What is a Clinical Social Worker?

Clinical social workers provide mental health services for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders in individuals, families, and groups.Their goal is to enhance and maintain their patients' physical, psychological, and social function.

Educational Requirements
Clinical social workers must have a masterís or doctorate degree in social work, with an emphasis on clinical experience. They must undergo a supervised clinical field internship and have at least 2 years of postgraduate supervised clinical social work employment. Clinical social workers are approved providers in most insurance and managed care plans, and practice in the following settings:
  • Private practice
  • Medical facilities (e.g., hospitals)
  • Mental health clinics
  • Child welfare agencies
  • Schools
  • Community organizations
  • Places of employment
Clinical social workers may be licensed by the state in which they practice. Requirements are prescribed by state law and include education, supervision, experience, and a written examination.


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