Virginia Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) Guide - 2022

AKA: Virginia LCSW License

Last Reviewed: May 15th, 2022

Virginia Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) Licensure Process

A Licensed Clinical Social Worker practices clinical services independently. They diagnose, treat, and provide preventative services for anyone experiencing psychological or social health problems or stress. They also counsel and offer psychotherapy for mental disorders, substance abuse, and family and marriage issues.

Education Requirements

An MSW with a concentration in clinical studies is required. It must be obtained from a CSWE-accredited program or university. Here you can find all schools offering social work degree programs in Virginia.

Experience Requirements

The Board must approve your supervisor and work setting, so you’ll have to send them a Supervisory Contract.  Once they give you permission to proceed, you can begin accumulating supervised clinical social work hours. A minimum of 3,000 hours in a span of 2-4 years must be completed. At least 1,380 hours should be spent administering clinical services directly to clients. One hundred hours of supervision performed by an LCSW who has been licensed for two or more years is required. The supervisor should have also completed their supervisory training. The supervisor needs to keep a log of your supervised experience to send when it’s time to apply for a license.

Background Check

A criminal background check is performed on each licensure candidate. Your fingerprints are taken by Fieldprint which is a vendor that handles of the background check for Virginia. They verify your identity and collect the processing fee at the site when you go in for the appointment. The results of the check are sent to the VSP and FBI. The prints are also checked against the Virginia Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry to find if the applicant has ever received a complaint about child abuse or neglect.

Examination Requirements

You’re required to pass the ASWB Clinical exam which costs $260 for registration. Once the Board grants permission to register for the exam, take advantage of the online practice test to prepare for the big day.

Applying for Licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker

After completing your supervised experience requirement, you have to submit an online LCSW by Examination application. Be sure to include the following with the application packet:

Both you and your supervisor must sign any addendums to the application. Double check the application packet to ensure it contains all the information the Board needs to approve you for the next step of the process. If all of the information can’t be sent at one time, you can check the status of your application through the online checklist. The list is updated as the documents are received.

The Board will send you an email notification when you are eligible to take the ASWB Clinical exam. Note that if you have finished your supervised experience hours but haven’t passed the exam you can only provide social work services in an exempt setting. You can provide clinical services while still remaining under the supervision of a qualified LCSW.

After you pass the exam your scores are transferred to the Board for review. You’ll receive an email that you’ve been issued an LCSW license. A paper copy with no expiration date will be mailed to you. Be sure to keep in a safe location as the Board has gone green and will not send out another. Anyone requiring verification of your licensure is advised to use the License Lookup tool.