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Clinical Professional Development

Social Worker/Clinical Counselor Career Ladder

Spring Harbor offers social workers and clinical counselors a career ladder to recognize and reward increasing levels of clinical expertise, commitment to safe patient and family care, and quality patient outcomes. The career ladder also aims to recruit and retain motivated and talented social workers and counselors, promote professional development, maximize formal advancement opportunities, and create an environment that promotes a high level of quality patient and family care.

Four levels of clinical practice are recognized for the social work/clinical counseling professional.

Social Worker I
This is an entry-level position for social workers with a bachelor's degree. A social worker is expected to obtain a LSW-C license upon employment. The SW I will then obtain a LSW license upon 2 years of employment and meeting the requirements set forth by the State of Maine Board of Social Work Licensure.

Social Worker/Clinical Counselor II
This is an entry-level position for a social worker/clinical counselor with a master's degree and licensure at the LMSW Conditional level at the time of hire. By the end of 2 years of employment, SW/CC II's will have obtained their LCSW/LCPC license.

Social Worker/Clinical Counselor III
This is an advanced position for the proficient LCSW/LCPC with at least 3 years of experience working at Spring Harbor or Maine Medical Center's Department of Psychiatry. This position requires advanced clinical skills and responsibility; the ability to care for any patient in their proficiency area and respond to patient-care crises; independent functioning; supervision/orientation of other staff; and problem-solving at the program and Network levels.

Social Worker/Clinical Counselor IV
This is an advanced position for the expert LCSW/LCPC with at least 5 years of experience working at Spring Harbor or the Maine Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and continuing advanced training in their area of proficiency. This practice level is reserved for those who have completed at least 2 years at the SW/CC III level and have demonstrated both leadership and advanced clinical skills.

Advancement within the professional ladder involves the following minimum application requirements:

  • A letter of intent / professional portfolio
  • A copy of a valid state license
  • Documentation of satisfactory job performance
  • Current minimum work schedule of 20 hours per week
  • Three letters of support/recommendation
Applications for advancement are reviewed twice per year by a Peer Committee and Application Review Committee. These committees include social work and clinical counselor representatives from across the treatment programs of Spring Harbor Hospital and Maine Medical Center's Department of Psychiatry. Candidates for advancement will be invited to attend a committee meeting to support their applications and answer questions.

Upward movement within the career ladder focuses on participation and leadership in such advanced clinical skills as the following:

  • Hospital committees
  • Clinical supervision
  • Professional organizations
  • Teaching activities
  • Research/publishing
  • New initiatives
  • Clinical expert" / "recognized resource" role

To maintain their current level of practice, Spring Harbor social workers and clinical counselors are required to submit the following documentation annually:

  • Valid license to practice in the State of Maine
  • Documentation of satisfactory performance
  • Evidence of continued performance at practice level at time of evaluation

 

Social workers and clinical counselors also may elect to redefine their responsibilities and resume a previous level of practice.

Spring Harbor social workers and clinical counselors can learn more about professional growth tracks by contacting the Peer Committee.

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