Delaware licenses social workers who practice at the independent level. The licensing process is lengthy. A candidate must first complete an accredited social work program that confers a master’s or doctoral degree. He must then work under supervision. During this time he will be drawing a salary, but must adhere to Board regulations for supervision.
The last step is a national social work exam. A successful candidate becomes a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Delaware.
Simmons College School of Social Work (SocialWork@Simmons) is offering a CSWE-accredited Online Master of Social Work program. There is no GRE required for acceptance to this program. Request information about the program.
Capella University is now offering an online Master of Social Work that is in CSWE candidacy status. The MSW program helps prepare students to enter the general or clinical practice role (in most states). Capella also offers an online Doctor of Social Work. Click Here to contact Capella University about their Master of Social Work program or Doctor of Social Work program.
A social worker begins the process by enrolling in a CSWE-accredited graduate program. After graduation, the candidate may seek out social work employment – and clinical supervision.
You may also want to read the article "Master’s Degree in Social Work: Developing Skills and Competencies" if you have any questions about Master's of Social Work programs.
A social worker must work under supervision for a total of 3,200 hours. At least half of these hours should be under the supervision of a clinical social worker if one is available; if a clinical social worker is not available, supervision by psychiatrist or psychologist is acceptable. In cases where appropriate supervision is not available, another master social worker may supervise – so long as the two are not supervising each other!
The Delaware Board prefers LCSW supervision and expects candidates to make efforts to secure what it terms appropriate supervision. There is a form for documenting efforts to locate an LCSW as supervisor; it is to be submitted notarized. There are many ways to find a potential clinical supervisor; some are described in the form.
The social worker must receive at least 100 hours of face to face individual supervision from the clinical supervisor. The supervision should take place weekly over a period of at least a year.
At the end of the supervised work experience, the supervisor will fill out a reference form and submit it directly to the Board of Clinical Social Work Examiners. Supervisors are evaluated on nine separate skills, from providing client interventions to seeking consultation when necessary. Skills are listed in the rules and regulations and also appear in the application.
Click Here to go to the Delaware Clinical Social Worker Licensure page to learn more about the application process.
When it’s time to apply, candidates should have their official transcripts sent directly to the Delaware Board.
Candidates must fill out an authorization form for state and federal background checks (Click Here for the Delaware Clinical Social Worker Application). The application contains addresses and information for fingerprinting services in Kent, Sussex, and Newcastle. Applicants from out of state can be fingerprinted at their local police station – the Delaware Board will accept the local fingerprint cards.
Candidates must fill out an application that includes education, work experience, and professional fitness sections; the affidavit at the bottom must be notarized. Applications must be accompanied by a $163 nonrefundable processing fee.
After reviewing materials, the Board will grant authorization to take the licensing exam. It is the ASWB clinical level examination and is administered throughout the country. Once approved, a candidate may go online to register for the test. Candidates schedule their own computerized exams. There is a candidate handbook available on the ASWB website.
Delaware candidates are allowed up to two years to pass the test. Anyone who fails an examination attempt, though, must wait 90 days. When the Board receives notification of satisfactory examination performance from the ASWB, the process is complete. A license can then be issued.
Social Workers who are licensed in another U.S. jurisdiction (or territory) may apply by reciprocity if they have passed the qualifying exam. Candidates who are from outside the United States should have equivalency evaluated by the International Consultants of Delaware or similar organization.
Licenses must be renewed biannually, on odd numbered years. Social workers should do 45 hours of continuing education every two years. Continuing education extensions may be granted, at Board discretion, for extenuating circumstances.
If you are still in High School, hold a High School Diploma/GED, or hold a bachelor's degree, check out suggested steps to take along the path to become a Social Worker in Delaware.