In June 2010, the New York State Legislature passed a law addressing the practice of clinical social work and other scope-protected tasks, including the provision of mental health counseling and psychotherapy, in currently unauthorized corporate settings. The law allows the New York State Education Department to issue a waiver from corporate practice prohibitions to qualified not-for-profit and education corporations. Recognizing that your corporate setting may employ these professionals, we wanted to pass this information along to you.

The Board of Regents has approved permanent regulations to implement the law, effective February 2, 2011. The Education Department has developed the required waiver applications, consistent with the law and regulations, to allow certain not-for-profit and educational corporations to apply for a waiver.

The applications were posted on the Office of the Professions' website on February 16, 2011. Qualified agencies have 120 days from the posting of the applications by the Education Department, or until June 16, 2011, to apply for a waiver.

The New York State Association of Deans of Schools of Social Work, in conjunction with the NASW New York State Chapter, have produced an informational video regarding this issue to clarify who the law pertains to, which corporate entities might require a waiver, and the application process. At a minimum, you should review your incorporation documents to determine whether they include provision of these regulated professional services and also seek to identify if your entity is exempt from the waiver due to a license issued by the New York State Department of Health, Office of Mental Health, or provisions of the education law. The FAQs at the NYSED website are particularly useful.

Waiver applications are available on the New York State Education Department website.

For answers to further questions, visit the National Association of Social Workers website.