Montana Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW) Guide - 2023
AKA: Montana LBSW License
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If you want to start practicing as a social worker in the least amount of time possible, you can pursue a career as a licensed baccalaureate social worker (LBSW). Once you obtain licensure, you’ll be ready to practice as a non-clinical professional. The license comes with a general scope of practice that can include working as a client advocate or helping people in the role of a case manager. While it’s considered the entry-level option, you’ll play an important role in helping people and communities.
You’ll begin down the path of becoming an LBSW by earning your bachelor’s degree through a program that’s accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). If you’re still looking for such a program, you can use the CSWE’s accreditation directory to find one.
Or here you can find all schools offering social work degree programs in Montana.
According to the directory, Montana currently has two accredited LBSW programs, which you’ll find at the University of Montana and Salish Kootenai College. Unfortunately, neither school offers an online option for a bachelor’s degree in social work, so you’ll need to attend in person. You can do so as a full-time or part-time student.
Even though an LBSW is technically entry-level, only the most experienced make the cut. Thus, you must complete a minimum of 2,000 hours of post-graduate supervised work experience on your path toward licensure. The work must occur over at least 18 months to qualify, so don’t pile the hours on too quickly. Additionally, your supervisor must meet the requirements set forth by the state of Montana for your hours to count toward licensure. You can peruse the Administrative Rules of Montana pertaining to supervisor qualifications when searching for someone to supervise your work upon graduation.
You will also need to fill out a Training and Supervision Plan form with your supervisor. Then you need to submit the form when applying for your license.
You also must pass the licensing exam to become a social worker in Montana. The Association of Social Worker Boards (ASWB) is in charge of the exam, and you can register and pay the $230 fee on its website. Then you’ll have the option to purchase an online practice exam and study materials if you wish, although that’s not a requirement.
The Montana Department of Justice – Criminal Records and Identification Services Section is in charge of background checks for social workers and other professionals in the state. While it offers various types of background checks, you’ll need to undergo a fingerprint check for $30. By obtaining your fingerprints, the state can run a federal background check on you. As part of this requirement, you’ll submit the Applicant Rights and Consent to Fingerprint Notice with your application.
You can apply for your license via the Montana Department of Labor and Industry’s online portal. You’ll need to pay the $200 licensing fee and provide all the supporting documents, including proof of education and supervised experience. You’ll include your email address with the application, and the licensing board will use it to communicate with you.