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Online Licensing:

The Social Work Licensing Law (A.C.A. 17-103-101 et seq.) requires individuals who practice social work or represent themselves to the public as social workers to be licensed.

"Social work practice" is defined as a professional service which effects change in social conditions, human behavior, and emotional responses of individuals, couples, families, groups and organizations. "Social work practice" can only be performed with specialized knowledge and skills related to human development, the potential for human growth, the availability of social resources, and the knowledge of social systems. The disciplined application of social work knowledge and skills includes, but is not restricted to, the following:

  • Counseling with individuals, couples, families, and groups for purposes of assessment and enhancement of the problem-solving and coping capacities of people; and

  • The application of social work knowledge and skills in social planning, administration and research.

Levels and Qualifications
 
The levels of licensure and requirements are as follows:

Licensed Social Worker (LSW) -
A bachelor's degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE); successful completion of a Board-approved examination; and has applied a criminal background check and has not been found guilty of or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to any of the offenses listed in A.C.A. 17-103-307(f) - PDF.

Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) -
A master's degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education; successful completion of a Board-approved examination; and has applied for a criminal background check and has not been found guilty of or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to any of the offenses listed in A.C.A. 17-103-307(f)
- PDF.

Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) -
A master's degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education; two-years (4000 hours) postmaster's LCSW supervised social work experience; successful completion of a Board-approved examination; and has applied for a criminal background check and has not been found guilty of or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to any of the offenses listed in A.C.A. 17-103-307(f)
- PDF.

 

Provisional License
 
First-time applicants for LSW or LMSW licensure will be issued a provisional license upon approval of his or her application. A provisional license will be issued one time per person and will expire exactly one-year from the date of issuance. Provisional licensing is prohibited at the LCSW level.

An applicant for licensure through reciprocity will be issued a six-month provisional license pending receipt of the results of his or her criminal background check.

Applicants must apply for a criminal background check prior to being issued a provisional license. The fingerprint cards and instructions for having a background check will be mailed to the applicant upon receipt of his or her application.

 

Examination
 
The Board currently uses the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) examinations. Information about the examination may be found at www.aswb.org. The levels of licensure and examinations are as follows:
Licensed Social Worker - Bachelors
Licensed Master Social Worker - Masters
Licensed Certified Social Worker - Clinical
 

NOTE: No one may take the examination without a valid
application on file with the Board

 

Criminal Background Checks
 
All first-time applicants for a social work license must apply to the Identification Bureau of the Arkansas State Police for state and national criminal background checks. No person shall be eligible to hold a license if that person has been found guilty of or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to any of the offenses listed in A. C. A. 17-103-307(f) - PDF. The provisions of the requirement may be waived by the Board if the applicant meets the requirements for a waiver as defined in A.C.A. 17-103-307(h) - PDF.
 

Reciprocity
 
The Board may grant a license without examination to an applicant meeting all the requirements for licensure in Arkansas and who, at the time of application, is currently licensed as a social worker by another state, territory or district whose standards are not lower than those in Arkansas.
 

Fees
 

Application fee:  

$100.00

Renewal fee:  

$80.00

Duplicate License:  

$20.00

Endorsement to Another State:  

$20.00

Examination:  (ASWB)
    Bachelor's
    Masterís
    Clinical


$230
$230
$260