You wouldn’t want a doctor who hadn’t been through medical school or a lawyer who hadn’t passed the bar. So why should companies and organizations be allowed to place candidates without a social work degree in a social work position? Many believe that they shouldn’t.
Social workers reach out to people when they are most vulnerable. It takes a special skill set and appropriate training to be a social worker. There are lots of misconceptions about what social workers do, and title protection awareness can help resolve those misconceptions and put social workers in a position to do the most good for their clients. Essentially, title protection legislation works to ensure that only properly licensed and trained social workers are hired in social work positions.
The National Association of Social Workers has a chapter in each state; one of the organization’s main goals is to raise awareness about title protection. This month, the Connecticut chapter of NASW made headway after more than 20 years of campaigning and lobbying, as the Connecticut Department of Children and Families and the Connecticut Department of Social Services agreed to give hiring preference to workers with social work degrees, rather than hiring applicants with degrees in a related field of study.
According to the NASW Kentucky Chapter, Kentucky was one of the lead states in licensing; Kentucky passed a licensure law in 1974. Kentucky has also had title protection legislation on the books for over a decade; that portion of the law was passed in 1996. While this legal protection is great for the state, there’s still more work to be done. In particular, the media can often misrepresent the role of a social worker. Consequently, there has been a fair share of misinformed publicity about “social workers,” when the individual in question wasn’t a properly licensed or trained social worker in the first place. This paints social workers in a negative light when the real issue is the practice of hiring under-trained and ill-qualified applicants for social work positions.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in social work in Kentucky, you must hold a bachelor’s or a master’s in social work. Brescia University is currently the only school in Kentucky to offer an accredited BSW fully online. Brescia University’s Bachelor of Social Work degree completion program has been fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since June 2000. For more information on online social work degrees offered through Brescia University, visit us online.
Established in 1950, Brescia University is a Catholic, liberal arts institution founded in the Ursuline tradition of personal and social transformation through education. With the advent of BUonline, Brescia brings accredited undergraduate and graduate programs to students across the nation. Brescia’s commitment to a student-centered environment rewards students who seek success through meaningful careers and service to others.