Ohio LISW Requirements


Florida State University’s online Master of Social Work (MSW) program is designed to cultivate leaders in the field. Those who graduate and aim to pursue a role as an independent or clinical social worker will need to meet specific guidelines depending on the state in which they hope to practice. In the state of Ohio, having the ability to practice independently requires the receipt of the Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) designation, the steps for which are outlined in this article.


Where do I begin the Ohio LISW licensing process?

The path toward Ohio LISW licensure begins by completing your online MSW degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This accreditation, which is held by Florida State University’s online MSW degree program, is essential because it guarantees your academic preparation in the field is on par with others across the country.

Prior to obtaining your LISW, you need to complete the Licensed Social Worker (LSW) credential. To apply for your LSW, you’ll need to submit an application with your transcripts, and pay the fee of $83.50.

You can start this process during the final semester of your MSW program and register for the LSW exam. After the exam is passed and a background check is complete, you should be well on your way to LSW licensure and one step closer to meeting LISW requirements.

Once the state’s Board of Social Work has reviewed your application, you can register for your Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Master’s exam.


How do I become LISW-licensed once I achieve my LSW credential?

With your LSW credential acquired, the next step is to complete the required hours of work experience. The state of Ohio mandates you log 3,000 hours of employment within a social work setting, with a maximum of 1,500 hours per year counting toward that total. Of this overall time, Ohio LISW rules also require a minimum of 150 hours is completed under the direct oversight of a licensed LISW social work supervisor. It is important you keep track of these hours as your supervisor will need to complete a Professional Employment Reference to verify your accomplishment.


Do I need to take a LISW exam?

Yes. Once you’ve completed your employment hours, you can complete the online application for LISW licensure in Ohio. Requirements include a copy of your driver’s license, a $103.50 application fee, and registering for one of the upper-level ASWB exams. Either the Clinical or Advanced Generalist exams will suffice, however, you will need to indicate in your application which of the two exams you plan to take. This exam, similar to the Master’s level exam, assesses your abilities across a spectrum of skills necessary for a career in social work. You are allotted four hours to complete both the Clinical and Advanced Generalist exams, which comprise 170 multiple-choice questions.


What are the final Ohio LISW requirements?

The final requirement is a bit of patience. With passing scores on your ASWB Clinical or Advanced Generalist exams and your complete application with a background check and transcripts submitted to the Board, you should receive word within weeks if your application for LISW licensure is completed and approved. It’s at this point you can take a deep breath and commend yourself for your dedication to a complex yet manageable process.

Add confidence to your journey with Florida State’s online MSW degree. Beyond CSWE accreditation, the program prepares students for clinically-focused careers in social work. Students graduate ready and supported as they start the LISW process.


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