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Understanding Licensing Requirements for Illinois Social Workers

IL license defense attorneySocial workers are all around us -- they can be found in schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, the military, private corporations and even in private practices. The purpose of social work is to help people and promote overall well being, which is why social workers are licensed and regulated in the state of Illinois by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). Illinois provides two options for licensure in the state: licensed social worker (LSW) and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). These licenses are similar, but there are limitations on what each type of license permits a person to do, which is also why the requirements for each license are different.

Licensed Social Worker

If a person holds an LSW, they are permitted to practice social casework, social group work, community-based social welfare, social work education or social work research. LSWs are permitted to administer social services to individuals, groups or communities, along with engaging in clinical social work, as long as it is not conducted in a private, independent practice.

To obtain an LSW, a person is required to:

  • Complete a graduate degree from a social work program that is approved by the IDFPR, or complete an undergraduate degree from a social work program and obtain at least three years of supervised professional experience
  • Apply for the LSW to the IDFPR by using the appropriate form
  • Pass the masters examination for social work as a licensed social worker
  • Be of good moral character

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

A licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) is very similar to an LSW, though they get a bit more freedom when it comes to clinical work. An LCSW is permitted to independently practice clinical social work in Illinois, whether that be through an employer or in their own private practice.

To obtain an LCSW, a person is required to:

  • Complete a master’s degree from a social work program and 3,000 hours of supervised clinical professional experience, or complete a doctorate degree from a social work program and 2,000 hours of supervised clinical professional experience
  • Apply for the LCSW to the IDFPR by using the appropriate form
  • Pass the clinical examination for social work as a licensed clinical social worker
  • Be of good moral character

Consult with an Illinois Social Worker Licensing Defense Lawyer Today

If you practice any type of clinical social work, you are required by Illinois law to hold an LCSW, not just an LSW. Requirements for an LCSW are slightly more intense than those for an LSW, but it is important that you complete them if you want to do LCSW work. At the Law Offices of Joseph J. Bogdan, LLC, we understand the amount of time, effort and work that goes into obtaining either social work licenses. If you have questions about obtaining your license, defending your license or simply which license you think you need, contact our skilled Illinois licensing defense attorneys today. Call our office at 630-310-1267 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.naswil.org/social-work-practice/licensure/licensure-steps/

http://www.naswil.org/social-work-practice/

Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Illinois Pharmacists Association American Pharmacists Association 10.0Joseph John Bogdan
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