Social Work License Requirements in Wyoming
Wyoming social work is overseen by the Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing Board. Professionals wishing to practice social work in the state must obtain a social work license, and the first step in becoming a social worker in Wyoming is determining which type of license is most appropriate. Graduates holding a bachelor’s degree in social work can apply to become Certified Social Workers (CSWs) and practice general social work under the direction of a clinical supervisor. Those with a master’s degree or doctoral degree in social work are eligible for the title of Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). LCSWs are permitted to work in a clinical setting to help clients through episodes of psychosocial dysfunction.
Social Work Licensure Requirements in Wyoming
There are a few general qualifications that candidates must meet when learning how to become a social worker in Wyoming. Applicants for either the CSW or LCSW social work license must be at least 18 years old and be able to produce three professional references. Individuals with a criminal conviction are considered on a case-by-case basis but are not automatically disqualified to practice social work in Wyoming. When these basic requirements are satisfied, candidates should consider what type of social work they want to perform.
Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in social work are eligible to apply for licensure as a Certified Social Worker (CSW). Professionals working in this capacity are qualified to perform face-to-face social work to help clients work through disability, impairment, mental disorders, and other problems. Their work must be performed under the direction of a clinical supervisor. Social work candidates with a master’s degree or higher may qualify to become Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs). This job involves using social work theory and human development knowledge to diagnose, treat, and prevent psychosocial disorders.
Wyoming does not have an LMSW licensure program, so these two types of licenses are the only ones available in the state. Once candidates have decided whether to pursue CSW or LCSW licensure, they must take a corresponding exam administered by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).
Licensed Bachelor of Social Work
Applicants exploring how to become a social worker at the baccalaureate level in Wyoming should apply to become Certified Social Workers. In order to qualify as CSWs, they must meet several important criteria. First, graduates must hold a bachelor’s degree in social work from a college or institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. They must also provide three professional references and disclose any prior criminal history to the Board.
Finally, applicants must pass an examination. The standard exam is conducted by the ASWB, but the Board will consider equivalent exams on a case-by-case basis. When candidates have finished the exam, they will be ready to apply for licensure to practice Wyoming social work. While the Wyoming Board will accept passing results from either the bachelor’s or master’s level exam, there is no LMSW social work license in the state. Because of that, graduates with master’s degrees may be better served by pursuing an LCSW license instead.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Individuals who want to learn how to become a social worker in a clinical setting will need to apply for licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Wyoming. There are two ways to earn this social work license. First is the completion of the Provisional Clinical Social Worker program. This initiative is open to graduates with a master’s degree in social work who have already completed 3,000 hours of supervision and 100 hours of clinical supervision. Completion of this provisional program allows social workers to convert their license to a fully-fledged LCSW license.
The second option is to take an exam and apply. The industry standard exam is the Advanced Generalist or Clinical level exam administered by the ASWB. However, the Wyoming Board will consider examinations from other institutions on an individual basis. It is important to remember that the state does not have LMSW licensure, so completing the master’s level ASWB exam does not qualify one to practice social work at this clinical level.
Applicants following either method will need to provide much of the same documentation. The Board requires candidates to hold a master’s or doctoral degree in the field of social work from a university accredited by the Council of Social Work Education. Applicants must also provide professional references and disclose any criminal charges in order to qualify for these Wyoming social work credentials.
Social Work License Reciprocity in Wyoming
Professionals who have acquired a social work license in another state may be able to have that license recognized by Wyoming. This is known as reciprocity, but it is not an automatic process. Individuals interested in becoming a social worker via reciprocity should remember that Wyoming does not confer LMSW licensure and that reciprocity cannot be granted for that license. Social workers licensed as LMSWs in another state should, therefore, consider Wyoming’s provisional license program as one route to achieve licensure. However, social workers can become both CSWs and LCSWs by direct reciprocity and can receive permission to practice Wyoming social work at the same level. Interested candidates must complete the CSW by Reciprocity or LCSW by Reciprocity application on the Board’s website. The education and paperwork requirements for each application are virtually identical to their exam-based counterparts.
Licensing Renewal and Continuing Education Information
Renewing a license to practice Wyoming social work is straightforward. Each social work license expires after two years, and the expiration date will be on the holder’s birthday. The state sends each licensed social worker a notice in the mail approximately 60 days prior to the expiration of their license. When this reminder is received, individuals must ensure that they can renew their current license. The state stipulates that social workers must complete 45 contact hours of continuing education requirements to be eligible for renewal. This applies to both baccalaureate and graduate-level workers, even though Wyoming has no LMSW licensure. The state introduced a new online system in 2019 which allows social workers to apply for their renewals online.