Licensing Information

Rhode Island enforces two levels of licensing for Social Workers practicing within the boundaries of the state. The first level is the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and the second level is the Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). 

Read Rhode Island Social Work Licensing Regulations (2018 Revised). (Updated 7.16.21)

Specific questions regarding licensing should be directed to the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Social Work License Cards from RI Department of Health

The RIDOH is emailing renewal cards electronically to licensed social workers.  If you can't find it in your email, please check your spam folder for an email from

RI Telehealth Act

RIDOH legal counsel has opined that RI licensed health care professionals may provide clinically appropriate and medically necessary treatment and services via telehealth.  It is important to note, to provide treatment and services via telehealth to a patient or client physically located in RI, you must be licensed in RI.

How do I obtain a license to practice clinical social work in Rhode Island?

You must contact the Rhode Island Department of Health through one of the above methods and request an application. The application will provide all the information you need to know to apply for a license.

What are the continuing education requirements to maintain my license?

To maintain either a LCSW or LICSW you must obtain 30 CE Hours within the licencing period (2 years). Three (3) hours must be in Social Work Professional Ethics and three (3) hours must be in Cross-Cultural Practice to include the alleviation of oppression.

Why must I have all my CE Credits prior to May 1 of a license renewal year when my license is good until May 1 of that year?

Rhode Island law requires that you submit your license renewal application by the 30th of April prior to the expiration of your license. On the application, you must state that you have obtained all your CE hours. Therefore, you must have completed these hours by April 30.

May I call the NASW-RI Chapter office for further assistance? 

We encourage you to call our office for any information you may need regarding all topics. While we cannot interpret Rhode Island law, we certainly can get you pointed in the right direction.

Social Work Regulations

Limit on distance learning (non-contact hours) to eight (8) CE hours per cycle. RI Licensed Social Workers must follow all regulations.

All information provided by Association of Social Work Boards

Read about RI State Regulations >>

RI Dept. of Health

Division of Professional Regulation
3 Capitol Hill, Room 104
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-5960