• NASW-IL Staff

2019–2021 IDFPR Licensure Renewal Changes

Updated: Apr 26

This article was updated on October 13, 2020, to reflect the IDFPR waiver of the in-person CEU requirement for the 2019–2021 licensure cycle.

For the next licensure renewal cycle starting December 1, 2019, and ending November 30, 2021, Illinois licensed social workers (LSWs) and licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) will have 2 additional requirements for licensure renewal as required by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR):

  1. Starting January 1, 2020, 1 hour of sexual harassment prevention training will be required for licensure renewal.

  2. Starting January 1, 2020, mandated reporter training will be required for licensure renewal.

The above requirements are in addition to pre-existing LSW/LCSW licensure renewal requirements:

  • A minimum of 30 hours of continuing education (CE) relevant to the practice of social work or clinical social work of which: 1) At least 3 of the 30 hours must include content related to the ethical practice of social work; 2) At least 3 of the 30 hours must include content related to cultural competence in the practice of social work (Effective December 1, 2013); 3) NEW! At least 1 of the 30 hours must include a sexual harassment prevention training (Effective January 1, 2020).

  • NEW! Additionally, must complete mandated reporter training (Effective January 1, 2020).

  • For the current 2019–2021 LSW/LCSW Renewal Cycle Only: NASW-IL was successful in our efforts to advocate for waiver of the in-person CEU requirements by IDFPR due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You may now utilize any mixture of in-person, live virtual, or virtual trainings to reach your 30-hour CEU requirement.

A Note on Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirements:

Beginning January 1, 2020, two new Illinois state laws will go into effect that require sexual harassment prevention training:

  • The FIRST law mandates that every licensed professional regulated by IDFPR must have at least 1 hour of sexual harassment prevention training as part of their licensure renewal process for renewals after January 1, 2020. You will need to earn one CEU credit from one of the following: 1) A licensed provider of social work CEUs (like the NASW-Illinois Chapter and our affiliates), or 2) Take the state’s online course which should be made available after January 1, 2020.

  • The SECOND law states that every employee in Illinois must take a 1-hour sexual harassment prevention course each year. This course will either be offered through your employer’s human resource (HR)/education program, or they may also utilize the state’s online course.

The NASW-Illinois Chapter is currently working with IDFPR and the law’s sponsor to come up with language that will make these two laws work better together. However, in the interim, we strongly recommend that social workers work with their employers to either 1) utilize the state’s online course on sexual harassment prevention, or 2) have their employer work with a licensed provider of social work CEUs to provide the training to fulfill both licensure and state law requirements at once.

April 2021 Update on Sexual Harassment Training Requirements: The NASW-Illinois Chapter is actively working on a bill (Senate Bill 1079) that will remove the license requirement of obtaining one continuing education unit (CEU) in sexual harassment prevention from licensure renewal. This was a requirement that was put into place in addition to current Illinois law that states that every employee in Illinois must take a 1-hour sexual harassment prevention course each year. NASW-IL felt this CEU requirement was redundant and would require Illinois social workers to take two sexual harassment prevention trainings when either one would suffice.

If Senate Bill 1079 passes and is signed into law (potentially later this summer), social workers would still need to take a sexual harassment training for licensure renewal; however, they are not required to obtain a 1-hour CEU in sexual harassment prevention and instead, they could use a course they took through their work or agency and use that to fulfill the IDFPR sexual harassment CE requirement.

For those who have already taken a sexual harassment training for CEUs, if the bill passes, they can still count the training toward their 30 CEU requirement for licensure renewal.

As this bill still needs to be passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed into law by the governor (during which time the language may be further revised, not passed, or pushed to a later legislative session), we are strongly encouraging social workers to still take a sexual harassment prevention training that qualifies for a CEU in order to fulfill the current 2019–2021 licensure requirements. If any of the scenarios occur and this bill does not get signed into law, it is better to already have obtained the course than to rush and take the course in a shorter timeframe come fall.

A Note on the Mandated Reporter Training Requirements:

As dictated by the amendment to Senate Bill 1778, mandated reporter trainings must fulfill the following requirements:

1. Shall be in-person or web-based, and shall include, at a minimum, information on the following topics:

  • indicators for recognizing child abuse and child neglect, as defined under this Act;

  • the process for reporting suspected child abuse and child neglect in Illinois as required by this Act and the required documentation;

  • responding to a child in a trauma-informed manner; and

  • understanding the response of child protective services and the role of the reporter after a call has been made.

2. The training must be provided either through IDFPR or an approved license provider (like the NASW-Illinois Chapter and affiliates). IDFPR will also make available a free web-based training for reporters.

3. Each mandated reporter shall report to his or her employer and, when applicable, to his or her licensing or certification board that he or she received the mandated reporter training. The mandated reporter shall maintain records of completion.

Additionally, any continuing education accrued for the mandated reporter training shall count toward licensure renewal (Effective January 1, 2021).

Introducing the NASW-Illinois Chapter Mandated Reporter Training!

The NASW-Illinois Chapter offers a three-hour, training to discuss the required parameters for a mandated reporter training as dictated by IDFPR. Taught by longtime NASW-Illinois Chapter presenter Joseph T. Monahan, JD, MSW, ACSW, founder of the Chicago law firm, Monahan Law Group, LLC, this training includes the practical effects of the new statutory changes, the legal standards and documentation requirements regarding making a report, and the DCFS process and the consequences of making (or not making) a report.

Purchase the recorded training, "Mandated Reporter Training for Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect in Illinois," here.

Still have questions about licensure? The NASW-Illinois Chapter website has a plethora of information relating to licensure, from supervision requirements, the licensing process, testing procedures, and more. Click here to read more.

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