Supervision is an integral part of the social work profession. It aids in the professional growth and development of the social worker and improves clinical outcomes for clients. The purpose of supervision is to enhance social workers’ professional skills and knowledge in order to provide quality care to clients.
This page contains information around supervision requirements for licensed social workers (LSWs) and licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) as well as the NASW-Illinois Chapter Supervisor Registry to help find a supervisor locally and the NASW-Illinois Chapter Supervision Series courses.
SUPERVISION FOR LSWs
SUPERVISION FOR LCSWs
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
FIND A SUPERVISOR
BECOMING A SUPERVISOR / SUPERVISION SERIES COURSES
SUPERVISION FOR LICENSED SOCIAL WORKERS (LSWs)
If you obtained a degree from a CSWE–approved graduate program of social work, you do not need to obtain supervision hours.
If you obtained a degree from a CSWE–approved undergraduate program of social, you will need to obtain three (3) years of supervised professional experience subsequent to obtaining the degree.
What qualifies as “supervision” for the LSW?
Supervised professional experience is that experience directly related to social work as defined in Section 3(9) of the Act. The experience shall be:
Obtained under the direct supervision of a certified social worker registered under the Social Workers Registration Act, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Social Worker, diplomate in clinical social work, designated member of ACSW, or other appropriate supervisor as approved by the Board (including other licensed clinical mental health professionals).
Satisfactory as evaluated by the supervisor. The supervisor shall have met with the individual an average of at least 4 hours each month.
SUPERVISION FOR LICENSED CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKERS (LCSWs)
Do I need supervision hours for the LCSW?
Persons holding a master's degree in social work shall have completed 3,000 hours of satisfactory, supervised clinical professional experience subsequent to the receipt of the degree.
Persons holding a doctorate degree in social work shall have completed 2,000 hours of satisfactory, supervised clinical professional experience subsequent to the receipt of the degree.
Of these hours, the required number of hours may have been obtained in the following manners:
For full-time experience, a minimum of 30 hours per week but not more than 40 hours per week.
For part-time experience, not more than 29 hours per week.
What qualifies as “clinical professional experience” for the LCSW?
Supervised experience shall be experience directly related to clinical social work practice as defined in Section 3(5) of the Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act—that is, “the providing of mental health services for the evaluation, treatment, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders in individuals, families, and groups based on knowledge and theory of professionally accepted theoretical structures, including, but not limited to, psychosocial development, behavior, psychopathology, unconscious motivation, interpersonal relationships, and environmental stress.”
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Are there requirements of the supervisor to provide adequate supervision?
Rules for the Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act (Section 1470.20 Professional Experience) further list requirements for the supervisor:
The supervisor shall have met with the applicant an average of at least 4 hours each month to discuss client cases and treatment procedures.
Only experience supervised by an LCSW will be acceptable to meet the professional experience requirement. If supervision was in another jurisdiction in which clinical social workers are not licensed, the supervisor shall have been engaged in clinical social work and be credentialed at the highest level required by that jurisdiction.
The experience shall have been evaluated by the supervisor as satisfactory.
An applicant may contract with an LCSW to provide supervision
Supervision may be provided within an agency of employment or outside the agency.
Supervision may be paid or unpaid.
Supervision may be on an individual or group basis. When group supervision is provided, the number of supervisees may not exceed five.
Do my supervision hours expire?
While the hours of supervision themselves do not expire, the licensure application expires after three years (from the date it is received and entered into IDFPR's system). If a person waited two years after their application expired to reapply, they would be told that they needed to resubmit all supporting documents, including proof of experience. (Expired applications are generally destroyed after 6 months unless the applicant reapplies before then.) If you switch supervisors at any point during the process, we strongly encourage that you get your previous supervisor to sign off on all hours acquired before moving on to a new supervisor.
Can an LSW or an LSW pending LCSW licensure be considered as an independent contractor in Illinois?
Licensed Social Workers may not engage in the independent practice of clinical social work without a clinical social worker license. Independent practice of clinical social work means providing the services of or engaging in the practice of clinical social work, as defined in Section 3(5) of the Act, by an individual who regulates and is responsible for her or his own practice or treatment procedures. (Section 1470.97 Independent Practice of Clinical Social Work in the Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act)
Can an LSW or an LSW pending LCSW licensure provide clinical social work services?
Licensed Social Workers may provide clinical social work services as set forth in Section 3(5). When engaging in or providing clinical social work services as set forth in Section 3(5), an LSW may only do so under the order, control, and full professional responsibility of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a licensed clinical psychologist, or a psychiatrist, as defined in Section 1-121 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code [405 ILCS 5] and shall not regulate or be responsible for his/her own practice or treatment procedures. (Section 1470.97 Independent Practice of Clinical Social Work in the Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act)
When providing clinical social work services as set forth in Section 3(5) of the Act (in the independent practice of clinical social work), a Licensed Social Worker shall always operate and represent himself/herself as an employee of the independent practice and may not work as an independent contractor as defined by Internal Revenue Service regulations.
Can supervision hours be completed remotely?
Clinical supervision hours may be obtained virtually, although best practices recommend that supervision take place face-to-face either in person or virtually. Both supervisor and supervisee should also be aware of any applicable jursidictional and licensure issues when working remotely. Professional clinical experience obtained while an applicant is located in Illinois must be supervised by an Illinois licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).
Can the clinical practice one engages in toward the required supervised hours be remote?
Yes, the clinical practice hours one engages in to receive clinical supervision hours from a supervisor may be obtained through remote (telehealth) or in-person practice. However, as stated above, supervision should be face-to-face either in person or virtually. Both supervisor and supervisee should also be aware of any applicable jursidictional and licensure issues when working remotely.
Where can I find a supervisor?
Most agencies have a licensed clinical social worker on staff that will qualify as a supervisor. This person does NOT have to be your direct supervisor, but you do have to meet with them the minimum required hours per month. See below for more information on the NASW-Illinois Chapter Supervisor Registry.
The NASW-Illinois Chapter has created the NASW-Illinois Chapter Supervisor Registry (see right) for social work graduates who are looking for a supervisor outside of their current employment. Program participants listed in the registry supplied all personal information contained in the following pages. The NASW-Illinois Chapter is not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained in this document. Supervisees should confirm license status with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) prior to obtaining supervision. Listing in this document does not denote endorsement or recommendation by the NASW-Illinois Chapter; rather it only indicates that listed social workers meet criteria for inclusion in this registry. Fees or supervision requirements are set by the supervisor; the NASW-Illinois Chapter is not part of that arrangement.
Want to be added to the NASW-IL Supervisor Registry? All registry participants have completed the following: completed the four-hour NASW- Illinois Chapter course, Fundamentals of Individual Clinical Social Work Supervision Course; are a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in good standing with IDFPR at the time of listing in the NASW-Illinois Chapter Supervisor Registry; and must abide by the NASW Code of Ethics.
If you experience any unethical behaviors by a supervisor from our registry, please contact the NASW-Illinois Chapter Ethics Committee (CEC) for an ethics consulation.
For a list of upcoming course dates, see course calendar below.
BECOMING A SUPERVISOR
Oftentimes we get questions from first-time supervisors asking, What do I need to do or complete in order to become an supervisor in Illinois? Unfortunately, the long and short of it is that beyond what is defined in the Social Work Rules, (Section 1470.20 Professional Experience), the state doesn’t have a clear definition of best practices for being a good supervisor.
The NASW-Illinois Chapter feels it is essential for training supervisors to be good and ethical supervisors who engage effectively with their supervisees. As such, we have developed our Supervision Series, a series of three courses aimed at new and experienced supervisors on how to effectively, legally, and ethically engage with their supervisees as well as basic strategies for effective individual or group supervision:
Fundamentals of Individual Clinical Social Work Supervision
Clinical Social Work Supervision II
Group Supervision in Social Work
Don't see a date below that works with your schedule? Please note that these courses are offered on a rolling basis, dependent on interest. Click here to add yourself to the Supervision Course Waiting List for alerts about future trainings.
Upcoming Supervision Series Courses
- Wed, Apr 24ZoomApr 24, 2024, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM CDTZoomApr 24, 2024, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM CDTZoomThis course is aimed at new and experienced supervisors and will cover what all supervisors need to know in order to engage most effectively, legally, and ethically with their supervisees. Speaker: Natalie K. Holzman, LCSW Cost: 4 CEUs / $100 Nonmember / $60 NASW Member
- Wed, May 08ZoomMay 08, 2024, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM CDTZoomMay 08, 2024, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM CDTZoomThis workshop will expand into elements presented in Fundamentals of Individual Clinical Social Work Supervision by using practice-related vignettes based on issues and questions raised in advance by participants. Speaker: Natalie K. Holzman, LCSW Cost: 3 CEUs / $75 Nonmember / $45 NASW Member
- Mon, Feb 26ZoomFeb 26, 2024, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM CSTZoomFeb 26, 2024, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM CSTZoomThis course is aimed at new and experienced supervisors and will cover what all supervisors need to know in order to engage most effectively, legally, and ethically with their supervisees. Speaker: Natalie K. Holzman, LCSW Cost: 4 CEUs / $100 Nonmember / $60 NASW Member