Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2002

RE: S.B. No. 2498

S.D. 2



Honorable Robert Bunda

President of the Senate

Twenty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2002

State of Hawaii


Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Housing, to which was referred S.B. No. 2498, S.D. 1, entitled:


begs leave to report as follows:

The purpose of this measure is to establish a three-tiered licensure system for social workers that recognizes social workers with bachelor's and master's degrees and clinical social workers.

The Clinical Social Work Society of Hawaii, Hawaii Youth Services Network, and six individuals testified in support of this measure. The National Association of Social Workers testified in support of the measure with proposed amendments. The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) opposed the measure.

Presently, the State's social worker licensing law only recognizes the Master's level social worker. This measure replaces the current licensing system with one that establishes three levels of licensing for social workers: the Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW), Licensed Social Worker (LSW), and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). In addition, this measure clarifies the scope of social work practice and the licensure exemptions, and makes conforming amendments to the mental health and substance abuse treatment insurance law.

The three-tiered system of licensure proposed by this measure reflects the national model for social work licensure and brings Hawaii into line with the thirty-seven states that regulate Bachelor's level social workers and the forty-one states that regulate clinical social workers. With licensing requirements and scopes of practice specified for each level of licensure, this measure will better enable consumers to make informed choices when retaining the services of a social worker.

Upon careful consideration, your Committee has amended this measure to:

(1) Clarify that a state with whom Hawaii wishes to enter into a reciprocal licensing agreement must have standards equal to or greater than this State's current licensing requirements;

(2) Clarify that the Director of DCCA may authorize both the use of the social worker title and the practice of social work;

(3) Delete language that would have allowed registered clinical social workers to obtain licensure as LCSWs without having to show satisfaction of the educational, experiential, and examination requirements for LCSWs;

(4) Repeal the sunset of Act 229, Session Laws of Hawaii 2001, to avoid the repeal of current language in chapter 467E, Hawaii Revised Statutes, that is being amended in this measure;

(5) Provide for the new licensing law to go into effect on July 1, 2004; and

(6) Make technical, nonsubstantive changes for purposes of clarity and consistency and to reflect preferred drafting style.

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Housing that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2498, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2498, S.D. 2.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Housing,