Date of Conferral



Doctor of Social Work (DSW)


Social Work


Nancy Campbell


There is a shortage of Licensed Independent Social Workers with the Training Supervision Designation (LISW-S) in a county in rural Ohio. If there are not enough LISW-Ss, social workers may not have the ability or opportunity to work independently or gain the supervision needed to become more competent in specific areas of practice. The purpose of this project was to gain a better understanding of why some social workers in rural Ohio decide not to pursue an LISW-S credential, as well as whether there are resources or incentives that might prompt individuals to pursue this credential. This action research project was grounded in systems theory, which helped in identifying interactions among systems that may influence an individual's decision to become an LISW-S. Purposive sampling was used to recruit participants (N = 5) from the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. A focus group was conducted to gather data from Licensed Social Workers. Participants mentioned they did not pursue the credential due to age, their employers not requiring it, being unaware of the added value, and because acquiring the credential was not a personal or a familial priority. The findings from this study may support positive social change at practice and policy levels by helping social workers overcome barriers to achieving the LISW-S credential, which could result in more competent, well-trained social workers who can provide valuable services to consumers. Further research on this topic is suggested to test the possible solutions provided by the participants and the findings of the study.