Frequently Asked Questions

Psychotherapy Report and Mid-Level Licensure Report

The VSCSW was invited by the Virginia Board of Social Work Regulatory Committee to submit written input concerning two topics, Mid-Level Licensure and  Psychotherapy being included in the VBSW regulatory definition of Clinical Social Work

VSCSW Legislative Vice President Joseph G. Lynch LCSW prepared two reports for the VBSW Regulatory Committee and presented the reports to the Board members on July 24, 2015 at the VBSW Board meeting.  The Regulatory Committee was scheduled to consider both issues at their meeting on August 28, 2015.  However the August 28, 2015 meeting was cancelled and as of October 14, 2015 has not been rescheduled.  The two issues are of grave concern to the VSCSW.  The VSCSW is opposed to any changes that in any way diminish the value of the Virginia LCSW license.  To read the reports click on the name of the report below:

1.  “Mid-level” licensure

2.  “Psychotherapy” in the definition of Clinical Social Work in the VBSW Regulations

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VSCSW Study of VBSW Denial of LCSW Applications for 2014 Year

VSCSW Executive Summary - VSCSW Study of VBSW Denial of LCSW Applications for 2014 Year

 VSCSW Study of VBSW Denial of LCSW Applications for 2014 Year

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Registration of Supervision and Application for LCSW- GUIDANCE DOCUMENT

VSCSW has developed a Guidance Document to assist MSW's in the Registration of Supervision and Application for LCSW.  It is critical that the MSW complete these documents with caution and specificity. Click on the link below:

VSCSW Guidance Document on Registration of Supervision and Application for LCSW


The Virginia Board of Social Work a few years ago changed from "paper" LCSW applications to "online" applications.  While this has many advantages, it has one very large disadvantage- that is the applicant has not seen a copy of the application until they are actually applying to sit for the LCSW exam.  It is very important that you know what questions are on the application at the beginning of gaining your two years of supervised experience. It is like being allowed to see a copy of the final exam for a course as you start the course. This would help you know which items to pay attention to during your supervised experience.  You may request "paper" copies of the following VBSW forms from the Virginia Board of Social Work  (for your convenience we have provided below links to copies of these forms) *****

  1. Registration of Supervision Towards LCSW
  2. The Licensure As A Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) By  Examination and
  3. The Licensure As A Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) By  Endorsement



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11 Steps to implement for Security of EPHI on Mobil Devices

Steps you can take to secure EPHI

Mobile Devices and Health Information Privacy and Security

This document is from the DHHS and gives a description of 11 steps you can take to secure EPHI on mobile devices.

Mobile Devices Detailed Instructions

This document is more of a "how to" actually implement the 11 steps you can take to secure EPHI on mobile devices.  It has both text and photos to help guide you through the steps.  It is written by a social worker not an IT (Information Technology) person so it is a good place to start but you may still have to ask your IT person some questions.

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Guidance Documents

VSCSW has developed several "Guidance Documents"

VSCSW "Clinical Social Work Services": How to document that your practice matches the definition.

VSCSW Response to Social Work Summit-Clinical Course of Study

VSCSW Information Technology Policies    

HIPAA-Definitinical Cons of Terms

Sexual Exploitation in Health Care- Virginia Department of Health Professions    

VSCSW Response to Social Work Summit-March 24, 2012

Adding a New Service to Your Practice: Applying An Ethical Decision Making Protocol

Controversy in Virginia about LCSW licensure (May 11, 2012)

Private Practice In A Box

Mobile Devices and Health Information Privacy and Security

Mobile Devices Detailed Instructions


Click here to view Guidance Documents

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Where do clinical social workers work?

Members of the profession work in a wide variety of settings:

• Mental Health Agencies
• Hospitals
• Industry
• Family service agencies
• Courts
• Prisons
• Health maintenance organizations
• Child guidance clinics
• Private practices
• Schools
• Employee assistance plans

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What makes clinical social workers qualified to provide these services?

Clinical social workers have national standards of practice, nationwide regulation and a comprehensive Code of Ethics. They are recognized as independent providers of mental health services by all federal programs and the majority of private insurance plans and managed mental health care companies. They are professionally educated, hold advanced degrees (MSW, DSW, Ph.D.), and are regulated (by licensure or certification) in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Clinical social workers undergo 2,000-3,000 hours of supervised training. A majority go on to complete advanced study focusing their knowledge in a particular area of work (family therapy, psychoanalysis, eating disorders, addictions, child and adolescent therapy, etc).

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Are there many clinical social workers?

The Department of Health and Human Services and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimate the number of clinical social workers to be in excess of 190,000 nationwide. Recent national estimates are that clinical social workers provide up to 60% of all mental health services - far more than any professional group offering psychotherapy in the United States.

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What is Clinical Social Work?

Clinical Social Work, sometimes known as psychiatric social work, is a practice specialty of the social work profession. Its members provide mental health services for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental, behavioral and emotional disorders in individuals, families and groups. In their work, clinical social workers build upon the values, ethics, principles, practice methods, and the "person-in-environment" perspective of the social work profession. The primary focus, however, is the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional impairments.

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Do We Have a Labor Affiliation?

VSCSW developed a connection with organized labor with the formation of the Clinical Social Work Guild. For a number of years the two organizations were essentially one and the same, but now the CSW Guild is a separate entity and membership is optional. Guild members enjoy participation with local labor councils and the opportunity to meet state legislators through that connection. Guild members value labor's emphasis on quality health care for all workers and see a clear overlapping of agendas. Membership in the Clinical Social Work Guild has been very beneficial for many VSCSW members. Individuals are able to join the Guild through VSCSW, if they choose.

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Do We Have a National Affiliation?

To ensure representation at the national level, VSCSW has affiliated with the Clinical Social Work Association, the new organization that grew out of the Clinical Social Work Federation. The CSWA offers consultation and expertise at the national level on legislative issues, lobbying strategies and licensing protection. This affiliation also enables us to receive affordable malpractice insurance rates.

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