All “licensed” mental health professionals in California are licensed and regulated by the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS). Each licensed professional has a license number that makes it possible for consumers/clients to verify thier standing. Go to the BBS websitehttp://www.bbs.ca.gov and follow links to “Online License Verification.”
About the BBS
(adapted from their website)
The mission of the BBS is to protect Californians by promoting consumer awareness, advocating for improved mental health services, and setting, communicating, and enforcing standards.
The Board of Behavioral Sciences is a California state regulatory agency responsible for licensing, examination, and enforcement of: Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) and Licensed Educational Psychologists (LEP). In addition, the Board regulates the following: Marriage and Family Therapist Interns (IMF), Associate Clinical Social Workers (ASW), Continuing Education Providers (PCE) and MFT Referral Services (MRF)
As a regulatory Board within the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Board is committed to protecting the consumers of California.
The Board of Behavioral Sciences protects consumers in several ways:
Examination; The Board constructs written examinations for each of its licenses, ensuring any individual holding a license passes an examination testing for competency.
Enforcement; The Board investigates consumer complaints and imposes disciplinary action against licensees and registrants who violate the law.
Statutes and Regulations; The Board develops statutes and regulations targeted at ensuring competency in the mental health profession and protecting consumers.
The Board also works alongside other mental health agencies and organizations to advocate for increased consumer awareness and access to mental health services. The Board’s outreach program provides information to consumers, licensees, registrants, and students on consumer rights, California licensing requirements, and other Board related activities.
The Board is composed of 11 members; six (6) public members, two (2) Licensed Clinical Social Workers, one (1) Licensed Educational Psychologist, and two (2) Marriage and Family Therapists. Nine (9) members are Governor appointed. The Speaker of the Assembly appoints one (1), and the Senate Committee on Rules appoints another.