- Improve the qualifications and effectiveness of clinical social workers through high standards of education, experience, ethics, conduct, and achievement.
- Increase and disseminate relevant knowledge through research, meetings, professional contacts, discussions, and publications.
- Advocate for the advancement of the profession and clinicians on the state and federal levels.
- Nurture respectful collegial relationships by sharing of information, encouraging member referrals, and mentoring one another.
- Educate the public and health care environment on the value of this profession.
What is Clinical Social Work?Clinical social work is a practice specialty of the social work profession. Clinical social work means the application of specialized knowledge and skills in the areas of assessment, diagnosis, and treatment for mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, conditions, and addictions. Assessment, diagnosis, and treatment take place in the context of individual, marital, couple, family, and group counseling; case management; information and referral; mediation; client education; consultation; education; research; advocacy; and expert testimony.
With a person-in-environment perspective, clinical social work incorporates theories of biological, psychological, and social development which includes, but is not limited to, an understanding of human behavior and psychopathology; human diversity; interpersonal relationships; family dynamics; mental disorders; stress, chemical dependency; interpersonal violence; consequences of illness or injury, impact of physical, social, and cultural environment; and cognitive, affective, and behavioral manifestations of conscious and unconscious processes.
Requirements vary from state to state, but in the state of South Carolina clinical social workers must have at a minimum a masters degree in social work from a program that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. They must have 3,000 hours of post-graduate clinical social work experience, 100 hours of one-to-one supervision by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and pass the Clinical Exam of the Association of Social Work Boards.