Take Action: Support New Staff Positions at the BBS

Benjamin E. Caldwell, PsyD

I’m happy to be a part of the Voices team. In this column, I’ll focus on the little things we can all do to make our work better. Sometimes that will mean looking at our own practices, sometimes it will mean looking at the forces that impact our clients’ lives, and sometimes it will mean widening the lens to look at the profession as a whole. In this first column, I’d like to ask for your help in improving the functioning of our licensing board.

The Board of Behavioral Sciences has been through a lot of change in the past few years, facing the greatest struggle when a state hiring freeze and forced work furloughs led to a more-than-nine-month backlog in applications for license exam eligibility. Today, the BBS has cleared that backlog and processes applications in a reasonable amount of time. But they have struggled with this year’s transition to new license exams. And as many of you can surely attest, they are often too inundated with phone calls and emails to effectively respond.

The Governor’s proposed budget would include funding for nine new staff positions at the BBS, which would make a significant difference in their ability to quickly process applications and answer questions. The way the state budget process works, these positions are not guaranteed. But you can help make sure that they happen.

I’ve prepared a letter to the Governor, the BBS, and the key legislative committees working on this section of the state budget. The letter encourages all parties to keep all of the proposed new BBS positions, as this will be good for the BBS, good for us, and ultimately, good for the clients we serve. To date, the letter has gathered more than 250 co-signatures from BBS licensees and registrants.

You can help ensure that the BBS gets sufficient new staffing by going to www.bencaldwell.com/bbs-support and completing the brief form, adding your name as a co-signer to this letter. (The full text of the letter can be viewed there too.) Please do so quickly if you can, as much of the committee work on the budget happens in March and April. I’ll be sending in an updated version of the letter, including all co-signatures received up to that point, on or around March 7.

We’re all in this together. Thanks for all you do.

Benjamin E. Caldwell is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#42723) in Los Angeles. He is the author of Saving Psychotherapy and Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs.