Iowa Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW) Guide - 2022

AKA: Iowa LBSW License

Last Reviewed: April 21st, 2022

Iowa Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW) Licensure Process

The LBSW is the entry-level license for social workers in Iowa. Here are some of the services this license allows you to administer in Iowa:

  • Psychosocial assessment and intervention
  • Gather social histories
  • Engage in social work administration
  • Direct contact with clients
  • Help clients establish goals and monitor their progress

Education Requirements

You’ll need to provide your official academic transcripts to prove you have received a Bachelor’s in Social Work (BSW) degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program. That information is transmitted directly to the Board from the college or university you attended.

Find all schools offering social work degree programs in Iowa.

Application Process

Apply for your LBSW licensure through the Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Professional Licensure’s Online Services page. You can also download, print, and mail in a copy of the Application for Bachelor Social Work Licensure to the Board. Whether you submit the application online or via mail, don’t forget to include the appropriate application fee.

Background Check

You are required to pass a criminal background check to attain licensure as a social worker. While fingerprints are not required to request a criminal history record check, there are certain circumstances where they may be requested to confirm the applicant’s identity and the validity of the record. You are required to disclose any prior convictions on your application, but depending on the nature of the crime, you may not automatically be barred from obtaining a license. The Frequently Asked Questions About Having a Criminal Conviction page can help you determine whether or not you can get a social worker’s license in Iowa.

Examination Requirements

After your application has been reviewed and approved by the Board, they will inform you that you can take the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam. There is an exam fee to be paid in advance, and the test consists of 170 questions, of which 150 are scored. The exam assesses your knowledge of bachelor’s-level social work practice.

It takes up to two weeks for the ASWB to send your exam results to the Board. Once the Board is notified of your passing score, you will be issued your LBSW license and can then begin supervised practice as an LBSW.