How to Become a Social Worker in New Hampshire

New Hampshire Social Work Licensing Requirements

Social workers are vital professionals in mental health care and social services. They provide a broad range of needs to individuals and communities, from psychological evaluation, counseling and treatment to helping to administrate local, regional and statewide social programs. Social workers promote social education, the well-being of families, communities and individuals, and economic and social justice.

The New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice offers a single licensure for social workers: Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, or LICSW.

Licensed Independent
Clinical Social Worker
Master’s Degree in Social Work  Three years, full-time
supervised experience. A
minimum of 3,000 post-
degree hours.
ASWB National Clinical
Social Work Examination

LICSW Requirements in New Hampshire

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Workers function at the highest level of their profession. They are on the same level as psychologists and practitioners of mental health services and counselors. They can provide a complete range of administrative and clinical services to the community, individuals and families.

Education Requirements: In order to pursue an LICSW, you need to have at least a master’s degree in social work from a school which has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Many who pursue this license seek a Ph.D., or doctoral degree. A minimum of 30 semester hours must include clinical coursework. Education must also include at least five content areas, including:

  • Personality theory
  • Cross-cultural development theory
  • Psychopathology
  • Race relations
  • Group dynamics
  • Social work practice

Finally, you will need to complete a clinical internship as part of your educational program.

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Work Experience: Following graduation from your program, you will acquire a job in the social work field. Seeking licensure requires that you are supervised directly by an LICSW. Over the course of two years, you need to accrue 3,000 hours of supervised experience, 100 hours of which must be face-to-face. There should be a minimum of one hour of supervision per week.

Supervision requires a formal supervision agreement approved by the state board. There is a $25 processing fee for filing the agreement.

Examination Requirements: Candidates must successfully complete the clinical level social work exam issued by the Association of Social Work Boards. This exam can be taken any time after supervision begins. The board will help you to register with the ASWB to set up the exam.

Application Process: Following completion of your supervision and exams, you will submit a complete application package to the state board. This application package will include the following:

  • Official transcripts from your degree program
  • Supervision agreement
  • Documentation of supervised work experience
  • Answers to several essay questions involving philosophy, theory and application of social work skills
  • Three professional references, one of which is your supervisor
  • “Passport-style” photograph
  • Resume or c.v.
  • Criminal background checks
  • $150 processing fee

License Renewal: Your license is good for two years; after this period, you will have to file for a renewal. During the period of your licensure, you must complete at least 40 hours of continuing education in categories specified by the state board.

The Importance of CSWE Accreditation

The Council on Social Work Education, or CSWE, is a nonprofit association that functions at the national level and represents over 2,500 members, educational programs (both undergraduate and graduate), and social welfare agencies. The purpose of this organization is to provide standards and oversight of education in the field of social work. It is the only accrediting agency for social work programs in the nation.

The CSWE makes sure that the quality of social work programs is of the highest quality and continually evolving and improving to match the current standards of the field.  In order to become an LICSW in New Hampshire, the educational program you attend absolutely must be accredited by the CSWE. It cannot be stressed enough how important this is. Without CSWE accreditation, you may find that you cannot find a job in the field of social work, and you will not be eligible for licensure. In brief, CSWE accreditation ensures that you have received training and education that is valid and at a high level of quality.

Search Accredited Social Work Programs

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