Continuing Competency Think Tank

What do you think NOW?


Mary Jo Monahan, MSW, LCSW
Jennifer Henkel, MSSW, LCSW
Kate Zacher-Pate, LSW

The Think Tank session is designed to elicit specific advice, generative ideas, and strategic direction from conference participants about next steps for continuing competency. Let’s discuss:

  • What is working?
  • What should change?
  • What are the gaps / needs?
  • What should ASWB focus on regarding continuing competency?

Building on the collective wisdom from the previous sessions, Think Tank participants will be able to synthesize and organize their thoughts and commitment into a plan that makes sense for social work.

Learning objectives:

After this session, participants should be able to:

  1. List the compelling reasons for each perspective (social work educators, practitioners, and regulators) about the purpose of continuing competency.
  2. Understand and evaluate various professional development models to continually assess practice competency to ensure licensed social work practitioners are qualified and accountable.
  3. Identify strategies for using ongoing supervision to ensure competency and to assist in the remediation and rehabilitation of licensed social workers who have been disciplined
  4. Articulate the essential components of a plan for continuing competence for licensed social workers.

Presenter information:

Mary Jo Monahan, MSW, LCSW, is chief executive officer of the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), the nonprofit association of social work licensing bodies in the United States and Canada. Before joining ASWB, Monahan held various executive offices, including vice president of operations at Matthews Benefit Group, Inc. (2010-2013); president and CEO of ICON Institute of Florida, LLC, a professional training center and consultation business (2009-2013); and president and CEO of Family Service Centers, Inc., a $5.4 million social service agency (2003-2009). From 1991 to 1996 she served on the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling and was board chair in 1995 and 1996. She served on the national board of directors of NASW (1998-2001) and was president of its Florida chapter from 1988 to 1990. In 2012 she was president of the board of directors at the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence. Monahan was an adjunct professor in the University of South Florida’s school of social work for more than 22 years. She earned her MSW at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Jennifer Henkel, MSSW, LCSW, joined ASWB in 2013. She is the director of member services. Her responsibilities include conducting research and providing trainings and consultation to ASWB member boards, social workers, and other stakeholders regarding social work regulation and providing oversight of the resources and services offered to ASWB’s member boards and colleges. She graduated from Columbia University School of Social Work and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Virginia. Prior to joining ASWB, Jennifer trained as a structural family therapist and worked as a clinical social worker in a variety of settings. She was the director of an intensive in-home agency and a rural community mental health clinic.

Kate Zacher-Pate, LSW, has more than 20 years of experience in professional regulation at  the Minnesota Board of Social Work. She has served as the board’s executive director since 2008 and was assistant director from 2003 to 2008. Her leadership responsibilities include carrying out the board’s public safety mission by managing agency licensing and complaint resolution functions, policy and legislation, budget preparation and oversight, technology, education and outreach, and office operations. Kate has provided social work regulatory leadership to many state and national committees, developing materials and presenting at state and national conferences. Prior to regulatory work with the Minnesota board, Kate was employed and practiced in the county and nonprofit social service sectors in the state. Kate is a Licensed Social Worker in Minnesota and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Catherine University.


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