Bills add licensure process for clinical social workers

LANSING, Mich., Oct. 25, 2023 — State Reps. Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield Township) and Kimberly Edwards (D-Eastpointe) introduced legislation to amend Michigan social worker licensing guidelines last week. The bills, House Bills 5184 and 5185, together would add clinical social workers to the list of Michigan’s licensed social workers and provide other guidelines for their inclusion. 

“These bills are about helping Michiganders. They address the critical need of adding mental health professionals in Michigan,” said Brabec, a licensed clinical psychologist and sponsor of HB 5184. “These people are trained, educated and have earned their licensure; it’s about time they are added to Michigan’s books to help children, friends, families and our communities.” 

Clinical social work is an area of social work that addresses the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illness and other emotional and behavioral needs. Those licensed currently under Michigan law are bachelor’s social workers and master’s social workers. This bill will add clinical social workers to other social workers eligible for licensure.

“This legislation is important to me, as I was a social worker before becoming a legislator,” said Edwards, sponsor of HB 5185. “I’ve spent many years in practice, and from my experience, I know we do not have enough people in our field. This legislation is about supporting the wellness and success of these professionals because they improve the wellness and lives of Michiganders, day in and day out.”