Board of Behavioral Sciences produces videos to explain exam restructure

The license examination process for the Board of Behavioral Sciences (Board) will be changing effective January 1, 2016. New exams will be implemented for all Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Marriage Family Therapist candidates, and registrants will be mandated to take a California Law and Ethics Exam.

The Board has created instructional videos to show how the exam restructure may impact you, if you are a non-registrant, registrant or subsequent registrant.

Click below to view the videos and visit the examination news section of the Board’s website for more information.




Subsequent Registrant

Winterizing pets can take the chill away


Both indoor pets and outdoor pets can be affected by the chill of winter weather, but there are steps pet owners can take to ensure their pets’ health and well-being.

Avoid Space Heaters

Indoor pet owners need to turn off space heaters or purchase one that shuts off automatically when tipped over. Numerous house fires have started from space heaters knocked over by pets.

The Humane Society recommends that outdoor pets be brought in during inclement weather for their safety and protection. Outdoor pets are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite.

Winter Needs For Outdoor Pets

Pets spending time outdoors during winter need more food and also need to have their outdoor houses insulated against the cold. The opening should face away from the wind and a burlap or plastic flap can be added. Water bowls can freeze, especially overnight, so be sure ice is broken or removed so thirsty pets can have a drink. Plastic or ceramic bowls are recommended because pets’ tongues can stick to frozen metal bowls.

Warming Up Car Engines

Be careful when warming up your car in the mornings. Warm cars attract cats and small wildlife seeking respite from the cold. To avoid drawing any unwelcome guests, bang on your car hood to scare away animals before starting your engine.

Antifreeze Warning

Avoid antifreeze pet poisonings by wiping up any spills and keeping it secure and out of reach. Pets, wildlife and small children are attracted by the sweet taste of antifreeze, but it is deadly when ingested.

Snowy Dangers

Pets’ paws can become frostbitten in below zero temperatures. Remove ice and snow from pets’ paws immediately.  Chemicals and salts used to melt ice on roads and sidewalks can also be toxic to pets. Always rinse dogs’ paws after walks in areas where these substances might be used.

Fur May Not Be Enough

Fur, while it may look warm, may not be enough to keep pets from getting chilly, especially if they have short hair or their fur becomes wet. Cats usually will not tolerate wearing coats or sweaters, but dogs can fare well in winter attire. Doggy boots, jackets and sweaters should fit well, but not be too tight that circulation could be cut off. Puppies and kittens should never be left outdoors. Younger, older and sick pets must be kept indoors.


Symptoms of pet hypothermia include violent shivering, followed by listlessness, weak pulse, lethargy, muscle stiffness, problems breathing, lack of appetite, rectal temperature below 98 degrees, coma and cardiac arrest.

Treatment for hypothermia includes bringing your pet indoors to a warm room, wrapping it in blankets, giving pet four teaspoons of honey or sugar dissolved in warm water to drink or rubbing 1-2 teaspoons of corn syrup on its gums to provide an immediate boost of energy.

Do not use hair dryers, heating pads or electric blankets to warm pets because this could burn your pet or cause surface blood vessels to dilate, compromising circulation to vital organs.

Instead, use hot water bottles wrapped in towels and place against the animals abdomen, armpits and chest. Then, call your veterinarian immediately.

By taking the proper precautions, you can safeguard your pets against inclement weather.

Covered California enrollment open through Jan. 31

covered-california-bus-el-cajonCovered California, the State’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, kicked off the open enrollment period with a statewide bus tour. The tour began in San Diego and ended at the Tower Bridge and the State Capitol in Sacramento stopping in large cities and small towns on its 38-stop, 2,000-mile journey.

Covered California is spotlighting enrollment because an estimated 2.2 million uninsured State residents remain eligible to get help to make their insurance affordable by enrolling in either Covered California or Medi-Cal. An estimated 750,000 uninsured Californians could enroll through Covered California.

This year, Covered California has more than 500 storefront locations Statewide where individuals can get help enrolling—that’s twice the number of locations that were available at the start of last year’s open enrollment. Although the enrollment period ends January 31, 2016, the exchange is encouraging consumers to sign up before December 15 to ensure they have coverage beginning January 1.

Those who need insurance can go to to learn about their options and find locations in their community where they can get free, confidential help enrolling.

Avoid Gift Card Scams This Holiday Season

 Gift Cards

 By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Gift cards are convenient to give at any time of the year, but they are especially popular during the holidays and top many consumers’ Christmas wish lists.

According to, in 2014, gift cards accounted for more than 25 percent of holiday purchases. That number is expected to increase considerably in the coming years.

In addition to their convenience, another reason why people like giving and receiving gift cards is because most gift certificates and gift cards sold by retail stores don’t have expiration dates or a service fee, including a fee for dormancy.

However, thieves like gift cards too. In fact, they have become pretty savvy at finding ways to rip you off before your gift card is even activated.

One of the most common fraudulent practices among criminals is stealing gift cards from an open store rack display, recording the numbers on them and then placing the cards back among the others. Once a consumer buys one of the tampered gift cards, the scammer takes that recorded number to access the dollar amount and can call the number on it or the retailer to see if it’s been activated and then use it to purchase goods for themselves.

So, how can you avoid getting scammed when purchasing gift cards this holiday season?  Here are a few precautions to consider.

  • AVOID BUYING GIFT CARDS OPENLY DISPLAYED IN STORES– These can be easily tampered with. Ask the store manager to sell you gift cards from behind the customer service counter and ones that are pre-packaged.
  •   THOROUGHLY EXAMINE GIFT CARDS FOR SIGNS OF TAMPERING– If the PIN number is faded/scratched or part of the activation sticker is missing or not firmly affixed, don’t buy the card and immediately bring it to the attention of the store manager.
  • BUY DIRECT FROM THE SOURCE—As tempting as it might be to save a few dollars somewhere else, always purchase your gift card directly from the issuing store. This way you can have the cards scanned and activated at checkout and have the salesperson verify your balance prior to leaving the store.
  • TREAT THE GIFT CARD LIKE FAST CASH—Try to spend your card as soon as possible. Although gift cards don’t have expiration dates, it’s best not to leave them sitting around for months and risk losing them and have them get in the hands of someone they weren’t intended for.
  • HOLD ON TO RECEIPTS—Most retailers can track where cards are purchased, activated and used.