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date: 03 December 2022

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  • Mary C. Nienow, Mary C. NienowSt. Catherine University
  • Emi SogabeEmi SogabeSt. Catherine University
  •  and Amanda Duffy RandallAmanda Duffy RandallUniversity of Nebraska at Omaha

Summary

Social work regulation in the United States emerged during the early 1930s, and now every state in the country has some form of social work licensing. The primary purpose of such regulation is to protect the public from incompetent or unethical practitioners by ensuring a minimal level of competence. Each state determines the qualifications a social worker must possess and defines what constitutes social work practice. Regulatory boards are also established through state authority as a means of holding professionals accountable. Boards provide an accessible system for the public to file complaints of wrong-doing by social workers. Despite regulation in every state, very few states have established a separate category of regulation for social workers engaging in macro practice. Macro practice social work activities may be found in state statute, but do not comprise the common understanding of regulated social work practice. The impact of regulation on macro practice social workers is an area needing further exploration and attention within the field.

Subjects

  • Administration and Management
  • Macro Practice
  • Social Work Profession

Updated in this version

Content and references updated for the Encyclopedia of Macro Social Work.

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