Social Work License Requirements in Kansas

Social workers in the state of Kansas work with different communities in a variety of settings to provide necessary social services to those in need. Kansas social workers help to establish and improve existing social services, and can diagnose and treat psychosocial problems. They help link people to the resources and services that they need, and conduct research related to their work and the communities they serve. Kansas social workers also contribute to policy and administration and can help with planning community events. Candidates can pursue three different levels of social work licensure in Kansas: Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW), Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), and Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker (LSCSW).

Social Work Licensure Requirements in Kansas

In order to earn a social work license in Kansas, all applicants will need to hold a Bachelor of Social Work degree (at a minimum) from a school or university accredited by the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE). They will also need to pass a national exam administered by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). Additional qualifications may be required depending on the type of social work licensure applicants are pursuing, such as supervised post-degree professional hours for those who hold more advanced degrees. Social work classes cover topics like addiction, psychology, welfare policy, counseling, and community relations, and will also require some experience in a professional setting through an internship or field study.

Licensed Bachelor Social Workers can typically work as case managers, advocacy specialists and program administrators. Licensed Master Social Workers can do all of the same work as LBSWs but are also able to take on managerial roles and do clinical work under supervision. The Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker licensure allows practitioners to provide the full scale of social work services, and is the only credential that allows one to practice social work unsupervised.

Licensed Bachelor of Social Work

Those looking to receive a Licensed Bachelor of Social Work credential in Kansas will need to obtain a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited college or university, or a program that meets the requirements of K.A.R. 102-2-6. Once the degree is complete, students can apply for their social work license through the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board. There is an application fee of $100. The application can be completed online and must include an official transcript proving the receipt of a BSW along with three professional references — one reference should be from an on-site supervisor from a field work experience; the other two must themselves hold licensure at the same level of that which the applicant is seeking. Once the application is approved by the Board, students can sit for the national ASWB bachelor-level exam. Applicants who achieve acceptable test scores will then be issued their LBSW credential and be allowed to administer bachelor-level services in the state of Kansas.

Licensed Master of Social Work

Applicants pursuing a Licensed Master of Social Work credential in Kansas will need to obtain a Master of Social Work degree from a CSWE-accredited college or university, or a program that meets the requirements of K.A.R. 102-2-6. Once the degree is complete, students can apply for their social work license through the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board. There is an application fee of $100. The application can be completed online and must include an official transcript proving the receipt of the MSW along with three professional references — one reference must be from an on-site supervisor from a field work experience; the other two must themselves hold licensure at the same level of that which the applicant is seeking. Once the application is approved by the Board, students can sit for the national ASWB master-level exam. Kansas social work license applicants who achieve acceptable test scores will then be issued their LMSW credential and be allowed to administer non-clinical and clinical services under supervision in the state of Kansas.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Students who want to practice unsupervised social work will need to obtain a Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker credential from the state of Kansas. First, one must complete a Master of Social Work program. There are no standards or accreditation requirements for which type of MSW program is completed at this level of Kansas social work licensure. Once the degree is earned, applicants must complete 4,000 hours of post-graduate clinical experience supervised by a licensed clinical social worker.

Applicants can then apply for their LSCSW credential through the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board. There is an application fee of $100. The application can be completed online and must include an official transcript proving the receipt of their MSW along with three professional references — two must be social workers who are licensed or licensable at or above the LSCSW level, while the third reference must be the applicant’s most current employment supervisor where the position required a social work license. Applicants will also need to submit supervisor attestations detailing the 4,000 clinical hours they have completed. Once the application is approved by the Board, students can sit for the national ASWB clinical-level exam. Kansas social work license applicants who achieve acceptable test scores will then be issued their LSCSW credential and be allowed to administer the full range of social work services in the state of Kansas.

Social Work License Reciprocity in Kansas

Kansas does not have formal reciprocity agreements with other states, but the Board allows applicants who are already practicing, licensed social workers in a different state to apply for their social work license by reciprocity. Applicants can do this by submitting a Licensure Application through Reciprocity to the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board, which carries a fee of $100. Application requirements are different depending on which level of Kansas social work an applicant is looking to practice. Typically, applicants will be asked to provide documentation of their current license from their licensing board, official transcripts from the college or university where they earned their degree, and prove that the requirements for the license they hold are similar to the requirements for the credential they are seeking in Kansas.

Licensing Renewal and Continuing Education Information

Kansas social work licenses must be renewed every two years and are set to expire on the last day of the month in which they were originally issued. Renewals can be completed online through the Application for Renewal of Licensure or through the Board’s online portal. The cost to renew a social work license is $100 for LBSW, $125 for LMSW, and $150 for LSCSW. All social workers in the state of Kansas must complete 40 hours of continuing education before renewing their license, with different requirements based on the credential. They are also required to complete six hours of training in safety awareness as part of the 40 hours during their first renewal period.