Demand Grandfathering Provisions for Licensed Professional Counselors
In December of 2006, Congress and the President enacted legislation explicitly recognizing licensed professional mental health counselors (LPMHC) as clinicians within VA facilities (P.L. 109-461). In 2010, four years after the recognition of LPMHCs, the VA developed qualification standards that included overly restrictive criteria for hire of LPMHC's that prevented hire of a large majority of highly trained and experienced and Licensed professional counselors. The VA requires that a person must have graduated from a CACREP accredited institution in order to qualify for hire into the LPMHC series at the VA. Unfortunately, CACREP did not exist, and was not geographically accessible to many Licensed Professional Counselors at the time of their graduate studies. Significantly, these programs were not available close to Military installations, thus Veterans who have gone on to earn graduate degrees in Counseling, and who have specialized experience and who strongly desire to serve fellow Veterans are finding themselves not qualified based solely on their schools accreditation.
Other disciplines, including Psychologists and Social Workers, were given grandfathering periods following the development of qualifications standards. Tricare has recognized the need for, and established a grandfathering period. Please sign this petition if this ruling has impacted you, or if you agree that the development of qualification standards for Licensed Professional Counselors without consideration/or inclusion of a grandfathering clause is overly restrictive and potentially discriminatory towards well qualified individuals.
I am hoping that with enough signatures we can show that the development of these standards are adversely impacting a large group of qualified people, thus limiting the pool of qualified providers for hire within the VA Healthcare system. Please take the time and sign this petition, thus lending your support for demand of inclusion of grandfathering language to the qualification standards for Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselors within the VA System. Several Federal groups followed the VA's lead with regards to these qualification standards, I'm hoping that we can start a trend of inclusion/grandfathering from the same source! Thank you!