Rhode Island Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) Guide - 2024

AKA: Rhode Island LCSW License

Social Worker License

by Social Worker License Staff

Updated: April 24th, 2023

Rhode Island Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) Licensure Process

LCSWs are permitted to provide clinical services under supervision. They include:

  • Assessments
  • Diagnoses
  • Developing and implementing treatment plans
  • Treating clients for emotional, mental, or behavioral issues
  • Manage social programs
  • Consult with medical professionals on treatments for clients
  • Perform clinical research

They also mentor and supervise upcoming social workers. As an LCSW, your day may be busy with staff meetings, client meetings, home, and hospital visits, and rehab or prison facilities trips.

Education Requirements

You will be required to complete an MSW or doctoral degree in social work from a CSWE-approved school or program is required for all applicants. Here you can find all schools offering social work degree programs in Rhode Island.

Background Check

Applicants must disclose any criminal convictions, plea bargains, or charges they’ve acquired on the application. Anyone employed by a Department of Human Services (DHS) licensed provider will have a background check that comprises the following:

  • Rhode Island Abuse and Neglect Registry Check
  • FBI Fingerprint Criminal History Check
  • Rhode Island criminal background check
  • State Sex Offender Registry check
  • National Sex Offender Registry check
  • Interstate Criminal, Sex Offender Registry, and Child Abuse and Neglect Registry if you’ve lived outside Rhode Island in the last five years

A Fingerprint Affidavit in English or Spanish must also be completed and submitted by the hiring facility. There are also infographics available in English and Spanish with all the information you need to submit a complete background check.

Examination Requirements

Passing the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Master’s exam is a requirement for licensure. There is a handbook available to download that thoroughly explains what to expect from the exam process. Everything is laid out from the registration, the day of the test, and what you need to do after the exam. Of the 170-multiple choice questions asked, 150 of them are used for grading. The exam’s time limit is four hours, and the fee is $230.

Once you register for the ASWB exam, you can purchase the Individual Practice Test for $85. You’re only allowed to buy one test every six hours. The online practice test is available for 30 days after your initial login. It’s a great way to help you prepare for the exam.

After two weeks, your scores are transmitted by the ASWB to the Rhode Island Board of Social Work Examiners.

Applying for Licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Start by submitting a completed application to the Board with the non-refundable $70 fee. Applications are good for one year from the date the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) receives them. The RIDOH processes the applications for the Board. The other licensure requirements are:

  • Copy of valid state-issued identification (driver’s license, etc.)
  • Official transcript from MSW program; student copies not accepted
  • ASWB Master’s exam scores

Once all information is received, your application is processed, and your license is issued. Only wallet license cards are provided, but you can request a certificate for framing for an additional cost of $30 made out to the Rhode Island General Treasurer on a separate check.