My name is Thomas W. Potter and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Currently I work with the Department of Veteran Affairs Health Administration at a Veterans Health Care Facility where I am a Social Work Supervisor and provide clinical services in Primary Care Mental Health Integration. I also have a small private practice where I provide licensure supervision to emerging social workers. Prior to my current work, I have worked with home hospice, community mental health, The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Child Protective Services.
Licensure Link has been an idea of mine for several years and was born out of my own experience and that of my fellow emerging social workers and emerging professional counselors who also had similar experiences linking with a licensure supervisor. I lived in a rural area with limited access to supervision. After making several cold calls and failed attempts at finding and linking with a licensure supervisor, I finally found someone who agreed to accept me as a supervisee. The area of her life work was in a different setting than where I had set my goals after licensure. But like many, I was just ready to begin supervision so that I could obtain my license. I held on to the idea of Licensure Link thinking that somehow the linking between emerging social workers and licensure supervisors would improve and become more organized and efficient for everyone involved. However, there has not been any change from the time I obtained my licensure in 2005 to now.
On the other side, as a Licensure Supervisor, I found that I have had some difficulty in getting the word out that I provide supervision. Developing a website just to promote my part time private practice as a licensure supervisor just wasn’t finically prudent with the cost of creating, maintaining, and marketing the website. It seemed that clinicians who have been practicing much longer than I and who have been known for providing supervision where staying busy and I wasn’t.
I knew that there must be a better way and a smoother transition from graduate degree in social work to Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I found out that my colleagues who were obtaining their Licensed Professional Counselor were experiencing the same. We spend a lot of time smartly planning out our education, the final leg of independent practice should be no different. Supervision should be a well thought out and deliberate process with the most appropriate licensure supervisor mentoring you along the way.
Licensure Link is a website that was specifically developed to help both the supervisor and the supervisee in the licensure process. I believe that it truly is a solution for an area of need that enhances and promotes professionalism while providing structure, efficiency, and opportunity.