Wednesday, April 25, 2018

1889 Institute calls for end to most social worker licensing

Risk to the public is non-existent 

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (April 25, 2018) – The 1889 Institute, an Oklahoma state policy think tank, has published “Social Worker Licensure in Oklahoma.” It finds no public interest justification for the continued licensure of social workers who are not clinical social workers. Very few social workers practice their trade outside of some level of supervision. Most states, like California, do not require social workers with only a bachelor’s degree, especially those who work under supervision, to have a license the way Oklahoma does.

This latest short study, or Policy Prescription, from the 1889 Institute explains that neither of two conditions that must simultaneously exist to justify occupational licensing are present for social work. These are, first, that there must be real, significant risk for patrons, and, second, there must be little or no market and legal incentives for service providers to take proper precautions.

“While social work has become a valued profession now that corporations and government have taken on the work of family and charity, we never needed priests and family to be licensed when they did the same sort of work,” said Dr. Byron Schlomach, economist, Director of the 1889 Institute, and co-author of the report.

The 1889 Institute has produced several other publications regarding occupational licensing, including “The Need to Review and Reform Occupational Licensing in Oklahoma” and “Policy Maker’s Guide to Evaluating Proposed and Existing Occupational Licensing Laws.” These two previous reports lay out, in detail, the intellectual and policy justifications for eliminating many of the occupational licensing laws in Oklahoma and other states.

About the 1889 Institute
The 1889 Institute is an Oklahoma think tank committed to independent, principled state policy fostering limited and responsible government, free enterprise and a robust civil society. The publication, “Social Worker Licensure in Oklahoma,” and other reports mentioned, can be found on the nonprofit’s website at


Post a Comment

PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR NAME when commenting. Anonymous comments may be rejected if NOT accompanied by a name.

Comments are welcome, but remember - commenting on my blog is a privilege. Do not abuse that privilege, or your comment will be deleted.

Thank you for joining in the discussion at! Your opinion is appreciated!