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Clinical Social Workers

As a clinical social worker, you enhance the quality of life of individuals and pursue social justice on behalf of oppressed, vulnerable and impoverished people. You align your call to serve humanity to your profession’s dedication to these goals. Social workers are compassionate promoters of human dignity, diversity, and self-determination in the battle against exploitation, addiction, violence, and oppression.

The clinical MSW program at The Catholic University of America’s National Catholic School of Social Work (NCSSS) proudly represents these ideals. We support your mission to help individuals and communities reach optimum mental health and well-being, regardless of your current educational or professional background. We strengthen your ability to serve humanity by providing a rigorous curriculum that gives you the knowledge and experience required to pass your Licensed Graduate Social Work (LGSW) exam, pursue social work licensure, and become a clinical social worker who excels in practice.

As an LCSW or licensed clinical social worker, you’ll be qualified to assess, diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders and challenges in individuals, families, and groups. You can help clients overcome and manage a variety of issues such as how to survive trauma, manage grief and loss, battle anxiety and depression, navigate adoption or foster care, overcome substance abuse, or improve communication skills.

As a clinical social worker, you’ll gain a deep satisfaction from knowing you create and manage a comprehensive approach to your clients’ care. You’ll be able to refer them to services such as support groups and community resources, or other mental health professionals, and you’ll collaborate with all parties in ongoing treatment to reassess clients’ needs and make changes as necessary for continual progress.

Your LCSW certification also qualifies you to take third-party payments, meaning you may work in private practice where you’ll take on the additional tasks of record-keeping and insurance companies’ payment, and specialize in the client population you feel best suited for.

LCSW Requirements

Clinical social workers are always licensed, but the type of licensing earned varies by state. The terms “independent,” “clinical,” or independent clinical,” generally represent the highest level of certification equally. You’ll see them abbreviated as LISW, LCSW or LICSW. Licensing requirements will vary across titles and states, but there are common milestones that you must complete before you become an LCSW. For instance, all LCSWs must have a master’s degree in social work. Your state’s practice requirements may mandate your degree is in a clinically based program, and has a clinical practicum. To this end, you will be well prepared with the clinical MSW program CUA provides.

After you complete your MSW degree, you’ll need to sit for an advanced license exam, and you may need additional years of professional practice under board-certified supervision. There are typically a number of documented, direct consultation/supervision hours required to fill this obligation. These hours are meant to further develop your practice skills. Once your hours are complete, you can apply for your LCSW certification, which allows you to practice one-on-one with clients independently.

We welcome and encourage students from all religions and cultures to discover how they can apply theory and expand their reach as a social worker. To learn more about our online MSW, click here or call 855-295-5711 today.