Arizona Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW) Guide - 2023
AKA: Arizona LBSW License
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Entry-level social workers in Arizona are generally first licensed as LBSWs: licensed baccalaureate social workers. With an LBSW license, you can officially begin to work with individuals and communities as a coach to identify needs and share existing or develop new resources and networks.
Day-to-day responsibilities include taking initial evaluations, participating in the assessment process, counseling, as well as assisting in the development and implementation of individualized family service plans (IFSP).
Facilities that hire LBSWs include hospitals, schools, clinics, government, and nursing homes. The work generally includes both home and community visits, or inspections, as well as office-based work. If you work as an LBSW, it will usually require the supervision of an LCSW, or licensed clinical social worker, for at least a portion of your responsibilities.
The steps to earning your LBSW license in Arizona are simple.
To be eligible for licensure in Arizona as an LBSW, you must complete a Council of Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited bachelor’s program in social work. There are currently only three Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) programs inside Arizona that are CSWE-accredited.
Find all Social Work degree programs in Arizona.
For the most up-to-date information, check for additional eligible programs on the CSWE search. Verify your program with the Arizona licensing board before enrolling; we did find that the Grand Canyon University BSW program was listed on CSWE as approved but notes on the program’s page specifically stated that it is not an acceptable BSW program in Arizona.
Classes during the second half of these programs will include topics like social policy and services, human behavior in the social environment, practice, and research. If you’re interested in working toward a more advanced license in the future, such as a Master of Social Work, your credits from these accredited BSW programs will typically count toward your advanced degree.
Depending on the program you choose, you may get some hands-on experience through 450 hours of fieldwork. This internship is a requirement to earn your degree in Northern Arizona University’s BSW program. Once you’ve earned your degree, you’re ready to fill out an application for licensure.
Although you will need to pass a social work licensing exam, you must start the licensing process by first filling out a paper application for your license with the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners. That’s because they are the ones who permit you to sit for the exam. Part VII of the application allows you to select whether you have taken the exam. If you haven’t, you will be provided further instructions on scheduling the exam. If you have, you will be instructed to send your official scores to the state licensing board.
The application for your LBSW license includes the following sections:
To submit your application, there is a $250 application fee plus a $40 fingerprint processing fee and these can be paid online or through the mail.
Once you have completed your application and paid the fees, you can check the status of your application on the board’s website. Your application will be reviewed at a Committee Board meeting and you’ll be provided information on taking the licensure exam if you have not yet done so.
In Arizona, the test that LBSWs take as a requirement for licensure is the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Bachelor’s Examination. The fee to take this exam is $230. Once you’re approved by the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners to sit for the exam, you will need to register with ASWB and schedule your exam at a Pearson Vue testing center. Pay close attention to expiration dates on any notices that you receive from either the board or the testing organizations. Your results will automatically be shared with the Arizona board within two weeks to complete the LBSW licensure process.
Once you’ve earned your LBSW license, congratulations! Renewal is required every two years through the Center for Continuing Education (CCE) and you must complete 30 hours of continuing education credits to maintain your license. The renewal fee is $325 plus a $25 one-time fee for the mandatory Arizona Statutes/Regulations tutorial which also counts as 3 CE credit hours.