Practice with Children & Their Families

This credential enables clinical social workers to be publicly recognized for proficiency in Practice with Children & Their Families. It is offered by the American Board of Clinical Social Work (ABCSW), which has set the standards for competency in this specialty and will promote and defend your abilities as a certificant.

The ABCSW markets this certification through social media and other methods, and supports this credential and practice with children and their families through the online resources of the organization. The fee for applying for this certification is $275.

The successful candidate is an expert in problems and disorders affecting children and their families and has the skills and behaviors needed to intervene effectively. For certification purposes, “children” range in age from infancy to early adolescence and “families” are those who have legal responsibility for the child’s nurture and welfare.

Your competence will be examined in terms of your own achievements as well as the opinions of your colleagues. Please read the Description of Clinical Social Work Practice with Children & Their Families. You may also wish to read the complete position statement, Practice with Children & Their Families: A Specialty of Clinical Social Work, from which the practice competencies are derived.

This credential may be attained online at this website by those who are or become Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (BCD) certificants

QUALIFY

In order to qualify, you should meet the following criteria:

Current Direct Practice: You hold the BCD and, in the past year, you practiced at least 500 hours with children and their families.

Specialty Practice Experience: In the past ten years, you engaged in at least 4,500 hours of practice with children and families (including the 500 hours of Current Direct Practice above).

Consultation or Supervision: At any time during your post-master’s practice, you received at least 24 hours of face-to-face supervision/consultation in this specialty area from a consultant or supervisor who was experienced (at least 5 years of post-graduate practice), held licensure at the highest clinical level, and worked as an Advanced Clinical Social Worker, Psychiatrist (M.D. or D.O.), or Clinical Psychologist (doctoral level), for whom about 20% of clients (on average) were children & their families. Note: in the absence of such consultants/supervisors, certain other professionals may be eligible.

Specialty Practice Experience: In the past ten years, you engaged in at least 4,500 hours of practice with children and their families (including the 500 hours of Current Direct Practice above).

Continuing Education: In the past three (3) years, you amassed at least 20 clock hours of clinical continuing education focused on practice with children and their families (see Standards for Continuing Education).

Evaluators: You can provide two favorable Colleague Evaluations of your current practice (refer to Qualifications of Your Evaluators).

Unsuccessful applicants who wish to re-apply should promptly inform the ABCSW in writing of your intention and submit the re-application fee. You will be sent a new set of Evaluation Packages. The ABCSW will retain the rest of your application information. As before, your Evaluators would be of your own choosing.

RECERTIFICATION

This certification must be renewed annually based on the following criteria:

  • Maintain BCD certification
  • Have at least 150 hours of practice with children/families
  • Have at least 5 hours of clinical continuing education relating to practice with children/families
  • Pay renewal fees for BCD ($135 at present) and specialty credential ($100 at present)