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Getting Licensed in Texas to Become a Social Worker

Higher Education Articles August 11, 2013

If you live in Texas or planning to move to Texas, why not consider a job as a social worker—a person who proactively helps families improve their circumstances? This is a great career that will help you feel part of the community and will result in a comfortable living. Best of all, you can put your knowledge and passion to use for psychology.

Requirements for Licensing

Before you get started, you must meet all requirements for licensing. The state of Texas is quite stringent about this, and does require you to complete a minimum level of education and gain work experience before becoming licensed. This ensures that you will make proper and appropriate decisions, for this truly important life-changing work. The law actually states that the public must be protected from incompetent social workers and unfair practices.

You must become licensed, if you plan on becoming or identifying yourself as a social worker, or any other similar title. Unlicensed individuals implying they are working as a social worker can be fined. There are three license titles you can pursue, such as Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW), Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Within these titles, you can also acquire a special recognition for advanced practitioner and independent practice.

Social Worker Information for Texas Graduates

You can work as a social worker depending on the level of education indicated by the license; for instance, a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. In addition, you have to get board approval for licensing and present yourself free of any criminal charges, traffic offenses, civil lawsuits and other reputation damage. However, if you state to the board that you have had something in your past, you will not necessarily be disqualified. Hiding these matters though, would surely disqualify you from licensing.

What if you decided to work independently after earning your social worker license in Texas? Then, it’s time to move on into independent practice by taking full accountability for all of your services, regardless of whether it’s for payment or even pro bono. After licensing, other requirements for independent social work may apply. These are mainly protections for the profession and state, ensuring that workers are limited to their field of expertise and independent workers are not overstepping their bounds. As long as you are licensed and immediately let the public know your qualification, there shouldn’t be a problem. It is also important that you refrain from using incorrect titles and titles that don’t officially exist, such as “licensed medical social worker” or “licensed children’s social worker.”

Essentially, Texas requires that you be upfront about your business and training and that you do not “mix and match,” to suit your own marketing or financial needs at the expense of the public, which could easily confused people through improper labeling.

Social work in Texas is a growing industry and only a minimum level of education is required to break into the profession and work your way up. Why not look at your favorite school or a school like University of Texas to learn more about this career?

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