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Spring 2012

Florida Certification Board

Spring Renewal Notices Arriving Soon It’s that time again! Spring renewal notices for addiction and mental health credential holders will begin appearing in your mailbox soon! The following credentials expire on June 30, 2012:       

Certified Addiction Professional (CAP) Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC) Certified Prevention Professional (CPP) Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS) Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS) Certified Criminal Justice Addiction Professional (CCJAP)

      

Certified Criminal Justice Addiction Counselor (CCJAC) Certified Criminal Justice Addiction Specialist (CCJAS) Certified Gambling Addiction Counselor (CGAC) Certified E-Therapist (CET) Certified Mental Health Professional (CMHP) Certified Behavioral Health Technician (CBHT)

You may renew your credential online unless you receive a letter indicating you have been selected for an audit for Continuing Education. Credential holders being audited must submit their renewal manually along with documentation of the required continuing education. If you hold multiple credentials, you do not need to submit separate CEUs for each credential. Remember, it is your responsibility to renew your credential annually. If you do not renew by June 30, you will be subject to a late fee. After a 30 day grace period, credential holders not renewing will become inactive and may not use their credential until renewal procedures have been completed. Avoid the rush! Renew today at

In This Issue Page 2 2012 Legislative Wrap Up

Page 4 Alcohol Awareness Month

Page 5 Child Welfare Certification

Page 6 Addiction Counselor Standards

Page 8 The Value of Credentialing

Page 8 FCB Seeks Training Providers

2012 Legislative Wrap-Up

Thanks largely to the efforts of practitioners throughout the state and to the leadership of the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association (FADAA) and the Florida Council for Community Mental Health (FCCMH), funding for substance abuse and mental health programs escaped the dire predictions of terrible funding cuts that marked the early days of the legislative session. Adult substance abuse funding sustained a cut of 2.39%, while children’s substance abuse funding was cut only .68%.

On Monday evening, the Appropriations Chairs met to consider health care proviso, which was offered by the House. The last page of this document included a sentence that included an additional $6.6 million in general revenue committed to substance abuse and mental health. As a result of this action, there are no cuts to substance abuse and mental health services, and the administrative efficiency cuts tied to the managing entities will be reduced from the original $12 million cut to approximately $9 million.

As late as Friday, March 2, the Senate had restored the $8.14 million in substance abuse funding and $24.3 million mental health funding that was shifted last fiscal year from non-recurring to recurring general revenue funding. However, the Senate still proposed a base cut of $13.2 million in adult substance abuse and $33.5 million in adult mental health. This issue was “bumped” for the Appropriations Chairs to resolve.

Other notable items that made it into the budget include $4.56 million for three substance abuse member projects, $2.3 million for two adult Baker Act projects and $9.76 million for 10 adult community mental health projects.

On the criminal justice side, the Appropriations Chairs agreed to just under $1.1 million in new funding to increase nonsecure community drug treatment programs. The Criminal Justice Reinvestment Once again, House Appropriations Chair Grant Program was also refunded at $1.6 Denise Grimsley (R-Sebring) was a strong million in proviso on Monday evening. champion for our field. On Sunday even- The final amount funded in the budget ing, Rep. Grimsley offered a proposal for the Reinvestment Grants is $3.25 that refunded all cuts to adult substance million. abuse and mental health base services, The Florida Certification Board salutes with an exception of $2.1 million. It also FADAA, FCCMH and all of the individual appeared the cut to children’s Baker Act advocates who worked to preserve this was fully restored. After a 10-minute revital funding for Florida’s vulnerable cess, the Senate accepted this proposal. citizens.



Alcohol Awareness Month: Binge Drinking Among Women April marks Alcohol Awareness Month, a nationwide campaign intended to raise awareness of the health and social problems excessive alcohol consumption can cause for individuals, their families and their communities. Excessive drinking is a dangerous behavior for both men and women. This year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is focusing on the risks to women's health from binge drinking – the most common type of excessive alcohol consumption by adults. Adult heavy drinking is one of Florida’s four prevention priority areas. Here are some key facts about binge drinking and the risks to women’s health: 

Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks per occasion for women and five or more drinks per occasion for men. It is a common and dangerous behavior that contributes to more than 11,500 deaths among women in the U.S. each year—approximately 32 deaths per day.

In 2009, more than one out of every 10 women reported binge drinking during the past 30 days. On average, women who binge drink said they engaged in this risky behavior at least three times per month. Among women binge drinkers, they consume, on average, almost six drinks per drinking occasion, which exceeds the threshold for binge drinking.

Binge drinking usually leads to impairment, and women who binge drink with greater frequency and intensity put themselves and those around them at increased risk of experiencing alcohol-related harms, particularly if they are pregnant or may become pregnant.

Binge drinking increases the risk for breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke – all of which are leading causes of death in women.

Communities in Florida and across the nation will mark Alcohol Awareness Month in a variety of ways including Town Hall Meetings, specialized public awareness campaigns and community awareness events.

Field Placement for Online Therapists and Coaches The Online Therapy Institute has announced a new field placement program for online therapists and coaches. The program offers 10 continuing education/contact hours and is approved for meeting the Florida Certification Board’s requirements for the E-Therapist credential. Participants in the field placement course must have completed 20 hours of online therapy or coach course work as well as a five (5) hour course, Giving Back: The Ethics of Pro Bono and Sliding Scale Services for Online Therapists and Coaches. Participants in the field placement training will: 

partner with agencies in their local community,

gain client contact hours,

participate in a secure and encrypted forum, and

receive Field Supervision and feedback.

For more information, please visit


Credentialing of Child Welfare Professionals Credentialing is an important step toward the goal of professionalizing Florida’s child welfare workforce. The Florida Legislature clearly expressed their intent to improve staff development and training by requiring “each person providing child welfare services in this state earns a professional certification from a professional credentialing entity that is approved by the Department of Children and Families.� (402.40 F.S.) On October 4, 2011, the Florida Certification Board (FCB) was officially approved by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) as the professional credentialing entity. FCB has a very positive 20-year history of serving as the credentialing entity for more than 15,000 professionals working in the fields of addictions, mental health, behavioral health and prevention. As the official credentialing entity for child welfare, FCB has created the Child Welfare Certification Program, which is designed to recognize individuals who possess the knowledge and skills necessary to competently provide direct child welfare services under standard supervision. Competency refers to the minimum skills and abilities necessary to perform child protective services at an autonomous, independent level, under standard supervision. More information on this program will soon be available on the FCB website. Our mission at FCB is to strengthen public confidence in the integrity of the professionals we credential through a careful examination of the knowledge and skills essential for consistent quality of practice. A credential from FCB is a statement to the public, especially to the consumers of care, that the individual professional who is serving them has been carefully examined and determined to have the core competencies and the ethical character to be credentialed as a qualified professional. Over time, all child welfare professionals will benefit as the public and our government leaders acknowledge the efforts and the competence displayed by the credentialed professionals serving our most vulnerable families.


SAMHSA News: Addiction Counselor Standards homes and accountable care organizations all have a vested interest in helping clients to avoid relapse for any chronic condition, whether it’s diabetes, asthma or addiction.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has announced that it will not establish national requirements for addiction counselors. According to an article in the March 5, 2012 edition of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Weekly, each state will establish the level of education required for addiction counselors within their jurisdiction. In recent months, there has been some discussion within the field that a Master’s degree should be required for all addiction counselors. H. Westley Clark, the director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) indicated the federal government will not interfere with the rights of states to establish their own standards and requirements. Instead of looking at specific degrees, SAMHSA will focus on competencies that support effective practice. Both the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) and the National Association for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) applauded SAMHSA’s stance. Leaving the issue to the states will allow for individual state legislatures to set standards based on their own workforce conditions. Clark noted that requiring a Master’s degree would drive up costs in the industry. Salaries for addiction treatment counselors are low compared to some other professions requiring advanced degrees. Insurance companies and other third-party payers may be reluctant to support the increased costs that would result from requiring advanced degrees for all practitioners. There is also a concern that current practitioners who are unable or unwilling to return to school for an advanced degree might leave the workforce if such a requirement were instituted. A shortage of counselors might be the unintended result of such a move. Cost and recovery are intertwined, with costs going down as recovery goes up. Health care providers including health

While some in the field have blamed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the push toward requiring an advanced degree, in reality, the field has been moving in this direction for a number of years. Linda Kaplan, a special expert at the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment who served for 10 years as the Executive Director of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), commented, “Many states started moving toward licensure before the passage of the ACA, but the ACA is changing the way health care is delivered in general, with more of a focus on prevention and “holistic” care for chronic diseases like addiction.” Kaplan is quick to note that addiction specialty care will still be valuable under any kind of healthcare reform. As more primary care providers include screening for substance use disorders as a routine part of care, there will be a greater demand for treatment. While some individuals may require only brief intervention or substance use education, others may need either brief treatment or more intensive long-term services. This will require providers to work collaboratively to establish new partnerships across disciplines. “Peers and recovery coaches are going to be used more in a complementary, supportive role to the treatment system, not instead of it,” said Kaplan. “We now realize that people need ongoing support to maintain sobriety,” she said. “I think peers will really help counselors and help treatment.” Clark acknowledges that there has been “an uncertainty as to how to structure the educational pathway, how you incorporate people in recovery who enter the field.” According to Clark, both IC&RC and NAADAC have participated in this discussion. Requirements for peer credentials are not likely to include having a Master’s degree in any jurisdiction. “Peers — people in recovery from a substance use disorder — will be an important part of maintaining recovery,” said Clark. 6


The Value of Credentialing The credentials offered by the Florida Certification Board are more valuable than ever in today’s increasingly competitive job market. FCB has a very positive 20 year history serving as the credentialing entity for more than 15,000 professionals working in the fields of addictions, mental health, behavioral health and prevention. The Florida Certification Board protects the citizens of Florida by assuring that our credentialed professionals have the knowledge and skills required for effective and ethical practice of their respective disciplines. Our education, training and work experience requirements, along with a written examination document, ensure the competency level has been achieved by each credentialed professional. In addition, the requirements for ongoing continuing education make certain that credential holders keep current with recent developments in their fields of practice. In this way, FCB’s credentialing goes beyond the requirements of “point-in-time” certificate programs that signify that an individual has completed requisite coursework. Most importantly, FCB’s ethical standards provide a mechanism by which consumers and fellow practitioners can hold a professional accountable for behaving in an ethical manner within their scope of practice. The professional credential is earned and maintained by the individual. The credential is a statement from the individual stating, “I am a professional, I have been adequately educated, trained and examined, and my background has been screened. I am qualified to serve and I can be trusted.” The credential is owned by the individual and is fully portable. That is, when the individual changes employers, the credential stays in effect and the new employer can have full confidence in his/her skills and character. One of the strengths of FCB’s credentialing program is our adherence to the highest standards in the field of professional credentialing. We maintain confidential files on each certified individual for as long as he/she continues to work in their chosen profession. The files include: 1. affirmation by the individual to follow our Code of Ethics (with follow-up on all reported ethical complaints), 2. regular confirmation that all background screening requirements have been met, 3. documentation of all required continuing education credits, and 4. all examination results. Each certified professional has both opportunity and obligations. The opportunity is to gain status, respect and public confidence by earning their credential. The obligations are to serve with honor, to stay current with the knowledge base of their profession and to maintain the highest moral character. The final obligation is payment of all relevant fees. The value of the credential, both to the credentialed individual professional and to the public, is increased by having the individual accountable for the payment of fees for the credential. The Florida Certification Board is proud of our certified professionals. It is an honor to represent all of you.

FCB Seeks Training Providers As the Florida Certification Board continues to add credentials to our portfolio, applicants need to know where they can obtain training that will count toward their credential requirements. The FCB wants to ensure high quality training is available for those who are seeking certification. Individuals and organizations that provide training in any discipline related to our credentials may seek approval as training providers through FCB. This designation assures that the training offered by an organization meets the standards for professional continuing education including having qualified instructors, specific instructional objectives and appropriate matching of training topics to credential requirements. Providers may apply for a one-time single event or ongoing provider status. The application includes a fee and documentation from specific course offerings. While applications are welcome from any continuing education provider, at this time FCB is specifically seeking applications from providers offering training in the following disciplines:

Peer Support Services

Child Welfare



Behavioral Health Technician

Veteran’s Services

Tobacco Treatment

To apply for provider status, visit or contact LaTonya Randolph, Certification Specialist, at (850) 222-6314.




Florida Certification Board Briefings, Spring 2012  

The official newsletter of the Florida Certification Board. Your source for industry news, certification updates and more.