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SBBH Update: PDE Certification of Social Workers
September 20, 2011

The School Based Behavioral Health (SBBH) Work Group is monitoring, discussing, and planning around developments that impact the growth of behavioral health prevention and intervention services in schools. PCPA will keep members informed about changes and developments in school related behavioral health through SBBH Alert and Info Updates.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has issued Certification Staffing Policy Guidelines (CSPG # 201) for School Social Workers (SSW). This executive action is not full certification status for school social workers, but does create full legitimacy for the role that makes it easier for schools to employ them. A person employed in the position of SSW must hold a current license as a social worker or licensed clinical social worker issued by the Pennsylvania Department of State and maintain that license to be employed under this staffing assignment. This CSPG also removes the requirement for a home school visitor to supervise social workers. There will be a grandfathering of unlicensed social workers currently employed, but these individuals will be required to work under the direction of the home school visitor. The SSW CSPG has been located in a new category, “Licensed Professionals,” rather than the “Education Specialist” category which is the categorical listing of several other certified professionals including school counselors, school nurses, and school psychologists. The full text of the new CSPG can be found at http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/certification_staffing_%20policies_%28cspgs%29/8626/licensed_professionals/973434.

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