Tennessee Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW) Guide - 2024

Social Worker License

by Social Worker License Staff

Updated: February 16th, 2024

Tennessee Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW) Licensure Process

This initial level of licensure permits social workers to perform unsupervised non-clinical services with clients, including:

  • Case management
  • Mediation
  • Conducting interviews and assessments
  • Client advocacy and education
  • Community organizing

LBSWs are not allowed to practice privately and must be employed by an organization to provide services.

Education Requirements

You must graduate with a BSW from a school or program accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). Here you can find all schools offering social work degree programs in Tennessee.

Background Check

Candidates for social work licensure are all given a criminal background check by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). You can register over the phone at (855) 226-2937 or online with IdentoGO, the vendor handling the fingerprinting services.

After registering, you have two weeks to complete the fingerprint scan, and if that time expires, you’ll be required to re-register and pay another processing fee of $35.15. If your fingerprints are rejected, the TBI will send a notification lette,r and you’ll have to schedule a reprint appointment.

Visit the Board’s website to view the criminal background check instructions and more information on the types of background checks conducted.

Examination Requirements

The Board will send you a letter of approval once you’re eligible to take the ASWB Bachelor’s exam. Instructions for registering for and scheduling the exam are included. Once you pay the $230 registration fee, you can take the practice test on the ASWB website to prepare for the big day.

Applying for Licensure as a Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker

Start by completing the Baccalaureate Social Worker Application online by registering with Tennessee’s Licensure and Regulatory System (LARS). You can also mail in the application packet to:

Division of Health Licensure and Regulation

665 Mainstream Drive, Second Floor

Nashville, TN 37243

The packet should also include a signed and notarized Declaration of Citizenship form and a Mandatory Practitioner Profile Questionnaire. These forms can be uploaded to your online application packet or submitted to the above address. Your background check should be completed at this time.

The Board will then review the application, and if all requirements are fulfilled, you will be granted permission to take the ASWB Bachelor’s exam. After passing the test, the Board will be sent a copy of your scores by the ASWB. An LBSW license will then be issued.