CSW Educational Requirements

Clinical social workers provide mental health services for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders in individuals, families, and groups. Their goal is to enhance and maintain their patients' physical, psychological, and social function.

Clinical social workers must have a master's or doctorate degree in social work, with an emphasis on clinical experience. They must undergo a supervised clinical field internship and have at least 2 years of postgraduate supervised clinical social work employment.

Clinical social workers are approved providers in most insurance and managed care plans, and practice in the following settings:

  • Private practice
  • Medical facilities (e.g., hospitals)
  • Mental health clinics
  • Child welfare agencies
  • Schools
  • Community organizations
  • Places of employment

Clinical social workers may be licensed by the state in which they practice. Requirements are prescribed by state law and include education, supervision, experience, and a written examination.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at HealthCommunities.com

Published: 22 Jan 2002

Last Modified: 14 Nov 2013