Social Work Continuing Education Credits
Renewing your Kentucky social work license requires more than filing paperwork. One of the requirements for social worker license renewal is to complete continuing education credits. The individual social worker is solely responsible for ensuring that they are aware of and properly fulfill this requirement. In July 2012, the regulations and statutes that set the parameters for social work continuing education credits were updated. Read on to find out what you need to know to keep your license up-to-date.
Tabulation of Continuing Education Hours
Kentucky Administrative Regulations (201 KAR 23:075, Section 2) set standards for the amount of continuing education credit social workers are required to complete, based on licensure status. For LCSW and CSW license renewal, candidates must accrue a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education every three years. This requirement drops down to 15 hours every three years for LSW.
The regulations define a “continuing education hour” as 50 clock minutes of participation in continuing educational programs. Using this definition, one academic semester credit is equal to 15 continuing education hours.
Fulfilling Your Requirements
The easiest way for social workers to meet their CEC requirements is to enroll in a college course, either online or in a traditional setting. Kentucky state law establishes that any education program sponsored by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), Clinical Social Work Association (CSWA), American Psychological Association (APA), American Counseling Association (ACA) or American Psychiatric Association (APA) are considered relevant to the field of social work. Courses offered through a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, such as Brescia’s online Bachelor of Social Work program, count toward the CEC requirement and are not subject to board review.
If a program of study does not meet the above conditions, the social work board will review the course to determine its relevancy. See the next section on how to properly document your CEC for board review.
Home learning, distance learning and teleconferencing may not account for more than half of an individual’s required CEC. Social workers may also earn credit, not to exceed half of the total required, by instructing an approved educational program or publishing an article in a professionally recognized publication. Required courses on social work ethics must be attended in-person and conducted by a live presenter. Ethics courses or programs must be submitted to the board for approval.
Documenting Your Continuing Education
Certain documentation must be submitted for board approval if a social worker decides to attend a program that does not meet the standards for automatic approval from the social work board. All ethics courses must also receive board approval.
- A published course outline or similar description that includes course objectives.
- Names and qualifications of the instructors—CV or resumes.
- Copies of evaluation sheet or equivalent.
- Program agenda indicating hours of education, including breaks.
- Official certificate of completion or college transcript.
- A completed Provider Application for Continuing Education Credit Approval form.
Necessary forms can be found on the Kentucky Board of Social Work page.
When selecting an educational program, find out as much as possible about the provider. Your educational provider should involve social workers in the planning of curriculum, cover content relevant to social work, provide a written syllabus and course objectives at the start and issue a certification of completion. However, do not rely solely on a CEC provider for documentation. Responsibility for continuing education falls on the social worker; be sure to keep records of any continuing education sessions attended for up to seven years.
Stipulations for Kentucky Social Workers
For each renewal period, at least three hours must be completed in the area of the social work code of ethics. LCSW supervisors must complete a board-approved supervision course in every renewal period. Every third renewal period, or once every nine years, all social workers must complete at least two hours in HIV/AIDS courses, as approved by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Every other renewal period, or once every six years, all social workers must complete 1.5 hours in recognition and prevention of pediatric head trauma. Finally, for only the first renewal period (the three years after initial licensure), three hours must be completed in domestic violence.