Saturday, May 28, 2016

Current Status: Demoralized

I understand about California BBS/licensing regulations/red tape/understaffing, and I wasn’t expecting the licensing process to be easy or quick, but I wasn’t necessarily expecting this process to be so demoralizing.

I received the mass BBS email last week with title “***BBS Exam Update – Please Read Carefully***” and body of email stating “The BBS has concluded analyses for the following exams: LCSW Law & Ethics (LCLE) – Passing score: 34.”

You might remember I got a score of 34 in February when I took it.  I failed by one point.  Now they’re stating that passing score is 34. 

I thought this miiiiiiight have meant that there was renewed analysis of all the LCLE exams since the BBS first started giving it in January of this year. 

After all, they didn’t specify anywhere in any of these announcements (via email, Twitter, and Facebook) that this analysis is for only a specific group of test takers. 

They also did not send an email like this when analysis was completed for the Jan-March group of test takers, so this type of announcement was unprecedented.

I reached out to BBS with my question – does this mean that someone who scored a 34 in February is now considered to have passed?  I emailed, commented on their Facebook announcement, and responded to their Twitter announcement.  They haven’t responded to my email at all, but the response via Facebook and Twitter was “No.”

I understand the process—they tweaked the exam for the April-May group of test takers, and after analysis, there is a different passing score for this exam version than the version I took in Feb.

But honestly, I think my hopes have been raised and then crushed enough in this process.  They could have just clarified “For candidates who took the exam in April and May” in the initial announcement to be as clear as possible.

I also received a notification about new mail in the PO Box the day after the BBS announcement, while I was still waiting their response about what it meant if I got a 34 earlier in the year. 

After hearing their “No,” I felt consoled that at least the BBS was sending me my authorization to register for the re-take of Law & Ethics.  I’ll get the permission, refresh my memory on the content, just take it, pass, and move on, I thought.  It has to be the BBS, It can’t be Chase AGAIN, I thought to myself, since the Chase rep promised me that now my PO address is removed from their solicitations. 

My husband checked the PO Box and texted me a picture of a Chase advertisement in my PO Box.  HA!  Hahahahahahha.

I feel like the BBS and Chase are working together to haze me into the exclusive LCSW club. 

In the meantime, I just continue to wait to receive permission to take Law & Ethics exam again.  Fun times in the licensing process! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Where Have I Been?

It’s been a month since I last posted!  Where have I been, huh?!

Kate McAk IG

Well, across the country, for one.  We took a trip out to Chicago to see family, and undergoing travel preparations for a family of four is a time-consuming feat, not to mention the days spent out of town and then the time playing catch-up after our return.  Good news is that both boys were great on the planes and we also had a wonderful time with family.

BY THE WAY shout-out to my aunt, who I saw at a family party, and inquired about why I hadn’t posted in a while!  That, coupled with the fact that I realized this morning that I had 3 comments on the blog itself from unknown readers, feels very motivational for me to keep up!  I have readers!

Reflecting on this past month, there have also been some seasonal activities that kept me busier than usual lately (I’m a Room Parent for my 2 year old’s preschool class, so there was heavy involvement in Teacher Appreciation Week earlier in May) but the main reason is two-fold:

Kate McAk IG

Hospice work.  I work per diem as a social worker with a hospice agency, and my caseload has been ramping back up since I returned from maternity leave in February.  I now have about twice as many patients on my caseload as I had earlier this year.  I’m definitely happy with this, since in the per diem world, more patients = more income, but I was somehow surprised at how much more time it took each week.

It’s as if I have units of the day for my professional life, and hospice has been using all of them, with little to no time left to study and blog.  And I can’t exactly borrow units from anywhere else.  From where would I take them? 

The time spent caring for my baby, my toddler, my husband?  Non-negotiable. 
Managing the house, cooking, cleaning?  Hmm, I already do the bare minimum with cleaning. 
The time spent on my own health and my sleep?  Sometimes this is compromised, but it shouldn’t be. 
Time for extended family and friends? That’s already neglected far too often.

I know I’m not the only one struggling to find a balance between all of these.  It seems like every other little family I know is similarly hustling.  I imagine it’s also a familiar tune for other social workers out there reading this – navigating spending your time doing the actual social work job that you have and also preparing for the LCSW exam.

Kate McAk IG

 The other reason is that I’m still in limbo with the Board of Behavioral Sciences.  I can see that they cashed my $100 check to process my application to re-take Law & Ethics exam, but although we are past the mandated 90-day waiting period, I have not yet received official word from them that I can schedule my exam. 

There’s even an option on PSI’s website to select “register for a RE-test” in connection with my 2/10/16 Law & Ethics exam, but I get an error message when I try, because clearly the permission has to first get to PSI from BBS.

A friend of mine who passed Law & Ethics in March is also waiting around for BBS to send permission to the ASWB for him to sit for the ASWB Clinical exam, so it seems there’s a backlog going on… and frankly that makes me lose motivation.

A couple weeks ago I got notification about new mail in my PO box, so I thought it may have been BBS sending me info on registering for my re-test.  Nope, it was Chase junk mail again.  HA!  I was able to talk to Chase Solicitations department and remove that PO box address from their mailing list, since I already had to call Chase about fraudulent charges/stolen identity on my credit card (oh yeah, that’s another thing I’ve been dealing with).

So that’s where I am—just acknowledging my current place in the LCSW process.  Putting it aside a little bit while I wait for BBS permission again.  To be continued!