Insights on Professional Identification and Licensure from Community Practice Social Workers

Elizabeth B Lightfoot, Mary Nienow, Kao Nou L. Moua, Gregg Colburn, Alissa Petri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This article describes a qualitative study designed to explore both how community practice social workers identify professionally and to examine their view towards professional regulation. Thirty-five MSW-level social workers in a large metropolitan region who self-identified as community practice social worker participated in in-depth interviews. The respondents shared their views regarding professional identification as social workers and the impact of professional identity on their work as community practitioners. Approximately half of the respondents indicated that they only sometimes or never identify as a social worker. The respondents were generally critical of the licensing burden placed upon them as community practice social workers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-146
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Community Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.


  • Social work
  • community practice
  • macro practice
  • professional identification
  • professional regulation


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