Education Requirements for Certified Social Work Case Manager

The Certified Social Work Case Manager is a sub-specialization of the Medical Social Worker career that requires additional on the job supervised experience and certification by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). The Certified Social Work Case Manager is an expert on mental health issues in medical contexts and is able to help clients with the mental and emotional stresses that can occur during modern medical procedures. This skills and ability is in addition to the standard tasks of the Medical Social Worker whereby the client is helped to find government assistance in the form of Medicaid, Medicare and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage.

The additional counseling capacity of the Certified Social Work Case Manager gives them great career flexibility and allows them to play a completely different role from standard Medical Social Workers. This in turn also requires additional training and experience. A Certified Social Work Case Manager is required by the NASW to have the following requirements at the Bachelor’s or C-SWCM level of certification:

  • 3 years (4500 hours) of supervised clinical experience in a case management setting after one has earned their BSW.
  • Adherence to NASW practice and ethics standards
  • BSW degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited school
  • Either a BSW level state license to practice Social Work OR a passing test score on the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) BSW level exam.

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At the Master of Social Work (MSW) level, the credentialing is referred to as the Certified Social Worker in Health Care (C-SWHC) and has the following requirements per NASW:

  • Must possess a MSW degree from a CSWE accredited institution
  • 20 hours of continuing education credits in health care social work
  • Two years (3000 hours) of paid supervised work in a health care setting performing case management, this must be after the MSW has been earned.
  • You must have licensure to operate at the MSW level or have passed the ASWB MSW level examination with a passing score
  • Must adhere to NASW Code of Ethics and Standards for Continuing Professional Education