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Regulating Social Work

A Primer on Licensing Practice

Anthony Bibus and Needha Boutte-Queen

Publication Date - October 2010

ISBN: 9780190616434

192 pages
6 x 8.9 inches


What is the purpose of social work regulation, and how should social work be regulated? Regulating Social Work provides the information that students and professionals need to understand the implications of these questions. This book contains an all-encompassing examination of the process of professional licensure, from the purposes of social work licensure to the steps towards its achievement. Furthermore, the authors discuss the tensions and controversies present in the regulation of social work, the drawbacks and benefits of such regulation, and present a brief look at the development of social work regulation globally.

The ultimate goal of the book is to give readers the information they need to evaluate and understand the strengths and weaknesses of regulations and how they might be improved. For this reason, it is not only useful for students in capstone classes about to enter the workforce with a BSW or MSW degree and students being newly introduced to social work, but it is also an incredible resource for social work practitioners, members of regulatory boards and associations, legislators, and policy makers and regulators.


  • Licensure controversies and complexities are made more understandable through the use of the social work professional-in-environment perspective
  • Includes contributors from England and Asia, offering a global perspective and potential practicums
  • Includes study questions, a literature review, and resources and references

About the Author(s)

Anthony Bibus (PhD, University of Minnesota; MA, University of Virginia,) is professor of social work at Augsburg College. As a member of the Minnesota Board of Social Work, he led several legislative committees and task forces engaged to develop and implement a comprehensive revision of the social work practice act in Minnesota as well as a variety of other regulatory policies. In addition to a major report for the Board of Social Work on licensing exemptions, his various publications address field education, supervision, cultural competence, child welfare, family-based services, international social work, welfare reform, and work with involuntary clients.

Needha Boutté-Queen (PhD, University of Houston; AM, University of Chicago) is associate professor of social work at Texas Southern University. Professor Boutté-Queen has worked with the Lutheran Social Services of Kansas and Oklahoma Emergency Foster Care and Quality Assurance programs, the Illinois Facility Fund, Depelchin Children's Center Resource and Grants Management Department, and Spaulding for Children (Houston). Her dissertation, "Identifying Barriers to Obtaining Social Work Licensure," was developed as a result of barriers faced as she moved between the states of Illinois, Oklahoma, and Texas following her graduation from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

Table of Contents

    1. Historical Background
    2. Contemporary Legal Landscape
    3. The Regulation of Social Work Worldwide
    4. Social Work Profession(al)-in-Environment
    5. Conclusion: The Role of Regulation
    Appendix A. Suggested Learning Activities and Discussion Questions
    Appendix B. Annotated List of Selected Resources

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