Looking to become a social worker in Hawaii? You’ve come to the right spot!  While there are similarities in licensing requirements from state to state, each state is unique. In addition to providing the essentials below, you can click the link we have provided for Hawaii’s official licensing body. There you can find additional information on potential requirements like background checks, state-to-state license transfers, and continuing education requirements. We hope this handy guide assists in your efforts to become a certified social worker in your state!

Image Source

In Hawaii, it is possible to be licensed as a social worker with either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an accredited institution. The designation Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW)  is granted to social workers with Bachelor’s degrees. The designations Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) require education at at least the master’s level.

Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW) is the basic licensing level. The LBSW must have a bachelor’s degree in social work from an accredited college or university whose social work program is approved or accredited by the CSWE. The candidate for the LBSW licensure must pass an exam as prescribed by the Board, then the LBSW is prepared to assume the beginning level professional role in public and private social service agencies. The Board requires that the LBSW work under the continuing supervision of a licensed master social worker or a licensed clinical independent social worker for two years.

The Licensed Social Worker (LSW) must have a master’s degree in social work from an accredited college or university whose social work program is approved or accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The candidate for the LSW licensure must pass an exam as prescribed by the Board. An LSW provides a wide range of services.  An LSW may provide preventive and treatment services pertaining to individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations.

The Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) must have a master of social work or a doctor of social work degree from a college or university approved or accredited by the CSWE and hold a current LSW license. The LCSW must have received two years or more of postgraduate continuing supervision provided by an LCSW prior to application for the LCSW exam. The LCSW candidate must pass an exam as prescribed by the Board. The LCSW should be able to demonstrate skill and interventions directly related to individuals, families, groups, communities, or organizations.

Verification of licenses can be done on-line at no cost. There, one can also obtain information such as original license date, license expiration date, license status, disciplinary action, etc. The information downloaded from the site is official license information which state boards or other individuals can download for themselves.

LBSW Requirements:

  • Education: Bachelor’s
  • ASWB Exam: Bachelor’s-Level
  • Supervision: N/A

LSW Requirements:

  • Education: Master’s
  • Supervision: N/A
  • ASWB Exam: Master’s-Level

LCSW Requirements:

  • Education: Master’s
  • Supervision: 2 years
  • ASWB Exam: Clinical