LCSW is short for Licensed Clinical Social Worker. The practice of licensed clinical social work involves the scope of practice of licensed master social work. It additionally includes the diagnosis of mental, emotional, behavioral, addictive and developmental disorders and disabilities. It also examines the the psychosocial aspects of illness, injury, disability and impairment viewed from a psychosocial basis. An LCSW will be responsible for the administration and interpretation of tests and measures of psychosocial functioning and development and implementation of appropriate assessment-based treatment plans. The provisioning of crisis oriented psychotherapy and brief, short-term and long-term psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic treatment to individuals, couples, families and groups which will involve rehabilitation, psychoanalysis and behaviour therapy will be routinely performed by the LCSW. All this will be carried out to prevent, assess, treat, ameliorate and resolve psychosocial dysfunction with the ultimate goal of preserving and improving the mental, emotional, behavioural and social functioning and well-being of individuals, couples, families, small groups, organizations, communities and society in general.
Requirements needed to become a LCSW
To practice and earn the distinction of Licensed Clinical Social Work and the designation of “LCSW” there are some requirements that an individual will need. The requirements may vary from state to state however in general a similar trend of requirements may be dobserved.
The applicant should fit all of the following criteria
- Should be a person of good moral character.
- Should be at least 21 years of age.
- Should have fulfilled the standard educational requirement, that is having a masters degree in social work (M.S.W.) with no less than 12 semester hours of clinical coursework;
- Should have at least 3 years of post M.S.W. supervised experience in diagnosis, psychotherapy and assessment-based treatment planning which must first be deemed as acceptable by the associated Department.
- Should meet examination requirements.
- Should have completed coursework or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse offered by a State approved provider.
An LCSW may be restricted to practice in the state where he or she was licensed. It is therefore imperative that an individual is aware of the requirements of different states. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker will be required from time to time to renew his or her license. This therefore means that he or she should be kept up to date on new techniques of diagnostics, practices and other informative pieces of information that are essential to performing this important function. A person may practice as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker using a limited permit, however this must be done under the guidance and supervision of a fully licensed LCSW. There are a few associated fees that accompany getting this type of license. These fees will manifest in the form of application fees, examination fees and other fees that may be determined by the specific state guidelines.