How am I suppose to get supervision hours for my LCSW (husband is military and I want a VA job)

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Alyssa Amber in Appleton, Wisconsin

42 months ago

ANy information from you LCSW's out there would be VERY much appreicated.

I completed my Masters in Social Work and I did take all the clinical classes needed to get my LCSW..however my internship was in child welfare.. and thus also my first job which was at the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare where I worked for two years. Through knowing someone I landed a job at a county jail where I have been the last two years doing crisis intervention, brief therapy, pychosocial assements, dealing with mental health meds, etc. .. however my supervisior was NOT an LCSW and I recieved no hours before I was released from that job.

My husband is military and I woudl LOVE LOVE LOVE to get a job through the VA.. but they ALL require me to have an LCSW. How the heck do I get this?? It feels that I am stuck between a rock and a hard place... all positions already want you to have the LCSW.. and no one seems to want to supervise.

My husbands job in the military is now up in the air.. so I am currently looking for ANYTHING ANYWHERE (US or abroad). THANKS

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socialwkr in Missouri

42 months ago

Alyssa Amber in Appleton, Wisconsin said: As a side note.. I also hear that Wisconsin is one of the HARDEST states to get an LCSW from since the lic. is fairly new. Wisconsin is where I currently am. Are there other states that make the process simple???Also.. does anyone know for VA (USA-fed) job work.. if the position states MUST have an LCSW.. if no one applies do they consider applicants who do not have it??
I feel so lost and really need some direction.

Hey Alyssa sorry to hear about your supervision experience. Missouri's licensure process is definitely not simple either. I lost six months of supervision because the agency I worked for was not familiar with the supervision process, so it took me 2 1/2 years of supervision to get my LCSW. In Missouri, a supervisor for a LCSW must also be a MSW. Back in the 80's when the LCSW first became available the state allowed anyone who had been supervised by someone with a social work degree to get grandfathered in to a LCSW. So, there are individuals who have a BSW who are a LCSW......individuals with a Degree in Education with a LCSW. Those individuals are not able to supervise.

I have looked at VA jobs. Depending on what job the VA wants you to do, it may or may not require instant licensure. For example, I have seen a lot of new social work positions strictly for PTSD therapy. That definitely requires licensure. Or substance abuse and alcohol abuse therapy........requires a license. A big reason is for billing reasons and liability reasons. Most insurance will not pay for certain therapies unless provided by a licensed therapist. Some VA's do hire social workers that do not require licensure. There have been new positions for rehabilitation community type jobs through VA I have seen. They do not require licensure. One of the positions I have seen is "Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist".

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inacrisis123 in Falmouth, Massachusetts

42 months ago

I am in Mass and in Ma you onlly hve to graduoate from an MSW program in order to take the test for an LCSW. You then need to gt 2 yeras of full time work with 2 hours per week of suprvision (and you can count the hours while you were still in school) to get the supervision you need priorto taking the LICSW test.

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Aryn in Appleton, Wisconsin

42 months ago

Thanks! I am now wondering what state is the EASIEST to get the LCSW..lol..My husband has several military job option in different states and getting and LCSW could be a MAJOR factor in where we live

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socialwkr in Missouri

42 months ago

Aryn in Appleton, Wisconsin said: Thanks! I am now wondering what state is the EASIEST to get the LCSW..lol..My husband has several military job option in different states and getting and LCSW could be a MAJOR factor in where we live

Aryn, I don't know if there are easy states for licensure lol I joke with my nursing co-workers and say it is harder to get a license for social work than for a nurse....and I won't kill anyone by giving them the wrong medication! In Missouri LCSWs have to get 30 hours of Continuing Education to be able to renew your license every two years also.

But as a military spouse you will probably be able to get your foot in the door as a civilian working for the base/post. Check out usajobs.com Even if you were only able to get a social service assistant position, those jobs start out with pretty good income and you could work on your supervision at that point too. I know I have been out of the Army a good 10 years, but they did have programs at that time to assist spouses with questions/job searches, etc? Each branch of service must have something like that still? You may want to consider calling the bases/posts to see if they may have a work opportunity for you? You already have a lot of great work experience.

I am assuming here, but most states require I think require at least 2 years of supervision to get your LCSW.

Here in Missouri you have to also have 4 hours a month of direct contact with your supervisor, and I am guessing most states have some type of contact hour requirement.

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Kate in Indianapolis, Indiana

40 months ago

Alyssa Amber in Appleton, Wisconsin said: As a side note.. I also hear that Wisconsin is one of the HARDEST states to get an LCSW from since the lic. is fairly new. Wisconsin is where I currently am. Are there other states that make the process simple???

Also.. does anyone know for VA (USA-fed) job work.. if the position states MUST have an LCSW.. if no one applies do they consider applicants who do not have it??

I feel so lost and really need some direction.


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The average Fed job recieves about 1,000 applications, so it is unlikely "No one will apply." Most jobs employ people they know and often that person is already performing in the position unofficially (USUALLY, not always). Feds have to post jobs, even if they have no intention of hiring anyone from their posts, and to make it even worse they have to interview to make it appear competative.

(This is not exclusive to social work, these are a lot of departments, it has to do with the fair market rules of federal government, which don't make it very fair at all). Hiring is a process, and so is ordering paper or anything else (If you get hired you may not start until a year later). So if you are a social worker who does not like the bureaucracy of large system you will probably go crazy here, Feds are notorious for not getting anything done, you just spin you wheels.

As military you can claim veteran's preference, so if a job is really out there you would have a good shot. Though now budget cuts only employing "critical" appointments, you will have better luck with the Department of Defense than the Veteran's Health Administratin, pro's and con's are the same.

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Bonnie in Walnut Creek, California

31 months ago

Hi Alyssa,
You can get contact information for the VA Board of Social Work through their website at www.dhp.state.va.us/social/default.htm, and I'm sure they can provide you with all the necessary information. There is also a great continuing education site, www.onlineceucredit.com/, which you can use to earn continuing education credits.
Best of luck with your LCSW!

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VA Social Worker in San Ramon, California

30 months ago

Alyssa, the VA does hire non-licensed social workers, with the caveat that they become an LCSW within three years of hire. I myself started this way, with just an LMSW from NY. I was hired in California. Grade 12 Social Workers needs an LCSW, but grade 11 do not, as long as they have at least one year of SW experience. There are even grade 9 Social Workers available sometimes, for those with an MSW just out of school.

All gov jobs are posted on www.usajobs.gov That's how I got my job - and I have no military background, don't know anyone in the military, and don't know anyone in the VA. It was a pure and simple hire through the website.

Best of luck!

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Diana in Brooklyn, New York

29 months ago

VA Social Worker in San Ramon, California said: Alyssa, the VA does hire non-licensed social workers, with the caveat that they become an LCSW within three years of hire. I myself started this way, with just an LMSW from NY. I was hired in California. Grade 12 Social Workers needs an LCSW, but grade 11 do not, as long as they have at least one year of SW experience. There are even grade 9 Social Workers available sometimes, for those with an MSW just out of school.

All gov jobs are posted on www.usajobs.gov That's how I got my job - and I have no military background, don't know anyone in the military, and don't know anyone in the VA. It was a pure and simple hire through the website.

Best of luck!

This is really encouraging. Thank you for posting this. I am graduating from NYU in May with an MSW. I want to move back to Northern California and have been despairing over the lack of job listings for social workers who need to earn hours towards the clinical license. I would love to work for the VA. I will be checking the usajobs.gov site every day... Thank you!

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Chandra Lyles in Munster, Indiana

29 months ago

Hi, I currently hold a license in the state of Illinios and also in Indiana. It is true you must have supervision by a LCSW however in both of these states if you are not working under someone that is licensed you can always get private supervision from someone that is licensed. I have done this for MSW people in individual and in the group setting. People charge anywhere from $25-$100 a hour for supervision. Maybe this is an option you can look into. I would contact the local University Social Work Department and inquire if they are aware of anyone providing clinical supervision for the LCSW or if you personnaly know someone ask if they would be willing, it is legal.
I hope this was helpful

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VA Social Worker in San Francisco, California

27 months ago

Diana in Brooklyn, New York said: This is really encouraging. Thank you for posting this. I am graduating from NYU in May with an MSW. I want to move back to Northern California and have been despairing over the lack of job listings for social workers who need to earn hours towards the clinical license. I would love to work for the VA. I will be checking the usajobs.gov site every day... Thank you!

Best of luck to you Diana! Check out the HUD/VASH programs, the VA's homeless program. They are doing quite a bit of hiring, although most jobs require at least one year of experience. Also check out SUD (Substance Use Disorder) social workers, which can start right out of college, and also, if you're just looking for a way to get into the VA and don't care if it's as a social worker initially, check out Housing Development positions, which are community outreach to landlords (and pays very well.)

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