Becoming a Social Worker in Kentucky

You can begin your social worker education in Kentucky at either the bachelor’s or master’s level and continue on until you reach your desired practice level. Here is a look at the major steps.

social work student in kentucky

If You Are a High School Student

Step 1:

Do some career exploration or volunteer work. Meanwhile, prepare for admission to the university or community college. Some Kentucky students opt for associates’ degrees in fields like human services and then do social work as degree completion. Strong students, though, may want to enroll in a university at the onset.

Step 2:

Strongly consider schools with social work programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). With a Bachelor's of Arts degree in social welfare (or equivalent coursework), you may be licensed as a social worker in Kentucky -- provided you put in two years of acceptable experience. However, this is not the case in all states.

Step 3:

Enroll and declare a pre-social work major. You will likely need to take biology, sociology, and psychology courses.

You may also take one or two social work courses before you apply for admission to the professional program. Your grades will matter, though the GPA requirement will likely be set lower than it will be at the graduate level.

Step 4:

Apply to the social work school at the appropriate time. You may need to write an essay.

Step 5:

Excel in your professional studies – especially if you plan to continue on for an MSW. It is much more likely you will be awarded advanced placement if your social work GPA is at least 3.0 -- some schools set the requirement even higher. Your graduate program will ask for recommendations and may want to see your evaluation from your BSW practicum.

Step 6:

Decide if you will continue your studies or apply for your Licensed Social Worker (LSW) credential and begin employment. You will take the national board examination offered by the Association of Social Work Boards; at this stage, it is the bachelor's level exam.

Find more detailed Kentucky Social Work Licensure information here.

If You Have a College Degree

Step 1:

Research programs, and make advance preparations. Human services employment or significant volunteer experience is an asset; it is not always required if your application packet is strong enough in other regards.

Expect to submit several reference letters, along with a resume and personal statement. Some schools require a separate writing sample. If your GPA falls below the expected level, you may need to take the GRE or other graduate admission exam.

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 2:

Select a concentration at the appropriate time. You may opt for a clinical or administrative track; some schools offer specialized coursework to prepare you to work with particular populations.

If you have no prior degree in social work, you will do approximately 30 units of foundations courses and 30 units in your concentration. If you have a BSW, you may move into coursework in your concentration right away.

Step 3:

Complete your studies and university practicum.

Step 4:

Apply for your Certified Social Worker (CSW) credential. Take the ASWB board examination at the master's level.

Step 5:

Take a position. A clinical license requires at least two years of post-degree supervised practice -- three if you are part-time at 20 hours a week.

Step 6:

When all requirements have been met, you will become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

If you are in a nonclinical role, you will not need to apply for another license or take another examination. You may opt for voluntary certification, though, through the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

Find more detailed Kentucky Social Work Licensure information here.

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