Social Workers Introduce Much Anticipated Baccalaureate Level Hospice Credential

May 21, 2009

Credential designed for social workers who specialize in hospice and palliative care

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has partnered with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) to develop a baccalaureate level credential for social workers who specialize in hospice and palliative care. The Certified Hospice and Palliative Social Worker (CHP-SW) designation is now available for bachelor’s social workers with experience and expertise in end-of-life issues for patients and their caregivers.

The CHP-SW credential was designed by social workers who are leaders in the field for social workers who have demonstrated compliance with national standards of excellence. This credential highlights the professionalism of social workers who have received post-education specialty training in hospice and palliative care, and demonstrates the social worker’s commitment to and expertise in end-of-life services. An advanced level of the credential was launched last fall for social workers licensed at the master’s level.

“We know that bachelor’s level social workers play an equally important role in providing hospice and palliative care to patients and families,” says Elizabeth Clark, PhD, MSW, MPH, executive director of NASW.  “NASW and NHPCO recognized the need for highly qualified social workers to be recognized at all education levels, and are pleased to introduce this much anticipated credential for BSW social workers.”

Certified social workers in hospice and palliative care provide a professional continuum of services addressing the biopsychosocial needs of patients and families affected by serious and life-limiting illnesses in order to maintain or improve their quality of life.

“Hospices rely on the expertise of professional social workers at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels to provide care and support to patients and families during the last months of life,” says J. Donald Schumacher, PsyD, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “This new credential recognizes those at the bachelor’s level who have invested in their professional development to ensure patients and families receive the highest quality care possible.”
The collaboration between NASW and NHPCO enhances the depth of the hospice credential, with NASW addressing evolving social work issues, while NHPCO focuses on emerging issues in hospice and palliative care.

Some of the basic requirements for the hospice and palliative care credential include:

  • A bachelor’s  degree in social work from an accredited university,
  • Where applicable, a professional  social work license in the jurisdiction of practice
  • At least two years of supervised social work experience in hospice and palliative care,
  • 20 or more CEU’s related specifically to the specialty practice,
  • A commitment to compliance with NASW Code of Ethics and the NASW Standards for End of Life Care,
  • Membership in NASW and NHPCO.

Learn more about Credentials and Certifications through NASW

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