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BOARD OF SOCIAL WORK EXAMINERS
[Authorized: NDCC Section 43-41-08]

The North Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners was established in 1983 (S. L. 1983, Ch. 492) with responsibilities for licensing, regulating the practice, and providing penalties for violations.  The Board received complaints filed against licensed social workers and arranged for hearings and when warranted took disciplinary action.

The Board consisted of six gubernatorial appointees who were required to be licensed social workers at the time of the appointment. Of that number two were licensed certified social workers with either a master's or doctorate degree in social work, two were licensed social workers with a baccalaureate degree, and two were lay persons. Board members could have no conflict of interest. The term of the office was three years and no member could serve more than two consecutive terms. The Governor could remove any Board member for good cause after giving that member a written statement of cause for removal and an opportunity for a hearing.  Elections were held for chairman and vice chairman at the regular annual meeting and the Board decided whether additional officers were needed (S.L. 1983, Ch. 492).

The Board was to adopt rules and regulations to carry out the laws as written in the Century Code. This included generating a list of names and addresses of licensed social workers and those in private practice. The Board approved examinations for licensing all individuals in North Dakota who practice social work. Continuing education was a requirement for license renewal.  The Board established, set and collected license fees, and received and dispersed all moneys.  The Board recommended for prosecution any who violated the regulations as written in the Century Code, and provided information to the Attorney General if civil actions were needed  [NDCC 43-41]; (S. L. 1983, Ch. 492).

Legislation in 2003 (S. L. 2003, Ch. 376) kept the board at six members and required that one member be a licensed certified social worker and one a licensed independent clinical social worker.  The other members had to include two licensed social workers and two lay persons.  Each year two members were elected to serve three year terms. The Board was authorized to adopt a code of ethics and could issue provisional or probationary licenses. It could employ additional staff. Legislation required courses in continuing education for members (S. L. 2003, Ch. 376). Changes in qualifications were added to the Century Code for a licensed social worker, licensed certified social worker, or licensed independent clinical social worker [NDCC 43-41].  Licensed independent social workers could engage in private practice after passing a written examination (S. L. 2003, Ch. 376). Licenses issued by the Board were to be displayed in the social workers’ principal place of business.

In 2007 the Board was authorized to carry out statewide and national criminal background checks and required other personal information as part of the application process (S. L. 2007, Ch. 115). 

CHRONOLOGY
1983       Legislation created the North Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners for the purpose of licensing, regulating the practice, and providing penalties for violations (S. L. 1983, Ch. 492).

1985       Two new subsections added to the Century Code stipulated that applicants were exempt from practicing in the field of social work (S. L.1985, Ch. 492).

1989       A new section of the NDCC included clarification for nonresident social workers.  Probationary licenses could be issued by the Board and procedural changes on disciplinary hearings were added (S. L. 1989, Ch. 534).

1995       Private practice social workers were required to pass a written examination (S. L. 1995, Ch. 418).

1995       A new section added to the Century Code allowed the Board to take disciplinary measures as needed (S. L. 1995, Ch. 419).

2003       Legislation provided for changes to the membership of the Board. A definition for the licensed independent clinical social worker was added (S. L. 2003, Ch. 376).

2005       Procedural changes were made on cases involving complaints against social worker (S. L. 2005, Ch. 370).

2007       The Board was authorized to conduct a background check on licensees and applicants for license (S. L. 2007, Ch. 115).

2009       The four professional Board appointees needed to be licensed at the time of their appointment (S. L. 2009, Ch. 378).

SERIES
32127  Records

SOURCES
North Dakota Century Code.
North Dakota Secretary of State Blue Book.
North Dakota State Legislature Session Laws.

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