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New York State Capitol- Albany, NY

Details On New York State Social Work Continuing Education Law

By Rachel L. West
Advocacy & Community Outreach Specialist

New York State Office of The Professions Outlines Guidelines for Social Work Continuing Education

As I reported a few months ago, mandatory continuing education credits will go into effect for anyone who is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in New York State starting January 1, 2015.

Until recently there was little known about how this new law would be implemented. In the past month the New York Department of Education, Office of the Professions has updated their website detailing how the new law will be rolled out. You can read the entire fact sheet here.

LMSW and LCSW holders will need to accumulate 36 hours of continuing education credits triennially. The education department has created a chart to help those of us who have renewals communing up during the first three years of the requirement taking effect. You can find the chart at the above link.

The department also has a page on their website where we will be able to locate approved CEU’s. So far there are none listed but that is probably because they are still in the process of approving providers.

With regards to subject matter of the courses:

The subject matter must contribute to the professional practice of social work and have as its focus:

  • theories and concepts of human behavior in the social environment;

  • social work practice, knowledge and skills;

  • social work research, programs, or practice evaluations;

  • social work management, administration or social policy;

  • social work ethics;

  • clinical interventions, evidence-based models, and principles of clinical social work practice, psychotherapy, and clinical social work diagnosis;

  • client communications and recordkeeping;

  • administrative supervision of licensed master social work and clinical supervision of licensed clinical social work practice;

  • pedagogical methodologies or other topics which contribute to the professional practice of licensed master social work and licensed clinical social work; or

  • cross-disciplinary offerings from medicine, law, administration, education and the behavioral sciences are acceptable if they are clearly related to the enhancement of social work practice, skills and knowledge, and the health, safety, and/or welfare of the public.

Independent study is not considered acceptable. However we will be allowed to take up to 12 hours of self-study courses as long as said courses have been approved by department of education.

If you are interested in becoming a continuing education provider you can find out what requirements you must meet and as well as how to apply here.

photo credit: s.m. bush via photopin cc

Posted by Rachel L. West

In addition to being the founder of The Political Social Worker blog, I am a consultant. My consulting practice offers advocacy and community outreach solutions to nonprofits, social good organizations, and private practitioners. Additionally, I offer career coaching to macro social work students and professionals.


  1. Hi Rachel, If anyone responds with webinars being offered, please let me know. My license is up for renewal in August and I need to take some classes! I would appreciate any info you can provide.
    Tyra Gonzalez, LCSW

    • Hi Tyra:

      You can find the list of approved providers on the NYSED website. Unfortunately they are being very slow in approving providers and those that they have approved do not currently offer enough classes. PESI, Inc. SW CPE is an approved provide and they have a lot of courses (live and self study) for LCSWs.

  2. Hi Rachel,

    I am up for registration on July 31, 2016. I am required to complete 19 CE contact hours. How many self study hours am I permitted to take? 12? 9.5?

  3. Hello Rachel West,
    Thanks for the information. We have a lot to digest.
    On a different topic, what would be the best way for an LMSW like myself,
    (not actively practicing at this time) to gain access to supervision for the hours
    Needed to earn the LCSW?

    Thank you,
    David Fiebert

    • Hi David:

      Being macro focused I’m not the best person to give advice on obtaining the LCSW. If the issue is purely a lack of supervision you or your agency can bring in an outside LCSW to provide clinical supervision. Try contacting Angela Oddone. She is a private practice LCSW in NYS who has provided supervision in the past. Her office number is 1-585-360-2900.


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