Surveying social workers about mobility

Date: March 9, 2020

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ASWB has heard the stories of social workers who face challenges when they add a new license in another state or province. Burdensome requirements that a licensed social worker provide proof of education and experience—sometimes just as they did when they first became licensed—can delay getting a job. Those stories have prompted the association to work with its members, who are social work regulators across North America, to help them understand the need for changes to laws and regulations.

Though progress has been made since the effort began in 2013, ASWB continues to study the problem and work toward solutions. In 2019, the association conducted a survey of U.S. social workers who had asked ASWB to send their exam scores to another state. Researchers hoped to discover the size of the mobility issue by finding out how many social workers are affected by mobility challenges.

The survey’s results painted a surprising picture. Social workers typically hold only a few licenses during their careers, so they never or rarely experience mobility challenges. The need to remove barriers affects fewer people than expected.

Despite the surprising survey outcome, ASWB remains committed to the idea that easing mobility matters. Stories from social workers demonstrate that truth loud and clear.

Want to find out about ASWB’s mobility strategy, how the survey was conducted, and the reasons social workers gave for adding a license? Read more about ASWB’s score transfer survey in Social work practice mobility by the numbers.