Frequently Asked Questions

Social Work Supervision Contract

In what setting can a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) provide clinical social work services, and who can provide the required clinical supervision?

LMSWs may engaged in supervised clinical or advanced practice only in social, medical or governmental agencies and may not practice privately or independently. An LMSW providing clinical services must be clinically supervised by a South Carolina licensed LISW-CP, psychologist, psychiatrist, LPC, LMFT or LAC, who is employed by the agency where the LMSW provides these services.

What are social, medical or governmental agencies?

A governmental agency is an organization or entity established by federal, state or local government.

A medical agency is an organization, entity, or practice that provides health care, including mental health services, to the public and to the community, including but not limited to hospitals, clinics, doctor's offices, hospice.

A social agency is an organization, entity or practice that may or may not be funded all or in part by public funding, donations, grants or the like, that provides health, welfare, rehabilitative or other social services to the public and to the community, and may bill a client or a third party for the provision for those services. A social agency may also provide these services without regard to the client's ability to pay.

Who can be a contract supervisor for an LMSW seeking LISW licensure?

An LMSW seeking LISW licensure must be supervised by a Board approved advanced practice supervisor or a Board approved clinical practice supervisor, for the purpose of obtaining supervision hours required for LISW licensure. The contract supervisor does not necessarily have to be employed by the agency where the LMSW is working. However, regardless of whether an LMSW is under a contract of supervision or not, if the LMSW is providing clinical services in an agency they must be supervised as provided above. The contract supervisor, if employed by the agency with the LMSW is working, can serve as contract and as workplace supervisor.

Can a Licensed Masters Social Worker (LMSW) who is under board approved supervision accept additional or changed duties or modify his or her area of practice during the period of supervision?

The LMSW may accept additional or changed duties so long as those duties fall within the defined scope of the practice for which supervision was approved. Supervision is required for both LISW-CP and LISW-AP. Supervision of clinical practice does not qualify an applicant for LISW-AP. Similarly supervision of advanced practice does not qualify an applicant for LISW-CP. However, the applicant may take on a variety clinical or advance practice duties during the time of supervision.

I am an LMSW moving to SC from another state. In SC can I practice in a private practice setting, deliver clinical services in private practice and receive direct payment from the client or third-party reimbursement?

No. In SC, an LMSW cannot practice in a private or independent practice setting but can only practice in settings such as social, medical or governmental agencies. All clinical services in independent or private practice must be provided by LISW-CPs (those social workers who have met the education, supervision and examination licensure requirements of the Board for the LISW-CP.)

Must I have a degree in Social Work to be licensed as a Social Worker?

Yes. Graduation from an accredited program in Social Work with a BSW, MSW or DSW is a requirement for licensure. Persons who have bachelor degrees in sociology, psychology or related disciplines and who are interested in practice as a Social Worker are encouraged to contact one of the accredited programs in this state. Many courses from those degree programs may transfer to a Social Work degree.

How do I become an approved LISW supervisor?

To become an approved supervisor, one must first be a Licensed Independent Social Worker, CP or AP and have a minimum of 4500 hours of clinical/advanced practice earned over a period of not less than 3 years beyond receipt of LISW CP/AP and have obtained 45 academic coursework hours or continuing education hours in supervision.

Do I have to attend a workshop or can I get C.E. credit from home study course over the Internet?

Yes. You can obtain C.E. credit from home study courses via the Internet. There are many excellent Board approved home study courses available to licensees that can be taken in the comfort of their homes. Some of these include,,, or, just to name a few or you may contact the Board office for more home study options.

How do I know if a training/seminar is approved for CEUs?

First check to see if the flyer denotes approval by the S.C. Board, ASWB or NASW. If the flyer does not indicate this, check your guidelines to see if the sponsor falls under the pre-approved sponsor list. If you're still unsure if the workshop/seminar is approved, contact the sponsor of the workshop/seminar. The sponsor will know if the South Carolina Board has approved the workshop for Continuing Education.

If the presenter of Continuing Education is a Ph.D., would the hours be social work or non-social work hours?

The hours would count as non-social work hours, unless the presenter's degree was a BSW, MSW or DSW. If the Ph.D. is in social work, the CEU's would then count towards your social work hours.


Social Work Telepractice

Can a Social Worker provide social work services via electronic means in South Carolina?

Yes, providing social work services via electronic means is permitted in South Carolina; however, an individual who offers social work services, uses a social worker designation or holds themselves out as practicing social work, or provides social work services to a client in this State, must have the appropriate South Carolina Social Work license and can only provide services within the scope of that license. (S.C. Code §40-63-30)

The Board has no specific laws or regulations regarding standards for the practice of telemental health; however, a practitioner must comply with all applicable state and federal laws, such as HIPAA, and must also comply with the Board's Principles of Professional Ethics established in regulation. (S.C. Code Regs. 10-20)

The Board recommends that a licensee engaged in social work telemental health practice become educated as to the unique challenges associated with the ethical and safe practice of telemental health, and review and refer to the NASW Code of Ethics in regards to any specific issues or questions not otherwise addressed in state, federal or Board laws or regulations.

Can a licensed Social Worker in South Carolina obtain the required 100 hours of supervision via electronic means?

Yes, however, the same standards would apply as set out above. The supervision must be accomplished through the use of an appropriate, HIPAA-compliant two-way video platform.