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Rule Adoptions
Volume 40, Issue 8
Issue Date: April 21, 2008
Law and Public Safety
Division of Consumer Affairs

N.J.A.C. 13:44G-6.2 and 6.3

Continuing Education

Proposed: June 4, 2007 at 39 N.J.R. 2209(a).

Adopted: September 26, 2007 by the State Board of Social Work Examiners, Doreen J. Bobby, Chair.

Filed: March 24, 2008 as R.2008 d.96, with technical changes not requiring additional public notice and comment (see N.J.A.C. 1:30-6.3).

Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:15BB-11.

Effective Date: April 21, 2008.
Expiration Date: June 10, 2008.

Summary of Public Comment and Agency Response follows:

The official comment period ended August 3, 2007. The Board received no comments.

Summary of Agency-Initiated Changes:

During review of the proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:44G-6.2 and 6.3 prior to adoption, the Board determined that the phrase "social and cultural diversity" does not accurately address the topics it believes must be covered in the three continuing education hours required by the amendments. As indicated in the Summary in the notice of proposal of the amendments, the Board was modeling its requirements on those imposed on physicians by P.L. 2005, c. 53 which states that "[c]ultural awareness and cultural competence are essential skills for providing quality health care to a diverse patient population." (see 39 N.J.R. 2209(a)) This cultural awareness and cultural competence will not be achieved if licensees and certificate holders are required to take classes in social and cultural diversity; they will be achieved if licensees and certificate holders are taking continuing education hours in incorporating knowledge of social and cultural diversity into their social work practice. The Board believes the term "social and cultural competence" more accurately indicates the type of continuing education hours licensees and certificate holders should complete. The Board has changed N.J.A.C. 13:44G-6.2 and 6.3 to change the term "social and cultural diversity" to "social and cultural competence."

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because there are no Federal laws or standards applicable to the adopted amendments.

Full text of the adoption follows (additions to proposal indicated in boldface with asterisks *thus*; deletions from proposal indicated in brackets with asterisks *[thus]*):

13:44G-6.2 Credit-hour requirements

(a)-(b) (No change.)

(c) A licensee shall complete at least three of the prescribed contact hours of continuing education as required by (a) above in the subject area of social and cultural *[diversity]* *competence*. For the purposes of this subsection, social and cultural *[diversity]* *competence* includes, but is not limited to, an understanding of the cultural context of relationships; issues and trends in a diverse society related to such factors as culture*[.]**,* ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, mental and physical characteristics, education, family values, religious and spiritual values, socioeconomic status; and unique characteristics of individuals*[.]**,* couples, families, ethnic groups and communities including any of the following:

1. Multicultural and pluralistic trends, including characteristics and concerns between and within diverse groups nationally and internationally;

2. Attitudes, beliefs, understandings, and acculturative experiences, including specific experiential learning activities;

3. Individual, couple, family, group, and community strategies for working with diverse populations and ethnic groups;

4. Counselors' roles in social justice, advocacy and conflict resolution, cultural self-awareness, the nature of biases, prejudices, process of intentional and unintentional oppression and discrimination, and other culturally supported behaviors that are detrimental to the growth of the human spirit, mind, or body;

5. Theories of multicultural counseling, theories of identity development and multicultural competencies; and

6. Ethical and legal considerations relating to issues of diversity.

(d) Beginning September 1, 2008, the three contact hours of continuing education, of the prescribed contact hours, in the subject area of social and cultural *[diversity]* *competence* shall be completed every biennial period and shall be in addition to the required five contact hours of continuing education in ethics as set forth in (a) above.

13:44G-6.3 Content areas for continuing education credit

(a)-(d) (No change.)

(e) A course or program in the subject area of social and cultural *[diversity]* *competence* for the purpose of fulfilling the three contact hours of continuing education requirement shall be subject to the approval of the Board. A course or program in the subject area approved by the Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Examiners, the Professional Counselor Examiners Committee or the Alcohol and Drug Counselor Committee shall be deemed acceptable by this Board.


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