Social workers provide counseling and similar social services to students, medical patients and a variety of other individuals in multiple settings. The Florida Department of Health Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling administers the state licensing program. Applicants seeking to become a Florida social worker can get a license as a certified master social worker or a clinical social worker. Applicants should look at the educational and experience requirements of both types of licenses and then set some career goals and a roadmap to reach the license level. They can then get a Florida social work license and work independently as a Florida social worker.
Florida essentially has two types of licenses for state social workers. One is for certified master social work, and the other is for clinical social work. You may not do licensed clinical social work if you merely have a Florida social worker license for certified master social work. Refer to the separate sections below for qualifications for each type of license:
Florida Certified Master Social Worker License Qualifications
This license is for those with a master’s degree in social work, and the degree must have a major emphasis or specialty in either administration or clinical practice. But remember that this license, alone, does not allow you to engage in licensed social work in Florida.
Your degree program must be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. A list of CSWE degree programs can be found online at cswe.org/Accreditation/organizations.aspx.
You must have a total of three years of experience. However, two years of this experience must have been accumulated after obtaining your social work master’s degree. Those two years of experience must also be under the supervision of a social worker that has met the education and experience requirements of one of the two Florida social worker license categories mentioned in this article.
The Florida social worker exam that applies to this license category is the national advanced generalist exam. The test is developed through the Association of Social Work Boards. Contact the board for more details on this exam. The website is at aswb.org.
1. An 8-hour course on Florida social work laws and rules; and
2. A 2-hour course on prevention of medical errors. You can get a list of approved providers for this course from the board.
Florida Clinical Social Worker License Qualifications
The basic requirement is the same as the certified master social worker, which is a master’s degree in social work, accredited by CSWE. However, the following special requirements exist within that degree:
a. 24 semester hours or 36 quarter hours in the theory of human behavior and practice methods related to clinical practice
b. at least one course in psychopathology (this is technically the only course that must be taken through a CSWE-accredited program)
c. Supervised internship in a clinical setting wtih actual experience in providing clinical services
You must have supervised experience after getting your social work master’s degree. This experience must be from someone who is qualified as or licensed as a Florida clinical social worker and approved as a supervisor by the board.
You must pass the ASWB exam on clinical social work.
This category of Florida social worker also has the same miscellaneous requirements mentioned above to get a Florida social work license.
Use the Sources section below to find an application for your desired Florida social work license.
Florida Social Work Board License Requirements
Applications for Florida Social Workers