Social Work at the Master's Level
Social Work is a regulated profession in most places, meaning that licensure is required before a professional may claim or advertise as a social worker. In most states, there are multiple levels of social work licensure and the scope of practice is dependent on level of education and experience, as well as maintaining a current and active license in the state or jurisdiction.
The Texas Administrative Code states that a Lincensed Master of Social Work (LMSW) applies "social work theory, knowledge, methods and ethics and the professional use of self to restore or enhance social, psychosocial, or bio-psychosocial functioning of individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations and communities. An LMSW may practice clinical social work in an agency employment setting under clinical supervision, under a board-approved supervision plan, or under contract with an agency when under a board-approved clinical supervision plan. Master's Social Work practice may include applying specialized knowledge and advanced practice skills in assessment, treatment, planning, implementation and evaluation, case management, mediation, counseling, supportive counseling, direct practice, information and referral, supervision, consultation, education, research, advocacy, community organization and developing, implementing and administering policies, programs and activities" (Texas Administrative Code, RULE §781.202).
To learn about different levels of licensure, licensing requirements, and the regulation of social work practice in Texas, visit the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners.
To learn more about social work licensing and practice in other jurisdictions in the United States and Canada, refer to the Association of Social Work Boards. ASWB maintains a trustworthy registry, with updated information about licensing rules and links for licensing bodies throughout the U.S. and Canada.