Becoming a Social Worker in Idaho

Social workers practice at many levels. It doesn’t matter if you are a high school student or a career professional -- you can begin where you’re at and continue until you reach your desired practice level.

Here is a guide to training and education for social workers in Idaho.

social work students

If You Are a High School Student

Step 1:

Meet with a counselor to plan a college prep curriculum. Meanwhile, seek out volunteer experiences.

Step 2:

Select a school with a CSWE-accredited social work program. You will apply first to the university, then to the social work program.

It is also an option to do your first two years at a community college. There are associate's programs in Idaho designed especially for students who are planning to transfer to Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) programs.

Step 3:

Prepare for admission to the social work program. The application process will take place sometime after you complete the first year of studies.

Maintain a solid GPA while completing general studies courses and prerequisites; there may be one social work course required before formal admission. A background check may be required. Some schools require reference letters at the bachelor’s level.

Step 4:

Continue to excel while completing social work courses and practicum. Your practicum supervisor and advisor may become references when you apply for state licensure.

Step 5:

Apply to the Idaho Board of Social Work Examiners to become a Licensed Social Worker (LSW). You may apply before graduation.

You will take the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) licensing exam at the bachelor's level.

Step 6:

Work under supervision for two years to become a Licensed Social Worker Independent (LSWI). As an LSWI, you will still need to be in an employer-employee position. However, you will be qualified to carry out job duties independently.

Conversely, you may continue on to earn a master's degree in social work and a broader scope of practice. With a BSW, you may complete an MSW degree program in as little as one year. Schools typically look for a GPA of 3.0 in upper division social work courses.

Find more detailed Idaho Social Work Licensure information here.

If You Have a College Degree

Step 1:

Take steps to make yourself a strong candidate. Idaho MSW programs do not require candidates to have bachelor's degrees in social work. However, they do look for multiple indicators of success. Schools vary a good deal with regard to admission standards, but some like to see a year of related experience. Northwestern Nazarene University notes that full-time volunteer work through programs like Americorps or VISTA is looked upon favorably. (Some of these programs do provide college money and a living stipend.)

Step 2:

Select a program and enroll in prerequisite courses if needed. Gather references and prepare a personal statement.

The Simmons College School of Social Work ([email protected]) is the nation’s oldest school of social work and is offering an innovative Online Master of Social Work program. You can complete this CSWE-accredited Master's in Social Work program in as little as 15 months. There is no GRE required for acceptance to this program. Request information.

The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work offers a CSWE-accredited online Master's in Social Work. The GRE is not required to apply to the [email protected] program. A Bachelor's degree is required. Learn more about this program.

Fordham University's top-ranked School of Social Work offers an online MSW program that prepares students for relevant, integrated practice with all populations. GRE scores not required. Request information today.

Capella University is now offering an online Master of Social Work that is in CSWE candidacy status. The MSW program helps prepare students to enter the general or clinical practice role (in most states). Capella also offers an online Doctor of Social Work. Click Here to contact Capella University about their Master of Social Work program or Doctor of Social Work program.

Step 3:

If you do not have a BSW, expect to spend at least two years completing your master's. The first 30 semester hours will consist of foundations coursework. The next 30 will prepare you for a particular concentration like health or mental health.

Step 4:

As you approach graduation, apply to become a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). It will be necessary to take the ASWB national board exam at the master's level.

Step 5:

Complete a two year practice requirement in order to move up to an independent level of licensing. If you will be pursuing clinical licensing, you will work at a mental health facility.

Step 6:

Complete paperwork and additional testing (if required).To become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), you will need to take the ASWB clinical exam. No further examination is required for licensure as a Licensed Master Social Worker Independent (LMSWI).

Find more detailed Idaho Social Work Licensure information here.

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