Social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives. Clinical social workers also diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.
Social Workers have four levels of licensure. Often the license reveals a Social Worker’s level of education and ability to provide clinical services. The common levels of licensure include:
Licensed Bachelor of Social Work (LBSW): This credential indicates that a social worker has obtained a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and passed the Association of Social Work Board’s Bachelors exam.
Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW): This credential indicates that a social worker has obtained a master’s degree in Social Work and passed the Association of Social Work Board’s Master exam.
Licensed Master Social Worker- Advanced Generalist (LMSW-Advanced Generalist): This license indicates a Social Worker has obtained a Master’s degree, passed the Association of Social Work Board’s Master exam and completed two years of supervised, non-clinical experience. These social workers do not provide clinical services.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW): This license indicates a Social Worker has obtained a Master’s degree in Social Work, received two years of supervised, clinical experience, and has passed relevant exams and coursework. Licensed Clinical Social Workers can independently provide clinical services.
With additional training and testing, Social Workers can obtain specialty certifications.
Association of Social Work Boards. (2019). About licensing and regulation. Retrieved from https://www.aswb.org/licensees/about-licensing-and-regulation/
Social Work Guide. (2019). How to become a licensed social worker. Retrieved from https://www.socialworkguide.org/licensure/
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
The American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work (2019) defines Clinical Social Workers as “a healthcare profession based on theories and methods of prevention and treatment in providing mental-health/healthcare services, with special focus on behavioral and bio-psychosocial problems and disorders.”
Certified Clinical Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Social Worker
Certified Clinical Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Social Workers (C-CATODSW) are MSW-level social workers whose practice focuses on individuals whose lives are affected by alcohol, tobacco and other
Certified Social Worker in Health Care
Certified Social Workers in Health Care (C-SWHC) assist patients, families and groups with improving or maintaining optimal health.