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SW Assistant License Instructions

Note: The SWA is not a registration for bachelor of social work students who are enrolled in an internship or practicum course. Applicants enrolled in an MSW program who must register as a Trainee for their internship/field course should visit the Social Work Trainee (SWT) page

  1. Be sure you meet the education requirements prior to submitting an application.You must have received at least an associate degree in social service technology from an accredited academic institution. In determining whether you have completed enough social service coursework to qualify for the SWA, keep in mind the following definition of social services:  "Social services" means those activities which improve and maintain an individual's functioning in institutions, at home, or in the community and which do not necessarily require the specialized knowledge of social work, counseling, psychosocial interventions, or social psychotherapy.  Courses should generally focus on how to provide mental health services to individuals and groups.  Degree programs such as psychology, sociology, criminal justice, and criminology generally focus on the study of individuals and society, and do not include enough direct social service coursework to meet this requirement. Addtionally, these degree programs do not include a practicum or "hands on" coursework experience where the student works with clients at an agency or practice where mental health and social services are provided.  

A “social service technology degree” is an associate, bachelor, master, or doctoral degree where the following minimum curriculum standards are met:

a)  Forty-five quarter hours, or thirty semester hours, of core social service/social work skills, theory, and systems courses, which must include a social service practicum; and,

b)  Twenty-one quarter hours or fourteen semester hours of related courses such as psychology, sociology, and economics.

c)   The applicant must have received a grade of at least a “C-“ in all relevant coursework.

If your degree is not a social service/social work degree, you may submit your transcript, along with course descriptions for courses you believe meet the coursework requirements.  The course descriptions must correspond with the term in which you completed the course. You may need to contact the college or university registrar to locate course descriptions.   Do not provide copies of entire course catalogs. The request to review your degree may be emailed to socialwork@cswb.ohio.gov.  Please include all transcripts and course descriptions as PDF attachments.  

  1. Once you have determined you meet the educational requirements, the next step is to complete the SWA application online and pay the $60 application fee (plus $3.50 processing fee):  https://elicense.ohio.gov/OH_HomePage    You will need to register and create a User ID and password to access the e-License system.  Once you’ve registered, complete the application for Social Work Assistant.

The remaining steps for licensure can be completed in any order.

  1. View the Board's Laws and Rules video. This is a review of the Board’s rules and ethics requirements, and will help you understand your responsibilities as a licensee
  2. BCI and FBI Criminal Records Check. Background checks are valid for one year once completed.
  3. You or your school may submit OFFICIAL transcripts, showing your conferred degree, directly to the board.  The transcript can emailed as a PDF to socialwork@cswb.ohio.gov (preferred method of delivery). Please note: Your degree must be awarded in order for your official transcript to be accepted.  Many schools may take as long as 1-4 weeks following graduation to post your degree to your transcript. 

Documents necessary to complete your SWA registration (ALL steps must be completed before your SWA can be issued)

  1. Online SWA application, with fee
  2. Official Transcript showing your conferred degree, sent directly from your school
  3. BCI and FBI Criminal Records Check
  4. Watch the Board's Laws and Rules video

After You Have Submitted Your Application

  1. Be sure to submit any required documents. 
  2. Complete the background checks.
  3. Track the status of your application by clicking on Review Status under Options on your license application tile in eLicense. The review checklist indicates whether the Board has received your background checks, and submissions such as your transcript.