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Licensed Clinical Social Workers

Who are Licensed Clinical Social Workers?

Licensed clinical social workers help people who have domestic, health, social services, and child-protective issues. They focus on making life better and improving the quality of life for the most vulnerable populations.


The services social workers focus on include:

  • Counseling
  • Psychotherapy
  • Assistance with employment
  • Assistance with housing

Anyone becoming a licensed social worker needs to earn their master's degree in social work (MSW.) They also need to get their certification as a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). After they pass their clinical exam and complete their supervised field experience, they have completed the process. Social workers also sometimes choose a specialty after expertise in the field, based on the subcategory they are most interested in.


What Settings Do Licensed Clinical Social Workers Practice?

Many licensed clinical social workers are employed at healthcare and non-profit organizations. They are also often employed by government agencies, or they work at a private practice. Some of the places licensed social workers provide services are:

  • Facilities Authorized to Provide Psychotherapeutic Services
  • Clinics or Hospitals
  • Agencies for Senior Citizens
  • Private or Public Schools
  • Community Centers
  • Veteran’s Organizations
  • Group Home Agencies
  • Prisons


The Services Licensed Clinical Social Workers Provide Licensed clinical social workers provide case management and direct therapy in:

  • Psychological Assessments
  • Group and Individual Therapy
  • Living Situation Evaluations
  • Navigating Government Agencies to Receive the Assistance they Require
  • Discharge Planning

Psychological Assessments
Social workers are often called into situations to evaluate what their clients continue to require, such as:

  • Different or additional treatment programs
  • If they are ready for discharge from a variety of institutions and programs


Group and Individual Therapy
Social workers provide treatment for both outpatient and inpatient settings. They work with people who have substance abuse issues and mental health issues. They also work with those who have disabilities and physical infirmities. Those who typically need the help of a social worker are those who have an onerous financial burden. It is always the social workers' goal to assist clients with becoming integrated into the social network for the first time or again, to live productive lives pleasantly.

Discharge Planning
Social workers help clients make the arrangements they need for their well-being when they are discharged from:

  • Day-treatment programs
  • Hospitals
  • Prisons
  • Substance-abuse treatment facilities

Living Situation Evaluations
Non-profit agencies or government offices often hire social workers to investigate if the client is suspicious of spousal, elder, or child abuse.

Navigating Government Agencies to Receive the Assistance they Require
Social workers assist clients with the sometimes complicated process of finding supportive or inexpensive living accommodations. These situations often come up when finding appropriate treatment programs for clients who require a clinical setting for substance abuse or mental health issues and finding long-term facilities for clients with chronic illness.


What Requirements Do Certified Licensed Clinical Social Workers Have to Become Licensed?

Licensing requirements vary depending on what state the social worker is in, but most states require:

  • Ongoing documentation of treatment
  • Adherence to a high ethical standard
  • Maintenance of professional procedures and offices
  • Age of at least 21 years
  • Safeguarding client confidentiality and privacy
  • Accessibility to clients during non-emergencies and emergencies
  • At least three years of post-MSW supervised experience
  • Ability to make appropriate referrals
  • Demonstrate skills for clinical intervention
  • Understanding of at-risk and diverse populations
  • Meeting clinical examination requirements
  • Specialized knowledge of substance abuse/mental health care
  • Complete training coursework on identifying child abuse cases