Florida Laws & Rules

Florida Laws & Rules

On February 9, 2016 the Florida Board of CSW, MFT and MHC approved the language that defines Supervision of a Registered Intern by a Qualified Supervisor.  The rule is in effect now.   Changes allow face-to-face electronic methods and specifies that using just a telephone for supervision is not allowed, there must be a face-to-face connection.  Here is the new section in full.  Feel free to comment or ask questions below.  Please print the text out and discuss it with your Supervisees and Qualified Supervisors.

 64B4-2.002 Definition of “Supervision” for Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling.

 Supervision is the relationship between the qualified supervisor and intern that promotes the development of responsibility, skills, knowledge, attitudes and adherence to ethical, legal and regulatory standards in the practice of clinical social work, marriage and family therapy and mental health counseling. Supervision is contact between an intern and a supervisor during which the intern apprises the supervisor of the diagnosis and treatment of each client, client cases are discussed, the supervisor provides the intern with oversight and guidance in diagnosing, treating and dealing with clients, and the supervisor evaluates the intern’s performance.

(1) An intern shall be credited for the time of supervision required by Section 491.005, F.S., if the intern:

(a) Received at least 100 hours of supervision in no less than 100 weeks; and,
(b) Provided at least 1500 hours of face-to-face psychotherapy with clients; and,
(c) Received at least 1 hour of supervision every two weeks.

(2) The supervision shall focus on the raw data from the intern’s face-to-face psychotherapy with clients. The intern shall make the raw data directly available to the supervisor through such means as written clinical materials, direct observation and video and audio recordings. Supervision is a process distinguishable from personal psychotherapy or didactic instruction.

(3) The supervisor and intern may utilize face-to-face electronic methods (not telephone only communication) to conduct the supervisory sessions; however, the supervisor and intern must have in-person face-to-face contact for at least 50% of all of the interactions required in subsection (1) above. Prior to utilizing any online or interactive methods for supervision, the supervisor and the intern shall have at least one in-person face-to-face meeting. The supervisor and the intern are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the clients during both in-person and online or interactive supervisory sessions.

[clw]: NOTE – The Board was asked at their last meeting (February 11th, 2016) to clarify IF the 50% of supervision allowed by face-to-face electronic means had to alternate with in person face-to-face.  The Board replied NO but reiterated that no more than 50% of clinical supervision could be by face-to-face electronic means.  

(4) If an intern obtains group supervision, each hour of group supervision must alternate with an hour of individual supervision. Group supervision must be conducted with all participants present in-person. For the purpose of this section, individual supervision is defined as one qualified supervisor supervising no more than two (2) interns and group supervision is defined as one qualified supervisor supervising more than 2 but a maximum of 6 interns in the group.

Rulemaking Authority 491.004(5), 491.0045, 491.005(1)(c), (3)(c), (4)(c) FS. Law Implemented 491.005(1)(c), (3)(c), (4)(c) FS. History–New 7-6-88, Amended 3-21-90, Formerly 21CC-2.002, 61F4-2.002, Amended 1-7-96, 12-16-96, Formerly 59P-2.002, Amended 11-13-97, 10-28-98, 1-1-07, 3-14-07, 2-9-16.

– Catherine L. Waltz, PhD, is an adjunct professor in the graduate program of the School of Social Work, Barry University.  She is a continuing education provider in the state of Florida providing courses on professional ethics, laws and rules, supervision, mental health error preventionlegalscales and a specialist in domestic violence.

The educational commentaries provided by Dr. Waltz do not constitute a legal opinion.  If legal advice is needed, it is recommended that contact be made with an attorney qualified in the jurisdiction in which you practice or is applicable to your case.  We recommend that you use your knowledge of the law and your code of ethics in conjunction with this and any other information when deciding upon your course of action.