The American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work (ABE), founded in 1987, is a national certification board created by and for the profession of Clinical Social Work. It is the credentialing unit of the Center for Clinical Social Work, a national education and advocacy organization.

ABE’s main purposes are to issue advanced credentials to Clinical Social Workers based on uniform national standards of practice, and to educate the public and various audiences about the value of these certifications and the services of those who hold them. ABE maintains an Online BCD Directory for the use of the public and referral-makers.

To advanced Clinical Social Workers, ABE offers standards-based national certifications in the following areas of practice:

  • Advanced generalist (BCD, or Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work)
  • Practice with Children & Their Families (BCD-Children)
  • Clinical Supervision (BCD-Supervisor)
  • Psychoanalysis (BCD-Psychoanalyst)

ABE conducts outreach to the public, government, and healthcare systems on behalf of its certificants. This national outreach includes website and social media presence; exhibiting at healthcare conferences; educating service-users; distributing information products and services; interacting with professional and regulatory associations; and intervening with entities and systems that discriminate against board-certified Clinical Social Workers.


The mission of the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work is to establish and promote uniform national standards for advanced clinical social work practice.


  1. To establish and promote uniform national standards in the areas of education, training, practice competency, and ethical practice, for advanced clinical social workers.
  2. To ensure the survival and vitality of ABE board-certification and advance clinical social work ideals and practice.

The Center for Clinical Social Work

The Center is the national organization for all clinical social workers in any practice setting and at all levels of professional development, from students to experienced practitioners. The Center is an advocate and educator, upholding a National Bill of Rights for Clinical Social Workers and serving as the national voice of the profession and guardian of its values. The American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work (ABE), the national certification board for clinical social work, is a unit of the Center.

The Board of Directors

The Staff


Martin Waters, MSW
Denver, Colorado


Joseph Ford, MSW, BCD
U. S. Navy, Portsmouth, Virginia


Tara Schapmire, MSSW, Ph.D.
Louisville, Kentucky


Janet Richmond, MSW, BCD
Waban, Massachusetts


Joseph Ford, MSW, BCD
U. S. Navy, Portsmouth, Virginia


Lloyd Jackson, MSSW, BCD
U. S. Army, Lexington, Kentucky

Vickie Leff, MSW, BCD
Durham, North Carolina

Lucia Leo-Diaz, MSW, BCD
McAllen, Texas

Krista Nelson, MSW, BCD
Portland, Oregon

Executive Director

Robert Booth

Full-time staff members are based in Massachusetts.

Kathleen Bodoni. Kate is Credentials Manager, responsible for processing applications for the BCD and for specialty credentials. Call 1-800-694-5285 ext.16, send email.

Robert Booth is Executive Director, responsible for overall operations. Call 1-800-694-5285, ext. 19, send email.

Sara Berkowitz is Database Manager, responsible for processing renewals and conducting primary-source verifications. Call 1-800-694-5285, ext. 10, send email.

For all other inquiries call 1-800-694-5285 ext.16, send email.

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ABE is a unit of the Center for Clinical Social Work as is ACSWA, the American Clinical Social Work Association.

241 Humphrey Street, Marblehead, MA 01945 USA

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