Social Work Licensure Requirements in Kansas
The Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board issues licenses to social workers at the baccalaureate and master’s levels (http://www.ksbsrb.org). Upon graduation and successful exam performance, candidates may be awarded the title of Licensed Bachelor Social Workers (LBSW) or Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW).
The highest level of practice has a post-master experience requirement. A Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker (LSCSW) is a (mostly) independent mental health practitioner. The LSCSW can offer psychotherapy to clients. The LSCSW can diagnose mental illnesses, though (unless a waiver is signed) they must consult with the client’s doctor about whether a medical condition could be contributing to his symptoms.
Becoming a LBSW in Kansas
Prospective LBSWs should pursue degrees from social work programs that are accredited by CSWE or meet the (extensive) set of requirements laid out in Kansas KAR 102-2-6. Students can begin the application process their senior year. They may be authorized to register for the licensing exam when they are within four months of completing their degree requirements. A dean or director will need to fill out a form verifying that the candidate meets academic requirements.
Exams are given by the ASWB, but candidates receive their exam eligibility by applying to the Kansas Board. Click here to download the application. Candidates can begin work under a temporary license before passing the exam, but they must pay an additional $50.
Kansas LMSW Requirements
LMSW licensing requires a master’s degree from a program that is CSWE accredited or meets the requirements specified in Kansas statutes. Candidates must also earn passing scores on the ASWB master’s level licensing exam. They can work under a temporary license for up to six months while fulfilling the examination requirement.
The University of Southern California School of Social Work offers one of the only CSWE accredited online Master's of Social Work degrees in the country. Click Here to contact the University of Southern California School of Social Work and request additional information.
The Simmons College School of Social Work, based in Boston, MA, offers another option to earn a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited Online Master of Social Work. Click Here to contact the Simmons College School of Social Work and request additional information.
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.
Students who want to be specialist clinical social workers should look for graduate programs that include coursework in DSM-based diagnosis and treatment. They will need 15 total semester hours that support diagnosis and treatment; there must be a discrete three semester hour course in psychopathology that includes diagnosis and treatment as guided by the DSM manual. There should also be a practicum that integrates DSM usage; it must include 350 hours of direct client contact.
Candidates whose master’s programs do not include the required academic courses will be allowed to make them up later. Those whose programs do not meet practicum requirements can opt for additional post-graduate supervised practice.
In most cases, social workers vying for clinical licensure must do 4,000 hours of post-master supervised practice. 1,500 must be direct client contact (psychotherapy and administration of assessments). Social workers who didn’t have the requisite practicum must do an additional 700 hours of supervised experience incorporating the DSM; 350 hours must be direct client contact.
Before beginning, the master social worker must submit a training plan to the Board and have it approved. Supervisees must meet with their supervisors at least 100 times and receive at minimum 150 hours of supervision. There should be at least one supervision hour for 20 hours of direct client contact; a maximum of two hours may be counted. Passing the ASWB clinical exam is another condition for licensure. Candidates must again apply to the Board for authorization. Download the application.
The Application Process
Candidates must request official transcripts which show the qualifying degree. They must submit professional references on forms supplied by the Kansas Board. At the LBSW and LMSW levels, one reference should come from a practicum supervisor; at the LSCSW level, one should come from a work supervisor.
Applications carry a $100 fee. The LBSW license is $100 while the LMSW and LSCSW licenses are $150. The baccalaureate and master’s level exams are $230, the clinical exam, $260.
Licenses are renewed every 24 months. A first time licensee must complete six hours of safety awareness training as part of the continuing education requirement for the first renewal.
Social Work Professional Organization(s) in KS
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 Kansas.