Logging Telehealth Hours (California Trainees and AMFTs)

Given the current pandemic there are a lot of questions about logging telehealth hours.  Below is the latest information on these topics that is specific to MFT Trainees and AMFTs.

How do I log telehealth hours if I plan to submit my application under the Option 2 (old requirements)?
The Option 2 requirements have a category maximum for telehealth and therefore you must log telehealth hours in that category.  If you provide individual counseling, group counseling or diagnosis/counseling with couples, families and children via telehealth, they should be logged in the telehealth category.  Under Option 2 telehealth hours may not be logged in any other category.  On Friday, May 15 the BBS hosted a Facebook Live event and confirmed that you must continue to follow the aforementioned approach to logging hours in order to remain in compliance with the regulations.  Furthermore, the category maximum for telehealth (375) will continue to be enforced.  If the BBS grants a waiver on either of these issues we will notify you.

What if I am unable to complete my 3,000 total hours and/or 500 CFC hours as a result of the inability to log CFC hours now that I am exclusively providing telehealth?
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BBS allows scanned forms

The BBS has always required original forms with wet signatures to be submitted with the application for licensure.  The BBS hosted a FB Live session on Friday, May 8.  During this session they stated that scanned forms will be accepted during the COVID-19 pandemic.   What does this mean?  You can email your experience verification form to your supervisor for a signature and he/she can sign it, scan it and email it back to you.  It is unclear when/if the BBS will revert back to requiring wet signatures but for now you can submit scanned documents.

California DCA issues a waiver allowing video supervision for MFT Trainees, AMFTs, APCCs & ASWs

Update May 8, 2020 – The BBS has provided additional guidance, stating that real-time video supervision is acceptable from March 4, 2020 (the date of the Governor’s initial state of emergency declaration) forward. 

The California DCA has issued a waiver allowing BBS registrants (MFT Trainees, AMFTs, APCCs and ASWs) in all work settings to receive two-way, real-time video supervision as of May 6, 2020.  The relevant sections of the waiver are pasted below. Prior to this waiver face-to-face supervision was required in any setting other than a governmental entity, school, college, university, or an institution that is nonprofit and charitable.

Accordingly, the Director waives Business and Professions Code section 4980.36, subdivisions (d)(1)(B)(ii) and (d)(1)(B)(vi)(II) and section 4999.33, subdivision (c)(3)(K) to the extent they require student trainees to provide “face-to-face” mental health services in order to complete their required training.

Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order, the Director waives the work setting limitation in Business and Professions Code sections 4980.43.2, subdivision (d), 4996.23.1, subdivision (f), and 4999.46.2, subdivision (d), so that all associates may be supervised via two-way, real-time videoconferencing, irrespective of their work setting.

This order is effective immediately but may be amended as circumstances require. This order terminates 60 days from the date of the order, unless further extended. Dated: May 6, 2020

DCA Waiver DCA-20-12 Training and Supervision Requirements for Marriage Family Therapists, Professional Clinical Counselors, and Clinical Social Workers

Is face-to-face supervision still required on a weekly basis?

UPDATED May 6, 2020

The California DCA has issued a waiver allowing BBS registrants (MFT Trainees, AMFTs, APCC and ASWs) in all work settings to receive two-way, real-time video supervision as of May 6, 2020.  The relevant sections of the waiver are pasted below. Prior to this waiver face-to-face supervision was required in any setting other than a governmental entity, school, college, university, or an institution that is nonprofit and charitable.

Accordingly, the Director waives Business and Professions Code section 4980.36, subdivisions (d)(1)(B)(ii) and (d)(1)(B)(vi)(II) and section 4999.33, subdivision (c)(3)(K) to the extent they require student trainees to provide “face-to-face” mental health services in order to complete their required training.

Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order, the Director waives the work setting limitation in Business and Professions Code sections 4980.43.2, subdivision (d), 4996.23.1, subdivision (f), and 4999.46.2, subdivision (d), so that all associates may be supervised via two-way, real-time videoconferencing, irrespective of their work setting.

This order is effective immediately but may be amended as circumstances require. This order terminates 60 days from the date of the order, unless further extended. Dated: April May 6, 2020

DCA Waiver DCA-20-12 Training and Supervision Requirements for Marriage Family Therapists, Professional Clinical Counselors, and Clinical Social Workers

 

Original Post

The BBS has not released a waiver related to the requirement of face-to-face supervision.  However, CAMFT has posted a thorough listing of FAQs that includes this question and answer about supervision:

Q: What about Pre-licensees, Telehealth, and Videoconferencing Supervision during this time?

A: Trainees, Registered Associates and supervisors should follow California law as outlined in the BBS’s Statement on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Telehealth. Although these laws are written into statute, the BBS has highlighted that the Governor issued an Executive Order recommending social distancing and isolation if sick. If a Pre-licensee is in a situation where it is unsafe to obtain the required face-to-face supervision, or is compelled to provide services via Telehealth in a non-typical setting, they should act in the spirit of the law and fully document their decision-making to continue outside the letter of the law.