County Pulse: State license delays are longer for marriage, family therapists

kcarlson@modbee.comMarch 21, 2014 

Those who work in the behavioral sciences are waiting for a longer time than nurses to obtain state licenses.

California’s licensing boards are going through a technology overhaul that has not gone well. Hospitals can’t fill vacant positions because it’s taken more than three months to schedule exams for nursing school graduates. Out-of-state nurses looking for new opportunities can’t get a license in California.

Ken Davis, a marriage and family therapist in Modesto, said that interns and associates in his field are waiting nine months for approval of applications by the Board of Behavioral Sciences.

“These delays cost the applicants money in delayed raises they would receive if licensed, as well as job opportunities that they are not eligible for due to not being licensed,” Davis wrote.

The state has struggled for years with upgrading its payroll system for employees, and tech failures plagued the Employment Development Department before the BreEZe online license program became the source of easy quips. The program has not been a breeze for licensing boards under the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Davis said a freeze on state hiring during the economic doldrums began a gradual slowdown in the licensing process for clinical social workers. In the past year, he said, the delays have become worse and worse for people who earn a master’s degree in behavioral science and complete 3,000 hours of supervised practice to get ahead.

“There are all these papers that have to be signed by clinicians,” Davis explained. “I don’t think the BreEZe system will help at all.”

COUNTY FEES

Tuesday, Stanislaus County supervisors will consider new fees for food concessions at regional parks and a change in free admission days for veterans.

Instead of free day use May 1, there will be no entrance fee for veterans on Memorial Day, if supervisors give approval. Day use is free for them on Veterans Day as well.

The Department of Environmental Resources also recommends a $1 discount for veterans and the disabled at the La Grange and Frank Raines off-road parks.

The county would charge a $100 annual registration fee and $25 per day to food vendors at Woodward Reservoir north of Oakdale. The county will consider expanding the concessions to all regional parks. Supervisors will consider the fees during a 9 a.m. hearing Tuesday in the basement chamber of Tenth Street Place, at 1010 10th St., Modesto.

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