Skip to Main content

Licensure

For more information about Social Work Licensure including rules, regulations, forms, and applications, please see the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council.

Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW)

Practice of Baccalaureate Social Work—Applying social work theory, knowledge, methods, ethics and the professional use of self to restore or enhance social, psychosocial, or bio-psychosocial functioning of individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations and communities. Baccalaureate Social Work is generalist practice and may include interviewing, assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, case management, mediation, counseling, supportive counseling, direct practice, information and referral, problem solving, supervision, consultation, education, advocacy, community organization, and policy and program development, implementation, and administration.

Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)

Practice of Master’s Social Work—Applying social work theory, knowledge, methods and ethics and the professional use of self to restore or enhance social, psychosocial, or bio-psychosocial functioning of individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations and communities. An LMSW may practice clinical social work in an agency employment setting under clinical supervision, under a Council-approved supervision plan, or under contract with an agency when under a Council-approved clinical supervision plan. Master’s Social Work practice may include applying specialized knowledge and advanced practice skills in assessment, treatment, planning, implementation and evaluation, case management, mediation, counseling, supportive counseling, direct practice, information and referral, supervision, consultation, education, research, advocacy, community organization and developing, implementing and administering policies, programs and activities. An LMSW may engage in Baccalaureate Social Work practice.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Practice of Clinical Social Work—The practice of social work that requires applying social work theory, knowledge, methods, ethics, and the professional use of self to restore or enhance social, psychosocial, or bio-psychosocial functioning of individuals, couples, families, groups, and/or persons who are adversely affected by social or psychosocial stress or health impairment. The practice of clinical social work requires applying specialized clinical knowledge and advanced clinical skills in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, conditions and addictions, including severe mental illness and serious emotional disturbances in adults, adolescents, and children. The clinical social worker may engage in Baccalaureate Social Work practice and Master’s Social Work practice. Clinical treatment methods may include but are not limited to providing individual, marital, couple, family, and group therapy, mediation, counseling, supportive counseling, direct practice, and psychotherapy. Clinical social workers are qualified and authorized to use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Codes, and other diagnostic classification systems in assessment, diagnosis, treatment and other practice activities. An LCSW may provide any clinical or non-clinical social work service or supervision in either an employment or independent practice setting. An LCSW may work under contract, bill directly for services, and bill third parties for service reimbursements.

Additional Licensure

Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor

Visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website for information about becoming a licensed chemical dependency counselor. The agency registers and regulates these counselors and provides more information about the profession and the licensure requirements.