The New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice issues one social work license, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) to professionals at the highest level of practice. These individuals are mental health practitioners, on a par with psychologists, mental health counselors, and pastoral therapists.
The credentialing process includes graduate level education, post-degree supervised work experience, a licensing exam, and a rigorous application process.
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 candidate for LICSW must have a master's or doctoral degree from a school that's approved by the Council on Social Work Education. Graduate studies must include coursework in at least five of nine content areas specified by the New Hampshire Board. Among these are personality theory, psychopathology, cross-cultural development theory and race relations, group dynamics, and direct social work practice (which can include casework and/or clinical work).
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.
After graduation, the prospective clinical social worker will seek employment. The candidate will practice clinical social work under the supervision of a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. The candidate must accrue 3,000 hours of experience over a period of at least two years. During this time, he or she must have 100 hours of individual face to face supervision; there should be at least one hour of supervision each week.
Before beginning supervised clinical practice, a candidate needs to fill out a supervision agreement and have it approved by the Board – that is, unless supervised practice will take place outside New Hampshire. The supervisor and supervisee will each acknowledge and agree to their responsibilities; the supervisee will answer some professional fitness questions and the supervisor will put forth her qualifications. An official transcript should accompany the supervision plan. There is a $25 fee associated with processing the agreement.
The Board meets on a monthly basis (except in August). A candidate will want to make sure the plan arrives before the third Friday of the month so there is no delay in its review.
At some point before licensure, the candidate will need to take a clinical licensing exam through the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). This requires Board approval. A candidate can submit the request any time after the candidate supervision agreement has been approved. After the approval is granted (generally within five days of receipt) the Board will email details about how to register with the ASWB. The exam is computerized and is offered on an ongoing basis.
Applications can be downloaded from the Board site in Microsoft Word form. (Click Here to find the LICSW application form). Applicants need to submit a number of supplemental materials with their applications The licensing agency will look for a resume.
The candidate will also provide a summary of supervision and experience hours. The supervisor will verify the hours and provide additional details.
LICSW candidates need three professional references, at least one of them from a supervisor. They will submit these to the Board in sealed envelopes. Official transcripts (both undergraduate and graduate) should also be enclosed. A photograph should be attached to the application and a resume included. Applications are to be submitted with nonrefundable $150 fee. (An initial licensing fee will be required later.)
Licenses are good for two years. Clinical social workers must earn 40 hours of continuing education during the renewal cycle, in categories specified by the New Hampshire Board.
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 New Hampshire.