Texas Society for Clinical Social Work was founded in 1971 by Betty Synar of Dallas and Eileen Crosier of San Antonio. This professional organization was for the purpose of providing clinical social workers with educational opportunities in Texas and with becoming informed of state and national issues related to the practice of clinical social work. Members held graduate degrees in social work. Members practiced in a variety of setting: mental health centers, family service agencies, child guidance centers, hospitals, schools, medical clinics and private practice. Many members held faculty positions at Schools of Social Work across Texas and the United States. The primary theoretical orientation was psychoanalytic with ego psychology. Texas Society for Clinical Social Work was commonly referred to as Texas Clinical. Texas Clinical annually held two day retreats in the Spring on Ethics and two day Fall Conferences on social work practice with specific client/patient populations. These educational events were usually held in the Hill Country providing opportunities for professional growth and renewal. Speakers were clinical social workers who were known nationally for their respective areas of expertise. Study groups were established in the major cities of Texas giving more opportunities for clinical study for social work practitioners. Study groups usually met at least once a month.
The Texas Society for Clinical Social Work was also a member of The National Federation of Clinical Social Work Societies. The Federation was made up of clinical state societies from across The United States. Initially, the major focus of the Federation and each of the state Clinical Societies was to establish legal regulation in each state for the protection of the consumer and licensure of MSWs in every state in the union.
In 1973 social workers in Texas began to work with the Texas Legislature to provide legal regulation for the protection of the consumer through licensure of MSWs. Clinical social workers were the major provider of mental health services in the United States. Texas Clinical led the charge at the Texas Legislature to secure legal regulation of social work practice. In 1975, the Texas Legislature passed legislation establishing a license for a social psychotherapist, i.e., clinical social worker. To qualify for licensure in Texas as a social psychotherapist a person had to hold a Master’s Degree in Social Work from an accredited School of Social Work. In 1981, the social work profession in Texas came together to introduce legislation that would provide legal regulation for five categories of licensing for social work practitioners in the state of Texas. The specialty category of Advanced Clinical Practitioner was created for the clinical social worker. The license as a social psychotherapist was discontinued with this multi-tiered licensing legislation. Persons holding a MSW from an accredited school with two years of post- graduate experience in social work practice were eligible to take the licensing examination and be eligible for the specialty recognition of Advanced Clinical Practitioner (LMSW-ACP). This multi-tiered licensing remained in place until 2003 when the social work profession in Texas sought to clarify the categories of practice by changing the statute to be The Social Work Practice Act with three categories of licensure: LBSW, LMSW and LCSW. All persons identifying themselves as social workers and practicing social work were to be licensed. The Social Work Practice Act in the Occupations’ Code of the State of Texas has gone through the sunset process three times. Social Work practice is legally regulated by a Governor appointed nine member independent board with rule-making authority having board members from the public sector and each of the three categories of licensure. Currently, there are approximately 27,000 licensed social workers in Texas with approximately 6,000 licensed as LCSWs.
Since 2006 The Texas Society for Clinical Social Work has been a member of the Clinical Social Work Association. Members of Texas Clinical not only work in a variety of settings but also reflect a broad spectrum of theoretical understandings in their practices. Texas Clinical continues to take the lead in legal regulation and protection of the consumer at the Texas Legislature by having a full-time lobbyist who is a health care attorney and has represented Texas Clinical since 1992.
The Texas Society for Clinical Social Work continues to offer spring and fall educational conferences as well as having study groups in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio for social work practitioners. Local study groups offer opportunities for professional growth, mentoring, and networking.
We are advocates. We address real issues for the clinician, including malpractice and ethical concerns, insurance reimbursement, active lobbying of the Texas State Legislature, and interface with managed care.
WE ARE PROFESSIONAL PRACTITIONERS
We offer contact and networking opportunities with skilled social work clinicians in both public and private practice.
WE ARE EDUCATORS
Offers continuing education, study groups, excellent publications and provides opportunities for clinical supervision to LMSWs working towards licensure as Licensed Clinical Social Workers.
Barbara Jo Brothers
LCSW, LMFT, BCD
Ad Hoc Member
Governmental Affairs Chair