Looking to become a social worker in Montana? 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 Montana’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!

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In Montana, it is only possible to be licensed as a social worker with a Master’s degree or Doctoral degree in Social Work from an accredited institution. The designation Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) is granted to social workers with the necessary experience and successful examination completion.

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. The LCSW must have received two years or more (3000 hours) of postgraduate continuing supervision provided by an LCSW  (focusing on psychotherapy) prior to application for the clinical-level exam. The LCSW candidate must then pass the clinical-level exam as prescribed by the ASWB. 1,500 hours must be direct client contact, while 50 hours of direct supervision must be completed by an LCSW.

Candidate renewal does not require continuing education credits. Active licensees require twenty (20) clock hours per year with 20 clock hours of carryover allowed. Inactive licensees must submit 10 hours of Continuing Education for every year of inactive status for up to 5 years. Additionally, social work licensure applicants must complete a background check through submission of fingerprints to the Department of Justice, Montana Criminal Records prior to being licensed.

“Supervision” must be individual or group supervision, a real time interactive process for the entire 100 hours of individual face-to-face, the additional 40 hours of individual or group supervision and the 10 hours of supervision associated with the direct observation.  This could be telephone, interactive video, Internet live chat, two way radio, etc.  This does not include review of notes or correspondence (postal or Internet).

Regarding the 10 hours of direct observation:  The intent of this requirement is that the supervisor must have an opportunity to observe an unedited interaction between the social worker and the client.  This could include sitting in on a clinical session, observing behind a one-way window, viewing a video recording, or listening to an audio recording.  Reading detailed process notes would not qualify.  Also, just observing this interaction for a total of 10 hours does not constitute supervision.  This observation process would be of no value if there were no follow-up supervisory feedback to this observation.  It is reasonable that an accompanying hour for hour supervisory session would follow the 10 hours of direct observation.

LCSW Requirements:

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