• NASW-IL Staff

Frequently Asked Questions About 2021 Licensure Renewal

What do I need to renew my license?

Please see our article posted back in December 2019, "2019–2021 IDFPR Licensure Renewal Changes” for a complete list of education requirements. Every licensed social worker in the state of Illinois is required to fulfill those requirements during the current license cycle.

>> For steps on renewing your license, go to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) website: https://www.idfpr.com

Do I need to accrue 30 hours of continuing education units (CEUs) every time I renew my license?

If this is your first time applying for the LSW or LCSW OR this is your first time renewing your license, you do not need to accumulate 30 CEUs for licensure. However, for every subsequent renewal after your first, you will need to acquire 30 hours of continuing education.

I got more than 30 hours of credit. Can I roll the extras over into the next licensure cycle?

Trainings only apply to the licensure cycle in the year which they are taken. That is, a course taken before December 1, 2019, cannot be applied toward the 2019–2021 licensure cycle. Therefore, if you accumulate more than 30 CEs in one two-year cycle, the extras do not carry over to the next period.

Where do I send my CEUs? How long do I need to keep my CEUs?

You don’t actually need to send proof of your CEUS with your online renewal application unless you are applying for renewal after the deadline or IDFPR requests it. In the meanwhile, we suggest keeping record of your CEs on file for at least five years.

How do I know if a specific training/conference will be accepted by IDFPR for my renewal?

The NASW-Illinois Chapter cannot vouch for CEUs being offered by another provider. If you are considering taking a course that you are not sure offers CEUs, contact the sponsor prior to attending and make sure they have one of the following two things:

  • A certified provider number issued by the IDFPR—this number will be a 9-digit number beginning with 159.

  • A co-sponsorship with an organization that has a certified provider number.

If you take a course from an organization that is not a certified provider of CEUs at the time of the event, you may not claim CEUs after the fact.

Can I seek a waiver of CE requirements? What if I can’t get enough CEUs by the deadline?

While IDFPR allows you to apply for a waiver of the continuing education requirements, it is subject to their approval. We at the NASW-Illinois Chapter strongly recommend that you do not apply for a waiver unless you are sure that you qualify for a waiver.

>> For full details on a waiver of CE requirements, see the Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act, section 1470.95.

What qualifies as a sexual harassment prevention training?

For licensed Illinois social workers, there is a license requirement as well as a state requirement for all Illinois employees that requires you to take a 1-hour sexual harassment prevention training. However, due to the way the laws are currently written, you may take a sexual harassment prevention training with your work or agency but unless they are a licensed provider of social work CEUs, you will have to take another sexual harassment training course from an approved CE provider.

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 who work for an employer who is not a licensed provider of CEUs to work with a licensed provider of social work CEUs to provide the training to fulfill both licensure and state law requirements at once.

>> For updates on any changes in the sexual harassment prevention laws/licensure requirement, check the NASW-Illinois Chapter “News” page: https://www.naswil.org/blog

What qualifies as a mandated reporter training?

Unlike the sexual harassment prevention training requirement, the mandated reporter training requirement has content-related requirements rather than time requirements. To fulfill IDFPR requirements, the course must contain 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.

>> For a thorough, in-depth look at the mandated reporter training requirement and its ramifications on social workers, check out our recorded training with Monahan Law Group, LLC (eligible for 3 CEUs and fulfills IDFPR mandated reporter training requirements): https://bit.ly/mandreporter

Have more questions?

All specific questions concerning licensure and individual licenses or a particular license application needs to be properly directed to IDFPR as they are ultimately the licensing board who approve of licenses for Illinois.

>> One of the biggest benefits of NASW membership is consultation access for questions relating to the social work profession. Become a member today! https://www.socialworkers.org/nasw/join

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