Illinois Licensed Social Worker (LSW) Guide - 2024

AKA: Illinois LSW License

Social Worker License

by Social Worker License Staff

Updated: February 16th, 2024

Illinois LSW Licensure Process

The Licensed Social Worker position is the first level of licensure for social workers in the state of Illinois. Once you have this

Education Requirements

The first requirement is a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program or school. You must then earn a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from a CSWE-accredited program before applying for your LSW license. As an LSW, you have more advanced opportunities for work in social group work, community organizing, social welfare administration, and social casework.

Find all schools offering social work degree programs in Illinois.

Experience Requirements

If you have an MSW, you do not need any experience to apply for an LSW. However, if you have a BSW, it is necessary to complete three years of professional social work experience while supervised by an LSW or LCSW. Meetings with the supervisor have to be at least four hours once a month for the three years. Once the supervisor evaluates your work as satisfactory, you can move to the next step.

Application Process

The LSW Licensure Application has a fee of $50. Proof of your satisfactory completion of a proper MSW program or BSW program with three years of supervised experience must also be submitted.

Examination Requirements

Once you have applied for the license, you must pass the ASWB Master’s Exam. The exam fee is $230, and your score is transmitted directly to the IDFPR. Before taking the exam, your application has to be approved by the IDFPR. If you have a BSW, you can still take this exam as long as the supervised work experience is completed.

Within two weeks of passing the ASWB Master’s Exam, your scores are transmitted to the IDFPR. Once your scores are processed, you will be issued your LSW license and can begin practicing.

Background Check

Everyone seeking an LSW must pass a criminal background check as part of the application process. Applicants are responsible for locating a facility and need to send the sealed transcripts to the IDFPR.