Social Work State Licensing Boards

State licensing boards are responsible for protecting the public by ensuring that certain types of social workers meet professional and educational standards through licensing and regulation. Licensing requirements are determined at the state level; therefore, the requirements for licensing are different for each state. Students who wish to pursue a career in social work should review the standards for their state of residence to ensure that the online program they choose meets the requirements needed for licensing.

With state licensing boards being responsible for setting the standards for licensure, every state has different types of licenses and some states even require multiple licenses in order to become a specific type of socials worker. For example, California requires professionals to earn an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ASW / ACSW) license before they can become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Here are some other examples of state licenses:

  • Florida: Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Oregon: Registered Baccalaureate Social Worker (RBSW), Certified Social Worker Associate (CSWA), Licensed Master’s Social Worker (LMSW), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • New York: Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Texas: Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW), Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), Licensed Master Social Worker-Advanced Practice (LMSW-AP), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

State licensing boards also provide the public a way to verify that a social worker is actively licensed to practice in the state. In addition, some states provide information about social workers who have been disciplined by the board. Finally, if a consumer has a complaint against a licensed social worker, they can file it with their state’s licensing board, who will investigate the claim(s) to determine if there was any misconduct by the social worker.

Social Work Licensing Boards by State

Social Work Licensing Boards by State
STATE LICENSING BOARD WEBSITE
Alabama Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners www.socialwork.alabama.gov
Alaska Board of Social Work Examiners www.commerce.alaska.gov
Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners www.azbbhe.us
Arkansas Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board www.arkansas.gov
California Board of Behavioral Sciences www.bbs.ca.gov
Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies - Division of Professions and Occupations www.colorado.gov
Connecticut Department of Public Health www.ct.gov
Delaware Board of Clinical Social Work Examiners www.dpr.delaware.gov
District of Columbia Department of Health - Board of Social Work doh.dc.gov
Florida Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling floridasmentalhealthprofessions.gov
Georgia Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists sos.ga.gov
Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs - Professional and Vocational Licensing cca.hawaii.gov
Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses - Idaho Board of Social Work Examiners ibol.idaho.gov
Illinois Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation www.idfpr.com
Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board www.in.gov
Iowa Bureau of Professional Licensure - Iowa Board of Social Work www.idph.iowa.gov
Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board www.ksbsrb.org
Kentucky Kentucky Board of Social Work bsw.ky.gov
Louisiana Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners www.labswe.org
Maine State Board of Social Worker Licensure www.maine.gov
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene - Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners dhmh.maryland.gov
Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) www.mass.gov
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) www.michigan.gov
Minnesota Sate of Minnesota Board of Social Work mn.gov
Mississippi Mississippi State Board of Examiners for Social Workers and Marriage & Family Therapists www.swmft.ms.gov
Missouri Missouri Division of Professional Registration - Committee for Social Workers pr.mo.gov
Montana Montana Board of Social Work Examiners and Professional Counselors bsd.dli.mt.gov
Nebraska Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services dhhs.ne.gov
Nevada State of Nevada's Board of Examiners for Social Workers socwork.nv.gov
New Hampshire New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice www.nh.gov
New Jersey State Board of Social Work Examiners www.njconsumeraffairs.gov
New Mexico Board of Social Work Examiners www.rld.state.nm.us
New York New York State Education Department - Office of the Professions www.op.nysed.gov
North Carolina North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board www.ncswboard.org
North Dakota North Dakota State Board of Social Work Examiners www.ndbswe.com
Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board cswmft.ohio.gov
Oklahoma Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Workers www.ok.gov
Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers www.oregon.gov
Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors www.dos.pa.gov
Rhode Island Board of Social Work Examiners health.ri.gov
South Carolina S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation www.llr.state.sc.us
South Dakota South Dakota Department of Social Services - Social Work Examiners dss.sd.gov
Tennessee Department of Health - Board of Social Workers health.state.tn.us
Texas Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners www.dshs.state.tx.us
Utah Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing www.dopl.utah.gov
Vermont Office of Professional Regulation www.sec.state.vt.us
Virginia Virginia Board of Social Work www.dhp.virginia.gov
Washington Washington State Department of Health www.doh.wa.gov
West Virginia WV Board of Social Work Examiners www.wvsocialworkboard.org
Wisconsin Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services dsps.wi.gov
Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing Board mentalhealth.wyo.gov