How to Become a Social Worker in Kansas
Kansas Social Work License Requirements
The practice of social work is centered on providing support services that benefit the welfare of families and the communities they live in. These support services can include assessing and treating different types of impairment, assisting clients in accessing public services and administering aid to vulnerable populations.
To become a social worker in Kansas, an applicant must meet the requirements established by the Kansas Behavioral Science Regulatory Board (KBSRB) for one of the three licenses offered below:
- Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW)
- Master Social Worker (LMSW)
- Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker (LSCSW)
Continue reading to learn more about the specific requirements for licensure, or review the state statutes outlined by the State of Kansas Legislature:
|Education Requirement||Supervised Experience||Available Programs|
|Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW)||Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from a CSWE-Accredited Program or KBSRB Approved Program||No Experience Required for Licensure||ASWB National Bachelor's Level Exam|
|Master Social Worker (LMSW)||Master's Degree in Social Work from a CSWE-Accredited Program or KBSRB Approved Program||No Experience Required for Licensure||ASWB National Master's Level Exam|
|Specialist Clinical Social Worker (LSCSW)||Master’s Degree in Social Work from a CSWE-Accredited Program or KBSRB Approved Program||4,000 Hours of Post-Degree Supervised Clinical Work Experience||AWSB National Clinical Level Exam|
Read more about social work degrees in Kansas.
- Education: Applicants seeking to become a licensed bachelor social worker (LBSW) in Kansas can meet the education requirements in two ways: a) complete a bachelor’s degree in social work from a college or university accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), or b) complete a bachelor’s degree in social work from a school that has been approved by the KBSRB and meets requirements for board approval as specified in K.A.R 102-2-6.
- Exam: For licensure as an LBSW, all applicants must have completed and submitted proof of a passing grade for the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) basic level exam.
- References: On a form provided by the KBSRB, the applicant must provide two references from licensed social workers that have attained a degree in social work at the bachelor’s level or higher as well as one reference from a practicum supervisor.
Upon completion of their degree, applicants must arrange for proof of degree in the form of a transcript to be sent directly from the school where the degree was attained to the KBSRB.
- Education: Residents of Kansas seeking to become a licensed master’s social worker (LMSW) must have completed a master’s level degree in social work. As with a bachelor’s degree, the master’s degree must have been granted from either a CSWE accredited school or a school that meets the board’s requirements that are outlined in K.A.R. 102-2-6. Proof of degree must be sent to the KBSRB directly from the granting university or college.
- Exam: To be approved to become a LMSW, the applicant must have taken the ASWB intermediate exam and be able to offer proof of a passing grade.
- References: The reference requirement to receive a license for master’s level social work is the same as the requirement at the bachelor’s level: a) Two references from two separate licensed social workers with degree’s at the master’s level or above, and b) One reference from a practicum supervisor
The requirements necessary to become a licensed specialist clinical social worker are slightly different from the previous two license types and are as follows:
- Education: A master’s degree in social work is required to be a LSCSW in the state of Kansas, but no specific institutional accreditation or board approval is necessary for this license. A transcript as proof of degree is still needed to grant licensure. Additional educational requirements can be found in K.A.R. 102-2-12.
- Experience: 4,000 hours of clinical experience over two years that take place under the direct supervision of a licensed social worker. The applicant’s supervisor must provide attestation of the hours completed under supervision. Information as to what hours count as supervision can be obtained through the KBSRB in K.A.R. 102-2-8.
- Exam: A passing grade must be achieved and proven in the ASWB administered clinical level competency exam.
- References: Two references from two social workers licensed to practice with degrees at the clinical level or higher must be provided to the KBSRB along with a third reference from an on-site practicum supervisor.
The Importance of CSWE Accreditation
Obtaining a degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education accredited program is strongly encouraged since accreditation means that such an institution provides the highest quality training needed to become an effective social worker. Knowledge of different areas of expertise such as critical thinking skills and professional ethics are paramount in learning the practice of social work. Schools accredited by the CSWE impart these areas of expertise and ensure that social workers are ready to be a valuable part of their communities upon licensing.
Social Worker Career Outlook In Kansas
In May of 2014, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics collected employment and wage information in all industries including social work in the state of Kansas. The BLS reported that there were more than 4,000 professional social workers operating in Kansas. According to the report, there were 2,350 child, family and school social workers in the state, 1,040 social workers in a healthcare setting, 750 substance abuse social workers and another 590 specialty social workers in Kansas as well. The annual average salary for these social workers ranged from $40,460 for child, family and school social workers to $47,160 for specialty social workers. For more information on the occupational data and wage estimates in this state, please visit the Kansas Occupational Employment Statistics Page with the Bureau of Labor Statistics.