Provisional License


Provisional License to Practice as a Social Worker: A Provisional License is an alternative pathway for individuals desiring to practice social work but who do not have a degree in social work. A Provisional License permits individuals to practice with a Board approved employer under the supervision of a degreed and licensed social worker. Within the four year period of supervised employment, the individual must complete four core classes in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (either online or at the social work program of choice) and successfully sit for the Bachelor’s social work exam. Enrollment in an MSW program also satisfies the course requirement. The individual will then be able to convert his/her provisional to become a Licensed Social Worker.

A provisional social worker is not a licensed social worker and is not eligible to contract, operate a business, enjoin with others in a business, perform fee for service duties, or any other kind of independent social work.

An applicant must have a baccalaureate degree in a field related to social work; related fields include sociology, psychology, counseling, criminal justice (as specified in Legislative Rule) or other related fields as determined by the Board including human services and behavioral science.

§30-30-17. Scope of practice for a Provisionally Licensed Social Worker.

A provisionally licensed social worker may perform all of the following functions and social work services under supervision:

  1. Multi-dimensional assessment of client or client system strengths and problems with functioning or psychosocial adaptation, not including formal mental health diagnosis.
  2. Service planning and contracting with clients or clients systems to outline proposed interventive strategies for clients or client systems in order to restore or enhance social, psychosocial, or biopsychosocial functioning;
  3. Implementing service plans and problem solving methodologies to restore or enhance social, psychosocial or biopychosocial functioning of clients or client systems;
  4. Supportive and palliative counseling activities, designed to offer comfort and social encouragement to clients or client systems, not including psychotherapy;
  5. Preventive strategies such as psychoeducation and consciousness raising for at-risk systems or populations, designed to forestall difficulties with functioning and psychosocial adaptation;
  6. Case management activities designed to assist clients or client systems with gaining access to needed resources and services and to assist with coordination of services in situations where multiple providers may be involved with client care;
  7. Information and referral services; and
  8. Personal practice assessment designed to assess and document outcomes and effectiveness of one's practice.


  • Individuals are expected to enroll in the required coursework within six months of licensure and must have evidence of coursework at their two year renewal cycle.
  • Provisional Licensees must meet with their licensing supervisor every three months.
  • Twenty hours of social work continuing education are required every two years and may not include independent study.
  • The Provisional License Compliance Verification Form is due in July of each year from provisional licensees and must be faxed or mailed to the Board of Social Work.
  • Provisional Licensees who change employers, DHHR county offices, titles, and/or licensing supervisors must file a Change Report for Provisional License Form with the Board.

To apply for a Provisional License:

Individuals must first be determined eligible for a Provisional License and should request an Application for Eligibility. An eligibility determination is not a license but will tell potential employers the individual is eligible for a provisional license if hired. Upon hiring the individual must acquire an approved licensing supervisor and return the Provisional License Agreement to the Board. Following approval and payment of the license fee, the individual will be issued a Provisional License.

To request an Eligibility application, contact the Board by mail or email:

WV Board of Social Work
PO Box 5459
Charleston, WV 25361

Fax: 304-400-4976