Our History

The American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work (ABE) was founded in October 1987 as a credentialing board. ABE was best known for its flagship certification, the Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (BCD). The BCD is valuable to those who hold it, whether experienced private practitioners, military practitioners, VA practitioners or others. It earns bonus pay for certain people and it is recognized preferentially by several health insurance and behavioral health services companies.

In December 2006, after the dissolution of the National Federation of State Clinical Social Work Societies, the ABE changed its name to the Center for Clinical Social Work (CCSW). The CCSW became the holding company for ABE – its mission was to be the voice of clinical social work and its champion.

In 2011, the ACSWA (American Clinical Social Work Association) was formed as a separate unit from the CCSW. The CCSW remained as the holding entity and served as the home of the board of directors, governing both ACSWA and ABE.

ACSWA was a national web-based information service and membership organization. It served as an online community for the general clinical social work audience and one for graduate students and new practitioners, known as EPICC (Education, Passions, Insight, Career, Community).

EPICC was formed by the ACSWA as the only national community for Social Work graduate students. Students could go to EPICC for help with many things such as scholarships, writing papers, connecting with students at other schools, social media, and access to the universe of clinical social work practice and licensure.

In August 2020, the CCSW officially changed its name to the American Board of Clinical Social Work (ABCSW). The Board of Directors felt this new name best reflects the organization’s mission, purpose, and the BCD certification program. The name change unified all the previous services into one. The CCSW, the ABE, the ACSWA and EPICC no longer exist; however, the services they provided are combined into the ABCSW.