Social Worker and Social Worker Associate - Rules in Progress

Rules in Progress

The rules writing process is open to the public. The public is welcome to take part in helping us write rules. Rules are also known as regulations, Washington Administrative Code, or WAC. The rule-making process includes public notices and workshops, and usually a public hearing before a rule becomes final.

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Current rules in progress

The Department of Health (department) has filed the following CR-101s with the Office of the Code Reviser to continue the work to increase the behavioral health workforce by reducing barriers to licensure and streamlining the credentialing process. 

  • WSR 24-10-010 (PDF) on April 18, 2024, for chapter 246-809 WAC. The department is considering amending, repealing, or creating new sections in chapter 246-809 WAC to implement recent legislation by establishing: (1) a directory to help mental health counselor, marriage and family therapist, and social worker associates find supervisors; (2) standards for supervision of associates; (3) a stipend program to offset some costs of supervision; and (4) other changes as appropriate.
  • WSR 24-10-012 (PDF) on April 18, 2024, for chapter 246-809 WAC.  The department is considering rule amendments to implement legislation, including 2SHB 1724, SHB 1069, SHB 1939, and E2SHB 2247. To implement this legislation, the department will consider (1) reducing or removing barriers to entering and remaining in the behavioral health care workforce, (2) measures to streamline and shorten the credentialing process, (3) implementing interstate licensing compacts, (4) removing renewal limits for associate level credentials, and (5) other amendments to the chapter as appropriate. This may include amending or reducing continuing education requirements, allowing professional experience to substitute for clinical practicum experience, or addressing other issues raised by the department, partners, or interested parties. Existing rules may be amended or repealed, and new sections of rules may be adopted.

The Department of Health has filed WSR 24-14-080 (PDF), on June 28, 2024, to amend WACs 246-809-110, 246-809-130, 246-809-220, 246-809-221, 246-809-230, 246-809-330, and 246-809-990 in chapter 246-809 WAC, Licensure for Mental Health Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Social Workers.

The department is adopting the emergency rules to implement parts of Second Substitute House Bill (2SHB) 1724 and Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill (E2SHB) 2247 to reduce barriers to licensure and streamline the credentialing process for the mental health counselor, marriage and family therapist, and social worker professions.

These emergency rules: (1) allow professional experience to substitute for practicum requirements for mental health counselors; (2) lower requirements for licensure by endorsement to one year of licensure in a substantially equivalent state; (3) align the definition of “equally qualified licensed mental health practitioner” for marriage and family therapists more closely with other master-level counselor professions; and (4) remove the limit on the number of credential renewals authorized for associate credentials. 

The department is adopting these amendments through emergency rule to meet the requirements of 2SHB 1724 and E2SHB 2247. The department will also consider adopting these changes through the permanent rulemaking process, under WSR 24- 10-012, filed April 18, 2024. These emergency rules will remain in place while permanent rulemaking is in progress.

As part of the rule-making process, the department welcomes your participation in a series of rulemaking workshops. During the workshops we welcome ideas, concerns, and general comments on how to best develop regulations pertaining to the proposed amendments. You will be notified through GovDelivery of these workshops as they are scheduled.

For more information, email Program Manager Lana Crawford (

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