With the support of our Executive Director, Governing Council, Public Policy and Legislative Committee, Contract Lobbyists, American Counseling Association Government Affairs Team, and members, the Colorado Counseling Association is actively monitoring and engaging advocacy efforts to promote the mental health profession and those we serve.
Members of the CCA receives a weekly Public Policy and Legislative (PP&L) Newsletter containing progress reports on current events taking place at the State and Federal level during the legislative session each year and pertinent updates the rest of the year.
Here are specific updates regarding the recent State's Joint Budget Committee's Briefings:
- Department of Human Services Child Welfare and Office of Early Childhood
- Department of Public Health and Environment Hearing
- Department of Health Care Policy and Financing
- Behavioral Health (BH) in both Health Care Policy and Financing and the Human Services
- JBC Trues Up 2015-2016 State Budget
Here is a look at some of the issues expected to emerge during the 2016 Legislative Session:
License Pathways for Mental Health Worforce Bill - The CCA and NASWCO Sponsored Bill
The CCA and NASWCO are taking active steps to clean up issues having to do with the process of becoming licensed here in Colorado. The bill currently being developed sets out to accomplish two specific things:
Clarify Student Exemption from Need to Register for Database
As it stands today, accredited counseling programs and designated internship sites have been either suggesting or requiring students to pursue registered psychotherapist database because of confusing language in the Mental Health Statutes. DORA has reported that students who are enrolled in an approved counseling program are NOT required to register in the database. This bill is set out to clarify this message so as to eliminate confusion and streamline the process students take to become licensed.
Offer Students the ability to submit Unofficial Transcripts for Candidacy and initial License (Social Workers)
As it stands today, students looking to apply for the Candidacy and initial License (SWs) are required to submit official transcripts in order to qualify for approval. In most cases, these transcripts are not made available until weeks, sometimes months after completion of graduate program requirements. This creates a gap between program completion and the opportunity to accept a job offer, begin accrual of supervision and qualified experience hours towards licensure. This bill is also set out to adjust requirements in such a way that will offer students the opportunity to pursue job offers, begin accruing supervision and hours towards licensure on the official path towards licensure.
Progress updates will be provided to active members via the Advocacy Newsletter.