Choosing to help individuals deal with and overcome daily problems is a noble choice that goes into becoming a licensed social worker. Every community hospital and school should offer social work as part of its services. Social workers are working behind the scenes to protect the lives of the most unprotected, including adults and children. For those who are poorer, working as a Social Worker can make a real difference in their lives.
This article discusses the typical steps to becoming a licensed social worker.
What Is the Role of a Social Worker?
Social workers help people individually, in families, and communities. Social workers typically assist people who are vulnerable, impoverished, and disadvantaged. It can involve providing mental health services with an emphasis on jailed individuals, elderly folks, persons with substance use issues, and abuse victims. Social workers help people by offering guidance, counseling, and therapy. Different occupations in social work require different levels of knowledge and abilities. Social workers also assist individuals who are dealing with a variety of problems in navigating these situations and locating the assistance and care they require.
Types of Licensed Social Workers (LSW)
The two most commonly identified categories of licensed social workers are Master Social Workers and Clinical Social Workers. While the duties of both are similar, an LMSW is a social worker with a master’s degree who can work in positions like casework. At the same time, an LCSW can seek more senior roles and engage in unsupervised clinical activities like psychotherapy.
The Steps for Getting a Social Worker License?
Examine the Requirements
Deciding to pursue a career as a social work is significant, so before making the plunge, be sure this vocation fits your interests and skill set. In addition, you ought to be conscious of the responsibilities attached to training. Before moving forward, you must know what the State requires when filing for a social work license. It would be advantageous to acquaint yourself with the unique features of the State in which you plan to train, as each one has its own set of regulations.
Acquire a Bachelor’s Degree
Getting a suitable bachelor’s degree from an approved institution or university, such as a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), is the primary step toward becoming a social worker. Sociology and psychology are some further fields of study. You will study social work, research methodology, and related subjects while pursuing your bachelor’s degree. The courses you might take for your bachelor’s degree are Human Actions, Variety of Cultures, Casework in Social Work, Policy for Social Welfare, Social Work Ethics, and Human Liberties.
Earn a Master of Social Work Degree
Fieldwork in clinical practice merges with classroom instruction to earn a Master of Social Work degree. Any professional with a bachelor’s degree can pursue an MSW, but in addition to a year of master’s degree coursework, they must take a year of foundational courses. In this regard, those who hold a BSW are probably already proficient in these areas and can complete their master’s program in one year less time. Applying to an advanced standing program, which can need fewer credit hours and internship hours, might speed up the process for students with a BSW.
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Get Real-World Experience
Numerous undergraduate social work programs offer opportunities to watch licensed social workers in action and work with clients under supervision. Aspiring social workers can use the ideas, concepts, and procedures they’ve learned in class and hone critical social work abilities like research and communication through these invaluable opportunities. Internships are another option for gaining experience in the real world. You can learn from your mentor, obtain knowledge as a social worker, and receive feedback from superiors if you participate in an internship.
Pass the Exam
After completing the necessary coursework and work experience, you need to pass the exam administered by the ASWB (Association of Social Work Boards) to obtain a social work license. The passing of a formal license exam is a prerequisite for becoming a Licensed social worker. However, you must confirm all laws, rules, and fees with your local licensing board before starting the test application procedure. The four sections of the test cover subjects such as social work practice, human behavior, and social welfare policy.
Obtain a State License
In certain states, obtaining a license is a prerequisite for beginning employment as a social worker, but in other states, it can further your career. In nations where it is optional, earning the Licensed Social Worker certification can make you stand out from conventional social workers and frequently result in a wage increase. As each State has its license criteria, make sure to ascertain what your State’s needs are in terms of testing, education, and training. Depending on the State where you are licensed, after completing the exam, you can work as an LCSW or a LMSW.
Keep Your License Active
The beginning of your career continues after getting a license to perform social work. To update you with the most recent industry standards and practices, it is essential that you actively enroll in continuing education courses and that you periodically renew your consent. You can keep up with the times and keep your license in the ever-changing area of social work by doing this.
It is crucial to comprehend the procedures to become a licensed social worker and pursue a career in this industry. There are definite stages you need to take to begin practicing in every State. The requirements are to review the requirements, complete your degree, pass the exams, and acquire a license. It is crucial to remember that these tactics could vary from State to State. You must become familiar with the particular legislation of the State where you plan to practice. It will confirm that you fulfill all requirements and allow you to apply for a social worker license.