Behavioral Health, Foster Care Legislation Moving through State Legislature

Recently, the Ohio Senate passed SB 204, a bill that would create a counseling compact across the county. This legislation, sponsored by State Senator Kristina Roegner, would:

  • Establish an interstate commission, comprised of delegates from compact member states to administer the compact

  • Create a licensure data system for the Compact member state boards to communicate and exchange information including licensure and disciplinary sanctions.

  • Specify requirements for an individual to obtain a privilege to practice

Ultimately, it would allow a licensed professional counselor to practice in all other compact member states –either in person or via telehealth through a “privilege to practice”, which is equivalent to a license.


Two states, Georgia and Maryland, have already used this language to enact legislation to join the compact. Ohio, Nebraska, Tennessee, and North Carolina have all recently introduced legislation. The Compact will go into effect once enacted by ten states.


You can find more information here.

____________________________________________________________________________________________


Legislation to broaden the state standards on who can serve on a treatment foster care team, and who can perform foster and adoptive home studies is moving through the state legislature.


Currently ODJFS policy requires all to possess a license in social work, or equivalent (except for certain exempted assessors)


We are excited to share that new legislation has been introduced which:

  1. Allows individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree in certain human services fields (i.e. sociology, psychology; guidance and counseling; education; religious education; business administration; criminal justice; public administration; child-care administration; nursing; family studies) to perform home assessments.

  2. Creates parity between the “professional treatment staff” employed by private and public agencies. Both private and public agencies hire “professional treatment staff” to provide rehabilitative services, home studies, clinical directions and supervise treatment of children in specialized foster homes. These individuals work one-on-one with the treatment foster families to provide support in the foster home, but under current law, depending upon who hires the “professional treatment staff” – a public or private agency – the education and licensure requirements differ. This legislation would make the requirements the same for both.

Both SB 239, and companion bill HB 442 have had hearings in their respective chambers.