South Dakota Social Work Associate (SWA) Guide - 2022

AKA: South Dakota SWA License

Last Reviewed: May 15th, 2022

South Dakota Social Work Associate (SWA) Licensure Process

SWAs provide general non-clinical services in South Dakota. Non-clinical workers typically work with communities and agencies to connect clients with resources. They also assist clients with emotional needs find ways to cope with daily life through supervised counseling.

Education Requirements

A bachelor’s degree in a subject other than social work or an associate’s degree in one of the human services fields is required for an SWA license. The degree must be earned at a CSWE-accredited program. Here you can find all schools offering social work degree programs in South Dakota.

Background Check

All social worker applicants have a criminal background check completed in South Dakota. Here is a list of the checks required by state law:

  • Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect check
  • Sex Offender Registry check
  • South Dakota criminal record fingerprint check
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal record fingerprint check
  • National Crime Information Center (NCIC) sex offender registry check

There are offenses that can stop you from attaining a license, and you can review them on the Board’s website.

Examination Requirements

You must take the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Associate exam. The registration fee is $230 for the 170-question exam. The ASWB will send your scores directly to the Board about two weeks after completion.

Applying for Licensure as a Social Work Associate

You can find an application online to download and print out. Here is the checklist of items needed for licensure:

Mail the documents to:

South Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners

810 N. Main St., Suite 298

Spearfish, SD 57783

The Board will notify you by mail that you’re able to take the ASWB exam after receiving the application and supporting documents. You can then sign-up for the exam online and pay the $230 registration fee. You’ll receive a confirmation from the ASWB that you’re eligible to schedule a date to take the test. After taking the exam, you’ll receive your scores, and a copy will be transmitted directly to the Board. Once it is confirmed that you’ve passed the exam, your SWA license will be issued. In the event that you do not pass, you can retake the test after 90 days, and you will have to pay another registration fee.

You can view or print the application instructions from the Board’s site.