair professional judgment or lead to exploitation of the patient. The
BBS currently categorizes unethical dual relationships under other provisions
of the unprofessional conduct code section.
CAMFT is the sponsor of this legislation.
The Board voted to support the bill if amended to remove the reference to
BPC section 4983. This bill is now a two-year bill.
The Committee discussed the following pieces of BBS-sponsored legislation:
AB 404 (Eggman) – Retired Licenses
This bill would clarify the law regarding eligibility for a retired license.
This bill has passed through the Assembly and has been referred to the Senate
Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee.
CAMFT supports this bill. This bill was signed by the Governor.
AB 428 (Eggman) – LMFT and LCSW
This bill would allow LMFT and LCSW applicants to remediate certain degree
CAMFT supports this bill. This bill was signed by the Governor.
AB 451 (Eggman) – LMFT and LPCC Out-of- State
This bill would extend the effective date of the new education requirements
for out-of-state licensees from January 1, 2014, to January 1, 2015. This
bill has passed the Assembly Committees and is now in the Senate Business,
Professions, and Economic Development Committee. CAMFT supports this bill.
The Board voted to delay the implementation to January 1, 2016, due to delays
in the BreEZe database system. This bill was signed by the Governor.
AB 958 (Jones) – Child Custody Evaluators
This bill would specify that the BBS may access a child custody evaluation
report for the purpose of investigating allegations that a licensee, serving
as a child custody evaluator, engaged in unprofessional conduct.
While CAMFT was originally opposed to this bill, we have removed our opposition
if language is inserted regarding the qualifications of the subject-matter
experts reviewing any disciplinary actions, and privacy standards of the reports
are put into place.
This bill is now a two year bill.
SB 821 (Senate Business, Professions, and Economic
Development Committee) – Omnibus
This bill makes minor, technical and non-substantive amendments to add clarity
and consistency to current Board licensing law. This bill has been referred
to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
CAMFT supports this bill. This bill was signed by the Governor.
Proposed 2014 Legislation
The BBS will be sponsoring an omnibus bill (meaning only minor, non-controversial
changes). Within an omnibus package, the BBS would begin changing "MFT" to "LMFT" throughout
the licensing law. Also included would be language which would clarify that
the Board can take disciplinary action against all licensees/registrants,
regardless of the status of their license (i.e., inactive or retired.) While
CAMFT would not likely oppose this suggestion, it does seem to be somewhat
controversial and as such, will monitor this bill closely.
The BBS will also include in the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic
Development Committee omnibus package, clean up language clarifying that registrants
whose renewal date falls within six months of the L&E examination restructure
effective date, to have extra time (likely six months) to take and pass the
examination. This will ensure the registrant has adequate advance notice to
sign up for and prepare for the exam.
SB 363 (Chapter 384, Statutes of 2011) limited the number of client-centered
advocacy hours for a marriage and family therapist intern to 500 hours.
This proposal deletes a provision of Board regulations that conflicts with
SB 363 and that is no longer needed due to the new legislative provisions enacted
by SB 363. This proposal also deletes an outdated provision in Section 1833
regarding crisis counseling on the telephone that directly conflicts with telehealth
provisions in LMFT licensing law.
This proposal was approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) and filed
with the Secretary of State on July 15, 2013. It became effective on October
Regulations regarding enforcement were approved by the Office of Administrative
Law and became effective on July 1, 2013.
Regulations regarding revisions to the Disciplinary Guidelines were approved
by the Office of Administrative Law and became effective on July 1, 2013.
Several other regulatory proposals have been submitted or will be submitted
BBS Strategic Plan
The Board presented their 2014-2017 Strategic Plan. It had fascinating content
about the history of the profession, including that the BBS came into existence
in 1963 when it became a necessity to administer the Marriage, Family and
Child Counseling Act. Six years later the Social Worker program was established.
To learn more, you can view their Plan at: http://www.bbs.ca.gov/pdf/agen_notice/2013/1113_bdmtg_material.pdf
The BBS presented the issue of "exempt settings" within the field
and concerns regarding consumer protection. Exempt settings are not currently
required to have registrants or licensed providers to provide "counseling" to
the public. There have been concerns expressed about the lower standards of
these services and whether this poses a consumer protection issue. The BBS
pointed out that those working at "exempt" settings who aren't registered
or licensed, are not regulated and as such, the BBS has no jurisdiction over
them If there Is a consumer protection issue or violation of any standards
of care. The BBS will be forming a Committee to vet this issue further.
The BBS presented the issue of ESL test taking accommodations. Historically,
the BBS did provide testing accommodations for English as second language test
takers, however that policy was changed a few years ago. The Board voted to
put this topic out for further discussion at the next Policy and Advocacy Committee
An OSHPDCP Sub-Committee did a presentation on the LPCC license within County
mental health agencies and facilities.
Out-Of-State Education Review Committee Update
This Committee has met four times this year to discuss the potential barriers
to licensure that out-of-state applicants may face after January 1, 2014
since they will no longer be eligible to remediate required coursework through
continuing education programs. Ten percent of LMFT applications and 35 percent
of LPCC applications are from out-of-state.
Future Board Meeting Dates
March 5-6, 2014—Sacramento
May 21-22, 2014—Southern California
August 20-21, 2014—Sacramento
November 19-20, 2014—Southern California