SOCIAL WORK

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.

References

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.”

Duties
  • Provide individual, group, family, and couples therapy
  • Work with clients to develop strategies to change behavior or cope with difficult situations
  • Refer clients to other resources or services, such as support groups or other mental health professionals.
  • Develop treatment plans with the client, doctors, and other healthcare professionals
  • Adjust treatment plans if necessary based on their client’s progress.

 

Note* Clinical social workers who have not completed two years of supervised work are often called master’s social workers (MSW).

Education
  • A Bachelors Degree, earned at an accredited college or university.
  • A Master’s degree in social work from a graduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

 

Note* To help ensure the safe, competent, and ethical practice of social work, social workers obtain licensure. License requirements vary from state to state. For more information please visit the Association of Social Work Boards https://www.aswb.org/licensees/about-licensing-and-regulation/

Licensure/Certification

Licensed Clinical Social Workers must:

  • Obtained a Master’s degree in Social Work
  • Pass the Association of Social Work Board’s Master Exam
  • Complete and document two years of supervised, clinical experience in social work
  • Complete LCSW application requirements

 

Note* Licensure requirements vary from state to state. For more information please visit the Association of Social Work Boards https://www.aswb.org/licensees/about-licensing-and-regulation/

Salary

The median annual wage for social workers was $49,470 in May 2018

References

American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work.  (2019). Clinical Social Work Described. Retrieved from https://abecsw.org/clinical-social-work/clinical-social-work-described/

 

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook. (2019). Social Workers. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm

Association of Social Work Boards. (2019). About licensing and regulation. Retrieved from https://www.aswb.org/licensees/about-licensing-and-regulation/

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
drugs (ATOD).

Duties
  • Help clients with mental illnesses or addictions.
  • Provide information on services, such as support groups and 12-step programs
  • Help clients cope with their illness or addiction
Education
  • A Bachelor's Degree, earned at an accredited college or university. Obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning
  • A Master’s degree in social work from a graduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Note* To help ensure the safe, competent, and ethical practice of social work, social workers obtain licensure. License requirements vary from state to state. For more information please visit the Association of Social Work Boards https://www.aswb.org/licensees/about-licensing-and-regulation/

Licensure/Certification

Certified Clinical Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Social Workers

must:

  • A Master’s degree in social work from a graduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
  • Complete one hundred and eighty (180) contact hours of relevant professional continuing education.
  • Document at least two (2) years (equivalent of 3,000 hours) of paid, supervised, post-MSW clinical experience in an agency or organization that provides treatment to individuals and families whose lives are adversely affected by substance use disorders.
  • Hold a current state clinical social work license.
  • Code of Ethics and the NASW Standards for Continuing Professional Education.
Salary

The median annual wage for social workers was $49,470 in May 2018.

References

Association of Social Work Boards. (2019). About licensing and regulation. Retrieved from https://www.aswb.org/licensees/about-licensing-and-regulation/

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook. (2019). Social Workers. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm

National Association of Social Workers. (2019). Certified Clinical Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs Social Worker (C-CATODSW). Retrieved from https://www.socialworkers.org/Careers/Credentials-Certifications/Apply-for-NASW-Social-Work-Credentials/Certified-Clinical-Alcohol-Tobacco-Other-Drugs-Social-Worker

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.

Duties
  • Help patients understand their diagnosis and make the necessary adjustments to their lifestyle, housing, or healthcare
  • Provide information on services, such as home healthcare or support groups, to help patients manage their illness or disease.
  • Explain the effects that diseases and illnesses have on patients’ mental and emotional health to doctors and other healthcare professionals
  • Can specialize in geriatric social work, hospice and palliative care, or medical social work.
  • Develop standards of practice
  • Recommend health policy
  • Improve health programs
  • Ensure patients, families and organizations receive high quality and state of the art social work services.
Education
  • A Bachelors Degree, earned at an accredited college or university. Obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning
  • A master’s degree in social work from a graduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Note* To help ensure the safe, competent, and ethical practice of social work, social workers obtain licensure. License requirements vary from state to state. For more information please visit the Association of Social Work Boards https://www.aswb.org/licensees/about-licensing-and-regulation/

Licensure/Certification

Certified Social Workers in Health Care must:

  • Obtain a Master’s degree in social work from a graduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
  • Document at least two (2) years (equivalent of 3,000 hours) of paid, supervised, post-MSW social work employment in an agency or organization that provides treatment to individuals and families whose lives are adversely affected by medical conditions or physical limitations.
  • Hold a current state MSW-level license or an ASWB MSW-level exam passing score-based social work license, registration, or certification issued by the designated state office.
  • Adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics and the NASW Standards for Continuing Professional Education
Salary

The median annual wage for social workers was $49,470 in May 2018.

References

Association of Social Work Boards. (2019). About licensing and regulation. Retrieved from https://www.aswb.org/licensees/about-licensing-and-regulation/

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook. (2019). Social Workers. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm

National Association of Social Workers. (2019). Certified Social Worker in Health Care (C-SWHC). Retrieved from https://www.socialworkers.org/Careers/Credentials-Certifications/Apply-for-NASW-Social-Work-Credentials/Certified-Social-Worker-in-Health-Care