Becoming a Social Worker

Social worker with patient

Resources for BSW Graduates

Earning a degree is only the first step in becoming a social worker. The state of Kentucky requires that social workers at all levels attain licensure in order to practice. Once you’ve earned your Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), there are several steps you must take to get and keep your social work license. The process is not particularly difficult, but a hiccup along the way could mean a delay in initial licensure or renewal that might result in lost wages or missed social worker career opportunities.

Social Worker Exam

The first step toward licensure is applying to your state board. For students in Kentucky, this is the Kentucky Board of Social Work (KBSW). After approval, the KBSW will contact candidates with a notice of authorization to sit the appropriate social worker exam. BSW graduates will sit the bachelor’s level exam.

Get detailed information on applying for licensure and registering for the social worker exam.

Social Worker Continuing Education Credits

Once you’ve established licensure, there are certain conditions you must meet in order to renew your license. In Kentucky, social worker licenses must be renewed every three years. Over the course of this renewal period, social workers are responsible for meeting continuing education credit requirements. Continuing education helps keep Kentucky social workers at the forefront of their field and provides valuable refreshers and new information on common issues and areas of practice. Kentucky sets parameters for what does and doesn’t qualify as continuing education, as well as a minimum number of contact hours that must be met. The commonwealth also dictates that social workers undergo education on specific topics at regular intervals.

Learn more about social worker continuing education credits.

Social Worker Associations

It may be advantageous for you to become a member of a social worker association. Associations exist based on practice, region and network. Some associations offer benefits to members that may reduce licensing fees, keep members up-to-date on changing laws and practices or provide easy access to continuing education opportunities. Social worker associations also advocate on behalf of the profession and help advance legislature that protects social workers and their clients.

Find the right social worker association for you.

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