Licensure Steps

There are two levels of licensure in Illinois: licensed social worker (LSW) and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).

ABOUT
LSW
ABOUT
LCSW

Those seeking LSW or LCSW licensure must file an application for licensure with IDFPR on forms provided by IDFPR in addition to the following:

Must have a certification of graduation from a master's degree program of social work approved by IDFPR, OR 

 

Must have a certification of graduation from a baccalaureate degree program of social work approved by IDFPR AND and verification of completion of 3 years of supervised professional experience

1.

Must have proof of successful completion of the Masters ASWB examination for the practice of social work as a licensed social worker. 

Testing Service Administration Fee, Masters Examination: $230.00

2.

Must pay required licensing fees

  • IDFPR Application Fee: $50.00

  • Licensure Renewal (every 2 years): $60.00 

  • License Reinstatement (less than 5 years): $50.00 plus payment of all lapsed renewal fees

  • License Reinstatement (more than 5 years): $200.00 plus payment of all lapsed renewal fees

3.

Must be of good moral character

4.

Must have certification of graduation from a master's degree program in social work approved by IDFPR AND verification of completion of 3000 hours of satisfactory supervised clinical professional experience, OR

 

Must have certification of graduation from a doctorate degree program in social work approved by IDFPR AND verification of completion of 2000 hours of satisfactory supervised clinical professional experience

1.

Must have proof of successful completion of the Clincal ASWB examination for the practice of social work as a licensed clinical social worker

Testing Service Administration Fee, Clinical Examination: $260.00

2.

Must pay required licensing fees

  • IDFPR Application Fee: $50.00

  • Licensure Renewal (every 2 years): $60.00 

  • License Reinstatement (less than 5 years): $50.00 plus payment of all lapsed renewal fees

  • License Reinstatement (more than 5 years): $200.00 plus payment of all lapsed renewal fees

3.

Licensure Questions

Licensure

Is Illinois a pre-approval state?


As of December 1, 2009, Illinois became a pre-approval state (*). This means candidates must apply for licensure and be granted approval prior to sitting for either the masters or clinical examination. If you are unsure of your elligibility or have questions about licensing procedures, please contact Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). *Thanks to an amendment to The Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act (Senate Bill 1888), beginning January 1, 2020, Illinois social work students currently enrolled in their last semester of a master’s level social work program no longer need pre-approval to sit for the ASWB Masters exam (for LSW). This means you can begin the process of sitting for the ASWB exam while you’re in your last semester of school—no need waiting until after graduation to sign up!




Do I need to disclose sealed or expunged records when applying for licensure?


No! Individuals applying for a license, certification, or registration under an Act administered by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) are not obligated to disclose sealed or expunged records of a conviction or arrest. From the IDFPR website: "Effective January 1, 2017, previously barred health care workers and first time applicants may become eligible for a license. Under the Department’s new process, a health care worker who was permanently revoked or denied due to a forcible felony may file a Petition for Review, which is currently available on the Department’s website. The review process does not apply to a forcible felony requiring registration under the Sex Offender Registration Act, involuntary sexual servitude of a minor, or a criminal battery against any patient in the course of patient care or treatment that is a forcible felony. Information about applying for licensure are available on the Department's website."




My immigration status is not finalized. Do I need to disclose this?


No, Illinois does not require you to declare immigration status on your application.




Does Illinois have licensure reciprocity?


Social workers from other states wishing to become licensed in Illinois should contact IDFPR.

Illinois social workers wishing to obtain licensure in another state should contact the licensing body in that state. There is currently no direct reciprocity between states. For referral to the appropriate entity, contact the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).




What are approved programs of social work?


Programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or by CSWE's Foreign Equivalency Determination Service. Programs accredited by the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work.




Will ASWB offer virtual examinations due to the COVID-19 pandemic?


ASWB is as yet unable to offer the ASWB licensing exams through an online platform. To read more on how and why they reached this decision, please click through to our latest update.





CEUs


NASW-Illinois Chapter
​NASW Member Services

800-742-4089

Mon-Fri: 9am-9pm EST

The Center for Family Consultation - Sep
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