Massachusetts Social Worker License Guide - 2022

Social Worker Licensing Guide for the state of Massachusetts

Last Reviewed: May 10th, 2022

Over the years, social workers have become key players in Massachusetts’ communities. If you become a Massachusetts social worker, you will be directly involved in the lives of everyday people. The range of responsibilities of a social worker is quite broad. You could get involved in any of the much-needed society-building efforts such as activism, research, advocacy, and policy formulation. 

You could also participate in other interventions such as substance abuse treatments, case management, educational campaigns, and providing links to support and resources. You will weld the capacity to positively influence members of the society; both old and young.

If this is your passion, then you need to get licensed. Your journey to becoming a Massachusetts social worker will only be successful when you acquire a license. A license empowers you to perform the roles of a social worker legally. 

The Massachusetts Board of Social Workers (MBOSW) is responsible for ensuring safe and quality social work practice in the state. The MBOSW screens aspiring social- work licensees every year to verify their intellectual and moral fitness. In this article, we will gain simple but comprehensive knowledge on how to convince the board that you deserve a license. 

There are four social work licenses in Massachusetts. Each of these licenses represents a different level of responsibility and specialty. Like a ladder, you can climb from the first license to the next until you get to the top. These licenses are;

  • Licensed Social Works Associate (LSWA)
  • Licensed Social Worker (LSW)
  • Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)

Let’s see their roles and responsibilities. 

Licensed Social Works Associate (LSWA)

As a Licensed Social Works Associate, you will work under the supervision of any of the three higher social works license holders. You will collate data for research, identify client needs, and show clients how to take advantage of resources and support. 

Licensed Social Worker (LSW)

As a licensed social worker, you will be under the supervision of the two higher social work license holders. In addition to the responsibilities of the LSWA, you will perform non-clinical client consultation and case management. 

Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW)

In addition to the duties of the LSW, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker will work under the supervision of a LICSW. LCSWs will perform every kind of clinical social work responsibility. 

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)

The Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker can perform every social work role without supervision. That is, LICSW license holders can practice independently. 

Process of Licensure

The people of Massachusetts are counting on your successful licensure. Let’s see a detailed and easy-to-grasp Massachusetts social works licensing map for the four licenses to ensure you get one. 

Massachusetts Social Work License Options