Social Work Credentials – What Do They Mean?

Social Work Licensure In Maryland*

In order to practice social work in Maryland or to refer to oneself as a social worker, an individual must be licensed by the State Board of Social Work Examiners. To practice clinical social work in Maryland, an individual must be licensed at the Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical level.

Licensure By Examination

To become a licensed social worker in Maryland an individual must pass the required examination administered through the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).

Examination Levels and Licensure Levels

Examination Levels and Licensure Levels
Exam Licensure Level
Bachelors Licensed Social Work Associate (LSWA)
Masters Licensed Graduate Social Work (LGSW)
Advanced Generalist Licensed Certified Social Work (LCSW)
Clinical Licensed Certified Social Work-Clinical (LCSW-C)

Licensing Requirements by Examination or Endorsement

Licensed Social Worker Associate (LSWA) shall have:

obtained a BACCALAUREATE DEGREE IN SOCIAL WORK from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education

Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) shall have:

obtained a MASTER’S OF SOCIAL WORK DEGREE from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) shall have:

  • an active LGSW license if obtained experience in Maryland (an LGSW from another jurisdiction if required in that jurisdiction);
  • obtained two years, consisting of not less than 104 weeks, of at least 3,000 hours of supervised social work experience;
  • 144 hours of periodic face-to-face supervision in the practice of social work which is obtained under a *contractual agreement form for supervision;
    and
  • social work supervision provided by a qualified, registered and Board approved supervisor who is licensed at the Licensed Certified Social Worker level or the Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical level. (NOTE: if SW experience and SW supervision was obtained in another jurisdiction then a contractual agreement for supervision and a Board approved supervisor are not required unless that jurisdiction had the requirements.)

Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical  (LCSW-C) shall have:

  • an active LGSW license (NOTE: licensure at the Masters level if required in another jurisdiction);
  • documentation of twelve academic credit hours clinical course work from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (6
    of the 12 academic credit hours may be obtained from a BSW program);
  • two years, consisting of not less than 104 weeks, of at least 3,000 hours of supervised clinical social work experience in direct service to clients. Half (1,500) of the required hours shall consist of face-to-face client contact;
  • 144 hours of periodic direct face-to-face supervision while obtaining clinical social work experience which is obtained under a *contractual agreement form for supervision;
  • supervision in the assessment, formulation of a diagnostic impression, and treatment of mental disorders and other conditions and the provision
    of psychotherapy; and
  • social work supervision provided by a qualified, registered and Board approved supervisor who is licensed at the Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical level. (NOTE: if SW experience and SW supervision was obtained in another jurisdiction then a contractual agreement for supervision and a Board approved supervisor are not required unless that jurisdiction had the requirements.)

THE SOCIAL WORK EXPERIENCE OBTAINED IN MARYLAND FOR THE LCSW OR THE LCSW-C LICENSE MUST BE OBTAINED WHILE UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF A QUALIFED, REGISTERED AND BOARD APPROVED SUPERVISOR. *THE CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT MUST BE INITIATED PRIOR TO STARTING SUPERVISION FOR ADVANCED LICENSURE.

 


* Taken from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene web site – http://www.dhmh.md.gov/bswe/licensing_information.htm