Licensure Steps

If you have questions on licensing, please contact the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

 

As of December 1, 2009 Illinois is now a pre-approved state, which means candidates must apply for licensure and be granted approval prior to sitting for either the masters or clinical examination. If you are unsure of your elligibility or have questions about licensing procedures, please contact IDFPR.

 

There are two levels of licensure in Illinois: licensed social worker (LSW) and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).

LSWs

LSWs are authorized to practice social work which includes social services to individuals, groups or communities in any one or more of the fields of social casework, social group work, community organization for social welfare, social work research, social welfare administration or social work education. LSWs may engage in clinical social work practice, as long as it is not conducted in an independent practice as defined by law.

Persons wishing to obtain a license as an LSW must have/do the following:

  • a degree from a graduate program of social work approved by IDFPR or have a degree in social work from an undergraduate program approved by the CSWE and have successfully completed at least 3 years of supervised professional experience as established by rule
  • apply for licensure to IDFPR in writing on the prescribed form
  • pass the masters examination for the practice of social work as a licensed social worker
  • be of good moral character

LCSWs

LCSWs are authorized to independently practice clinical social work in Illinois under the auspices of an employer or in private practice.

Persons wishing to obtain a license as an LCSW must have/do the following:

  • successfully complete at least 3,000 hours of satisfactory, supervised clinical professional experience after receiving a master's degree in social work from a graduate program approved by the CSWE
  • apply for licensure to IDFPR in writing on the prescribed form
  • pass the clinical examination for the practice of social work as a licensed clinical social worker
  • be of good moral character 

OR

  • successfully complete at least 2,000 hours of satisfactory, supervised clinical professional experience after receiving a doctor's degree in social work from a graduate program approved by the CSWE
  • apply for licensure to IDFPR in writing on the prescribed form
  • pass the clinical examination for the practice of social work as a licensed clinical social worker
  • be of good moral character

What Are Approved Programs of Social Work?

  • Programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), or by CSWE's Foreign Equivalency Determination Service.
  • Programs accredited by the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work.

Reciprocity

Social workers from other states wishing to become licensed in Illinois should contact IDFPR.

Illinois social workers wishing to obtain licensure in another state should contact the licensing body in that state.  For referral to the appropriate entity, contact the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).

UPCOMING EVENTS
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    2014 August Board Leadership Meeting

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    The FOID Mental Health Reporting System: What You Need To Know

  • 08-29-14

    LSW/LCSW Review Course 08.29.14 (Chicago)

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    Social Work with Refugees: The Mental and Physical Health Complications of FGC (Chicago)

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