Model State Social Work Practice ActAmerican Association of State Social Work Boards, Culpepper, Virginia, 1998. [90 pp.]
This model act published by the American Association of State Social Work Boards (AASSWB) represents the culmination of more than two years of intensive work by an AASSWB task force. The model act includes not only provisions intended to be adopted as state law, but also accompanying regulations to be promulgated by social work regulatory boards. Members of the task force who drafted the document included clinical and baccalaureate social workers, state board administrators and a licensing board public member. In developing the model act, the group received input from practitioners and professional organizations, state regulators and credentialing organizations. Responses from several organizations are appended to the draft model act, which was approved as a resource document by the AASSWB at its annual meeting in November, 1997.
The model act addresses the most controversial issues in social work. It includes, for instance, distinct definitions of clinical, master's and baccalaureate scope of practice. In order to ensure its applicability to the needs of all state regulatory environments, the document does not incorporate the standard code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. However, it does address such issues as practitioners with impairments to practice and sexual relationships with former clients.
While the AASSWB task force has been disbanded, committees of the organization will be looking into such emerging concerns as telepractice and interstate practice and will produce updates to the model act. Copies of the model act can be obtained for $10 each from AASSWB, 400 South Ridge Parkway, Suite B, Culpepper, VA 22701.
Health Professions Council Annual ReportTexas Health Professions Council, Austin, Texas, 1998. [47 pp.]
Created by the Texas Legislature in 1992 to coordinate and improve state policy and practice in health care regulation, the Texas Health Professions Council has issued its annual report for 1997. Among the accomplishments the council points to for the year are reductions in the cost of the state licensing process; improved quality of examinations; increased efficiency in purchasing, accounting and mail functions; and consolidated archiving and library resources. During the year, the council also continued to update its board member training manual and to operate its 24-hour complaint hotline.
Goals for the current year include additional collaboration regarding web site development, an analysis of surplus property options and the centralizing of hiring procedures in the council office. The annual report also includes summaries of licensing and disciplinary actions taken in all health care professions in Texas during the year. To obtain a copy, contact theHealth Professions Council, 333 Guadalupe Street, Suite 2-220, Austin, Texas 78701-3942, 512/305-8550 (phone).
Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the American Association of State Counseling Boards, Tucson, Arizona, January 14-18, 1998American Association of State Counseling Boards, Baltimore, Maryland, 1998. [90 pp.]
Major presentations made at the 12th annual conference of the American Association of State Counseling Boards have been compiled into an informal "Proceedings" edition. It is the first time the organization has published the substantive segments of its annual conference program. The document includes presentations on ethical codes, investigative procedures, continuing education and performance assessment. It also features two articles that discuss the growing number of online counseling services and the problems this trend poses for practitioners and regulators. Copies, $20 each including shipping, can be obtained from the American Association of State Counseling Boards, 14 Ruby Field Court, Baltimore, MD 21209, 410/486-8127 (phone).
Explanatory Report on the Lisbon Recognition ConventionCouncil of Europe/UNESCO, Lisbon, Portugal, 1997 [31 pp. English version]
The regulation and accreditation of institutions of higher learning in Europe have historically been governed by a series of international agreements, many negotiated under the auspices of the Council of Europe or UNESCO. A comprehensive effort to consolidate this process resulted last year in the adoption of a new agreement, informally titled the Lisbon Recognition Convention, that takes the place of the European Higher Education Conventions as well as the UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees. An explanatory report to UNESCO and the Council of Europe on the new convention discusses the history of the effort and explains critical points and specific language in the agreement.
The Lisbon Recognition Convention, formally known as the "Convention on the recognition of qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region," will serve as the foundation for accreditation procedures for institutions of higher learning and the establishment of reciprocal recognition of academic credentials throughout Europe. The final document was signed by 44 delegations, including all members of the Council of Europe and a number of additional states in Central Europe.
The explanatory report includes interesting information on terminology, comparative education systems and regulatory authorities. It also discusses basic principles relating to admission standards, periods of study and curricula. To obtain copies of the report, contact UNESCO, 2 United Nations Plaza, D.C. 2-0900, New York, NY 10017.
Telemedicine and Developing Countries: A Report of Study Group 2 of the ITU Development SectorInternational Telecommunication Union Geneva, Switzerland, 1997 [103 pp.]
To explore the potential benefits of telemedicine applications in developing countries, the International Telecommunication Union initiated a comprehensive study of current capabilities and practices around the world. The resulting report, Telemedicine and Developing Countries, is a concise and informative survey of the interface between telecommunications and health care around the world. The report surveys applications and technology currently in use, reviews the costs and benefits of different applications and examines the primary issues involved in the public policy debate about telemedicine.
Researchers for the International Telecommunication Union have concluded that, while there are significant potential advantages from telemedicine, the evidence of its cost-effectiveness remains meager. The number of self-sustaining, commercial applications is small and often the benefits accrue to those who do not have to pay for the service. Moreover, few countries have budgeted for the provision of telemedicine services to their citizens. The report includes an appendix summarizing the experiences of 34 countries and introductions to major international organizations involved in telemedicine. The report is available at the Inmarsat home page at www.inmarsat.org.
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