About the ORVCSWS
Ohio River Valley Clinical Social Work Society (ORVCSWS) advances and promotes the practice of clinical social work through continuing education, collegiality and professional action in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.
The mission of the Ohio Clinical Social Work Society is to develop, advance, and promote excellence in all clinical social work practice settings for the benefit of clients and the clinicians who serve them.
What Do Clinical Social Workers Do?
“Clinical social workers are highly trained professionals who are skilled at listening to problems clients bring to us and adding new ways of looking at and understanding what is going on. We try to help clients find new solutions, make new choices, and see things from a different point of view. We work with clients until the problem is resolved as well as it can be.
What kinds of problems do people discuss with us?
Work related problems, relationship problems, alcoholism or drug abuse in the family, worries about children or adolescents, sexual problems, difficulties in controlling anger, worries about older parents or their own retirement.
Tracy was on the Board the past two years as webmaster, and a member before this. She has been practicing as a licensed social worker for four years at Lighthouse Youth Services. Currently she is a Clinical Supervisor who also does mental health therapy with adolescents transitioning from placement. She specializes in treatment for youth with juvenile sexual offenses, as well as sensory-based trauma healing therapy.
Loan is the current Vice President & Program Chair. She served as secretary in the last term. She works as a clinical social worker at BridgePointe Psychological and Counseling Services and an adjunct instructor at UC School of Social Work. She believes in promoting and supporting clinical social workers via continuing education & supervision.
Mike is the incoming Treasurer. He has a 5-year background in banking and finance prior to finding his true calling as a social worker. Mike works at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, where he provides pro bono clinical services, case consultation to a community- wide network of volunteers who provide basic needs assistance through home visits, and presents at several workshops each year on poverty & motivational helping.
Nicole is the current Membership Chair. She served on the Board in the same position last term. Nicole works as a psychiatric social worker at University of Cincinnati Medical Center full-time and as a PRN psychiatric social worker at CCHMC.
Karen “Rusty” Siegfried
Rusty is the outgoing Treasurer. After many years in public mental health, she now does private practice with individuals and couples, consults at Children’s Hospital and PLAN of Southwest Ohio, and mentors those in our profession to care for themselves!
Emily is the incoming Secretary and has been a member since graduating from UC & receiving the Judith Holm Award in 2014. Prior to pursuing a career in social work, she pursued a path of women’s studies, victim advocacy, training, and adult development. Emily currently works as a clinical social worker at the Cincinnati VAMC.
Phil Roberto is a new member of the ORVCSWS and is excited to get more new members involved. Phil is a social worker for Talbert House and provides behavioral health therapy.
Thelma is the incoming Liaison to the CSWMFT Board. She has been employed as a social worker at the Cincinnati VA since May 2015 and is a prior recipient of ORVCSWS’s Judith Holm Award.
Article I. Name
The name of this organization shall be Ohio River Valley Clinical Social Work Society, hereby referred to as ORVCSWS.
Article II. Purpose
The purpose of the Ohio River Valley Clinical Social Work Society is to advance and promote the practice of clinical social work through:
A. The promotion of high standards for Clinical Social Workers in education, experience, ethics, conduct and achievement.
B. The increase and dissemination of knowledge within the profession through research, meetings, reports, professional contacts, papers, and discussions.
C. The enhancement of public understanding of Clinical Social Work.
Article III. Membership
Categories of Membership and their Eligibility Requirements:
A. Full Member: Shall have the Ohio Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) license or the equivalent license in their State of practice.
B. Associate Member:
1. Shall have a master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited graduate school of social work, and
2. Shall have obtained the Ohio Licensed Social Worker (LSW) or the equivalent license in their State of practice
C. Inactive Member: Meets the requirements for Full or Associate Membership except engages in fewer than 300 hours of social work practice annually.
D. Emeritus Status: Meets Full or Associate Membership criteria, except:
1. Is engaged in fewer than 300 hours of clinical practice annually and,
2. Has completed 25 years of post graduate practice
3. Candidates for this membership category who are engaged in no (zero) hours of social work practice, including volunteer clinical social work practice may not need to have a license depending on the law in their State of practice.
4. Fellow: This is an honorary membership bestowed by OVRCSWS for “Outstanding Service in the Field of Clinical Social Work.”
Section 2. Admission to Membership:
A. All persons who meet the criteria for membership are accepted without discrimination as to age, race, sex, national origin or sexual orientation.
B. Members must agree to adhere to the Code of Ethics of their Licensing Board in the State of practice.
Section 3. Rights of Members:
All members, whose dues are current, shall be considered to be in good standing and shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to the vote of the membership.
Section 4. Termination of Membership:
A. Any member may resign from membership by filing a written resignation with the Secretary of ORCSWS.
B. Membership in ORVCSWS shall be terminated for non-payment of dues after ninety (90) days of delinquency.
C. Membership shall be terminated whenever a member’s license is suspended or revoked by the Licensing Board of their State of practice. Membership may be reinstated when license is restored.
Section 5. Affiliates:
A. Categories of Affiliates and their Eligibility Requirements: The Board of Directors may establish categories of Affiliates (individuals) as it deems necessary. When applicable, Affiliates must be in good standing with their professional credentialing bodies.
B. Contributing Affiliates: Shall be interested in the purpose and the activities of the Society and willing to contribute toward them.
C. Student Affiliates: Shall be enrolled in an accredited graduate program and not be eligible to practice as an LISW.
Section 6. Rights of Affiliates:
Affiliates may not vote or hold office. All affiliates shall receive the ORVCSWS Newsletter and, at the discretion of the Board of Directors shall be able to participate on committees and attend events at a reduced cost.
ARTICLE IV Officers
Section 1. Officers:
Officers shall include the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
Section 2. Terms of Office:
The officers shall be elected for a two year term of office.
Section 3. Nominations and elections:
A. Elections shall occur between April 1 and June 30, with new terms of office beginning July 1.
B. Slate of Nominated Officers:
1. The Nominating committee shall develop a slate of officers. This slate must be submitted by mail and/or email to the membership on or before April 15.
2. Full members in good standing then may submit additional names. Such names must be received by the Nominating Committee no later than May 1.
3. The Nominating Committee shall prepare the final slate of officers who are members in good standing and willing to run for office. The final slate shall then be submitted to the membership for a vote.
C. The Vote: The vote of the membership shall be determined by a mailed ballot to be sent no later than May 15. All returned ballots must be postmarked no later than June 1. The election shall be determined by simple majority by ballots submitted to the Nominating Committee.
Section 4. Duties of Officers:
1. Shall be Chairperson of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee and shall perform such other duties as ordinarily pertain to this office, and
2. Shall call regular and special meetings, and
3. Shall appoint the Chairpersons of Standing Committees with the approval of the Executive Committee, and shall appoint all other necessary committees except as otherwise herein noted, and
4. Shall make interim appointments to fill vacancies in an elected office with the approval of the Board of Directors, and
5. Shall have the authority to make contracts with the approval of the Board, and
6. Shall continue to serve on the Board of Directors as immediate Past President for a period of six (6) months.
B. Vice President
1. Shall discharge the duties of the President when the President is unable to act , and
2. Shall carry out any other duties assigned by the President, and
3. Shall serve as Chair of the Program Committee.
1. Shall record, keep and distribute the permanent minutes of General Membership meetings, the Annual Business Meeting, Executive Committee and Board Meetings, and
2. Shall keep a current register of the members and affiliates of the Society. and
3. Shall conduct all correspondence relating to the Society and
4. Shall act as, or appoint, a temporary chairperson in the absence of both the President and Vice President.
1. Shall collect dues, receive monies payable to ORVCSWS, pay all bills, expend these monies in accordance with the fiscal policies and budget established by the Board, and
2. Shall present written financial reports quarterly. This shall be done at Board meetings or by mail/e-mail to members of the Board of Directors, and
3. Shall be responsible for securing an audit every two (2) years, to be conducted within two (2) months prior to the end of the Treasurer’s term of office.
Section 5. Secession of Officers:
1. In the event the President is unable to fulfill the term of office to which elected, the Vice President shall succeed to the office of the President for the balance of the unexpired term.
2. Should the Vice President be unable to assume responsibility for completing the term of office the Secretary shall preside until an election is held.
B. Other Officers: In the event any other officer is unable to fulfill the term of office to which elected, the President, with the approval of the Board of Directors, shall appoint a Full Member in good standing to that office. The member appointed shall be entitled to hold office for the unexpired term of the originally elected officer. A new Treasurer shall generate an audit of the books upon taking office.
Section 6. Recall of Officers:
A. A recall petition to remove any officer of ORVCSWS may be initiated by written petition signed by no less than twenty five (25%) percent of the membership. The petition must be presented to The Board of Directors who subsequently must call for a vote of the full membership of the Organization within sixty (60) days of receipt of the petition.
B. The vote of the membership must be by mailed ballot.
1. All returned ballots must be postmarked not later than thirty (30) days after the date of mailing.
2. The vote of the membership by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those voting shall be binding and final.
C. The officer removed from office under the provisions outlined above must relinquish all papers, documents, and other material pertaining to the office when notified by the President of the results of the vote of the membership.
D. Removal from office shall not constitute further disqualification from the full privileges and responsibilities of membership in the Society
Article V. Board of Directors
Section 1. Composition:
The Board of Directors shall be composed of the four elected officers of ORVCSWS, the Past President, and the Chairperson of each Standing Committee.
Section 2. Duties:
A. To meet as often as deemed necessary by the President, but no less than twice a year, to direct the affairs of ORVCSWS in order to accomplish the stated purpose of the organization.
1. Meetings of the Board of Directors may also be called by a majority of the Board Members.
2. All meetings of the Board of Directors shall be open to attendance by the membership but only members of The Board of Directors shall be entitled to vote.
3. A Chair of a Standing Committee may send a designee to one meeting a year. The Chair will notify the Board President in advance of the meeting that a specific person will be attending as designee. The designee shall be a member of the Committee in question.
B. To establish a date for, and to develop the agenda for the annual business meeting of ORVCSWS.
C. To approve an annual budget including determination of membership dues.
D. To select those members to be honored as Fellows for having made outstanding contributions in clinical practice, social work education, publication and/or advancement of clinical social work as a profession, considering the recommendations of any members of ORVCSWS.
Section 3. Quorum:
A majority of Board Members shall constitute a quorum for transacting business.
Section 4. Executive Committee:
The Executive Committee shall be composed of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
A. After the election, this Committee shall meet and approve the President’s selection of Standing Committee Chairpersons.
B. This Committee shall also act for the Board of Directors in special cases requiring immediate action when a meeting of the full Board cannot be convened.
C. The Secretary shall record all actions taken by the members of the full Board.
Article VI. Deposits, Contributions, Gifts, Contracts
Section 1. Receipt of Monies:
The Board of Directors shall be empowered to accept dues, contributions, grants, and special gifts for ORVCSWS. These shall be duly deposited in accounts held by ORVCSWS and accounted for by the Treasurer, quarterly to the Board of Directors and to the membership at the annual business meeting. An official audit shall occur every two years.
Section 2. Contracts:
The Board of Directors shall be empowered to use the monies received to conduct the business of ORVCSWS. The Board shall be granted the authority to enter into contract with others for needed services.
Section 3. Disbursement of Assets at Time of Dissolution:
Should ORVCSWS dissolve, the distribution of assets shall be directed by the membership via a ballot mailed to all members in good standing.
Article VII. Indemnification and Insurance
The Board of Directors may purchase liability insurance to protect Board Members carrying out their duties in good faith. This protection, if purchased, shall not be terminated except by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board.
ARTICLE VIII Amendments to Bylaws
Section 1. Proposal of Amendments:
Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by
A. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors, or
B. The membership over signatures of not less than one-third (1/3) of the total voting members.
Section 2. Ratification of Amendments:
The proposed amendment(s) shall be presented at any duly called meeting of the Board of Directors following which it will be presented in writing to the voting membership.
A. Voting shall be by mailed ballot.
B. All returned ballots must be postmarked not later than thirty (30) days after the date of mailing to be counted.
C. The proposed amendment must be ratified by two –thirds (2/3) of the returned ballots.
ARTICLE IX Parliamentary Procedure
Section 1. Questions of Order:
All questions of order not provided for in these Bylaws shall be determined by parliamentary usage as found in Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised.
The Cincinnati chapter of the Ohio Society for Clinical Social Work (the precursor to ORVCSWS) was founded in 1975 by a group of Cincinnati social workers interested in fostering support for clinical social work practice. It was the third local chapter founded in Ohio (Columbus was the first, Cleveland the second) and Ohio was the seventh state society to be included in the newly organized National Federation of Societies for Clinical Social Work. The climate for clinical social work practice and education in the late 1960s, early 1970s was a major factor leading to the formation of this new professional organization. NASW and other social work groups had taken a position that community organizing and social change were the preferred models of professional activity and clinical work only served to pathologize the client. Believing that clinical work was an important modality and desiring professional affiliation and representation, the Clinical Societies were formed. The organizational model selected was that of a loose national federation of State Societies with local city chapters organized as desired by members. One’s membership was in a state society rather than in a national organization and two representatives from each state society formed the National Board. (This was different from NASW where the membership was primarily in a national organization and secondarily within a local representative group.)
During the first decade of its existence the Cincinnati chapter of the Ohio Society for Clinical Social Work offered monthly programs on many topics of clinical interest in keeping with the reason it was originally formed. Various members of the Society were presenters for these programs and a great sense of collegiality and support developed. Much of the members’ energy not involved in clinical programming during this time was devoted to issues of credentialing – who could belong to the organization and how to achieve formal recognition as a “Profession” (not just licensure and but vendorship at the state level). During the 1980s a number of Cincinnati chapter members were very active in State board affairs. The membership of the Cincinnati chapter during this period rose from 15 (1975) to 95 (1985).
Programming continued to be quite vigorous during this decade again addressing contemporary clinical issues and emerging therapies. Of particular note was the Family Therapy conference sponsored annually by the Society for many years, often bringing nationally known speakers in the field of Family Therapy to Cincinnati. A social work licensing bill was finally passed in Ohio in 1984 after 3 attempts and 8 years of very difficult work. Immediately after the passage of the bill efforts were re-directed to try to achieve independent vendor status. At the national level, the Federation (of Societies of Clinical Social Work) worked to establish uniform educational and supervisory standards for one to qualify as a “clinical social worker” and moved to develop a National registry (ABECSW) for such “approved” persons which would result in an advanced standing credential. The Cincinnati chapter membership rose from 95 (1985) to 117 (1995) during this time.
Beginning in the late 1990s the society began inviting other community clinicians (psychiatrist, psychologists, psychoanalysts) to give presentations on clinical topics (i.e.PTSD, hypnosis, EMDR). Contextual issues grew in significance during this period as the growing managed care environment made a significant impact on the Society and its members. Pro-actively, members were involved in working toward Consumer Choice legislation and in exploring the feasibility of developing private social work practice groups in the hope of securing managed care contracts. More subtly, members began to feel ground down by the strain the managed care environment placed on agencies and individual practioners in terms of higher productivity demands, less time for supervision and major increases in paperwork and reporting requirements. The net effect of these environmental realities was the depletion of time and energy with many members having less available for continuing educational programs and involvement in administrative roles of the Society. For example, considerable energy was involved in the late 90s early 2000s with the issue of collective representation for the purpose of acquiring group health care coverage and developing greater political leverage. The societies of the Federation, concerned about fiscal and political disenfranchisement of social workers but aware of their relative powerlessness debated joining a Guild of the Office of Professional Employment International Union (AFL-CIU affiliate) Looking forward to good health care coverage and political representation a number of members of the Society did so in 1998. The hope expressed in joining the Guild was not realized however. Problems developed with the health care coverage and many members had costly difficulties with reimbursement. The Guild association was ultimately terminated. The membership declined during this decade from 117 (1995) to 42 (2003).
2003 – 2005 from OSCSW to ORVCSWS
The above issues led to a problem of leadership fatigue in the early 2000s and it was difficult to find members to fill committee roles – particularly at the State Board level which required considerable travel to Columbus. (This problem was not unique to Ohio. By the summer of 2003 several state chapters of the National Federation had disbanded for lack of person-power.) In 2004, recognizing the “writing on the wall”, a quorum of members voted to disband the Ohio state society effective June 2005. Pat Fedders and Margot Marples provided Herculean, albeit sad service, during this time as a transition team attending to all the legal and financial matters to ensure that the State Society was brought to careful and responsible closure.
In April 2004 the current Ohio River Valley Clinical Social Work Society was formed by many of the previous members of the Ohio state society in order to continue the tradition of a clinical social work group in the greater Cincinnati area. It is organized as a free standing society with a focus on continuing education for members and the mentoring of young professionals in the Cincinnati area. In 2005 the national Clinical Social Work Federation also voted to discontinue its federation structure and re-organize in 2006 as a national membership organization – the Clinical Social Work Association. Members of ORVCSWS are free to join or not join this national association. In the national newsletter outgoing CSWF President Abigail Grant stated that two of the original purposes of the organization had been achieved (all 50 states now had licensure and the BCD credential was in place as an advanced clinical credential) and a new structure requiring g less member person-power was needed.
2004 – Present
Since 2004 the Ohio River Valley Society for Clinical Social Work has worked to enhance local programming, to provide mentoring to young professionals and to liaison with schools of social work. Joint programming with other local groups (e.g. Smith College School for Social Work Alumni Association, NASW) has also been implemented. The current (2013) membership of ORVCSWS is 60.
In response to the dissolution of the Clinical social Work Federation, the American Board of Examiners for Clinical Social Work (ABECSW) created the Center for Clinical Social Work which now co-exists with the Clinical Social Work Association. In October 2006 the ORVCSW voted to join the Center as an organization in order to create a bridge to local and national legislative activities involving clinical practice and to provide a professional resource and support network for our members.
In spite of the contextual and structural changes of the past thirty years it remains clear that a forum for clinical social workers to come together, to provide mutual support, to explore new ideas and to mentor younger professionals continues to be an important need. The Ohio River Valley Clinical Social Work Society and its members, past and present remain committed to addressing that need.