The Council of State Governments (CSG) has partnered with the Department of Defense (DoD), the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) to support the mobility of licensed social workers through the development of a new interstate compact. This additional licensing pathway will facilitate multistate practice among member states and reduce the barriers to license portability.
What is the Social Work Licensure Compact?
The Social Work Licensure Compact is an interstate occupational licensure compact. Interstate compacts are constitutionally authorized, legislatively enacted, legally binding agreements among states. This compact will enable regulated social workers with bachelor’s, master’s and clinical licenses to serve clients in every state that joins the compact, rather than going through the licensure process in every state where they want to practice. Like the compact for a driver’s license, each Social Work Licensure Compact member state agrees to mutually recognize the licenses issued by every other member state.
What are the advantages of the Social Work Licensure Compact?
The Social Work Licensure Compact allows eligible social workers to practice in all states that join the compact. The goal is to eliminate barriers to practice and to client care along with ensuring public protection. The Social Work Licensure Compact will also enhance a state’s ability to protect public safety.
Other benefits include:
- Enhancing the mobility of social workers
- Improving access to professional social work services
- Improving continuity of care when clients travel or relocate
- Supporting relocating military spouses and families
- Enhancing public safety
- Creating a data system of information about licensees including license status, investigative information and adverse actions
To join the compact, a state must enact the model compact legislation and meet eligibility criteria.
Lynn Stanley, LICSW
National Association of Social Workers, New Hampshire Chapter