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  • Friday, October 08, 2021 11:01 AM | Christina Helfrick (Administrator)

    School Social Worker certification FAQ


    The following questions and answers provide general guidance to the new School Social Worker certification. If you have specific questions you can email those to

    1. What is the difference between school social worker, school counselor and home & school visitor?

    See the specific CSPGs for descriptions of each. CSPG 87 - School Social Worker, Educational Specialist Certificate PK-12; CSPG 76 – Elementary and Secondary School Counselor; CSPG 77 – Home and School Visitor.

    2. How do I apply for School Social Worker certification?

    Current applicants who meet the alternative equivalent requirements in CSPG #87 should see Submitting an Application in TIMS. NOTE: When prompted with the question, “Will a Pennsylvania institution verify that you meet certification requirements for the certificate you are applying for,” the answer is “no.”

    3. Will this certification also apply to school social workers in public cyber schools?

    Yes. The same rules apply.

    4. Can a social worker with an active license apply for the School Social Worker certification if they were employed by a school district in a social worker role for one year REGARDLESS of their current employment status (as long as the employment was within the last 2 years) OR does the applicant need to be currently employed in a school social worker role to be grandfathered in ?

    An applicant for the alternate equivalent route to School Social Worker certification set forth in CSPG #87 must hold a valid LSW or LSCW, be currently employed in a Commonwealth LEA and complete at least one year of satisfactory service as a school social worker or other titled position providing social work or social work-related services in a Commonwealth LEA within the two years prior to application.

    5. May someone who is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or any other credentialed counselor or therapist who is currently working as a school social worker be eligible for the School Social Worker certification ?

    No. Only applicants who meet the requirements for school social worker certification as set forth in CSPG #87 are eligible to receive a School Social Worker certificate.

    6. How does the new School Social Worker certification impact an individual already employed in a position with a public school and performing school social work functions but is not titled as a school social worker? How will this impact their title and LEA hiring requirements? How will LEA compliance be ensured?

    After August 31, 2023, individuals must be a PDE-certified school social worker to serve in a position of school social worker in a Commonwealth LEA. In addition, individuals who hold a LSW or LSCW, school social worker emergency permit issued by PDE and enrolled in a School Social Worker program may be utilized in the position of school social worker.

    If an individual does not satisfy the requirements set forth in CSPG#87, districts should not utilize the individual in the position of “School Social Worker”. Districts that utilize individuals who are not appropriately certified to serve in the position of School Social Worker may be subject to subsidy withholding in accordance with state law.

    7. If I currently have the Home and School Visitor (HSV) certification, am I able to also apply/transfer for School Social Worker certification (CSPG #201)?

    Prior to August 1, 2023, an individual who holds a PDE-issued Home and School Visitor certificate and who satisfies the requirements of CSPG #87 may apply for and receive a School Social Worker certificate. Applicants for the alternate equivalent route to School Social Worker certification (regardless of whether they hold an HSV certificate) must be a licensed social worker (LSW) or licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), be currently employed in a Commonwealth LEA and have at least one year of satisfactory service in the position within the two years prior to application.

    After August 1, 2023, the approved alternate equivalent pathway will expire and individuals holding an HSV certificate must complete a school social work program in order to obtain a School Social Worker certificate.

    Conversion to a School Social Worker certificate is not required and HSV holders may continue to serve in the HSV position and perform the duties permitted an HSV in accordance with CSPG #77. However, HSV holders should not be titled as a school social worker unless they hold a School Social Worker certificate.

    8. I currently hold a Level I HSV certificate. If I obtain the School Social Worker certificate will my certificates convert simultaneously to a level II?

    Yes, if you serve as a school social worker and hold both certificates, the HSV certificate and the school social worker certificate will convert to level II simultaneously if all other Level II educational specialist requirements are met.

    9. I currently hold a Level II HSV certificate, if I apply for and receive the school social worker certificate, will my School Social Worker certificate be issued as a Level II?

    Yes. If an applicant holds an HSV certificate and meets all the requirements for school social worker certificate contained in CSPG #87 (holds a valid PA LSW or PA LSCW license etc.), the individual will receive a level II school social worker certificate.

    10. I have been working as a school social worker successfully for many years and have completed induction and credits beyond my undergraduate degree. Can I apply for Level II if I have never had a Level I certificate?

    No. In order to be granted Level II permanent certification you must have completed at least 3 years of satisfactory service on a Level I certificate in addition to completing other requirements (see Level I to Level II checklist). An educator cannot apply for a Level II unless they have worked on a Level I. {22 Pa. Code § 49.103}

  • Wednesday, September 15, 2021 1:35 PM | Christina Helfrick (Administrator)

    Hello PASSWP Members!


    We would like to present to you a How-To Become a Certified SSW Document: TIMS how to document Final Draft.docx.  We wish to thank Beth-Ann McConnell and her friends from the Capital Area Intermediate Unit for being the guina pig, jumping through all the hoops, and bugging PDE for answers to questions. 


    Attached you will find the How-To document with step by step instructions with pictures!!!  There is also the 338V form that you need. In addition to the 338 V form (not the 338A form) you will need an official transcript sent via email or mailed to PDE. You will upload Professional License and the 338V form after you pay and submit. 


    Additionally, BethAnn highlighted stuff that cannot be skipped. It won’t work correctly if you don’t follow the steps.  There is a place have to say "No" to the question about ‘Will a PA Institution verify that you meet certification requirements for the certificate that you are applying for?’.   Answer No, which was  doubled checked this with PDE.  Also, when you apply and pay you will be given a 338 A form and cover letter.  You don't actually use this form and PDE said we have to use the 338 V form. 


    If you have specific questions that are not answered in the How-To document, please contact directly. 


    Good Luck!


    PASSWP Board

  • Wednesday, July 07, 2021 11:34 AM | Christina Helfrick (Administrator) has crafted a guide to help social workers learn more about the options they can take to pay off their student loans. This guide covers how loan forgiveness programs for social workers can encourage new graduates to persevere in their careers and reduce this burdensome debt load.

    You can view our guide here:

    Loan Forgiveness Guide -

  • Monday, November 16, 2020 5:04 PM | Christina Helfrick (Administrator)

    Please add any COVID-19 related resources that your would benefit your colleagues and clients:

  • Sunday, October 20, 2019 10:31 AM | Sonnya Nieves (Administrator)

    Click here to access the 2019 conference resource page!

  • Friday, December 14, 2018 11:20 AM | Sonnya Nieves (Administrator)

    Authors: Terri Erbacher, Ph.D. and Troy Brindle, LCSW


    This toolkit is meant to be utilized as a practical guideline for schools to create their own policies and procedures in assessing threats. Every school and school district is unique and will therefore present with characteristics requiring an individualized approach. Every school should have policies in place to properly manage school threats, identify, assess, and intervene with students who pose a risk, and effectively deal with the aftermath of a violent school act, including the complex trauma and grief that follow. We hope this toolkit serves as a resource to support safer schools in assessing threats.

    We would like to emphasize that violent acts at school are extremely rare and schools continue to remain very safe. However, when a violent act does occur this results in a significant impact on the school and surrounding community leaving far-reaching and long-lasting effects.

    Click here for the PDF document:  School-Based Threat Assessement Toolkit 2018.pdf 

  • Wednesday, September 05, 2018 2:33 PM | Sonnya Nieves (Administrator)

    Have you been thinking about pursuing your Doctorate in Social Work? Kutztown and Millersville have teamed up to offer a unique program for working professionals. Click here to view the brochure! 

    Questions? Contact:

    Sharon C. Lyter, PhD, LCSW | Professor

    Social Work

    KU DSW Program Director

    Annual Community Forum Chair

    Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

    Old Main 328 B-Wing| PO Box 730 | Kutztown Pa | 19530

    Phone: 610-683-4932 | Fax: 610-683-4383 |

  • Tuesday, August 28, 2018 3:27 PM | Sonnya Nieves (Administrator)

    Read the article here!

  • Friday, August 10, 2018 2:32 PM | Sonnya Nieves (Administrator)

    Carson Valley School Therapeutic Services program, Philadelphia branch, is looking for social workers for fee for service school positions for the 2018-19 program year.  Bachelors degree in social work, sociology, criminal justice, or psychology are required.  Contact clinical manager Cynthia Van-Ott or

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