On April 11, 1978, a group of nearly 50 clinical social workers gathered in Durham as a grass roots effort to discuss establishing a North Carolina Society for Clinical Social Work. They invited clinical social workers from around the state to attend an organizational meeting. Those in attendance were committed to developing their clinical skills and were hungry for quality continuing education and networking with other clinical social workers. The group continued to meet, and in 1979, the NCSCSW was officially chartered. The Society was organized as a volunteer organization with the board overseeing and performing the day-to-day operations. The mission was to increase the expertise of clinical social workers through continuing education, promotion of quality clinical practice, and provision of opportunities for collegial networking.

Soon after its inception, the NCSCSW began working toward promoting and legalizing standards for social workers through certification and licensure. In 1979, The Society collaborated with the National Association of Social Workers to help pass legislation to launch the North Carolina Social Work Certification Board. The board was mandated to carry out the provisions put forth in statute 90B, allowing for the voluntary certification of clinical social workers. This led to mandatory certification in 1991 and full licensure in1999.

Since its founding The North Carolina Society for Clinical Social Work, continues to promote and advance the specialization of clinical practice within the social work profession. In addition to to providing quality clinical education, training, and resources, The Society is dedicated to supporting stringent ethical standards, and maintaining a strong presence in the legislature and on the state’s joint insurance committee. The NCSCSW represents and supports clinical social workers in all stages of their careers--from students to retirees—who practice in a broad array of clinical settings including: mental health clinics, psychiatric hospitals, disability services, medical facilities, geriatric settings, and private practice. NCSCSW strives to promote the highest standards of clinical social work practice through education, advocacy, and affiliation.