|Board of Social Work|
Phone: (804) 367-4441
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:15 to 5:00
|Other Citizen Services|
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.
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.
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 (email@example.com) to your safe recipient list to ensure that you receive all email communication from board staff.
ASWB EXAM UPDATE – EFFECTIVE JANUARY 2, 2018The 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- Applicants for registration of supervision or applicants for licensure can apply online. Click here to begin the online application process.
- Existing Licensees can renew a license, change an address and request a duplicate license online.
Applications & Forms
Download Applications and Instructions available from the Board of Social Work.
The following professions are regulated by the Board of Social Work.
- Associate Social Worker
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker
- Licensed Master’s Social Worker
- Registered Social Worker
Laws & Regulations
Keep in the know about important laws and regulations:
Laws and Regulations Governing Social Work
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
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.
- Healthcare Workforce Data Findings
- Pass/Fail Summary
- Duty to Report Adult Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation
- Address of Record: Section 54.1-2400.02.B of the Code of Virginia requires the Department
of Health Professions (DHP) to collect an official address of record from
each health professional to be used by DHP for agency purposes. The Code
also requires DHP to provide an opportunity for a health professional
to provide a second address for the purpose of public dissemination. If there is no second (public) address provided, the official address
of record will be used as the public address for the purpose of public
dissemination. If the health professional would prefer that
his/her address of record remain confidential, then an alternative public
address must be provided to DHP. (Note: the License Lookup feature on
the DHP public website does not contain the full address. However, public
addresses are available by contacting Virginia Interactive Premium Service
or the Board.) An individual is not required to submit a place of residence
for either the official address of record or the public address. A post
office box or a practice location is acceptable.
Changes to either address may be made at the time of renewal or at any time by written notification to the Board. Changes to the address of record may also be made at any time by accessing your licensure information through the online system. Any change that is made to one of the addresses does not automatically update the other address. Address information should be kept current for the address of record and the public address (if different from the address of record) at all times.