Become a Social Worker in Kentucky

Table of Contents

Disclaimer: Due to the rapidly changing nature of social work regulations, for the most up-to-date information on becoming a social worker in Kentucky, contact the Kentucky Social Work Licensing Board.

Kentucky law recognizes three classes of social workers: Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Certified Social Worker (CSW), and Licensed Social Worker (LSW). The requirements are as follows:

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs
School Program Description
University of Denver
  • Research-driven faculty dedicated to making an impact on social problems
  • Prepares you to apply social work skills across practice settings
Fordham University
  • Four areas of focus: Individuals and Families, Organizations and Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice and Advocacy
Simmons University
  • Four Clinical Specializations: Child and Family, Trauma and Interpersonal Violence, Mental Health and Addictions, and Health and Aging
  • Three program tracks: Traditional, Accelerated, and Extended
Case Western Reserve University
  • From Case Western Reserve University’s top-10 ranked School of social work
  • Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks available
University of Southern California (USC)
  • Offered by USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, a top-ranked graduate School by U.S. News and World Report
  • Features virtual and in-person field education in or near student’s own communities
Baylor University
  • Ethically integrates faith and social work practice
  • Specialize in clinical practice or community practice

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs

Kentucky LCSW

Education Requirement: Master of Social Work (MSW) or Doctor of Social Work (DSW) from an educational institution approved by the board

Kentucky LCSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Clinical Level Examination

Field Requirement: A minimum of 200 hours over two years of full-time post-master’s experience or 200 hours over three years of part-time post-master’s experience, including two hours of supervision for every two weeks of clinical practice; at least 100 hours must involve face-to-face supervision.

Fee: $200 license fee, $260 ASWB examination fee, $25 application fee

Additional Information: Prior to taking the examination, an LCSW candidate is able to practice social work under a temporary license though those hours will not accrue as the required supervised hours that will eventually be required. The Board must give permission to a certified social worker before the worker engages in clinical social work activities that are supervised yet do not meet experience requirements for the higher license.

Endorsement: Available upon board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every three years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 30 contact hours of continuing education and payment of a $200 renewal fee. 

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Kentucky CSW (Certified Social Worker)

Kentucky CSW Education Requirement: Master of Social Work (MSW) or Doctor of Social Work (DSW) from an educational institution approved by the board

Kentucky CSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Master’s Level Examination

Field Requirement: None

Fee: $125 license fee, $230 ASWB examination fee, $25 application fee

Additional Information: None

Endorsement: Available upon board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every three years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 30 contact hours of continuing education and payment of a $125 renewal fee. 

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Kentucky LSW (Licensed Social Worker)

Education Requirement: Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a CSWE-accredited social work or social welfare program or a baccalaureate degree with courses equivalent to a social work or social welfare program as determined by the board

Exam Requirement: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Bachelor’s Level Examination

Field Requirement: None

Fee: $75 license fee, $230 ASWB examination fee, $25 application fee

Additional Information: None

Endorsement: Available upon board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every three years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 15 contact hours of continuing education during the three-year period and payment of a $75 renewal fee. 

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In order to become a licensed social work practitioner in Kentucky, you will need to complete prerequisite coursework, examination requirements, and, in some cases, supervised work requirements. Also, certain levels of social work in Kentucky can only be reached after completing an on-campus or online MSW program. We are committed to keeping updated information on Kentucky social work licensure policies available to you.

Disclaimer: There may be additional methods of certification that have not been covered here. Please contact your state social work licensing department for more information.

Kentucky Social Work Salary

Kentucky Social Work Salary
Kentucky Social Work Career Average Social Worker Salary
Child, Family and School Social Workers $40,370
Healthcare Social Workers $49,150
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers $36,590
All Other Social Workers $55,230
Salary Increase from BSW to MSW +$9,000

Disclaimer: Social Worker Salary information is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Information about social worker salaries in Kentucky is subject to change. Please confirm salary information with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 08/27/2018.

Kentucky Social Work Scholarships

Kentucky State Loan Repayment Program (KSLRP)

Type:
 Loan Repayment

Amount: Up to $35,000 a year for two years

Description: The KSLRP provides loan repayment for qualified education loans incurred by primary care health professionals. In return, the professionals make a two-year commitment to practice full-time for an eligible sponsoring organization in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area. The awardees may receive up to $35,000 per year of service for a total of $70,000 for a two-year obligation.

Additional scholarship information is available on the national page of social work scholarships.

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Sponsored Online Social Work Programs

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs
School Program Description
University of Denver
  • Research-driven faculty dedicated to making an impact on social problems
  • Prepares you to apply social work skills across practice settings
Fordham University
  • Four areas of focus: Individuals and Families, Organizations and Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice and Advocacy
Simmons University
  • Four Clinical Specializations: Child and Family, Trauma and Interpersonal Violence, Mental Health and Addictions, and Health and Aging
  • Three program tracks: Traditional, Accelerated, and Extended
Case Western Reserve University
  • From Case Western Reserve University’s top-10 ranked School of social work
  • Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks available
University of Southern California (USC)
  • Offered by USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, a top-ranked graduate School by U.S. News and World Report
  • Features virtual and in-person field education in or near student’s own communities
Baylor University
  • Ethically integrates faith and social work practice
  • Specialize in clinical practice or community practice

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs

Licensure information including requirements, renewals, and fees were retrieved as of August 2018. Information may have changed since, check with the state’s board of licensing for more information.