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Board of Social Work

Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico Virginia 23233-1463
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Phone: (804) 367-4441
Fax: (804) 977-9915

License Verification

Hours: Mon-Fri 8:15 to 5:00
except Holidays

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Get information about human trafficking, resources for victims, and reporting of a suspicion of trafficking.

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Licensing in Other States

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Closure of walk-in services

In response to COVID-19 social distancing precautions, DHP’s public reception area is closed to walk-in services.. Read More.

Accelerated Temporary License

Pursuant to Governor Northam’s Executive Order No. 57 (effective April 17, 2020),  a clinical social worker with an active license issued by another state may be issued an accelerated temporary license by endorsement as a health care practitioner of the same type for which such license is issued in another state upon submission of an application and information requested by the applicable licensing board and the board's verification that the applicant's license issued by another state is active in good standing and there are no current reports in the United States Department of Health and Human Services National Practitioner Data Bank. Such temporary license shall expire ninety (90) days after the state of emergency ends. During such time the practitioner must seek a full Virginia license or transition patients to Virginia-licensed practitioners.

Health care practitioners with an active license issued by another state may provide continuity of care to their current patients who are Virginia residents through telehealth services.  However, if they want to acquire new patients, they must apply for full licensure in Virginia or an Accelerated Temporary License as indicated above.

You can access the applications here: Temporary Licensed Clinical Social Worker Application

COVID-19 Updates from the Board on Test Centers, CE, and more

Click here for the latest information from the board about the COVID-19 pandemic. (Updated April 28, 2020)


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Updates

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness, called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). VDH has information on the Coronavirus Disease for both healthcare professionals and the general public which is updated regularly, as new information becomes available. Read more here.


Reduction in fees and elimination of supervised experience requirements for LBSW

The Board introduced changes to the Regulations Governing the Practice of Social Work to reduce the fee for initial licensure and for annual renewal of licensure for Licensed Baccalaureate Social Workers (LBSW). The application fee is reduced from $115 to $100, and the renewal fee is reduced from $65 to $55. The most significant reduction in regulatory burden is the elimination of the current requirement for an applicant with a baccalaureate degree to have 3,000 hours of supervised experience in order to qualify for licensure as a LBSW.

The amended Regulations are effective as of March 5, 2020.

For a current copy of the revised Regulations Governing the Practice of Social Work, please visit the Board’s Laws and Regulations page.


Attention CSAC Supervisors: The Board of Counseling has amended Regulations Governing the Certification of Substance Abuse Counselor and Substance Abuse Counseling Assistants. Additionally, the Board of Counseling has developed a chart to help assist CSAC supervisees, CSAC, CSAC-A’s and CSAC Supervisors identify changes to CSAC and CSAC-A  requirements. Click to view a comparison chart of the changes. To view the complete amended regulations, please visit the Board of Counseling website.


Revisions to Continued Competency Requirements for Renewal

In 2018, the Board introduced changes to the Regulations Governing the Practice of Social Work to increase the continued education hour requirement pertaining to ethics or the standards of practice for behavioral health professions or to the laws governing the practice of social work in Virginia for social work licensees. The amended Regulations became effective on November 13, 2019. The effective change increased the minimum requirement for LCSWs from 2 hours to 6 hours and for LBSWs and LMSWs from 2 hours to 3 hours.

See this chart for clarification as to the number of CE hours currently required for each renewal period.

For a current copy of the revised Regulations Governing the Practice of Social Work, please visit the Laws and Regulations page.

Scam Alert

The Board has become aware of recent communications to licensees in Virginia and in other states that are designed to appear to be from a professional licensing board, but are fraudulent in nature. Read more.


Mid-Level Licensure

The Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW) and the Licensed Masters Social Worker (LMSW) are now in effect. Read More.

The 2017 Virginia General Assembly passed House Bill 614, which authorizes the Board of Social Work to license baccalaureate social workers and master’s social workers. This legislation makes no changes to the current scopes of practice, but divides the current category of “Licensed Social Worker (LSW)” into two license types reflective of the education background: “Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW)” and “Licensed Master’s Social Worker (LMSW)”.


Notification of Changes to Issuance of Licenses, Certifications and Registrations

The Board of Social Work will cease mailing hard-copy licenses, certifications, and registrations. During the next renewal, a final hard copy will be issued that contains no expiration date. The renewal period for Board of Social Work will begin in early May and the board will send out email notices at that time. This final copy should be maintained, carried, or posted in accordance with relevant applicable laws and regulations. State health regulatory boards, employers, insurance providers and citizens seeking verification of current licensure status in the Commonwealth of Virginia may obtain this information via License Lookup.

Replacement or duplicate of a final hard-copy license, certification, or registration may be requested through an individual online account.


License Verification Information

A Virginia licensee seeking to obtain a verification of his/her license, certification, or registration at no cost may do so by directing a board, employer, insurance provider or other interested parties to License Lookup. This content resource meets the accreditation standards for primary source verification from the top seven-accreditation organizations for healthcare professionals.


Public Comment on Conversion Therapy guidance document:

The Board of Social Work has adopted a guidance document for its licensees on conversion therapy. Comment on the document may be posted until May 14, 2019 on the Virginia Regulatory Townhall under Comment Forums. A copy of the document can be found here.


Email Communication from the Board

The Virginia Board of Social Work primarily communicates with licensees and applicants by email regarding applications and renewals. Please ensure that you add the board’s email address (socialwork@dhp.virginia.gov) to your safe recipient list to ensure that you receive all email communication from board staff.


ASWB EXAM UPDATE – EFFECTIVE JANUARY 2, 2018

The Association of Social Work Boards (“ASWB”) licensing exams are changing effective January 2, 2018. Please visit ASWB's website to learn more about the changes, read the 2017 Analysis of the Practice of Social Work and review the timeline for implementation.

Opioid Addiction Crisis Declared a Public Health Emergency in Virginia

On November 21, 2016 Governor McAuliffe issued a News Release stating that State Health Commissioner Marissa Levine has declared Virginia’s opioid abuse crisis a Public Health Emergency in the Commonwealth.

Visit the Virginia Department of Health for more information.
Download Commissioner Levine’s message to healthcare practitioners on dispensing Naloxone.



Application Information

Notice: Applications are typically processed within 6 weeks of the receipt of a complete file. Please refer to your online application checklist to ensure that all items have been received. Incomplete applications will not be processed.

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions and Licensure Process Handbook prior to contacting the Board office. You are also encouraged to email any questions to socialwork@dhp.virginia.gov. Board staff will respond to all messages as soon as possible. Thank you for understanding and cooperation as we focus on ensuring complete applications continue to be processed within 30 business days.


IMPORTANT PRACTICE INFORMATION!

If you work in a non-exempt setting, you are required to be licensed at the appropriate level or under board approved supervision in order to provide social work services to clients in Virginia in accordance with § 54.1-3701 of the Code of Virginia. For a list of exemptions from licensure, please review the Laws Governing Social Work.

Online Services

Applications & Forms

Download Applications and Instructions available from the Board of Social Work.

Regulated Professions

The following professions are regulated by the Board of Social Work.

Laws & Regulations

Keep in the know about important laws and regulations:
Laws and Regulations Governing Social Work

Guidance Documents

View and download the list of available guidance documents from the Board of Social Work. These documents provide information or guidance to the public to interpret or implement statutes or the agency's rules or regulations.

Board Members, Meetings and Minutes

Board of Social Work Calendar of upcoming Board meetings and minutes from past Board meetings.  View the current Members of the Board.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to common questions

Regulatory Town Hall

The Virginia Department of Planning & Budget has designed a Regulatory Town Hall for anyone interested in the proposal of regulations or meetings of regulatory boards.

Helpful Information