Board of Social Workers

Legislative Updates - 2018

Public Chapter 611

This law requires an agency holding a public hearing as part of its rulemaking process to make copies of the rule available in “redline form” to persons attending the hearing. 

This took effect July 1, 2018.

Public Chapter 744

This statute allows a licensing entity the discretion to not suspend/deny/revoke a license in cases where the licensee has defaulted or become delinquent on student loans IF a medical hardship significantly contributed to the default or delinquency.

This act took effect January 1, 2019.

Public Chapter 745 and Public Chapter 793

These public chapters work together to create and implement the “Fresh Start Act.”  Licensing authorities are prohibited from denying an application or renewal for a license/certificate/registration due to a prior criminal conviction that does not directly relate to the applicable occupation.  Lays out the requirements on the licensing authorities as well as the exceptions to the law (ex: rebuttable presumption regarding A and B level felonies). 

These acts took effect July 1, 2018.

Public Chapter 754

This chapter prevents any board, commission, committee, etc. created by statute from promulgating rules, issuing statements, or issuing intra-agency memoranda that infringe on an entity member’s freedom of entity’s sunset status, rulemaking speech. 

Freedom of speech includes, but is not limited to, a member’s freedom to express an opinion concerning any matter relating to that governmental entity, excluding matters deemed to be confidential under TCA 10-7-504.

Violations as determined by a joint evaluation committee may result in recommendations to the general assembly concerning the authority and funding.

This act took effect April 18, 2018.

Public Chapter 844

This act requires the department of education to establish a student support collaborative to review and define the roles and responsibilities for school social workers, school counselors, school psychologists, and school nurses.  The collaborative shall identify available resources and areas the groups can collaborate on to provide high
quality support to students.  The collaborative shall include (among others) representatives of:

1.      The National Association of Social Workers, TN Chapter

2.      The Tennessee Association of School Social Workers

3.      The Tennessee Association of School Counselors

4.      The Tennessee Association of School Nurses

5.      The Tennessee Association of School Psychologists

This act took effect April 26, 2018.

Public Chapter 851

Exempts a licensed clinical social worker, as defined in TCA 63-23-105 and engaged solely in independent clinical practice, from subpoena in cases which the department of children's services is the petitioner or intervening petitioner.

This act took effect July 1, 2018.

Public Chapter 929

This act redefines policy and rule and requires each agency to submit a list of all policies, with certain exceptions, that have been adopted or changed in the previous year to the chairs of the government operations committees on July 1 of each year.  The submission shall include a summary of the policy and the justification for adopting a policy instead of a rule.

This act also prohibits any policy or rule by any agency that infringes upon an agency member’s freedom of speech. 

Finally, this act establishes that an agency’s appointing authority shall have the sole power to remove a member from a board, committee, etc.

This act took effect July 1, 2018 and applies to policies adopted on or after that date.

 Public Chapter 954

This legislation requires the initial licensure fee for low-income persons to be waived.  Low income individuals per the
statute are defined as persons who are enrolled in a state or federal public assistance program including but not limited to TANF, Medicaid, and SNAP.  All licensing authorities are required to promulgate rules to effectuate the purposes of this act. 

This act takes effect January 1, 2019.

 Public Chapter 964

This legislation requires the department of children’s services (DCS) to develop instructional guidelines for child safety training programs by January 1, 2019 for members of professions that frequently deal with children at risk of abuse.  DCS is required to work with each licensing board to ensure any child safety programs created by a licensing board fully and accurately reflect the best practices for identifying and reporting abuse as appropriate for each profession.

This act took effect May 15, 2018.

 Public Chapter 997

This act requires public safety employers to provide, in addition to any other mental health benefits, not less than 10 visits to a mental health provider for purposes of treating PTSD.  The act establishes a number of other requirements on public safety employers.  The legislation also requires that a mental health service provider (that provides treatment to public safety employees) to participate in training at least once per year that familiarizes the provider with the unique problems associated with each public safety profession lifestyle.  Some of the mental health service providers that may be affected by this act are professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, marital and family therapists, psychiatric
mental health nurse practitioners, and occupational therapists.

This act took effect July 1, 2018.

Public Chapter 1021

This act allows for appeals of contested case hearings to be in the Chancery Court nearest the residence of the person contesting the agency action or at that person’s discretion, in the Chancery Court nearest the place the action arose,
or in the Chancery Court of Davidson County.  Petitions seeking review must be filed within 60 days after entry of the
agency’s final order. 

This act took effect July 1, 2018.