Social Worker Career in New York - NY

New York has two classifications of licensed social workers: licensed master social worker (LMSW) and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). The chief difference between the two is that a LCSW must have three years of experience while an LMSW may be employed right out of graduate school. Although the clinical duties that the LMSW and LCSW are allowed to perform are similar (diagnosis, psychotherapy, and assessment-based treatment planning), the LMSW may provide clinical services only under the authority of an LCSW, while the LCSW may provide clinical services independently.

Here are the main steps for how to become a social worker in New York:

  1. Be of good moral character.
  2. Be at least 21 years of age.
  3. Graduate with a master degree in social work (MSW) with at least 12 hours of clinical coursework included.
  4. Complete coursework and training in the identification and reporting of child abuse.
  5. Have three years of full-time experience, defined as 20 client contact hours of psychotherapy per week for 48 weeks of employment (if applying for LCSW). (LMSW does not have an employment requirement beyond the fieldwork/practicum necessary in any MSW graduate program).
  6. Take the appropriate national examination (master level for LMSW, clinical level for LCSW) offered by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).
  7. Submit your application along with the appropriate fees to the New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, PO Box 22063, Albany, NY 12201

Disclaimer: Program outcomes vary according to each institution's specific curriculum, and employment opportunities are not guaranteed.

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