Social Work Licensure in Michigan

In April 2004, the State of Michigan passed Public Act 61 requiring social workers practicing in the State of Michigan to be licensed. In order to practice as a social worker in Michigan, one must meet specific criteria and earn a bachelor's or master's social worker degree. Once you have earned a degree and are ready to apply what you have learned in professional practice as a social worker, you will want to obtain a social work license. To do this, you are encouraged to visit the State of Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Bureau of Health Professionals website. You will find information about licensure, forms (such as applications), and frequently asked questions.

The State of Michigan Board of Social Work Examiners created a presentation entitled, Social Work Licensure Law to answer some commonly asked questions.

The Master's and Bachelor's social worker license application describes in detail what documentation you will need to provide to the Bureau of Health Professions.

Social Work Licensure Examination Preparation Course

In order to become fully licensed, individuals holding a degree in social work from an accredited university must take and pass a social work license exam. Your degree (bachelor or master) and your supervised practice experience determine which exam you will need to take to become eligible for licensure. The organization responsible for creating and maintaining the social work examinations adopted for use in the State of Michigan is the Association of Social Work Boards or ASWB. To learn details about the examinations and examination sites, please visit www.aswb.org

This licensure preparation program and materials associated with it were not included in the Association of Social Work Boards’ Approved Continuing Education (ACE) review and are not approved by ASWB for continuing education nor endorsed by ASWB in any manner.

Upcoming Social Work License Exam Preparation Courses offered by the Michigan State University School of Social Work

2017

  • Oct 6-7 in East Lansing #941
  • Friday, 5:50 pm – 9:15 pm • Saturday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • MSU Radiology Building - Auditorium
  • 846 Service Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824
  • Register Online
  • December 1-2 in East Lansing #942
  • Friday, 5:50 pm – 9:15 pm • Saturday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • MSU Campus (Exact Location TBD)
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • Register Online

Download the brochure

Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Requirements

The Board of Social Work - General Rules have not been revised since the licensure process was first implemented in 2005. Early in 2016, public testimony was given on proposed rule changes, leading to alterations and additions to some of the rules that govern all licensed social workers in Michigan. These new changes will impact all social workers, starting with those that renewed or gained a license in 2016. View the licensure revision here.

The Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) website states: An applicant for license renewal who has been licensed for the 3-year period immediately preceding the expiration date of the license shall accumulate not less than 45 continuing education contact hours that are approved by the board during the 3 years immediately preceding an application for renewal. At least 5 of the 45 continuing education contact hours in each renewal period shall be in ethics and 2 continuing education contact hours in each renewal period shall be in pain and pain symptom management. Continuing education contact hours in pain and pain symptom management may include, but are not limited to, courses in behavior management, psychology of pain, behavior modification, and stress management. Social work continuing education hours are referred to as Continuing Education Contact Hours or CECH. Individuals will be responsible to maintain documentation of the names, dates, hours, and providers of all continuing education events they attend for four years post licensure renewal. Questions about licensure can be directed to: State of Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Bureau of Health Professions (517) 335-0918 or visit their web site.

In Michigan, Social Workers may earn up to one-half of the required continuing education contact hours in person using live, synchronous contact. The remaining continuing education contact hours may be completed in any other approved format. If you live outside of Michigan, check with your state's social work regulatory body.

Additionally, the new rules, as found on LARA’s website states that an individual seeking licensure or registration or who is licensed or registered shall complete training in identifying victims of human trafficking that meets the following standards:
Training content shall cover all of the following:

  1. Understanding the types and venues of human trafficking in the United States.
  2. Identifying victims of human trafficking in health care settings.
  3. Identifying the warning signs of human trafficking in health care settings for adults and minors.
  4. Resources for reporting the suspected victims of human trafficking.

Michigan State School of Social Work is an Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Provider (No. 1136). Most states, including Michigan, accept ASWB ACE approved continuing education programs. Social workers outside of Michigan are encouraged to check with their State Social Work Boards to determine if ASWB ACE Programs are accepted in their state. To learn more about ASWB, ACE, click here.

Michigan State University School of Social Work is a participating member of the Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative. The Michigan Board of Social Work Examiners charged the Continuing Education Collaborative with the responsibility to ensure the quality of all continuing education programs sponsored for Michigan's social workers and to conduct activities that will help them meet their defined education needs. Click here to learn more about the Collaborative.

Michigan State University is committed to providing continuing education for social workers in Michigan. Please email swkce@msu.edu with your suggestions.