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You Have the Right to Competent Professional Social Work Services

The Boards mission and duty is "to ensure the residents of Minnesota quality social work services by establishing and enforcing professional standards." The Board protects the public through licensing social workers and resolving complaints about social workers.

The information in this section will help you find out:
  • if a social worker is licensed 
  • if the Board has taken public disciplinary action against a licensed social worker 
  • help you file a complaint about a social worker
  • answer frequently asked questions about the complaint process
  • guide you through the Board's complaint process
  • describe the standards of practice

LICENSING assures clients that licensed social workers:
  • are QUALIFIED and meet degree, continuing education, and supervision requirements
  • are PROFESSIONAL and trustworthy
  • have a criminal background check and meet ETHICAL standards
  • are ACCOUNTABLE, and their clients have access to the Boards compliance process if services do not meet standards

Social workers are employed in many types of agencies and provide assessment, intervention, case management, client education, counseling, crisis intervention, referral, advocacy, development and administration of social service programs and policies, and community organization. Clinical practice includes diagnosis and psychotherapy.

A social work license is required:

  • If a person has a social work degree
  • before a person begins social work practice in Minnesota 
  • even if the job title is not social worker and even if an employer does not require licensure, the Board has legal authority to determine whether a person in a specific position is practicing social work, and must be licensed. 

A social work license is not currently required for: 

  • Other qualified or licensed professionals.
  • Social work students in internships
  • Social workers employed by federally receognized tribes
  • Social workers emplyed by a county agency
  • Social workers employed by a Minnesota state agency who were hired before July 1, 2016.  See Licensing Law
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