Social Work Continuing Education
Social Work Continuing Education and Resources
Social work continuing education programs are an important tool in helping social workers to maintain their skills and enable them to operate at optimum level. Working in such a sensitive environment means that each state social work licensing board requires registered social workers to achieve a certain number of acceptable CE credits before renewing their licenses.
Each of the state social work licensing boards requires registered social workers to achieve a certain number of acceptable CE credits before renewing their licenses. The requisite number and type of CE credits differ by state. A CE 'contact hour' is considered 50 minutes of educational time. Continuing Education Units (CEUs), on the other hand, are different; one CEU equals 10 'contact hours'.
A number of state licensing boards require social workers to take certain special courses; for example Spousal and Partner Abuse and Aging and Long-term Care (among others).
Specific social work continuing education needs depend on the type of license that you practice under. If you have a professional license, you must check the CE requirements for the professional association that certified you. If you have a state license, you must contact your state social work licensing board.
CE courses must be accredited by your state licensing board. The Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program, part of the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), is the regulating body.
Some good resources for those looking into social work continuing education programs:
The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) is the regulating body that oversees all the State Social Work Boards and aids them in 'carrying out their legislated mandates'. The ASWB's (www.aswb.org) goal is to regulate social workers 'through common values, ethics, and practice standards'. The ASWB lists contact information for all the state boards.
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is a 'national association that preserves and enhances the quality of social work education'. CWSE sets policy standards and accredits CE programs. Find them at www.cswe.org.