New Hampshire Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) Guide - 2022

AKA: New Hampshire LICSW License

Last Reviewed: June 1st, 2022

New Hampshire Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) Licensure Process

Most states require you to have a license to practice any type of social work. In New Hampshire, it is possible to work without one, but you cannot handle clinical tasks.

New Hampshire’s Board of Mental Health Practice only has one license to offer for social workers. The Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker or LICSW license is a requirement to do clinical social work independently in the state. To achieve this, you will have to pass all the following requirements:

Educational Requirement

There are two main degrees related to education for social work in New Hampshire. A Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is not required but recommended. If you want to get a license, you will need a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree.

With a BSW degree, you will be able to apply for entry-level positions related to social work. It normally takes four years of full-time study to complete the degree.

The coursework of BSW focuses on the conceptual social work overview. That also includes social welfare policies and program development.

It is best to take a program accredited by the Council of Social Work Education, or CSWE. The organization aims to advance the excellence and innovation of social work by continuing to evolve both teaching and learning programs for becoming a social worker.

Accredited programs are available across the country, with New Hampshire having two. If you want to practice social work in the state, you can take an accredited program in the country. It is advisable to take one here, though, since the course is more focused on local laws and practices.

Here you can find all schools offering social work degree programs in New Hampshire.

Being in the social work profession means your education should not stop, especially if you want to be licensed. After gaining your BSW degree, the next step is getting a master’s degree or doctorate.

If you aim to become a licensed social work practitioner in New Hampshire, the minimum education requirement is a Master of Social Work degree. It usually takes two years to complete this. If you have a BSW, though, you can pass for advanced learning. That will allow you to finish the coursework in a year.

The coursework of MSW is more advanced and specialized compared to BSW. It even has a fieldwork component that allows students taking the program to learn on the ground. The in-person social work done through the MSW coursework is supervised by a licensed social worker in New Hampshire.

If you are planning to create a career in social work, it is ideal to get the right education from the beginning. Taking the BSW degree and your MSW degree in New Hampshire prepares you for the challenges ahead.

The first requirement to qualify for a LICSW is education. You do not need to complete a BSW degree, but you need to have an MSW degree. It helps to have both for the best training. Your MSW should come from a CSWE-accredited program.

Experience Requirement

The next step is to gain the proper experience to qualify for a LICSW. That means accumulating at least 3,000 hours of post-graduate experience in social work under proper supervision. Those hours should be completed in no less than two years and not exceed four years.

While completing your post-graduate experience, you must be supervised by a social worker with a LICSW license. You should get a total of 100 hours of direct supervision. That is about an hour a week.

For your supervised clinical social work experience to become official, you need to be clear with your intention to do so. That is done by submitting a supervision agreement form to the licensing board.

The form notes the dates of your supervised sessions, the name of the facility, the supervisor, and a summary of hours done for clinical experience and face-to-face sessions.

Examination Requirement

All applicants for a LICSW license in New Hampshire need to pass the clinical exam provided by the Association of Social Work Boards ASWB. The organization supports all licensure boards across the country by providing regulated exams. It serves the social work regulatory community in advancing competent, safe, and ethical practices. That ultimately strengthens public protection. That is done through proper licensing procedures, including taking an exam, to protect clients and systems.

The ASWB also provides a standardized exam across the country. Even though each state has its requirements and processes, this keeps knowledge levels the same everywhere. It ensures everyone is trained equally. And it opens the opportunity for social workers to have careers in different states if they need to move.

Once your supervision agreement form is approved by the licensure board, you can ask about taking the clinical exam. That can be done by submitting the exam request form.

After the licensing board approves your request to take the exam, you can register with the ASWB to schedule it. You can get ready for the exam by doing the following steps:

  • Download the candidate handbook from the ASWB website
  • Register with the ASWB
  • Receive your authorization and schedule for the exam
  • Take the time to review both Candidate Rules Agreement and the Confidentiality Statements

There is a $260 fee for taking the ASWB clinical exam.

There are a total of 170 questions in the exam. The first 20 are not scored. You need to get 90 to 107 correct answers out of the 150 scored questions to pass.

Application Requirements

When you have accumulated the required experience and passed the ASWB clinical exam, you can now submit your LICSW application to the licensure board. The completed application needs to include your payment of the $150 fee.

You also need to include all the following information with your application:

  1. Completed application booklet with your photograph and resume
  2. Summary of the supervised clinical experience form
  3. Confirmation that the clinical form is sealed in an envelope and signed by the supervisor. Any one of your supervisors needs to provide a professional reference form.
  4. Three professional references. Each one should be sealed and signed. One of these should come from a supervisor.
  5. Official transcript of your undergraduate and Master of Social Work degree. The envelope containing the transcript is to be sealed by the school.
  6. Proof that you passed the ASWB clinical exam. If you took the exam out of state, you need to contact ASWB to request a copy of your exam score.
  7. A background check and the New Hampshire Criminal Offender Record Report with your application.

Next, pay the fee in check or money order, payable to the Treasurer of the State of New Hampshire. Once you complete all the requirements, the licensure board will review your application. If the board determines that you met the qualifications, you will receive a LICSW license.