collage of state houses, activism

Chapter Highlights

Find out what's been happening at NASW chapters around the country, including in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

Massachusetts health insurance, behavioral health companies reach settlement

NASW Massachusetts Chapter

Feb 27, 2020

Five Massachusetts health insurance companies and two behavioral health care companies signed an agreement with Attorney General Maura Healey over allegations that they violated mental health parity laws. The companies had been under-reimbursing social workers and other therapists for mental health services. The NASW Massachusetts Chapter was one of the organizations that pushed for the $1 million settlement. “Those working in the mental health field ... have been undervalued and, frankly, taken advantage of for far too long,” Executive Director Rebekah Gewirtz said.

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North Carolina school district hires more school social workers

NASW North Carolina Chapter

Jan 25, 2020

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools hired 25 new social workers for the 2019-2020 academic year. The NASW North Carolina chapter almost two years wrote a letter to the school board in support of the superintendent's funding request to hire 17 social workers. The district instead ended up hiring 25 more. The chapter thanks the Mecklenburg County Commissioners for making mental health and the hiring of more school social workers a priority.

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Number of Social Workers Growing in Chicago Public Schools

NASW Illinois Chapter

Jan 16, 2020

The NASW Illinois Chapter worked hard to get new social work hires written into the Chicago Teachers Union labor contract after the union went on strike October 2019. As of January 14, 2020, the school system had 90 more social workers on staff as compared to the previous year.

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North Carolina passes social work licensure bill

NASW North Carolina Chapter

Oct 31, 2019

The NASW North Carolina Chapter (NASW-NC), after two years of work, successfully pushed the state House and Senate to pass SB537, legislation to save clinical social work licensure. SB537 included eight bills that were merged into one, including required changes to the Social Work Practice Act.

The legislation brought the North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board (NCSWCLB) into compliance with the way North Carolina administers the Association of Social Work Board (ASWB) Clinical Social Work exam. NASW-NC also prevented the legislation from including the addition of the Master Level Social Work Exam requirement for all LCSWAs that NCSWCLB wanted in the bill. NASW-NC said an additional exam would have been financial hardship and delayed entry into the profession for new social workers.

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NASW-Illinois Chapter Receives Grant to Study Workforce Issues

NASW Illinois Chapter

Oct 01, 2019

In an ongoing social work workforce initiative, the Chapter was awarded $50,000 from the Telligen Community Initiative to conduct a needs assessment of the social work workforce in Illinois that will match the shortage needs throughout the state. Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work will serve as a research partner.

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NASW Michigan Chapter receives grant to address substance use workforce shortage

NASW Michigan Chapter

Sep 11, 2019

The NASW Michigan Chapter (NASW-Michigan) has been awarded a two-year, $310,000 behavioral health workforce development grant by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. NASW Michigan's project is intended to address a significant workforce shortage in the substance use and co-occurring mental health field.

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Kansas passes licensure reciprocity for social workers

NASW Kansas Chapter

Aug 26, 2019

The Kansas House and Senate passed legislation that provides licensure reciprocity for social workers who work across state lines or move to Kansas. The NASW Kansas Chapter pushed for this legislation and proposed an amendment to place post-graduate supervision hours for clinical supervision in line with states across the country (3,000 supervised practice hours and 100 supervision hours). The amendment was approved and Gov. Laura Kelly has signed the bill into law. 

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Bertino-Tarrant's equal pay bill signed into law

NASW Illinois Chapter

Aug 02, 2019

Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law a bill aimed at ensuring equal pay for equal work. A number of entities, such as the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, National Association of Social Workers, Laborer’s International Union and Illinois National Organization for Women, supported the bill.

“As other states appear to be moving backward on equal rights, Illinois will continue to move forward to ensure employees are receiving the same pay for the same work,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This new law will help Illinois end the wage gap.”

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Connecticut Legislature Places Restrictions on the Use of the Title "Social Worker"

NASW Connecticut Chapter

Jul 09, 2019

The NASW Connecticut Chapter successfully advocated for passage a bill that provides protection to the job title of social work. The bill, signed into law on July 9, goes into effect on Oct. 1, 2019.

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NASW-IA awarded $50,000 grant to study workforce

NASW Iowa Chapter

Jun 01, 2019

NASW Iowa Chapter (NASW-IA) Executive Director, Denise Rathman, worked with the NASW Foundation and the University of Iowa School of Social Work, in 2018-2019, to assess the Iowa social work labor force. The initiative was funded by a generous $50,000 grant from the Telligen Community Initiative.

Two key outcomes of the initiative, Rathman said, are that NASW-IA now has “an excellent action plan that will serve as a roadmap as we work to collect the data we need to do our advocacy work for the profession. We have a better understanding of why some organizations don’t always look to hire social workers.

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