Legislative Update December 2021


Legislative Update December 2021

Many new changes are coming in 2022 that impact CAMFT members! On January 1, 2022, pertinent DCA-issued waivers will expire and several laws and regulations go into effect that impact MFTs.  Below is a brief summary of these items. For more information, visit CAMFT’s website or contact CAMFT’s Legal Department.

Video Supervision and Trainee Face-to-Face Practicum Waiver Expiration

This waiver, which expires on December 31, 2021 allows prelicensees, regardless of the work setting, to be supervised via real-time videoconferencing and for trainees to count telehealth hours toward their face-to-face training requirements for practicum. 

Beginning January 1 2022, pre-licensees who are not working in an exempt setting (e.g. private practices) will have to obtain the required supervision in-person.

Upon expiration, trainees can still obtain face-to-face practicum hours via videoconferencing or in-person, but cannot do so via telephone or other asynchronous methods.

Additionally, pre-licensees who are working in non-exempt are settings (e.g. private practices and professional corporations) must obtain required supervision in-person. The BBS has discussed potential urgency legislation to allow for temporary videoconferencing supervision in all settings. CAMFT will keep members apprised.

CAMFT encourages all affected supervisors and pre-licensees, if they have not already done so, to begin planning for return to in-person supervision.  Hours of experience gained under improper supervision arrangements may not count, as well as there may be further disciplinary action to both supervisor and pre-licensee.

New Supervision Regulations in 2022

The Supervision Regulatory packet promulgated by the BBS goes into effect on January 1, 2022.  These regulations establish new requirements and qualifications for the supervision of prelicensees.  Some key factors include: a written supervision agreement; requirements for supervisors to have specific CE units regarding supervision; and requirements for supervisors to provide written evaluations of supervisees at regular intervals. For more information, review the new Supervision Regulations and the BBS’s Summary. Also, be on the lookout for CAMFT’s workshop that will cover all these new changes and other relevant information for BBS supervisors.

Law Changes in 2022

Elder/Dependent Adult Financial Abuse Reporting (AB 636) Effective January 1, 2022, information relevant to an elder or dependent adult financial abuse may be provided to federal law enforcement agency, if the incident may be within the agency’s jurisdiction, for the sole purpose of investigating a financial crime committed against the elder or dependent adult.

Emotional Support Dog Letters (AB 468) This bill addresses confusion between licensed service dogs and emotional support animals and places new requirements on MFTs who provide emotional support dog letters. This bill requires AMFTs and LMFTs to have an active license/registration, at least a 30-day relationship with the patient, and complete an assessment prior to issuing an emotional support dog certificate. CAMFT will publish an article on this new law in the next The Therapist issue. A checklist that covers the requirements can be found here.

Exempt Settings Bill (AB 690) –This bill was sponsored by the Board of Behavioral Sciences as the Exempt Settings bill and defines exempt and non-exempt settings to clarify where trainees and associates may work to gain experience hours. The bill also distinguishes between settings for supervisory rules and requirements for supervisee and supervisor meetings.  Lastly, this bill increases the number of supervisees a supervisor may have in a non-exempt setting.

  • Clarifies that private practice settings and professional corporations are a subgroup of a non-exempt setting.
  • Clarifies that just because an entity is licensed or certified by a government regulatory agency does not make it an exempt setting, unless specified criteria apply.
  • Allows applicants for registration as associates to practice in non-exempt settings that are not private practices or professional corporations, as long as they comply with the 90-day rule that requires finger printing by Live Scan.
  • Clarifies that a trainee, associate, or applicant who volunteers in any lawful work setting can obtain a 1099 for reimbursement of expenses incurred without it affecting their employment status and allows BBS to audit expenses.
  • Allows a supervisor in a private practice or professional corporation to either be employed by or contracted by the associate’s employer if there is a written contract to share patient records.
  • Requires a written oversight agreement for all supervisory relationships where the supervisor is not employed by supervisees’ employer.
  • Specifies that trainees, post-graduate applicants, and associates working in exempt settings can obtain supervision via video conferencing.
  • Increases the number of supervisees a licensed supervisor can supervise in a non-exempt setting to six at any one time.

Review the BBS’s FAQs on AB 690 for more information.

MFT Scope of Practice Changes and Other Important Updates (SB 801) An Omnibus bill sponsored by the Board of Behavioral Sciences that contains minor technical changes to the MFT statute, including:

  • CAMFT's language accurately portrays the clinical skill set possessed by MFTs in California. This modernization does not expand the MFT scope but will help to demonstrate the work that MFTs do on a day-today-basis. The inclusion in SB 801 reflects the legislative consensus and lack of opposition to SB 723 throughout the process this year.
  • Requires all pre-licensed and licensed individuals to provide a valid email address to the Board of Behavioral Sciences by July 1, 2022 and update the email address on file with the Board if it changes.
  • Clarifies the specifications for the required notice to patients stating where they can file a complaint prior to initiating psychotherapy services, or as soon as practicably possible. Unlicensed and unregistered practitioners must add new language to their notices to patients. The BBS has clarified that practitioners are only required to provide the updated notices to new patients they begin treating on or after January 1, 2022.

The information presented in this document is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to serve as legal advice or as a substitute for independent legal advice.


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