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Subject Guide: Social Work

Association Sites of Interest

‚ÄčASWB:  Association of Social Work Boards

Who is the ASWB? Are you the licensing board? Are you NASW?
The Association of Social Work Board (ASWB) is the nonprofit association of social work licensing boards in the United States and Canada. The association is NOT affiliated with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), nor is NASW in charge of licensing in any state. The association does not create or enforce licensing requirements for individual jurisdictions—that’s the responsibility of the individual boards.  The Association owns and maintains the licensing examinations used by its member boards, and also provides services to boards and social workers, such as the Approved Continuing Education program, the ASWB Social Work Registry, and the Disciplinary Action Reporting System.


NASW:  National Association of Social Workers
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies.

Council on Social Work Education
CWSE promotes best practices in research and curriculum development through dynamic educational sessions, peer networking forums, and job-search opportunities. 

State of Minnesota Board of Social Work

Board Mission
The mission of the Board of Social Work is “to ensure to the residents of Minnesota quality social work services by establishing and enforcing professional standards.”  (Board of Social Work’s Strategic Plan, September 1994)

Board versus Association
The Board is an agency of the State of Minnesota.  Its purpose is to regulate social workers.  A board has a different purpose than an association.  The purpose of an association of social workers is to provide services and assistance to social workers.  The Board, by contrast, ensures that social workers meet appropriate standards of professional behavior.  As such, the Board exists to serve the public, not social workers.  The primary goal of the Board is public protection.