Georgia Clinical Social Worker (CSW) Guide - 2022

AKA: Georgia CSW License

Last Reviewed: April 19th, 2022

Georgia Clinical Social Worker (CSW) Licensing Process

If you prefer the clinical to the administrative side, you can pursue a career as a clinical social worker (CSW). This license will allow you to diagnose and treat patients and work in a therapy setting. The licensing board understands the experience and training needed to fulfill this role, so it has additional licensing requirements in place. By the time you meet all the requirements, you’ll be comfortable and experienced in a clinical setting and ready to work directly with clients.

Education Requirements

You must complete a master’s degree in social work from an accredited program to get your license. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the accrediting body for programs in Georgia and other states, so you must choose a school that has its stamp of approval.

Find a master’s in social work degree program in Georgia, here. The state currently has seven accredited master’s degree programs, including online learning options. You can also find programs geared toward specialized practice areas. For instance, you can pursue your degree with a specialty in children, youth, and families or mental health. Choosing a specialty when pursuing your degree will help you find the type of job you want after getting your license.

Experience Requirements

Because you will deal directly with clients as a clinical social worker, work experience is critical. Thus, you must obtain directed and supervised experience before you can receive a license to practice.

Directed experience pertains to ongoing administrative oversight and takes place at the same time as supervised experience. Thus, you’ll need to get 120 hours of supervised experience that runs alongside your directed experience to meet the criteria.

Your director will need to fill out the Social Work Directed Experience Verification Form, while you’ll need your supervisor to complete the Social Work Supervision Verification Form. Then, both need to return the forms to you so you can include them in your application package.

Examination Requirements

You have to pass the national exam before obtaining your license. However, you must first receive authorization to take the text. That means you need to submit your application for licensure, along with the supporting documents. After reviewing everything, the board will approve you to register for and take the exam.

The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) is in charge of national exams. Once you’re approved, you can visit the ASWB’s website to register and pay the $260 exam fee.

You need to make sure you’re prepared for the exam so you pass it the first time. Fortunately, you can take an online practice test on ASWB’s website. The site also has exam materials available for purchase. This includes a guide that will help you navigate the exam.

After studying, you’ll finally sit for the exam. Then, the ASWB will score your test and forward the results to the board.

Background Check Requirements

You will provide background information when filling out your application. Additionally, the board might require that you submit a Consent Form to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to authorize a background check. You’ll find out if you need this form when applying for licensure.

References

You also must include the Personal Reference Form when submitting your application. Even though you’ll choose two personal references, they must be people who can attest to your social work experience. The state allows you to choose teachers and supervisors for your references.

Proof of Citizenship

You have to prove that you are a U.S. citizen or immigrant who’s allowed to work in Georgia before receiving your license. First, you will fill out the Affidavit Regarding Citizenship and have it notarized before adding it to your application. Georgia also requires that you provide secure and verifiable documents so the state can verify your identity and eligibility. If you’re a U.S. citizen, you can include a copy of your passport or driver’s license. If you prefer to include something else, you can look through the list of secure and verifiable documents.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you will have to show that you have the legal right to work in the country. Thus, the state requires qualified alien documents as part of the application.

Verification of License in Another State

While some states offer social worker licenses by reciprocity, that isn’t the case in Georgia. Still, the state needs to verify your license in another state, if applicable. You will need to submit the  Application for Master Social Worker Licensure – Verification of Licensure form as part of your application. You can skip this step if you have never held a social worker license in any state.

Licensure Process

You have the option to submit your application online or send it through the mail. If you choose to apply online, the fee is $105. However, there’s an extra processing fee for mailed applications, so you’ll pay $110 if you choose this method.

If you want to submit your application online, create an account with Georgia Online Application Services. Then, submit the application and supporting documentation through the online portal.

Otherwise, print, fill out, and notarize the Application for Licensure as a Clinical Social Worker. Then, mail the completed application and supporting decimation to:

Georgia State Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists

237 Coliseum Drive

Macon, Georgia 31217

Make sure that you notarize the application before sending it. If you fail to do so, the board will not accept your application for licensure.