State Representative Barbara Sears (R-Monclova Township) today announced the passage of House Bill 232, legislation to modify counselor, social worker, and marriage and family therapist licensing law, and to provide certain professional rights to such licensees.
HB 232 specifically revises the number and type of hours of graduate credit in counselor training that must be completed for both professional clinical counselor licenses and professional counselor licenses. The bill changes the licensing requirement to 90 quarter hours, or 60 semester hours, of graduate credit in counselor training. Training must include instruction in areas such as clinical psychopathology, personality, and abnormal behavior; evaluation of mental and emotional disorders; diagnosis of mental and emotional disorders; and methods of prevention, intervention, and treatment of mental and emotional disorders.
HB 232 also makes modifications to the educational requirements for independent social worker licenses, requiring an individual to hold a master’s degree in social work from an educational institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Additionally, this legislation goes to great lengths to ensure that an employee in the service of the state must not engage in the act of professional counseling without a valid license from the State Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board.
“This bill ensures the highest quality of care and demonstrates the priority Ohio places on behavioral and mental health services,” Rep. Sears said. “I’m pleased to see it pass the House with so much support, and I’m very hopeful that the Ohio Senate will take action on it.”
The legislation makes changes to the membership of the Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board by delineating what types of counselors should be included on the 15 person Board, and gives the Board authority to take disciplinary action against individuals/entities that fail to comply with the new educational licensing standards.
HB 232 will now move the Ohio Senate for further consideration.