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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

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Safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are now available for anyone age 6 months or older. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information.

Key Regulations changes for Social Work effective 10/26/2022 and 10/27/2022

Effective: October 26, 2022

Changes to the regulations allows for out-of-state practitioners to apply for a Virginia license without the verification of 24 months of post-licensure active practice or providing evidence that their education and supervised experience are substantially equivalent to Virginia’s requirements.

Out-of-State Social Work licensees that hold a comparable LCSW, LMSW or LBSW in good standing can quickly and efficiently apply for licensure in Virginia by applying online (which includes a fee), providing verification that their license is in good standing and provide verification of passing an examination at the level for which they are seeking licensure. The amended regulations will allow a seamless process for out-of-state licensed social workers to gain licensure in Virginia.

The changes to the regulations also eliminate the burden on Virginia licensees who hold an expired or inactive license. The amended regulations allow for a straightforward path to reinstatement and reactivation. These changes will allow for retired licensees or licensees who moved out-of-state to quickly re-enter the workforce in Virginia.

Effective: October 27, 2022

The Board of Social Work regulations will allow out-of-state applicants who took a state social work exam or whose examination was waived by the initial licensing state to gain licensure without taking the national examination. This regulation directly affects seasoned out-of-state licensees who may not have been required initially to pass the national social work examination.


VA Board of Social Work Statement Regarding Racial Disparities in Pass Rates of Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Licensing Examinations

On behalf of the Virginia State Board of Social Work, we acknowledge the racial disparity recently highlighted in the ASWB clinical and masters’ level exam pass rates. This disparity is unacceptable and alarming. The VA State Board of Social Work does not condone any discrimination, institutional or otherwise, and strives for equal opportunity and accessibility to entering the field of Social Work. Additionally, we recognize the need for effective, educated, and professional clinicians and we are certain that we can identify an equitable solution. We will work with the ASWB, the community, and other stakeholders to obtain more information on the possible causes of any disparities and pursue solutions to any issues found. 


Boost 200

Special funding is available to help a total of 200 motivated Masters-prepared Counselors and Social Workers pursue Virginia licensure by paying for required clinical supervision with a DHP-approved Supervisor. Learn more about Boost 200 and how to apply at www.VHCF.org/Boost200


(UPDATED June 22, 2022) Information on Continuity of Care and Temporary Authorization to Practice click here (Word document)


COVID-19 Updates

Useful up to date COVID-19 Vaccine information

COVID-19 Vaccine information for health professionals

The Virginia Department of Health (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.


Social Work Licensure Compact

CSG is excited to announce that the initial draft has been finalized and posted online here.  The draft is now published for review and public comment. On this webpage you will also find a list of FAQs and a two-page educational fact-sheet.


Changes to supervision requirements effective March 18, 2021.

The Board has amended regulations to clarify that the definition of “face-to-face” may include the use of technology in the contact between a supervisee and a client and to add a definition for a “supervisory contract.” Other amendments will: (1) clarify that the educational requirements must be completed before persons begin their post-graduate supervised experience; (2) eliminate the requirement that a supervisee notify the Board whenever there is a change of location or supervised experiences; and (3) reiterate that a person must remain under supervision until issued a license. For more information on the changes to the supervision requirements that will be effective 3/18/2021 click here.

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.

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.


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.


Application Information

Notice: Applications are typically processed within 30 days 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.

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