Human Services Guide
Arkansas

Social Work Licensure in Arkansas

  • Find Education Requirements in Arkansas for one of the following:

Arkansas is a very geographically diverse state, from the US interior highlands, to the lowlands along the Mississippi river and Arkansas delta to the mountains of the Ozarks and Ouachita. Arkansas is a great state to consider starting your Licensed Social Work career in. It is important to check in with each state’s Social Work board to get accurate and up to date information on the states licensing process. Here is the website for the State of Arkansas:

First-time applicants for the Licensed Social Worker or Licensed Master Social Worker titles will be issued a provisional license once their application has been received and approved by the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board. This provisional license is good for one year during which a licensing exam must be taken.

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Licensed Social Worker (LSW)

If you wish to attain the title Licensed Social Work (LSW) in Arkansas, you must first get a Bachelor’s of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited university or college.
You must apply for your license and pass a criminal background check. You then need to receive a passing grade on a board approved examination offered by the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board.

  • You must apply for your license here, pay the $100 fee, and have your official transcript sent to the Arkansas Board.
    • You will also need to apply with the Arkansas State Police Identification Bureau for a comprehensive criminal background check including fingerprint check.
    • Once you have your provisional license granted form the Arkansas Board, you then need to receive a passing grade on the Bachelor’s level examination offered by the Association of Social Work Boards. You can apply for the ASWB Bachelor’s examination by completing the form found here and paying the $230 exam fee. You can attempt to pass this exam up to three times before you will be required to re-apply and pay the fees again.
    • Upon passing the exam you will be granted your LSW license from the Arkansas board and may begin practicing social work under appropriate supervision.

    Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)

    The requirements to receive the title Licensed Master Social Work (LMSW) in Arkansas have a higher standard for education. You will need to start by earning your Master's of Social Work degree from a CSWE accredited university or college. Then follow these steps to become a LMSW in Arkansas:

    • The next step is to apply for your license with the Arkansas Board and have your official sealed transcript sent to them.
    • You will also need to apply with the Arkansas State Police Identification Bureau for a comprehensive criminal background check including fingerprint check.
    • You will want to apply for the ASWB master’s level exam, which will grant you up to three attempts to pass it. If necessary, you may re-apply and pay the associated fees for additional attempts
    • When you have passed the ASWB Master’s Level Exam you will be granted a provisional license so you can gain supervised hours required for LCSW licensure.

    Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW)

    If you wish to hold the title of Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) in Arkansas, you must first get a Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited university or college. Once you have your degree follow these steps to become a LCSW in Arkansas:
    You must apply for your license and pass a criminal background check. You then need to receive a passing grade on the clinical examination offered by the Arkansas Social Work Board. You must also provide verification of a minimum of two years (4000 hours) of supervised work experience in the practice of clinical social work.

  • Before you can apply for your LCSW license you will first need to gain the required supervised experience which will require you to provide the Arkansas Social Work board a supervision plan. The plan will require details on the following: Setting you plan on practicing in, duties and responsibilities including treatment methods utilized and five professional goals you wish to achieve during the supervised hours.
  • You will need to provide verification of a minimum of two years (4000 hours) of supervised work experience in the practice of clinical social work. Any change of supervisor will require a new supervision plan to be submitted and approved by the Arkansas board.
  • Then you will need to apply for your license with the Arkansas board along with the $100 application fee.
  • You will also need to apply with the Arkansas State Police Identification Bureau for a comprehensive criminal background check including fingerprint check and $37.75 fee.
  • You then need to receive a passing grade on the clinical examination offered by the Association of Social Work Boards. You can find the ASWB application here and you will need to pay the $260 fee. You will be given up to three attempts in the 12 month period after your application. If you need more attempts you will need to re-apply with the ASWB and pay relevant fees again. Once you have passed the test you will be granted your LCSW license for independent clinical social work in Arkansas and may now provide clinical supervision that will count as supervised experience for other social workers.