Social Work Assistant

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What is the Social Work Assistant (SWA)?

A.  A person who receives a certificate of registration to practice as a social work assistant is not authorized to engage in the practice of social work. A social work assistant, under the direct supervision of a psychologist, psychiatrist, licensed professional clinical counselor, licensed professional counselor, independent marriage and family therapist, independent social worker, social worker, or registered nurse who holds a master's degree in psychiatric nursing, may provide human, social, and community services that include intake assessment and referral, screening, crisis intervention and resolution, community support, case management and outreach, record keeping, social assessment, visual observation of an individual in the individual's environment, assistance in facilitation with groups and families, advocacy, and orientation, education, and prevention services.

Q.  What are the educational requirements to earn the SWA?

A.  Refer to the SWA Quick Links on this page, and click link #1. SW Assistant Instructions.  The educational requirements can be found on that page.

Q.  How do I apply for the SWA?

A.  Refer to the SWA Quick Links on this page, and click link #1. SW Assistant Instructions. 

Q.  Once my SWA is issued, how long is it valid for?

A.  The registration is valid for two years from the date of issuance.

Q.  How do I renew my registration?

A.  You will be required to complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years, and you will receive a renewal notice by email when your license is due.  For more information on the renewal process, you can review our website here:

Social Work Assistant: RENEWAL CHANGE 1/28/15

SWA Continuing Education Hours – Code and Rule Discrepancy:

The Social Work Professional Standards Committee of the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, & Marriage and Family Therapist Board recently identified a discrepancy between Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4757.33 and Ohio Administrative Code Rule 4757-9-03, both of which address continuing education requirements. The Ohio Revised Code stipulates that registered Social Work Assistants must complete thirty (30) hours of continuing education every two years as a condition of renewal. The Ohio Administrative Code Rule indicates a Social Work Assistant may renew with fifteen (15) hours of continuing education. The Board’s intention was to modify the required hours, reducing them to fifteen hours. Unfortunately, any discrepancy between a Statute and Rule must be settled by following the Statute. Because of this discrepancy, until the Board can determine the best course of action to remedy the situation, registered Social Work Assistants must renew with thirty or more hours of continuing education. The Board will notify Social Work Assistants of any planned changes once a possible remedy has been identified. Questions regarding this message may be directed to Brian Carnahan, by e-mail at or by telephone at 614.752.5161.