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Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Proposed: Minnesota Social Work License Requirements

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S.F. 753 was introduced by Senator Rosen on March 14, 2011. If enacted, this law would require those who engage in social work or are presented to the public as a social worker become licensed by the MN Board of Social Work by July 1, 2016. This would apply to those who are newly employed by a Minnesota city or state agency or a nonprofit, nontribal agency. Those that would be required to seek licensure would also have to have earned a baccalaureate or graduate degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Workor a similar accrediting body. social work picture.jpg

The bill has outlined a grandfathering period for those that qualify between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014. The different classes of licensure are outlined below:

Licensed Social Worker (LSW)

  • graduated with a baccalaureate degree in social work from a college or university accredited by the entities stated above
  • graduated with a baccalaureate degree in psychology, sociology, human services, or social and behavioral science from an accredited college or university
  • graduated with a baccalaureate degree in any field from an accredited college or university with one year experience in social work
  • additional supervision requirements similar to current licensing standards

The board has additional requirements similar to current licensing standards for this class of licensure.

Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW), Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW), Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)

  • graduated with a graduate degree in social work from a college or university accredited by the entities stated above
  • graduated with a graduate degree in psychology, sociology, marriage and family therapy, human services, or social and behavioral science from an accredited college or university
  • graduated with a graduate degree in any field from an accredited college or university with one year experience in social work
  • additional supervision requirements similar to current licensing standards
(For LICSW the applicant must be considered a mental health professional according to statute 245.462 subd. 18 1-6)

The board has additional requirements similar to current licensing standards for these classes of licensure.

In order to be grandfathered in for licensing purposes one must be practicing in a Minnesota city or state agency and engaging in social work practice ore presenting themselves to the public as a social worker anytime within 3 years of the date of application. The applicant must have been employed by that agency for at least 6 months. If employed by a private nonprofit, nontribal agency the agency's primary service focus has to address ethnic minority populations and the applicant has to be a member of an ethnic minority population within that agency.


In this bill, licensure in these agencies would remain voluntary. These agencies are not be required to hire persons with a degree in social work.

S.F. 753 passed the third reading on April 2, 2012. H.F. 1191 had the second reading on April 2, 2012 and was referred to the Chief Clerk for comparison with S.F. 753.

How might this legislation impact the field of social work in the public and private sector? How might this impact people who are changing jobs within the field of social work? Do you believe this change is positive or negative for the field of social work?

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