Dismantling Structures That Impede Clinical Social Work Practice

Exploring the Relationship Between Hours of Supervised Experience and Licensure Violations


  • Dianna Cooper-Bolinskey Campbellsville University




Clinical social work, supervised experience requirements, regulation, violations


The current study examined the relationship between pre-licensure supervised experience requirements and license violations in order to ascertain whether jurisdictions requiring higher numbers of hours of supervised experience to obtain clinical social worker (CSW) licensure had fewer violations. The purpose of the study was to explore if there is a measure of “enough” supervised experience without compromising protection of the public. Three data files were used to complete the study: National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)’s Supervision Requirements per Jurisdiction Data, and ASWB’s U.S. Social Work Licensee Data. Results indicated that jurisdictions requiring less than 4,000 hours of supervised experience reported fewer violations than would be expected, whereas jurisdictions requiring 4,000+ hours of supervised experience reported more violations than would be expected given the number of CSWs within the respective groups. Results question the practice of requiring higher amounts of supervised experience as a regulatory standard. Implications for social work regulation include support for nationally standardizing the required amounts of supervised experience outlined by Groshong (2011) and the ASWB (2018) Model Social Work Practice Act.

Author Biography

Dianna Cooper-Bolinskey, Campbellsville University

Associate Professor and MSW Program Director


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