Saturday, February 20, 2016

Kate's LCSW Journey (Part 1)

Photo credit Christy Tyler Photography
My name is Kate and I’m an MSW en route to getting my LCSW.

I graduated from my MSW program in 2010.  While job searching I passed the LMSW in Illinois.  I subsequently acquired all of my clinical hours during my time working as an adoption counselor.  I became eligible to take the Illinois LCSW exam in 2012.

Right around the time that I received my eligibility from the Illinois board and I began to study, it became clear to my family that a move to a different state within the next six months was likely to occur.  Additionally, life happened – I became pregnant and the challenges of working fulltime, being pregnant, figuring out the logistics of a cross-country move, along with general life-living, all got in the way of preparing for the LCSW exam. 

Simply stated, I lost motivation to study and take the exam since I didn’t even know where we would be ending up – west coast or east.  (Who else out there has longed for some sort of a national-level LCSW certification, huh?)

We landed in California and I began the long, arduous process of trying to become exam-eligible in a new state.  Happily, my clinical hours in Illinois were deemed worthy by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.  I had to take some extra courses to meet CA’s state requirements and ensure that the Illinois board submitted a bunch of documentation—even verifying my IL supervisors’ LCSW certifications.

The wait to hear back from CA BBS was long.  I submitted my packet to the BBS in February of 2014 and ultimately got approval in May of 2015.  15 months!  Although it’s typical for a lengthy wait (averaging 6-9 months at that time), the length of my wait time was anomalous. My approval was delayed because of issues getting some information correctly submitted from the Illinois board to California.

My loooong wait to get CA BBS approval to sit for the exams provided, in equal parts, some welcome procrastination from the process as well as some motivation to just get this done already.  Meanwhile, I was able to find a job that does not require LCSW certification.  Phew!

Come back for part 2 which discusses the rest of Kate’s exam-eligibility adventure and read about her motivation to finally prepare for the exams!

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