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Massachusetts lawmakers are backing a requirement that all social workers for the state's child welfare agency hold a license to practice in the field.
Under a state budget amendment approved late Tuesday by the House of Representatives, newly-hired social workers would have one year to obtain a state license.
All current employees would be required to be licensed by July 2015.
The Boston Herald previously reported that about one-third of DCF's social workers did not have a state license.
The agency requires all social workers hired since 2001 to have a bachelor's degree in social work or related field. Supervisors must hold a master's degree.
The recent deaths of three children have led to increased scrutiny of DCF. Gov. Deval Patrick on Tuesday accepted the resignation of the agency's commissioner.