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Important Information for LMSWs Seeking the LCSW
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Important Information for LMSWs Seeking the LCSW
Caution Advised for Supervisors

July 2008

NASW-NYC has learned from members and the State Education Department (SED) that SED will not grant the LCSW to social workers who possess the LMSW who have their own private practice doing psychotherapy and pay for their own supervision.

SED has posted new language on its website but says the law has not changed. They say that they have only provided clarification. Based on calls from members who have been in private practice, there has been a widespread belief that such practice would lead to the LCSW.

NASW-NYC has advised against private practice for LMSWs as a path toward the LCSW based on practice standards within the profession for many years. It was not clear, however, that the State Education Department had taken the position that it has, until recently.

In essence, SED sees LMSWs doing psychotherapy in private practice as being outside their scope of practice, which raises legal issues for both the LMSW and the supervisor.

At the time Currents was going to press, a meeting was scheduled for early July for NASW leaders to meet with LMSWs who have been affected by this news from SED in order to better understand their circumstances.

Other issues pertaining to licensing are:

• LMSWs may legally provide services in a private practice that fall under the scope of practice of licensed master social work, such as case management.
• Only agency settings, will be accepted settings for LCSW-qualifying experience.
• SED will not accept for-profits or other settings, such as EAPs, that do not have state oversight for LCSW-qualifying experience, regardless of supervision.
• If an LMSW is acquiring LCSW-eligible experience at an agency and chooses to pay for private supervision, there must be an agreement signed by the LMSW, the agency, and the private supervisor. In order for the supervision and experience to count, the supervisor must send to SED a copy of that agreement with Form 4B [ Form 4B: Certification of Experience for Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Private supervisors should inform themselves of the responsibilities vis-à-vis the LMSW’s agency clients. Go to and look at questions 9-11.
• Form 4B now has an additional page: a psychotherapy log in which all practice and supervision must be documented on a weekly basis retroactive to November 15, 2007. Supervised experience prior to November 15, 2007 is simply recorded on Form 4 B.

NASW-NYC sees social work licensing as having a major impact on the social work and human services work force for years to come, and this will be a priority issue for the future.

NASW-NYC is developing an advocacy agenda to address a number of issues related to licensing, including:
1. Re-opening the grand parenting period for another year.
2. Addressing the limited number of settings acceptable for obtaining the LCSW.
3. The need for data to determine whether the licensing exam is culturally biased.

There will be periodic updates in Currents and our licensing specialist, Lu Lasson, is available to speak to members. She can be reached at (212) 668-0050 ext. 221 or at


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