All regular licensed social workers (LSW, LGSW, LCSW, LICSW) must earn forty (40) hours of WV Board of Social Work (WVBSW) approved continuing social work education hours in each two-year licensing period.
Licensees have a number of options in meeting the required forty hours of continuing education, which may include online courses or face to face options (Category I) and independent study (Category II). While the social worker may use all forty hours attending approved conferences or workshops, there are restrictions on the number of hours available for online or independent study.
Category I Hours:
At least twenty hours must be presented by a WV Board of Social Work Certified or Individually Approved Provider. These may be face to face or include a portion of online coursework:
1. Effective March 24, 2020, the Board permits individuals to take up twenty hours of approved online coursework which can include courses approved by the National Association of Social Workers, the Association of Social Work Boards, from our certified instate providers, another state social work licensing Board or a social work program accredited by the Council of Social Work Education. A certificate from the provider is required; the certificate must reflect the approved provider, the course title and the amount of continuing education.
There are a number of online social work continuing education providers so the following list is not all inclusive but meets the Board's requirements and is offered as a resource for individuals who are are seeking options:
2. Only ten contact hours need to be in a face to face situation from an approved provider in WV. This requirement is waived in response to COVID 19. Also, social workers may physically attend a social work program in another state and count those hours if it has been approved by that state’s social work board, the National Association of Social Workers, or the Association of Social Work Boards. A certificate of attendance verifying that approval and the amount of continuing education is required in order to count those hours.; the provider number 499999 should be written on the certificate
3. At least 2 of the 20 Category I contact hours shall be in mental health conditions specific to veterans and family members of veterans. Training specific to veterans and family members of veteran may include, but not be limited to, inquiring about whether clients are veterans or family members of veterans; screening for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder; readjustment issues; risk of suicide and prevention of suicide; addiction; military sexual assault; depression and grief. The Board will also accept courses addressing military culture as it relates to improving the cultural core competencies of practitioners.
There are a number of quality online courses available in addition to more traditional face to face offerings, all of which are approved by the Board of Social Work for Category I hours:
You will need to include the certificate that you get at the end of the course when you submit your 2 hours of CEUs.
4. At least 1 of the 40 contact hours shall be in social work ethics. Regular licensees have the opportunity to use their own judgement in meeting that requirement-online, face to face, or independent study (for example, simply rereading the Code of Ethics as independent study will satisfy this requirement). Service worker registrants or provisional licensees are not eligible for independent study.
Category II Hours (Provider #490000)
Individual Professional Activities hours do not require prior approval. Course content must relate to social work or improving your practice and may include :
· Attendance at workshops that are not provided by an approved CE provider
· Reading or writing of papers, journals, articles, or books with relevant social work objectives and content
· Preparation time when serving as a presenter at a social work program;
· Internet research into specific areas of social work methods and practice, issues, etc.;
· Online courses in excess of the approved ten hours
· Viewing videos of prevalent and problematic social, health, family issues;
The choices are fairly broad, and at our licensees’ discretion, but the Board does require that the activities either relate to social work or enhance your area of social work practice. Some topics may be required by an individual’s employer-such as Defensive Driving or your agency’s Compliance policy, but would not fit those aforementioned guidelines. Of course, if an individual is uncertain about a particular topic or activity and wants clarification, we are available to questions either by phone or email.
Please note that, while service is appreciated, volunteer hours no longer count as continuing education.
Regular Licensees with Special Emeritus Status:
Regular licensees with Emeritus status are not required to pursue continuing social work education.
Temporary Permit Holders:
Temporary Permit holders are not required to earn continuing social work education until they receive their full regular license. The Temporary Permit is only issued for six months to allow the candidate time to take the state social work exam.
Provisional licensees must earn a total of twenty (20) hours in each of the two-year licensing periods. Provisional licensees are not required to earn hours on veterans mental health, and are not eligible to take independent study or online coursework to their continuing education requirement (with the exception of a CSWE accredited social work class conducted online)
Service Worker Registrants:
Registrants must earn a total of twenty (20) hours in each of the two-year renewal periods. Service Worker registrants are required to earn 2 hours on mental health disorders common to veterans and their families and one hour of social work ethics. These must be taken either online or face to face, and as Service Worker Registrants are not eligible to use independent study
Reporting Continuing Education:
Use the record or certificate issued by your continuing education provider, you need not submit the recording form. The recording form should be used only for independent study or if you have lost the attendance certificate or record provided at the training; please make every effort to use the record provided at your training
Submit earnings annually and/or 90 days prior to renewal of license. Please allow plenty of time as the Board is required to do random audits of continuing education, and this may delay processing if additional information is required. make copies of your CEUs so you can keep track of the credits you have; Board staff do not always have time to answer individual questions on the number of credits you have.