Michigan credentials social workers and social service technicians. Bachelor’s Social Workers (abbreviated as BSW or LBSW) and Master Social Workers (MSW or LBSW) are licensed; job duties at these levels of practice can only be performed by licensed individuals. Workers at the lower level are registered. Duties at this level are not reserved, by law, for individuals with credentialing; still it can be an advantage to have state recognition.
On the Board site, one can find a chart that outlines the scope of practice/ expected duties for social workers at different levels.
There are two types of MSW license: (Macro and Clinical). Macro social workers carry out tasks like community organization, program planning, administration and evaluation, and social welfare policy. They may assess client’s service needs from a service-oriented standpoint. Clinical social workers may conduct psychotherapy and do case management for high risk individuals.
Getting fingerprints done and having a criminal background check is part of the licensure process at any level.
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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 that focuses on in-demand leadership skills and integration of technology. Click Here to contact Capella University about their Master of Social Work program or Doctor of Social Work program.
Social Service Technician is the entry level license in Michigan. It is for individuals with associate’s degrees or comparable experience. There are several eligibility paths for technicians. An associate’s degree in social work leads to immediate eligibility – so long as the program and/or GPA meet the Board’s minimum standards.
Individuals with at least 60 total units of college and at least 4 courses that are relevant to human service work may apply for the credential – provided they find a job in human or social services. If they have no college, they must first work a year under the supervision of a BSW or MSW.
A prospective BSW should enroll in a baccalaureate program accredited by the CSWE. After receiving a degree one should apply for the limited BSW license. Click here to download the application.
This will allow one to get a job doing baccalaureate level social work; it will also allow one to complete their licensing requirements. After one receives their limited license, they will be eligible to take the baccalaureate level exam through the ASWB.
A limited license holder must work under supervision while accruing the 4,000 experience hours. The Board notes that a supervisor is not the same thing as an administrator; the supervisor must offer guidance as well as licensing-oriented review. The supervising professional should be an MSW. If there is not an appropriate professional at the agency where the person works, he can contract with one. Sometimes the Michigan Board allows supervision by someone other than an MSW, but permission must be sought beforehand.
The BSW limited license holder may work part-time or full-time (16 – 40 hours per week). He should have four hours of supervision a month. At least 1 hour must be devoted to individual review. His supervisor(s) will verify the experience later.
Prospective MSWs should enroll in CSWE-accredited master’s programs. After the degree has been conferred, the prospective MSW will fill out an application for limited licensure (LL) as a macro or clinical social worker. Application materials can be viewed online by clicking here.
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.
Approved macro applicants will take the advanced general exam, clinical applicants, the clinical exam.
The MSW should seek a job in their intended practice area (clinical or macro). They will need a supervisor who is in the same area of practice. They will work under supervision until they have accrued at least 4,000 hours. They may work between 16 and 40 hours a week and accrue up to 2,000 hours in a year. (The initial license is granted in just one practice area, but a social worker may eventually earn both designations; to do so, he will need to work under supervision 2,000 hours in the second area.)
At the end of supervision, supervisors will fill out verification forms.
The renewal period is generally three years; initial/ limited licenses may be issued for a shorter period. Continuing education is required of baccalaureate and master’s level social workers. Technicians are encouraged, but not required, to take continuing education.
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 Michigan.