The lcsw licensing process revised 2014
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    The lcsw licensing process revised 2014 The lcsw licensing process revised 2014 Presentation Transcript

    • An Overview of the LCSW Licensing Process NASW California Chapter April 2014 Revised
    • Presentation Goals  Why get licensed?  Provide an overview of the basic process  A new exam structure  Strategies for success  Key timeframes and resources  Info to assist in decision-making
    • Why Get Licensed?  More job opportunities  Higher Salaries – median salary over $62k v $57k  Better promotional possibilities  Advanced post graduate training and education  Not just psychotherapy or private practice
    • Overview of Licensing Process  Graduate with a MSW from a CSWE accredited university  Take certain pre-licensure courses  Register as an associate clinical social worker (ASW)  Accumulate 3,200 supervised work experience hours and 104 supervision hours  Take and pass two California LCSW exams: – Standard Written (knowledge) – Clinical Vignette (skill)
    • Complete Pre-licensure Required Coursework The BBS requires you to complete certain additional coursework before applying for the LCSW exam. You can complete this coursework as part of your MSW degree or afterward while you are earning the required hours of supervised work experience
    • Required Coursework Pre Exam  Child Abuse Assessment and Reporting (7 hours)  Human Sexuality (10 hours)  Substance Abuse and Dependency (15 hours)
    • Required Courses Pre Exam  Spousal Abuse Assessment and Reporting (15 hours for those who entered degree program after 1/1/2004; Course can be any length for those who entered a degree program from 1/1/1995 to 12/31/2003)  Aging and Long Term Care (10 Hours only for those who entered a degree program on or after 1/1/2004; For all others this is not a pre-licensure requirement)
    • Obtain Required Coursework  You can find a list of specific courses that are offered by your school, and meet these requirements on the BBS web site. Go to:  Find you school, and select “Additional Courses Required.”  (Note, this list may not be up to date)
    • UCLA Courses  Human Sexuality  Alcoholism and Other Chemical Dependency  231G Advanced Social Work Practice: Substance Abuse Intervention  Child Abuse Assessment  231J Advanced Social Work Practice – Child Welfare  Spousal or Partner Abuse 
    • UCLA Courses  251 Advanced Social Work Practice: Domestic and Sexual Violence  Aging and Long-Term Care  231P Advanced Social Work Practice: Aging .
    • EXAMPLE CSU Courses Acceptable for Pre-Licensure Course Requirements BBS Requirement MSW Course Human Sexuality SW 551 Advanced Practice I: Family Chemical Dependency SW 510C Human Behavior & Social Environment Child Abuse Assessment SW 454(585) Practices and Policies of Public Child Welfare Spousal/Partner Abuse SW 551 Advanced Practice I: Family Aging and Long Term Care ?
    • Note: Applicant only needs to take one course to fulfill a given pre- licensure requirement.  If multiple courses are listed for a requirement the student has the option of deciding which course to take.  The list reflects only the information the educational institution provided to the Board.  Courses not listed may fulfill a pre-licensure requirement, but the student will need to submit a syllabus or course description to verify the course content meets a pre-licensure course requirement.
    • Required Coursework - Notes  Keep the course description and/or syllabus for any course you took that you believe fulfills the requirements.  The BBS may need the materials to verify the course content
    • Obtain Required Coursework If you need to take these courses:  Coursework must be taken from a BBS approved provider.  NASW-CA is an approved provider and offers all of this coursework in online or in- person courses.
    • New CA Law & Ethics Requirement  Effective January 1, 2014, all ASW applicants must have completed training or coursework in California law and professional ethics for clinical social workers. This coursework may be embedded within more than one course and must cover certain topic areas. See Business and Professions Code Section 4996.18 for further information about course content requirements.
    • CA Law & Ethics Requirement  The Board is in the process of contacting ASW master’s degree programs in California to confirm compliance with this requirement. Please check with your school if you have questions about compliance.  We were informed by BBS staff that all CA schools meet this requirement but you should always check with the BBS
    • Apply for registration as an ASW  After graduation, apply to become an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ASW)  Required before starting on pre-licensure hours  ASW Application packet can be downloaded from the “Forms and Publications” section of the BBS Web site:  When do you register? – Estimate how long it will take you to collect 3,200 work experience hours, (within 6 year timeframe) – Don’t register until you’re ready to start collecting hours
    • The ASW Packet  Completed one page application  Check or money order for $75 – Official copy of academic transcripts in school’s sealed envelope. Make sure date degree conferred is included. – Live Scan fingerprint (keep a copy for your records) – Provide info on any prior convictions or discipline – Allow at least 60 days for processing
    • ASW Notes  You cannot begin accruing hours until the BBS has issued you an ASW registration number.  Check the BBS website “Online License Verification” to see if your number is posted.  You should receive a letter in the mail 7-10 days after your number is posted.  Pay attention to any coursework noted that you will need to complete
    • Gain Clinical Experience  Once registered as an ASW, gain 3,200 hours of supervised experience,104 weeks of supervision  Hours can be paid work (W-2 employee, not 1099 independent contractor), and/or volunteer  2,000 in clinical psychosocial diagnosis, assessment, and treatment with no less than 750 hours being face to face psychotherapy.
    • LCSW Scope  The practice of clinical social work is defined as a service in which a special knowledge of social resources, human capabilities, and the part that unconscious motivation plays in determining behavior, is directed at helping people to achieve more adequate, satisfying, and productive social adjustments. The application of social work principles and methods includes, but is not restricted to, counseling and using applied psychotherapy of a nonmedical nature with individuals, families, or groups; providing information and referral services; providing or arranging for the provision of social services; explaining or interpreting the psychosocial aspects in the situations of individuals, families, or groups; helping communities to organize, to provide, or to improve social or health services; or doing research related to social work.
    • LCSW Scope  Psychotherapy, within the meaning of this chapter, is the use of psychosocial methods within a professional relationship, to assist the person or persons to achieve a better psychosocial adaptation, to acquire greater human realization of psychosocial potential and adaptation, to modify internal and external conditions which affect individuals, groups, or communities in respect to behavior, emotions, and thinking, in respect to their intrapersonal and interpersonal processes.
    • Clinical Hours  1,200 in client-centered advocacy, consultation, evaluation, and research.  1,700 gained under a LCSW, the remainder can be under another licensed mental health professional  Always renew your ASW number on time. Hours don’t count if your ASW has expired  Keep track of your supervision documents – Responsibility statements, supervisory plans, clinical social work experience verifications
    • Remember to Renew Your ASW Registration Every Year  Once you are registered with the BBS, you must renew your registration every year in order to count supervised experience and weeks of supervision towards the examination eligibility requirements. If your registration expires or lapses, you will not be able to count supervised experience or weeks of supervision gained for the period in which the registration is invalid.  The BBS recommends renewing your registration at least 60 days in advance of the registration expiration date. The expiration date appears on your registration certificate. The BBS sends courtesy renewal reminders to your address of record, and you can also print a Manual Registration Renewal Application off of the BBS Web site.
    • Supervisors  Find a qualified supervisor: – LCSW, LMFT, LPCC, Psychologist, Psychiatrist. Licensed for at least 2 years, taken15 hour supervision course  Can be your work supervisor, or a contracted outside supervisor.  You can also pay for a supervisor. Make sure there is a signed agreement between the supervisor and employer conferring authority and responsibility
    • Supervision  One hour of direct supervisor contact is required for a minimum of 104 weeks  Two hours of direct supervisor contact is required for any week in which more than 10 hours of face-to-face psychotherapy is performed for each setting which experience is gained.  An hour of direct supervisor contact equals one hour of individual supervision or two hours of group supervision  No more than 5 hours of supervision may be credited in a single week
    • Supervisor Notes  Finding a supervisor includes finding the right match and setting mutually agreed goals and responsibilities  Meet with your supervisor every week for at least one hour of individual supervision or two hours of group supervision.  Group supervision maximum is 8  Supervisors can only supervise 3 in private practice
    • Keys to Clinical Supervision Considerations in finding a supervisor:  Meet legal requirements as well as personal and professional goals  Develop a supervisory plan. Review exam outline or handbook with supervisor prior to collecting hours to make sure topical areas are covered  Stay abreast of requirements by checking BBS website or subscribing to email alerts
    • The Six-Year Rule “The Board cannot accept hours of experience older than six (6) years from the time a person applies for the LCSW license. The law does not allow the Board to make exceptions.” Ex: The Board receives Joy’s LCSW application on 4/3/2012. The Board will only accept experience gained from 4/3/2006 to 4/3/2012.
    • File LCSW Application  File this application after all of the required coursework and clinical hours are completed  Download and complete the LCSW application found on the BBS website under Forms and Publications.  Can continue to work and provide therapy but must be registered as an ASW and supervised  Current processing time: Check BBS website
    • Common Application Errors  Not filling out the form completely or correctly.  Not submitting the application and all of the required materials together in one envelope.  Not mailing the original copies to the BBS and keeping a copy for personal records.
    • Prepare for Exams  Preparation = Total experience and education.  Perform assessment of clinical strengths and weaknesses.  Develop a study plan and implement it 4-6 months prior to sitting for exam.
    • Current CA Only: Exam Plan  The LCSW examination plan consists of the seven content areas: biophysical assessment, diagnostic formulation, treatment plan and development, resource coordination, therapeutic interventions, legal mandates, ethical standards.  In each content area, the examination plan describes examination content in terms of the task statements and knowledge areas resulting from the occupational analysis.  It is important that candidates prepare for the examination by studying the examination plan.
    • Current CA Only Exams: Standard Written  The LCSW written examinations measure knowledge and skills required for LCSW practice, and represents a standard of performance that LCSW Subject Matter Experts agree is the minimum acceptable level for licensing in the profession
    • Current CA Only Exams: Clinical Vignette  The Written Clinical Vignette examination is directly related to clinical practice situations. Therefore, supervised clinical experience increases the likelihood of success in the examination.  The types of clients and the overall presentation of the clinical situations and issues in the clinical vignettes are consistent with mainstream practice for entry-level LCSW
    • DSM V  LCSW Candidates  Exam administrations through November 30, 2014: DSM-IV  Exam administrations December 1, 2014 and after: DSM-5
    • National Exam  Examination Restructure - Effective Date Changed to January 1, 2016  SB 821 (Chapter 473, Statutes of 2013) was recently signed by the Governor. This bill changes the effective date of the Board's upcoming restructure of its examination process from January 1, 2014 to January 1, 2016.
    • Exam Restructure (Jan. 1, 2016)  Graduate with MSW, register as an ASW  Take the CA Law & Ethics Exam within one year.  Those with a non passing score must take a 12 hour law & ethics course before the next retry.  Exam attempt must be made annually.  Pass the CA Law & Ethics exam before proceeding to the National Exam (ASWB)  Within 6 years of ASW registration
    • Exam Notes  According to current law, a registration cannot be renewed after six years. If a registrant’s registration expires, he or she must pass the law and ethics exam in order to obtain a subsequent registration number. 
    • National Exam  This exam must be passed within seven years of an individual’s first attempt. If it is not passed within this timeframe, the individual’s eligibility to further attempt the exam is placed on hold.  He or she must then pass the current version of the law and ethics exam before re- establishing eligibility to take the clinical exam.
    • Keep LCSW File Active Once eligible to sit for exams, the applicant must sit for one exam per year to keep the file active. Ex: Brett fails the exam on 10/4/2014. He must take it again before 10/3/2015 to keep his file active.
    • Take an exam twice in one year?  Possibly  Exams rotate every 6 months  Cannot retake the exact same exam
    • Strategies for Success  Understand the process prior to starting and carefully read and complete applications.  Be proactive and take full responsibility.  View clinical hours and supervision as essential to becoming competent.
    • Getting Answers to Questions 80% of all questions can be answered by • Searching the BBS website OR • Reading the social work section of the Laws and Regulations (updated annually in January).
    • California Licensing Board The Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS)  BBS Website:  E-mail: In subject line put Attn LCSW Evaluator  Call LCSW Evaluators: (916) 574-7851 or 7852
    • Strategies for Success  Complete clinical supervision hours within the six-year time frame.  Document clinical experience and supervision hours as you go.  Develop and implement a study plan 4-6 months prior to sitting for an exam.  Take one exam per year until both are passed.
    • Strategies for Success  Determine your greatest weaknesses and develop strategies to overcome them.  Complete the coursework prior to completing supervision hours.  Ask questions of the BBS and NASW-CA.  Refer to “How to obtain a LCSW in CA” at
    • Professional Liability Insurance  A must regardless of where you work  NASW’s Assurance Services Inc. program provides NASW professional social worker support: – Directly: Ethics consultation, info and education – Indirectly: License board and policy monitoring, advocacy
    • Licensed and From Another State?  There is no license reciprocity, you must show completion (equivalency) of all CA requirements  CSWE accredited MSW or CSWE evaluated out of country degree  Meet all required course and experience requirements
    • Out of State Experience Hours  If you have been licensed as a clinical social worker in another state for at least four years, you have met the Board's experience requirements for licensure.  If you have been licensed as a clinical social worker in another state for less than four years, you must provide verification that you completed 3,200 hours of supervised work experience and 104 weeks of supervision
    • Moving to Another State?  Research the state’s licensing requirements on the Association of Social Work Boards website.  Members contact the state’s NASW chapter with the questions.  NASW National Web
    • CA License Statistics (11/1/2013) Marriage and Family Therapists 33,931 MFT Interns (IMFs) 15,941 Licensed Clinical Social Workers 20,190 Associate Social Workers (ASWs) 11,004
    • Money Considerations $32-40 Live Scan Fingerprint $75.00 ASW Registration Application $75.00 ASW Annual Registration Renewal $100.00 Law & Ethics Exam (estimate) $260.00 ASWB Advanced Clinical Exam ? Pay for Supervision ($60 to $120 per hour) ? Pre-license coursework (in-person, online) ? Exam Prep Course
    • EXPEDITED LICENSURE FOR SPOUSES OR DOMESTIC PARTNERS OF ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PERSONNEL  For an applicant’s license/registration to be expedited, the applicant must: – Supply evidence that they are married to, or in a domestic partnership or other legal union with, an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is assigned to a duty station in California under official orders, and; – Hold a current license/registration in another state, district or territory of the United States in the profession or vocation for which the applicant is seeking a license/registration.
    • Web Resources NASW “How to Become a LCSW” Document  Under “Hot Topics” at NASW Links to Licensing Resources  Under “Licensing” at NASW Pre-licensure Coursework  Under “Professional Development”
    • Web Resources BBS Forms and Publications  BBS Subscriber List  BBS Newsletters 
    • Web Resources BBS Laws and Regulations (updated annually)  Association of Social Work Boards  National NASW Websites  