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When is a License Required?


If you have a social work degree, a license is required to provide social work services


If you have a social work degree, a license is required if you provide social work services as defined in Minnesota Statutes section 148E.010, subdivisions 6 or 11, or use the title social worker, unless you are employed by a county or a federally recognized tribe.

  • A license may be required even if:
    • The employer does not require a license
    • The job does not require direct client contact
    • The job title is not social worker
  • Only the Board has the authority to determine if a person is engaged in social work practice and must be licensed
  • As a licensed professional, you are responsible for being aware of and complying with all licensing requirements

Social work services include:

  • Assessment
  • Intervention
  • Case management
  • Client education
  • Consultation
  • Counseling
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Referral
  • Clinical practice including diagnosis and psychotherapy
  • Advocacy
  • Research
  • Development and administration of social service programs and policies
  • Community organization
  • Supervision of licensed social workers
  • Teaching social work students

Current licensing exemptions include:

Under Minnesota Statutes section 148E.065, licensure is voluntary if you are:

  • A student completing an internship or field placement required for a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited social work degree program
  • Employed by a county
  • Employed by a federally recognized tribe
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