Social Work Interstate Compact Progress

By Heidi Tobe on June 10, 2024

We’re excited to share that Kansas recently enacted the Social Work Licensure Compact, making it the 7th state to join the compact! This is momentous, because having at least seven states enact the compact was required to move forward with the implementation of the compact. The seven states who have enacted the compact so far include: Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. A number of additional states have pending legislation.

Social Work Interstate Compact Progress

Why this matters

Historically, obtaining licensure across multiple states has been a tedious and laborious process, costing social workers time and money to practice across state lines. There is a growing need for mobility in the social work profession with the ongoing shortage of mental health providers. Since the start of the pandemic in 2020-a time where mental health needs have increased and telehealth has boomed- creating a system for multistate licensure will open the door to social workers being able to better serve clients outside of their home state. ASWB’s Chief Executive Officer, Stacey Hardy-Chandler stated: “The key benefit to us all is access — increasing people’s access to social workers and expanding social workers’ access to broader communities.”

Next steps

Now that the 7th state has enacted the compact, the 7 states can create a Compact Commission. This Commission will be responsible for governing the compact. Even getting to this point has been a multi-year process, and it is estimated it will be another 18-24 months before the compact can be implemented. Once this occurs, social workers in participating states can apply for multistate licenses!

The compact hopes to continue to grow across additional states. States can continue to enact the compact and appoint delegates for their state to join the Compact Commission.



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