Members in Kentucky are encouraged to email their Representative and urge them to oppose HB 465. Find email addresses HERE or call the legislative hotline at 1-800-372-7181 and leave a message - NO TO HB 465!
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), a non-profit organization representing the professional interests of Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs), expresses our serious concern regarding Kentucky House Bill 465. This legislation would place the Kentucky Board of Licensure for Marriage and Family Therapists (Board) under the authority of a general licensing entity. AAMFT opposes HB 465 and any attempt to reduce the Board’s ability to protect the public by providing appropriate oversight of MFT professionals.
Regulatory boards are tasked with protecting the public from incompetent and unethical practitioners and the Kentucky Board of Licensure for Marriage and Family Therapists is no different. The Board members and staff are knowledgeable in issues surrounding licensing, the practice of marriage and family therapy, and ethical boundaries. The Board establishes and maintains standards of qualifications and performance for over 650 MFTs. The Board also has the authority to discipline licensees for violations of the licensure law, offering an additional protection for members of the public. Under HB 465, the administration of the Board functions may be overseen by individuals without sufficient knowledge of the profession to provide proper oversight and recourse. This is especially true given that HB 465 places MFTs under a general licensing authority, separate from the proposed Health and Restoration entity that is composed of mental health professions such as psychology and social work.
HB 465 would negatively impact the Kentucky residents seeking mental and behavioral health services. Without an independent board to provide oversight of MFTs, members of the public may face barriers to care, or lack recourse to timely file complaints. HB 465 is also unlikely to result in cost savings to the state as the Board is self-supporting and does not receive Kentucky general funds for operation. AAMFT believes that the Kentucky Board of Licensure of Marriage and Family Therapists should remain as currently structured or fit within the mental health profession structure.