North Carolina Social Work Licensing and Social Work Supervision

North Carolina Social Work Licensing: Getting and LCSW credential

Are you a recent MSW grad trying to make sense of the licensure process? Are you a consumer wondering what an LCSW is? Read on.If you would like to contract with me for supervision please scroll to the bottom of the page to contact me.

In North Carolina, social workers are required to have two years of supervision by a licensed clinical social worker(lcsw) in order get licensed. Prior to being eligible for this credential, a person must first complete four years of college and two years of graduate school.

The North Carolina Social Work certification and licensing board (NCSWCLB) governs the process of licensure and the oversight of social workers in North Carolina.

Please click here for the NCSWCLB website

The National Association of Social Workers ( NASW) is responsible for setting the national standards and ethical guidelines for social workers.

Social workers with membership in the NASW receive benefits such as reduced malpractice insurance. The North Carolina National Association of Social Workers (NASW –NC) is the local branch of the NASW. They can at times be very helpful, especially for new social workers who are looking to network or acquire training. They also provide help and assistance with the social work exam.

Please click here for the North Carolina NASW website

In North Carolina, these two agencies often work together to provide answers to social workers in the state.

Why go through the process of North Carolina social work licensing?

To practice as a therapist in North Carolina, a person must first receive a master’s degree in social work, then is required to practice for two years, at a ratio of approximately 30 clinical hours to one supervision hour. Some MSW’s don’t feel that this is a worthwhile credential. What if you don’t want to be a therapist?

If you receive your social work license, even if you don’t intend to practice as a therapist, you will be more marketable. Agencies who hire people to practice directly need LCSW’ s to provide oversight and supervision. The LCSW credential gives you more respect among colleagues and also more bargaining power in the job market.

North Carolina Social Work licensing allows MSW’s who are provisionally licensed ( LCSW-P) to maintain that status for six years, as long as they take and pass the exam within the first two. Provisionally licensed social workers are required to practice 3000 hours before they are eligible to become licensed. If you work 9-10 hours doing direct work a week, pay for supervision every three weeks, and take your exam within the first two years, in six years you could be licensed.

Problems with North Carolina Social Work Licensing

When I first became licensed in North Carolina 1997, I was given a supervisor, and a job as a therapist. I quickly accumulated the hours I needed to be licensed. North Carolina social work licensing was easier to acquire. These days’ provisional social workers struggle to find jobs where they are allowed to do direct work. Agencies that do therapy are often unlikely to hire provisionally licensed people because they may not get reimbursed by insurance companies. If an MSW is able to find clinical work, they themselves often have to find a supervisor and pay out of pocket.

North Carolina Social Work Licensing: Social Work Supervision

Social work supervision is one of the cornerstones of professional development for the LCSW-P. Social work education varies in its scope and quality. The field of social work encompasses so many areas that it is hard to develop proficiency or mastery without the guidance and mentorship of a clinical supervisor.

It is a scary prospect to be responsible for other’s welfare. Well meaning professionals without adequate supervision make mistakes in diagnosing and treating clients. Our jobs are some of the most important and difficult in the world. Clinical social workers need a tremendous amount of training prior to being able to work in private practice.

Just What is Clinical Supervision?

Clinical Supervision provides a supportive environment within which you can share your fears concerns, and successes. Supervision usually occurs weekly for an hour in the format of a therapy sessions. Supervisees review with their supervisor their cases and the other issues they need assistance with.

Supervision also enables an LCSW-P to gain the knowledge of someone who has been practicing in a particular area of expertise. Other focuses of supervision are: assistance with documentation, diagnosis, research and treatment methods.

The relationship a supervisor has with a supervisee is one of an educator, advocate, and mentor. In my toughest clinical situations, I still ask myself "What would my supervisor say?"

Supervision should be something you look forward to each week! I provide supervision to LCSW-P’s. Most of my experience is with children and adolescents and I specialize in mood disorders. I have experience with abuse, neglect, and sexual trauma.

I also have worked with women who have depression and anxiety.

Often, if your agency does not provide supervision, you can speak with them about assisting you in paying for supervision, especially if it will benefit them when you are through. Please contact me kristmcclur@aol.com, or (704)523 0112 if you are interested in contracting with me to be your clinical supervisor.



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