• Contact this program
    E-mail: lsw@hhsc.state.tx.us 
    Telephone: (512) 719-3521 or (800)232-3162

Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners Home Page

COVID-Related Application Processing Issues: Please be advised that application processing times have increased due to staffing issues related to the COVID pandemic. Staff are working nights and weekends to mitigate the delays to the extent possible.  Currently expect an average of 4-6 weeks for initial processing depending upon the method of eligibility (exam, out of state, upgrade).  The Behavioral Health Executive Council has adopted a plan for minimizing future backlogs which will be published on its website in the coming days.  Due to social distancing requirements access to physical documentation can be challenging.  Where possible, please submit supplemental documentation to lsw@hhsc.state.tx.us .  Thank you for your patience and understanding during the pandemic. 

Thank you for visiting the Social Workers program webpage. The Department of State Health Services maintains this webpage, but pursuant to House Bill 1501, regulatory authority over Social Workers is transitioning from the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to the Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC) as of September 1, 2020.  See updates on the BHEC webpage.

Upcoming Database Transition and the Impact on Applicants and Licensees

To facilitate the database transition to the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council, please note that the online licensing system will be unavailable beginning August 16th through August 31st. 


For all current licensees, if your license will expire on or before August 31, 2020 or is currently expired, you will need to renew your license online PRIOR to August 14th. If you choose to renew by paper or coupon, renewal applications must be RECEIVED in the PLCU office by August 14th in order to process them and avoid any late fees.  Late fees will not be waived. Paper or coupon renewal applications received after this date will be returned, and you will have to renew online beginning September 1, 2020 and pay a late fee.

Effective September 1, 2020 all license renewals, renewals of inactive status, and requests for inactive status must be submitted through the Council’s online licensing system.  Additionally, requests for change of address and duplicate renewal permits may also be submitted through the online licensing system.

Effective for renewals beginning with March 31, 2021 expiration dates, per Council rule 882.40(c), if you did not undergo a fingerprint based criminal history check as a condition of licensure, you must do so as a condition of renewal.  Instructions on how to undergo a fingerprint based criminal history check will be posted on the Council’s website, www.bhec.texas.gov, in advance of the renewal deadlines beginning in March of 2021.

For current applicants, your applications will continue to process as normal.  There is nothing you need to do at this time.

For future applicants, all online initial applications must be submitted before August 15th. All paper initial applications and upgrades must be received in the PLCU office by August 14, 2020.  Any applications received after that date will be returned to the applicant.  The applicant may resubmit their application beginning September 1st.

The Governor has created a process to request temporary waiver of rules and statutes related to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.  To this end, the board is in the process of determining which rules and statutes will be most effective from a waiver standpoint.  The board is reviewing rules regarding submission deadlines, exam deadlines, technologically assisted practice, among others.  As these waivers are granted this site will be updated with that information.  The board appreciates your patience and your dedication to the citizens of Texas.

Effective March 17, 2020: The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for enforcing certain regulations issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, to protect the privacy and security of protected health information, namely the HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rules (the HIPAA Rules). OCR will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the HIPAA Rules against covered health care providers in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. Please read the entire OCR Notification of Enforcement Discretion.


The Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners (TSBSWE) regulates the profession of Social Work in Texas. The TSBSWE is a nine-member state licensing board appointed by the Governor. The board is authorized to adopt and enforce rules and is administratively attached to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

This web site contains information about Licensed Social Workers including a roster of currently licensed Social Workers, scope of practice, licensing requirements, how to file a complaint against a Social Worker, and where to find more information.

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Special Message for Military Personnel, Spouses, and Veterans

New Rules

The TSBSWE adopted new rules to amend Title 22 of the Texas Administrative Code, §781.419 adding new language to define military service member, military spouse, and military veteran as well as application and eligibility procedures that apply to those individuals. More details on the Rules and Regulations page at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/socialwork/sw_rules.shtm.

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We value your feedback. Please take our online customer service survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PLUsurvey. Thank you.

Open Meetings of the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners

The Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners (Board) conducts its business according to the requirements of the Texas Open Meetings Act (Act), Texas Government Code Chapter 551. The Texas Legislature adopted the Act to ensure that governmental decision-making is accessible to the public. The Act provides that meetings of governmental bodies must be open to the public (except for expressly authorized executive sessions). The Act requires proper notice of these meetings. The agendas must be properly posted in a manner accessible to the public prior to the meeting, as provided in Section 551.043 of the Act.

The agendas of the Board’s meetings, including its committee meetings, are posted in accordance with state law with the Texas Secretary of State. Information both about Open Meetings generally and about the specific meetings of the Board is available on the Texas Secretary of State’s website at: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/open/index.shtml. Notice of meetings of the Board and its committees include the date, hour, place, and subject(s) of the meeting(s). Notice is generally available to the public seven days before the day of the meeting, subject to limited exceptions. The Act explicitly prescribes that the Board’s Open Meeting Agendas must be posted on the Texas Secretary of State’s website.

In addition to legal mandates, the Board is committed to facilitating public access to its business and meetings. As a result, the Board’s staff engages in additional activities, which are not legally required, but rather are done as a courtesy and are based on availability, to facilitate the public’s access to meeting and other information. For example, Board staff often posts more information in its meeting agendas than that which is required by law, on the Board’s website at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/socialwork/sw_meetings.shtm prior to the meetings.

The additional activities provided by Board staff in this regard are entirely subject to availability of staff resources. Although every effort is made by staff to avoid any error or omission, in an instance where a conflict exists between the information provided by the Texas Secretary of State and the information created by Board staff, the information of the Texas Secretary of State is the current and correct information. Additional information about the Open Meetings Act is available through the Texas Secretary of State.

Download the 2013 Code of Conduct for Display at all Locations of Practice

Clarification:  Clinical Supervision Plan Approval

The Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners discussed the approval of Clinical Supervision Plans in its Licensing Standards and Qualification Committee meeting on September 14, 2012. It appears there may be some confusion about issues related to clinical supervision plans. Please see this document.

Are you submitting a Clinical Supervision Plan?

If so, please refer to the instructions and Clinical Supervision Plan (Form III)  Please know that if you are submitting a supplemental plan, you need to submit your materials with a cover letter which requests that one location of practice be considered as supplemental to another, and please include all required paperwork for both/all locations of practice in the same mailing. Due to the volume of Clinical Supervision Plans received, a written request to consider one plan as supplemental to another is required.

For those submitting new Clinical Supervision Plans (Form III), please use this form. Submission of other versions of the form is not and has not been acceptable since June 8, 2012.

DSHS Division of Regulatory Services- Survey Participation Requested

General Information Regarding Ethics Committee Meetings

Social Work News 2011

Important Updated Information for Texas Social Workers

2010 News

Examination Fee Increase

The fees for social work examinations will increase as of January 1, 2010. For more information please review these Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) documents.

Examination Fee Increase Notice

Fee Increase QA's for Member Boards

2009 News

Important Information for Licensed Social Workers

Select the links below to view or print out important information regarding Licensed Social Workers

2008 News

New Rules

The Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners (TSBSWE) adopted new rules. See 22 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 781, concerning the licensure and regulation of social workers effective February 21, 2008.

2007 news

2007 Forms - For additional information and requirements select the link below to view or print  important information for Licensed Social Workers, March 2007, including independent practice recognition (IPR), supervisor requirements, and supervision roles.


In light of recent events and in accordance with the recommendations of Governor Abbott’s Texas Safety Action Report, the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners would like to remind its licensees that Section 611.004(a)(2) of the Texas Health and Safety Code authorizes behavioral health care providers to report confidential information to law enforcement should the provider determine their client poses an imminent risk of physical harm to themselves or to others. The board also urges its licensees and all behavioral health care providers to be vigilant in assessing their clients’ potential to harm and to warn the appropriate authorities if imminent harm is likely. 

Last updated August 6, 2020