Social work regulatory boards
Each U.S. state and territory has a regulatory board, just as each Canadian province has a college. Each jurisdiction has different laws and regulations and different requirements for licensure. All jurisdictions set these standards independently and all require licensure of social workers in some type of practice.
Why a licensed social worker is important to you
Fulfilling the requirements for licensure proves that a social worker is competent to practice and is ready to provide ethical and safe care. Moreover, licensure is your legal guarantee that a social worker is in good standing with his or her regulatory board and that you have recourse through that regulatory board to seek help if you are concerned that the care you are receiving does not meet those standards. You can find the status of a social worker through ASWB’s website at Look Up a License.
The social work profession
Social work encompasses a broad range of services related to public health, safety, and welfare. Social workers are found in schools, hospitals, government services agencies such as the Veterans Administration, public assistance agencies, child welfare agencies, as well as in the military and in private practice. Social workers also are educators, policy makers, community organizers, researchers, and regulators.
In the U.S., social workers must receive a degree from a school of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. In Canada, the educational association is the Canadian Association of Social Work Educators. The professional organization for social workers in the U.S. is the National Association of Social Workers and in Canada it is the Canadian Association of Social Workers.
ASWB works in collaboration with these associations, other regulatory board associations, and social workers themselves to increase understanding of the legal regulation of social work.