Location:
LICENSING; SOCIAL SERVICES;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report


August 20, 2010

 

2010-R-0348

SOCIAL WORK LICENSURE

By: Nicole Dube, Associate Analyst

You asked how many states have more than one level of social work licensure.

SUMMARY

According to the Association of Social Work Boards, 46 states and the District of Columbia have different levels of social work licensure. 2010 legislation established a new “master level” licensure for certain social workers in Connecticut (PA 10-38, vetoed; overridden). The Department of Public Health has not yet implemented the licensure program. (It may do so only if appropriations are available.) Table 1 describes licensure levels and requirements in these states.

Licensure requirements vary among states. Almost all levels of licensure require a social work degree, such as a bachelor of social work (BSW), master of social work (MSW), or doctor of social work (DSW). Nine states (Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, South Dakota, and Utah) have at least one level of licensure that does not require a social work degree but requires another degree such as a high school diploma or bachelors degree. Board approval is required for almost all levels of licensure in these states. Alabama does not require approval for one level, New Jersey does not require it for two of its levels, California does not require it for either of its levels, and Maine does not require it for any of its seven levels.

Most states require licensure candidates to pass an Association of Social Work Boards' licensure examination in one of the following categories: bachelors, masters, advanced generalist, and clinical. All states and the District of Columbia have licensure levels that require clinical experience and levels that do not.

Table 1: States With Multiple Social Work Licensure Levels

Title

Initials

Education

Experience

Exam
Required

Board
Approval

Alabama

 

 

 

 

 

Private Independent Practice (Certified)

PIP

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

No

N/A

Licensed Certified Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical / Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Graduate Social Worker

LGSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Bachelor Social Worker

LBSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Alaska

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker

LBSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Arizona

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Bachelor Social Worker

LBSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Arkansas

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Certified Social Worker

LCSW

MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical / Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

California

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

MSW

2 years post graduate

No

N/A

Associate Clinical Social Worker

ASW

MSW

0

No

N/A

Table 1: -Continued-

Title

Initials

Education

Experience

Exam
Required

Board
Approval

Colorado

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

1 year/2 years post graduate

Clinical / Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

MSW

0

Masters/

Advanced Generalist/ Clinical

Yes

Connecticut

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

3,000 hours post graduate

Clinical

Yes

District of Columbia

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

LICSW

DSW/MSW

3,000 hours post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Independent Social Worker

LISW

DSW/MSW

3,000 hours post graduate

Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Graduate Social Worker

LGSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Social Work Associate

LSWA

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Florida

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Certified Master Social Worker

CMSW

MSW

2 years post graduate

Masters

Yes

Georgia

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

MSW

3 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Hawaii

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

3,000 hours post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Bachelor Social Worker

LBSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Table 1: -Continued-

Title

Initials

Education

Experience

Exam
Required

Board
Approval

Idaho

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker-Independent

LMSWI

MSW

2 years post graduate

Masters

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Social Worker Independent

LSWI

BSW

2 years post graduate

Bachelors

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Illinois

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW

2,000 hours post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

MSW

3,000 hours post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

BSW

3 years post graduate

Masters

Yes

Indiana

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

BSW

2 years post graduate

Masters

Yes

Iowa

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Independent Social Worker

LISW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Bachelor Social Worker

LBSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Kansas

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker

LSCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Bachelor Social Worker

LBSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Table 1: -Continued-

Title

Initials

Education

Experience

Exam
Required

Board
Approval

Kentucky

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Certified Social Worker

CSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

BA

2 years post graduate

Bachelors

Yes

Louisiana

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

MSW

3 years post graduate

Clinical / Advanced Generalist

Yes

Graduate Social Worker

GSW

MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Registered Social Worker

RSW

BSW/BA/BS

0

No

Yes

Maine

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

No

Certified Social Worker-Independent Practice

CSW-IP

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

No

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

No

Licensed Master Social Worker-Clinical Conditional

LMSW-CC

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Masters

No

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

No

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

BA/BS in related field

3,200 hours

Bachelors

No

Licensed Social Worker-Conditional

LSW-C

BA/BS in related field

2 years post graduate

No

No

Maryland

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical

LCSW-C

MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Certified Social Worker

LCSW

MSW

2 years post LGSW

Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Graduate Social Worker

LGSW

MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Social Work Associate

LSWA

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Table 1: -Continued-

Title

Initials

Education

Experience

Exam
Required

Board
Approval

Massachusetts

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

LICSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Certified Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

BA/BS

2 years

Bachelors

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

HS Diploma

10 years

Bachelors

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

1 year college

8 years

Bachelors

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

2 years college

6 years

Bachelors

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

2.5 years college

5 years

Bachelors

Yes

Licensed Social Work Associate

LSWA

AA

0

Associate

Yes

Licensed Social Work Associate

LSWA

BA/BS

0

Associate

Yes

Licensed Social Work Associate

LSWA

HS Diploma

4 years post graduate

Associate

Yes

Michigan

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Master Social Worker-Clinical

LMSW-C

MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker-Macro

LMSW-M

MSW

2 years post graduate

Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Bachelor Social Worker

LBSW

BSW

2 years post graduate

Bachelors

Yes

Social Service Technician

SWT

Associates degree in SW

350 hours

No

Yes

Social Service Technician

SWT

2 years college w/4 courses in human services

0

No

Yes

Social Service Technician

SWT

HS Diploma

2,000 hours over at least 1 year

No

Yes

Table 1: -Continued-

Title

Initials

Education

Experience

Exam
Required

Board
Approval

Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

LICSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Independent Social Worker

LISW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Graduate Social Worker

LGSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Mississippi

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Certified Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical / Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Missouri

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker

LBSW

BSW

3,000 hours post graduate

Bachelors

Yes

Provisional Baccalaureate Social Worker

PBLSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Advanced Macro Social Worker

LAMSW

DSW/MSW

3,000 hours post graduate

Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker-Independent Practice

LABSW-IP

BSW

3,000 hours post graduate

Bachelors

Yes

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Provisional Licensed Clinical Social Worker

PLCSW

DSW/MSW

0

Clinical

Yes

Nebraska

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Mental Health Practitioner

LMHP

DSW/MSW

3,000 hours post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Certified Master Social Worker

CMSW

DSW/MSW

3,000 hours post graduate

Clinical / Advanced Generalist

Yes

Certified Social Worker

CSW

BSW/MSW

0

No

Yes

Table 1: -Continued-

Title

Initials

Education

Experience

Exam
Required

Board
Approval

Nevada

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

3,000 hours post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Independent Social Worker

LISW

DSW/MSW

3,000 hours post graduate

Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

BSW/MSW

0

Bachelors / Masters

Yes

New Jersey

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Certified Social Worker

CSW

BSW

0

N/R

No

Certified Social Worker

CSW

BA/BS in related field

1600 hours over 18 months., prior to 1995 only

N/R

No

New Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Independent Social Worker

LISW

MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical / Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker

LBSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

New York

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

MSW

3 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

MSW

0

Masters

Yes

North Carolina

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Certified Master Social Worker

CMSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Certified Social Worker

CSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Certified Social Work Manager

CSWM

DSW/MSW/BSW

2 years post graduate

Advanced Generalist

Yes

Table 1: -Continued-

Title

Initials

Education

Experience

Exam
Required

Board
Approval

North Dakota

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

LICSW

DSW/MSW

4 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Certified Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters/

Advanced Generalist/ Clinical

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Ohio

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Independent Social Worker

LISW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical / Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

DSW/MSW/BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Registered Social Work Assistant

SWA

AAS

0

No

Yes

Oklahoma

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Social Worker-Administration

LSW

MSW

2 years post graduate

Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

MSW

2 years post graduate

Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Social Work Associate

LSWA

BSW

2 years post graduate

Bachelors

Yes

Oregon

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Clinical Social Work Associate

CSWA

DSW/MSW

0

No

Yes

Pennsylvania

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

MSW

3 years post graduate or 3,600 hours

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Provisional Social Worker

PSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Rhode Island

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

LICSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Table 1: -Continued-

Title

Initials

Education

Experience

Exam
Required

Board
Approval

South Carolina

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Independent Social Worker-AP

LISW-AP

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Independent Social Worker-CP

LISW-CP

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker

LBSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

South Dakota

 

 

 

 

 

Private Independent Practice

CSW-PIP

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical / Advanced Generalist

Yes

Certified Social Worker

CSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Social Worker

SW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Social Worker

SW

BA

2 years post graduate

Bachelors

Yes

Social Work Associate

SWA

AA/BA

0

Associate

Yes

Tennessee

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Baccalaureate Social Wkr

LBSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Advanced Practice Social Worker

LAPSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Texas

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

3,000 hours post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker-Advanced Practice

LMSW-AP

DSW/MSW

3,000 hours post graduate

Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Master Social Worker

LMSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Baccalaureate Social Wkr

LBSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Utah

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Certified Social Worker

CSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Social Service Worker

SSW

DSW/MSW/BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Social Service Worker

SSW

BA

1 year

Bachelors

Yes

Table 1: -Continued-

Title

Initials

Education

Experience

Exam
Required

Board
Approval

Virginia

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

MSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

BSW

2 years post graduate

Bachelors

Yes

Washington

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

LICSW

DSW/MSW

3 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Advanced Social Worker

LASW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Advanced Generalist

Yes

West Virginia

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

LICSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Licensed Certified Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Advanced Generalist

Yes

Licensed Graduate Social Worker

LGSW

MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Licensed Social Worker

LSW

BSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Wisconsin

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical

Yes

Certified Independent Social Worker

CISW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Advanced Generalist

Yes

Certified Advanced Practice Social Worker

CAPSW

DSW/MSW

0

Masters

Yes

Certified Social Worker

CSW

BSW/MSW

0

Bachelors

Yes

Wyoming

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

DSW/MSW

2 years post graduate

Clinical / Advanced Generalist

Yes

Provisional Clinical Social Worker

PCSW

DSW/MSW

0

No

Yes

Certified Social Worker

CSW

BSW

0

Bachelors / Masters

Yes

Source: Table provided by the Association of Social Work Boards. We amended Connecticut's information to reflect recent legislation (PA 10- 38).

ND:ts