Getting into Social Work with DUI on record

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5+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2018
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Hello everyone, I am an 18 year-old community college student living in Illinois who intends to complete my Associate's degree within the next year or two and transfer to a university and major in Social Work. However, I was recently arrested and charged with a DUI. This was the culmination of issues I've had with abusing alcohol for a while now. I intend to get sober and fully focus on getting my life in order. The question I have is- will I have face difficulty in being admitted to a BSW and/or MSW program in the future because of this? Will my state's licensing board not license me due to this being on my record? No one was harmed in the incident and it is not a felony charge.

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You may or may not have to disclose on grad school applications, but even if disclosed, assuming you've taken all necessary steps afterward and have taken steps to address any underlying issues (as you've suggested), I'd say it's unlikely to significant impact decisions at many places. Could it? Sure. Will it? Probably less likely.

Regarding licensing, it's entirely dependent on the state board. But again, assuming all of the above (and no recurrent incidents), I'd say it's less likely than not to impact your ability to get licensed.
It's a little different for us because we're looking at clinical psych doctoral students applying for internships and postdocs, but a DUI is not a deal breaker. If the application is good, we'll still consider the person. Where this can trip people up is if they have multiple issues. If this becomes a pattern, or there are other red flags, it will definitely negatively impact an application. My advice would be to put everything you have into sobering up and making sure the rest of your record stays clean through your schooling and training to avoid any problems when it comes to license up.