Georgia Professional Licensing Boards for Social Work

Professional Licensing Boards for Social Work

 

Georgia
The Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage & Family Therapists
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, Georgia 31217
 
Phone: (844) 753-7825
State of Georgia Social Work Website: https://sos.ga.gov/index.php/licensing
 
Georgia Requirements:
The Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists regulates and sets the state's licensing guidelines for social workers. To become a social worker in the state of Georgia you must be a licensed master’s social worker that may render or offer to individuals, marriages, couples, families, groups, organizations, governmental units, or the general public counseling services. By obtaining a license it may provide evaluation, prevention and intervention services which include but are not limited to community organization, counseling techniques, and supportive services such as administration, direction, supervision of bachelor’s level social workers, consultation, research or education.
Georgia regulates the social work profession through two licensure tracks, the Licensed Master’s Social Worker (LMSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). These licenses give social workers the ability to work independently and open private social work offices. However, the LCSW credential allows social workers to practice in a clinical setting, while the LMSW does not. The LCSW license requires social workers to complete significant work experience before applying for licensure. As a result, many social workers first earn their LMSW credential before eventually applying to become an LCSW after they finish the required work experience.
Licensure Process: Licensed Master’s Social Worker (LMSW)

(a)

Education: An applicant for licensure as a Master's Social Worker must have earned a master's degree in Social Work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Candidacy, conditional or accreditation status must have been in effect at the school when the degree was awarded.

 

 

Practice while Preparing to Take the Licensing Examination: Persons who have obtained a master's degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and who are practicing social work under direction and supervision while preparing to take the master's social work licensing examination, may practice for a period of up to one year following the granting of such degree.

 

 

Examination: Within one year of graduating from a social work graduate program the individual practicing social work in the State of Georgia must apply to take the licensing examination. If the applicant fails the exam the first time it is taken, then the applicant is required to take the examination at the next scheduled exam date, unless good cause is shown for postponement. The applicant may sit for the examination a total of three times. An applicant who fails the examination three times, shall not continue to engage in the practice of social work in the state of Georgia, until such time as the applicant has taken and passed the exam absent of statutory exemption. [Certain exemptions may apply, these are designated in O.C.G.A. 43-10A-7(b)].

Licensure Process: Licensed Clinical Social Work (LCSW)

 
 

 

Education: The applicant must have earned a master's degree in Social Work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education in which candidacy, conditional or accreditation status was in effect when the degree was awarded.

 

 

Experience- Master’s Degree in Social Work: The applicant with a master's degree must have completed three years' full-time supervised experience in the practice of social work following granting of the master's degree. Of the three years of supervised experience, only the first two must be under direction.

 

The applicant must present evidence of having practiced clinical social work for a minimum of 3000 hours post social work master's degree supervised experience acquired over a period of no less than 36 months or more than 108 months, the first 2000 hours of experience must be under supervision and direction in the practice of clinical social work. Applicant must submit documentation of having acquired 120 hours of supervision during this time, no more than 50% of which may be group supervision and at least 50% must be provided by a licensed clinical social worker who meets requirements to be a duly qualified supervisor.

 

 

Both supervisors and supervisees are required to maintain a contemporaneous record of the date, duration, type (individual, paired, or group), and a brief summary of the pertinent activity for each supervision session to be submitted to the Board upon request. If there are any discrepancies in hours, contemporaneous documentation of supervision will be requested.

 

 

Experience – Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Doctoral Degree: An applicant who holds a master's degree in social work and holds a doctoral degree in Professional Counseling; Social Work; Marriage and Family Therapy; Medicine; Psychiatric Nursing; Applied Psychology; Pastoral Counseling; or Applied Child and Family Development and whose degree program included a supervised clinical internship may substitute this for one year of experience.

 

An individual who holds a master's degree in Social Work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and holds a doctoral degree in Professional Counseling; Social Work; Marriage and Family Therapy; Medicine, Psychiatric Nursing; Applied Psychology; Pastoral Counseling; or Applied Child and Family Development must also present evidence of two years full time supervised post master's degree experience (defined as 2000 hours) under direction in the practice of Clinical Social Work obtained in no less than 24 months or no more than 72 months. Such applicant must also submit evidence of 80 hours of supervision provided by a duly qualified supervisor, 50% of which may be group supervision. Fifty percent of the supervision must be provided by a licensed Clinical Social Worker.

 

 

Both supervisors and supervisees are required to maintain a contemporaneous record of the date, duration, type (individual, paired, or group), and a brief summary of the pertinent activity for each supervision session to be submitted to the Board upon request. If there are any discrepancies in hours, contemporaneous documentation of supervision will be requested.

 

 

Extension: The Board, in its sole discretion, may extend the period of time in which the applicant must have acquired supervision and/or experience with adequate showing of hardship or good cause.

 

 

Examination: After having completed the above experience requirements the applicant must submit an application to the board for licensure and upon approval the applicant must take the first scheduled examination for which he/she qualifies, unless good cause is shown for postponement, in which case the applicant shall take the next scheduled examination. [Upon receipt of notification that the applicant has passed the Clinical Social Work licensing examination, the Board will issue a Clinical Social Work license.] If the applicant fails the examination, the Board shall require that the applicant's work remain supervised until the applicant has taken and passed the examination. The exam must be taken at the next scheduled exam date unless good cause is shown for postponement. The exam may be taken a total of three times. An applicant who fails the examination three times, applicant shall not engage in the private practice of counseling or psychotherapy in the State of Georgia until such time as he/she has taken and passed the examination, absent a statutory exemption.

 
The Baccalaureate Social Work (BSW) Program at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and prepares students for generalist practice at the beginning level (non-clinical social work). The program also prepares students for graduate study in social work and life-long learning. The program does not meet the state’s educational requirements for students to obtain licensure because the educational requirement is the Master’s degree in Social Work. The eligibility requirements for credentials at the Master’s level in Georgia are listed below.
 
Licensed Master’s Social Worker (LMSW)
  • Education: Obtain an MSW Degree from a CSWE accredited social work program.
  • Submit your application to the Department and pay required fees.
  • Examination: Take and pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Master’s level examination. (Pay the cost of the exam)
  • Supervision: Complete required hours under the supervision of an LCSW.
 
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Education: Obtain an MSW Degree from a CSWE accredited social work program.
  • Supervision: Completed three years of full-time supervised experience in the practice of social work following granting of the master's degree. Of the three years of supervised experience, only the first two must be under direction. The applicant must present evidence of having practiced clinical social work for a minimum of 3000 hours post social work master's degree supervised experience acquired over a period of no less than 36 months or more than 108 months, the first 2000 hours of experience must be under supervision and direction in the practice of clinical social work.
  • Examination: Take and pass the Mental Health Jurisprudent Exam.
  • Submit Application for Licensure: Complete the application and pay required fees.
  • Examination: Take and pass either the ASWB clinical exam. (Pay the cost of the exam)
 
 
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