About the Board

  • Who We Are
  • Authority

    The Board of Behavioral Sciences is a California state regulatory agency, responsible for licensing, examination, and enforcement of professional standards for:

    • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) and Associates (AMFT)
    • Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) Associates (ASW)
    • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC) and Associates (APCC)
    • Licensed Educational Psychologists (LEP)
  • Membership

    The Board is composed of 13 members, appointed by the Governor (11), Assembly (1), and Senate (1):

    • (7) Public Members
    • (2) LMFT Members
    • (2) LCSW Members
    • (1) LPCC Member
    • (1) LEP Member
  • Mission

    Protect and serve Californians by setting, communicating, and enforcing standards for safe and competent mental health practice.

  • Enforcement

    The Board investigates consumer complaints and imposes disciplinary action against licensees and registrants who violate the law.

  • Examination

    The Board requires written examinations for each of its licenses, ensuring any individual holding a license is competent to practice.

  • Community Outreach

    The Board's outreach program provides information to consumers, licensees, registrants, and students on consumer rights, California licensing requirements, and other Board related activities.

  • Partnership

    The Board also works alongside other mental health agencies and organizations to advocate for increased consumer awareness and access to mental health services.

  • Statutes and Regulations

    The Board develops statutes and regulations targeted at ensuring competency in the mental health professions and protecting consumers.

Strong Minds, lives, families, and communities:

  • A Pioneering Beginning

    In 1945, California became the first state to register social workers with the formation of the Board of Social Work Examiners. Jump ahead 18 years, to 1963, and this young regulatory agency received a new responsibility: administration of the Marriage, Family, and Child Counselor Act (later renamed the Social Worker and Marriage Counselor Act). New responsibilities meant a new name too. Appropriately, the Board was renamed the Social Worker and Marriage Counselor Qualification Board.

    The 1960s proved to be a busy decade with the establishment of the Licensed Clinical Social Worker Program in 1967. Then in 1970, a licensing program for Educational Psychologists was added to the Board, inspiring a new name: the Board of Behavioral Science Examiners.

    Excerpts from Why California Registers its Social Workers’ by Dr. Chickering May 26, 1948

  • Continuing Change

    The Board took its current name, the Board of Behavioral Sciences, on January 1, 1997. This name better represents the true mission and duties of the Board.

    Effective July 1, 1999, the then Marriage, Family, and Child Counselor profession underwent a name change. All references in statute or regulation to "licensed marriage, family, and child counselor" or "marriage, family, and child counselor" were changed to "licensed marriage and family therapist" or "marriage and family therapist." The Board discontinued regulating MFT and LCSW corporations on January 1, 2000. However, the corporations are still required to file their articles with the California Secretary of State.

  • The Board forges ahead...

    Focusing on its mission, The Board of Behavioral Sciences looks to continue its commitment to protect the consumers of California through effective enforcement, ensure credibility and high professional standards through examinations and licensing requirements, and provide excellent customer service to all its constituents.

  • The BBS Way
    • Be a person of Integrity
    • Be Professional and Dedicated
    • Serve with Excellence
  • Outreach

    The Board provides outreach that is designed to do the following:

    • Offer informative presentations and answer questions about the Board's licensure processes
    • Allow students, licensees, registrants, and consumers an opportunity to meet Board members and Board staff
    • Provide updates on new laws taking effect
    • To request outreach at your event, message the Board using the "Contact Us" tab.
  • Policies