California Joins ASWB and Adopts ASWB Social Work Licensing Exam

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California has become the 50th state to join the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), the organization of social work regulatory bodies in the United States and Canada that regulate the profession of social work as part of their mission of public protection.

California has become the 50th state to join the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), the organization of social work regulatory bodies in the United States and Canada that regulate the profession of social work as part of their mission of public protection. The ASWB board of directors accepted the application by unanimous vote.

In January 2016, the California Board of Behavioral Science (BBS) will begin using the national ASWB social work Clinical exam as part of its process of licensing clinical social workers in the state. Heretofore, California administered a state-specific licensing exam. The BBS will continue to require that social workers pass a state-specific exam covering California law and ethics in addition to the national ASWB social work licensing exam.

“We are pleased to welcome the California Board of Behavioral Science as a member of ASWB,” said ASWB President Dorinda N. Noble, Ph.D., LCSW. “By adopting the national licensing exam, the California BBS is helping to ensure that newly licensed clinical social workers in California meet the same minimum competency standards as social workers in other jurisdictions in North America as well as ensuring that license portability is enhanced for social workers wishing to move to or from the state. This license portability benefit is one of the main tenets of the social work practice mobility initiative that ASWB’s members are working toward implementing in 2017.”

The BBS is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of 22,600 Licensed Clinical Social Workers and more than 14,000 Associate Social Workers. “The decision to adopt the ASWB social work licensing exam in 2016 was made as part of the BBS strategic plan for 2014-2017,” said Executive Officer Kim Madsen. “The board anticipates a positive response to this change in its licensure program as it will improve license portability for many clinical social workers.”

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About ASWB
ASWB is the nonprofit organization of social work regulatory bodies in the United States and Canada. Members include 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and all 10 Canadian provinces. The association owns and administers the social work licensing exams used by its member boards. ASWB’s mission is to strengthen protection of the public by providing support and services to the social work regulatory community in order to advance safe, competent, and ethical practices. Learn more at http://www.aswb.org.

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Jayne Wood
Association of Social Work Boards
+1 800.225.6880 Ext: 3075
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