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Minnesota Board of Social Work

Protecting the Public


Board Bulletin | Minnesota Board of Social Work Newsletter

Message from the Executive Director

The last several months have presented countless challenges for all of us on both personal and professional levels.  The word “unprecedented” as a description of the recent and ongoing times very quickly lost its emotional impact for me.  There were very few scripts to draw on to inform our responses as we were challenged to reinvent our daily lives, professional practices, and service delivery models.  Following Governor Walz’s safety protocols, BOSW staff shifted to telework, and both staff and board members now rely on virtual methods to accomplish our work.  I am very proud and appreciative of how well staff and board members have adapted to this new environment and truly appreciate everyone's patience during this "business not as usual" time. 

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Legislative Feature

BOSW Success at the 2020 Legislature!

Believe it or not, even with the Minnesota Legislature’s work being suspended indefinitely mid-session due to the COVID-19 pandemic and state of emergency, BOSW changes to the Social Work Practice Act were enacted and signed into law by Governor Walz on May 12, 2020!  And not only were the changes enacted, the legislation received unanimous approval in both House and Senate Committee hearings, and in the floor votes in both the House and the Senate!  On top of that, these improvements to the Social Work Practice Act were officially supported by seven professional social work organizations!  The BOSW is extremely grateful for support from the profession, stakeholders, the Legislature, and Governor Walz.

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Compliance Toolkit

The Compliance Toolkit is a regular feature of the Board Bulletin that will provide you with tools for handling common ethical dilemmas and issues related to the Standards of Practice found in the Minnesota Social Work Practice Act. Consider the following scenario:

I am a current licensed graduate social worker (LGSW) and I recently received a conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI). I am renewing my LGSW at the end of the month. Do I need to report the DWI to the Board? What will happen to my license? Will the DWI prevent me from being eligible for the LICSW?

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Meet the Staff and Board

Meet the BOSW Staff

The BOSW welcomes our newest staff member, Kimberly Doran, LICSW, to the role of Social Work Licensing Coordinator.

We asked Kimberly to share her thoughts on joining the BOSW team:

“I am very excited to be joining the staff at the MN Board of Social Work. I have been practicing social work in Minnesota since 1997 after getting my MSW at Augsburg University. I have been licensed as an LICSW since 2003. Most of my social work practice has been in public education as a school social worker. In my time as a school social worker I held multiple roles in secondary education settings including direct service, special education leadership, program development, and facilitating trauma informed professional development. Moving to the MN BOSW and engaging in regulatory work is a new and fun professional challenge. I am excited to be learning about a different branch of our field and working to be a strong representative of the MN BOSW.”

Kimberly started her role in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and rose to the challenge of training and learning the ropes virtually and teleworking AT HOME! We look forward to seeing her face-to-face (or rather, mask-to-mask) and getting to know her!

Board Member Appointments

Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced BOSW Board appointments on June 11, 2020. All appointments are effective June 16, 2020 with terms expiring on January 1, 2024.

We are pleased to continue working with reappointed board members Lori Thompson, LSW, and Pa Der Vang, LICSW. Lori was first appointed to the Board in 2016 and is currently employed at Crow Wing County Community Services in the Long Term Care Unit. Pa Der was also appointed in 2016 and is an associate professor with St. Catherine University’s Department of Social Work.

We also wish to extend a warm welcome to newly appointed board member Kate Goodman, LGSW! Kate is an LGSW and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC). She holds a Master of Social Work degree from St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas, a diploma in Addiction Counseling from Minneapolis College, a pre-professional certification in Communication Disorders, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English Education, along with an active Minnesota teaching license. Currently, Kate is employed as a School-based Mental Health Therapist assigned to a Minneapolis Public High School and provides Substance Use Assessments at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Previously, Kate worked as an Outpatient Therapist and Addiction Counselor for a Rule 245G co-occurring disorders clinic serving women and children moving to supportive housing from homeless shelters in Hennepin County. Prior to landing in social work, Kate has experience in teaching at mainstream and alternative high schools, working in private business in Organics Recycling, and as a Life Skills Counselor in an adolescent day treatment setting. Kate is committed to serving individuals with complex trauma, mental health and substance use disorders and advocating for systemic change to support individual growth.

Outgoing Board Member

Our most sincere thanks to outgoing board member Jill Grover, LISW, for her many important contributions to the BOSW.  We were fortunate to have Jill serve on the BOSW board for the past five years. During her tenure, Jill served as Treasury-Secretary and most recently as Vice Chair. She also served on many BOSW committees including Executive Committee, Chair of Application Review Committee, Communication Education and Outreach Committee, Compliance Panel, Finance Committee, and Leadership and Development Committee.  Jill is dedicated to upholding the BOSW mission of protecting the public and was a committed, hard-working board member. We will miss her positive attitude and willingness to be involved. THANK YOU for your service, Jill!

Data SnapshotNew Social Work Legislation By the Numbers
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20 sections of
statute reviewed

13 sections of
statute revised

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7 social work professional organizations formally supported

14 House and Senate authors

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2 legislative committee hearings

43 legislative meetings

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560 work hours from BOSW Legislation and Rules Committee

Did You Know?

Changes to the Social Work Practice Act were unanimously supported by both the House and Senate during the 2020 Legislative Session and go into effect on August 1, 2020. Here are a few ways the new legislation will positively impact social workers:

• Improves license mobility and reduces unnecessary licensing barriers

• Responds to mental health workforce shortages

• Increases online options to complete CE

• Increases opportunity for semi-retired licensees to contribute to the workforce at a reduced licensing fee by providing licensing supervision, consultation, trainings, and CE

• Improves BOSW operational efficiencies, increases use of technology, and eliminates paper-dependent, obsolete methods

• Updates board member qualifications to increase opportunities to serve, and to ensure a more diverse and inclusive board reflecting the demographics of the profession and citizens

Connect with BOSW

To learn about new social work legislation that goes into effect August 1, 2020, make time for a free joint webinar offered by NASW-MN and BOSW.

Tuesday, July 14 at 12:00-1:30pm via Go To Webinar

MN’s 2020 Social Work Licensure Laws: What’s Changed, What’s New, and What You Need to Know

Presented by Karen Goodenough, MSW, LGSW; and Kate Zacher-Pate, LSW 

COVID-19 Response

BOSW Response to

The Board recognizes the gravity and impact of COVID-19 and continues services while staff telework. As a state agency the Board is taking direction and following guidance from Governor Walz, the MN Department of Health (MDH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The BOSW strives to be responsive and appreciates your patience during this challenging time. 

Click here for BOSW resources for COVID-19