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History of the CSCSW

Members of the California Society for Clinical Social Work have a great deal to be proud of! Their history includes amazing milestones beginning with the most important achievement.

CSCSW Milestones

 1965California license established 1975

CSCSW advocated for parity with other mental health professions, allowing LCSW’s to bill insurance

  1969California Society for Clinical Social Work formed   1970Institute for Clinical Social Work established

Recognizing the Profession

Before there was a society, our founders were instrumental in establishing of our license, the LCSW, in 1965. It is noteworthy that California was the first State in the U.S. to obtain a license for clinical social workers. It gave social workers a recognized profession with a mission statement and a code of ethics. Today, the California Society for Clinical Social Work continues to protect and uphold the values and ethics of our license.

Establishing the Society

After this groundbreaking achievement, The California Society for Clinical Social Work was formed in 1969 by the same small group of experienced and dedicated social workers who had testified and obtained our license. By then, these key group of clinical social workers had gathered a large group of Licensed Clinical Social Workers to form the statewide organization of the California Society for Clinical Social Work.

Legislating for Parity

Another landmark was accomplished in 1975, when a small group of experienced and passionate social workers, accompanied by our part-time social worker lobbyist, Bill Grimm, flew to Sacramento to testify and to win parity for our services. Parity meant that Licensed Clinical Social Workers could now bill insurance companies for our services just like psychiatrists and psychologists. This gave clinical social workers the choice to become independent practitioners.

Establishing Society Educational Efforts

The educational arm of the Society was the first institute in CA to offer a clinical doctorate for social workers.  It was in the 1970s when another small group of members of the California Society for Clinical Social Work introduced instructional initatives and in the mid 1970s, the Institute for Clinical Social Work (now known as the Sanville Insitute) was established.   See

History written by Tanya Moradians, Ph.D. (founding member of the CSCSW)

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CSCSW | PO Box 880712 | San Diego, CA 92168-0712 | (310) 254-9471 |

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