by Rachel L. West, MSW, LMSW
SJS Staff Writer
Most states that have enacted title protection have decided that you can only legally call yourself a Social Worker if you hold a social work license. My problem with this is that in New York state the LMSW and LCSW only covers clinical work; who can do assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. There is no macro or community practice license in New York State or in most states for that matter. There for, if you choose to be a community practitioner (you focus on community organizing, public policy, etc) you don’t need to be licensed. If New York was to say you can only call yourself a Social Worker if you are licensed, as I said in the previous post, this would basically be defining Social Work as solely being about mental health counseling.
Now if I was an MSW who spent the past decade working in community practice and you all of a sudden tell me I’m not really a Social Worker because I opted not to go down the clinical road; I would be pissed beyond measure. What are your thoughts on this matter? Is title protection needed? If so how should we decided who gets to use the title of Social Worker?
Related reading: Why Aren’t All Social Workers Supported and Created Equal
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