Rhode Island Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) Guide - 2024

AKA: Rhode Island LICSW License

Social Worker License

by Social Worker License Staff

Updated: April 24th, 2023

Rhode Island Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) Licensure Process

Becoming an LICSW means you’ll be allowed to provide clinical services as an independent, unsupervised social worker. LICSWs can go into private practice and assist clients with resolving trauma from their past and overcoming adverse emotional and behavioral patterns. An LICSW’s goal is to help clients get to the root of those beliefs that keep their potential limited. Some popular career choices for LICSWs are:

  • Clinical Therapist
  • Community Therapist
  • Crisis Intervention Therapist
  • Trauma Counselor
  • Social Services Management
  • Clinical Social Worker

LICSWs are also found in administrative positions and supervising junior social workers as they progress in their careers.

Education Requirements

A master’s or doctoral degree in social work will allow you to apply for licensure as an LICSW in Rhode Island. Here you can find all schools offering social work degree programs in Rhode Island.

Experience Requirements

Before you can apply for an LICSW, you must first have an LCSW. The LCSW license permits you to begin accumulating hours for application toward your supervised clinical work experience. You’re given two to six years to accumulate 3,000 hours of clinical practice. At least 1,500 of the hours need to be spent in direct contact with clients. One hour of supervision is required for every 20 hours of clinical experience, with a further requirement of two supervised hours every two weeks.

Only LICSWs can oversee your clinical work experience, and 75% of the supervision must be one-on-one. The other 25% can be performed in a group setting.

Background Check

All candidates are required to disclose criminal convictions, plea bargains, and other charges on the licensure application. If seeking employment with an agency licensed by the Department of Human Services (DHS), a comprehensive background check is performed and includes:

  • 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

Fingerprint Affidavits are available in English and Spanish and need to be submitted by the employer. Review the informative infographics available in English and Spanish for a complete guide on what’s needed to complete the background check.

Examination Requirements

Once the Board approves your application, you can take the ASWB Clinical exam, which has a $260 fee. You can register online or by fax or mail. Simply print out the registration form and send it with a certified check, credit card information, or money order. Personal checks are not accepted. Send the application to:

By Mail:

ASWB Candidate Services

117126 Mountain Run Vista Ct.

Culpeper, VA 22701

By Fax: (540) 829-0142 – Only credit cards are accepted for payment.

For $85, you can purchase a practice test online to begin practicing. The test is the complete 170-multiple choice question exam, and once you’re finished, you’ll receive a review of each question and the rationale behind the correct answer. You can enter and leave the exam as often as you like over a period of thirty days.

Applying for Licensure as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

Submit the application for LICSW licensure online after achieving the necessary supervised experience of 3,000 hours. There is a $70 fee required, and you’ll need to provide two professional references. The other documentation needed is a:

  • Copy of a state-issued identification
  • Supervised Practice Form (Found in the application)

The supervisor is required to fill out a form to confirm you’ve fulfilled the supervised experience requirements. If you’ve had multiple supervisors, each one must complete a form. You are responsible for gathering the forms from all supervisors and sending them to the Board in sealed envelopes. The supervisors’ signatures must be written across the seal and sent to:

Rhode Island Board of Social Work Examiners

Room 104, 3 Capitol Hill

Providence, Rhode Island 02908-5097

The Board will receive a copy of your exam scores from the ASWB and review them along with the application and all of the supporting documentation. You’ll be issued a LICSW license to carry in your wallet if everything is complete. Certificates to hang on your wall are available for an additional fee of $30, paid separately.