August 28, 2014
Jill Epstein, JD
NOTE: Members are encouraged to subscribe to BBS alerts to get General information,
Board meeting agenda notices and minutes, Newsletters, Regulation and Legislation
updates, and Examination news and Enforcement Actions. You can tailor/limit
the information you will receive in your alerts.
The 2013-2014 budget for the Board was $8,240,648, with the fiscal year ending
on June 30, 2014. The Board’s budget for fiscal year 2014-2015 is $
The Board’s loan balance to the General Fund is $10.9 million dollars.
This figure reflects the $1.4 million dollar repayment received in 2013-2014.
The Board is scheduled to receive an $800,000 dollar loan repayment in 2014-2015.
This repayment is reflected in the current fund condition; leaving a General
Fund loan balance of $10.1 million dollars at the end of fiscal year 2014-2015.
There have been technical challenges with BreEZe gathering the usual statistics
The additional licensing staff has already made a positive impact on the Board’s
licensing backlogs. Since May 27, 2014, the licensing staff has reduced the
examination application backlog by nearly four months for LMFT applicants.
As of August 25, 2014, the licensing staff is evaluating LMFT examination applications
received the week of February 9, 2014. The BBS goal is still get the exam evaluation
processing time to 90 days by the end of the year and the goal is to extend
the new evaluators’ two-year limited positions. CAMFT raised concern
that the backlog could resume in two-years if the positions are not extended
or made permanent.
Two positions remain to be filled in the licensing unit, including a management
service technician to assist LMFT and LCSW exam evaluations in two year limited
term position in the licensing unit. Recruitment is underway for the remaining
three positions received this fiscal year. The positions include an additional
probation monitor, an enforcement analyst, and a support position.
A video was created for the BBS website to assist ASWs with understanding
the licensing process. A video to assist MFT Interns is being planned.
The average time from complaint receipt to closure of the investigation process
is 124 days, which is below the goal of 180 days. This does not include cases
sent to the Attorney General or other forms of formal discipline. The average
number of days to complete the entire enforcement process for cases resulting
in formal discipline (intake, investigation by the Board and prosecution by
the Attorney General) is 846 days, which is well above the targeted goal of
The initial release of the BreEZe system was implemented earlier in 2014.
Some of the language in the existing BrEZe displays are not accurate and are
confusing for applicants. It was suggested that applicants not rely on the
online information and, instead, defer to the paper communications. An August
release was expected to include the ability to renew licenses online. However,
that was delayed because of more critical fixes and is now expected to launch
in November, 2014. CAMFT asked that the BBS post an online tutorial for licensees
to assist with this feature and the BBS indicated a commitment to do so.
C. Strategic Plan Update
CAMFT noted that the plan includes goals of establishing
a recruitment process for Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to ensure a diverse
pool on which to draw
for case evaluations. CAMFT offered assistance with recruiting efforts. CAMFT
also expressed a strong desire that SMEs who work on Child Custody Evaluation
cases be highly skilled, with strong accountability, as AB 1843 is implemented.
D. Supervision Committee Update
In November 2013, the Supervision Committee
was appointed to conduct a holistic review of the current requirements for
supervised work experience and requirements
for supervisors. The Committee anticipates submitting its recommendations to
the Board in 2016. The Committee met in June and CAMFT’s minutes from
the meeting can be found here. The consensus of the committee and stakeholders
was that changes should be made to the current requirements in order to streamline
the “buckets”. The next Committee meeting is scheduled for August
E. Rulemaking Update
This proposal would revise Board regulations for clarity and consistency with
made by SB 704 (Chapter 387, Statutes of 2011), which restructures the examination
process for LMFT, LCSW, and LPCC applicants effective January 1, 2016.
This proposal was originally approved by the Board at its meeting in February
2013, and published in its California Regulatory Notice Register on March
15, 2013. However, the proposal was withdrawn in May 2013, as staff learned
of implementation conflicts with the new BreEZe database system. For this
reason, the effective date of the restructure was delayed until 2016,per SB 821 (Chapter 473, Statutes of 2013).
The Board voted to revise the regulations for consistency and clarity, as
follows: change the names of the exams and describes what the new examinations
are designed to assess; clarify the criteria for eligibility to take the law
and ethics exam to indicate that the applicant must either hold a current,
delinquent or cancelled intern registration OR have an approved examination
eligibility (licensure) application; clarify the time frames during which a
registrant or applicant must take the California Law and Ethics examination;
clarify the waiting periods between exam attempts; changes application abandonment
criteria to fit the new application process; incorporate language allowing
the Board to accept the national examinations for LMFT and LCSW licensure,
if the examinations are determined to be acceptable by the Board; make technical
amendments such as removing obsolete language, correcting authority and reference
citations, and adding “licensed” to references to marriage and
The Board discussed their desire to obtain statistics on pass rates/number
of attempts for the Law and Ethics exam. The Board can refine the legislation
if future data demonstrates that there are perpetual test-takers who fail the
exam multiple times.
The Board is planning a year of outreach about the components of the exam
restructure, using a variety of mechanisms.
Uniform Standards for Discipline of Substance Abusing Licensees
This is a regulatory proposal that the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)
and the Legislature have asked all healing arts licensing boards to run.
It creates uniform standards for discipline that the boards must abide by
in cases of licensee or registrant substance abuse. The Board has considered
and approved these regulations several times, most recently at its March
6, 2014 meeting. However, DCA has now requested additional amendments in
order to gain its approval, which is required for the regulations to continue
to move forward. The amendments remove the option to deviate from the Uniform
Standards in certain substance abuse violation circumstances when the licensee
does not rebut that the violation is a substance abuse violation. A rebuttal,
however, is not defined. Board Counsel noted that a rebuttal is “credible
evidence for a fact-finder”. CAMFT will be reviewing the proposed regulations
during the comment period.
The Board voted to make the changes and approved text for 15-day period and
delegated to Executive Officer to make any non-substantive changes to pursue
This proposal would make a number of changes to the Board’s continuing
education program. These proposed changes are based on the recommendations
of the Board’s Continuing Education Committee, which was formed in 2011
in response to a number of concerns raised about continuing education.
The final proposal was submitted to OAL, who required several changes to the
proposed text. The 15-day public comment period for these changes ended on
July 18, 2014. The revised proposal is now awaiting the signature of the DCA
director, then to OAL for final consideration. It is expected to be decided
by September 19, 2014.
LPCC Treatment of Couples and Families
This proposal clarifies requirements for LPCCs to treat couples and families
and outlines a process by which LPCCs and PCC Interns would receive Board
confirmation that they have met the requirements to treat couples and families.
The final proposal was approved by the Board at its meeting in May 2014.
Staff is developing materials that are required for submission of the proposal
to OAL for publication, which will begin the 45-day public comment period.
AB 1629 (Bonita): The bill would make costs incurred for certain services provided
by violence peer counselors reimbursable to crime victims through the California
Victim Compensation Board. This bill
raised some scope issues and issues about settings. It could appear to authorize
unlicensed psychotherapy services. Because of the late date of this language,
a request was made for a rule waiver to get the amendments. That request was
BBS has provided options for possible fixes; however the bill could now only
be fixed via urgency legislation in 2015 if it is signed by the Governor. The
author’s office has committed to running urgency legislation.
The Board recommended that urgency legislation clarifies that the supervisor
is a BBS-approved supervisor. The Board also noted that the topic of peer counselors
should be discussed in the upcoming BBS Exempt Committee.
The Board voted to oppose, unless amended, with a detailed letter.
The Board reviewed the status of legislation it has sponsored:
AB 1843 (Jones and Gordon): Child Custody Evaluators: Confidentiality. This
bill seeks statutory authority to access a child custody evaluation report
for the purpose of investigating allegations that one of its licensees, while
serving as a child custody evaluator, engaged in unprofessional conduct in
the creation of the report.
CAMFT had previously expressed concerns and indicated an strong interest in
ensuring that subject matter experts be seated on the review panel and that
the reports are kept confidential.
This bill was signed by the Governor and will go into effect on January 1,
AB 2213 (Eggman): LMFT and LPCC Out-of-State Applicant Requirements. The BBS
Out-of-State Education Committee worked to create new out-of-state requirements
that better accommodate license portability, while still maintaining consumer
protection. The resulting proposal makes changes to the practicum requirements
for out-of-state applicants, as well as allows them to remediate certain coursework
through continuing education, instead of requiring all coursework to be from
a graduate program.
This bill at the Governor’s desk.
SB 1466 - Omnibus Legislation: This bill makes minor, technical, and non-substantive
amendments to add clarity and consistency to current licensing law.
This bill is at the Governor’s desk.
The Board discussed other bills of interest. It was noted that AB 186, a bill
requiring a Board within DCA to issue a temporary license to an applicant who
is a spouse of a military member stationed in California and who is already
eligible for an expedited license, has been expanded to also make veterans
eligible for expedited review. At its meeting on June 26, 2014, the Board took
an “oppose unless amended” position on this legislation.
G. Association of Social Work Boards National Examination
California has the second largest number of social workers in the country.
The Association of Social Work Boards is a 501(c)(3)organization of social
work regulatory boards that provides support and services to the social work
regulatory community to advance safe, competent, and ethical practices. California
will be re-joining the Association in 2016 when LCSWs in California will
be required to take the national exam.
The national exam is offered at 230 centers in North America. 36,000 exams
were offered in 2013. The exam consists of 170, multiple-choice questions.
The pass rate in 2013 was about 77%.
H. 2015 Board Meeting Dates
February 25-26, 2015, Sacramento, CA
April 23, 2015 Disciplinary Hearings, Sacramento, CA
May 20-21, 2015, Southern California
August 26-27, 2015, Sacramento, CA
October 22, 2015 Disciplinary Hearings, Sacramento
November 18-19, 2015, Southern California
I. Future Agenda
CAMFT, again, asked to for the Board to consider fees that interns must pay
to maintain their registration number while waiting for their applications
to be evaluated.