Find out what's been happening at NASW chapters around the country, including in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.
NASW North Carolina Chapter
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.
NASW Michigan Chapter
The National Association of Social Workers 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.
NASW Kansas Chapter
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.
NASW Illinois Chapter
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.”
NASW Connecticut Chapter
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 and goes into effect on Oct. 1, 2019.
NASW Iowa Chapter
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.” Read the full report.
NASW Colorado Chapter
In May 2019, Colorado Gov. Polis signed into law two bills that will expand the hiring of social workers and other mental health professionals in state schools. The bills are the Kindergarten through Fifth Grade Social and Emotional Health Act and Professional Behavioral Health Services for Schools.
The NASW Colorado Chapter lobbied heavily for passage of these bills.
NASW Arizona Chapter
House Bill 2569 (Occupational Licensing; Reciprocity) was signed into law. This legislation requires a “regulating entity to issue an occupational license to a person who establishes residence in Arizona if the person is currently licensed or certified in good standing in at least one other state in the discipline applied for and at the same practice level as determined by the regulating entity and if the person meets a list of other specified requirements.”
NASW New York State Chapter
The New York State Legislature voted to pass legislation A.576/S.1046,which will prohibit licensed mental health professionals from engaging in efforts to change a minor’s sexual orientation, gender expression, and/or gender identity, otherwise referred to as “conversion” or “reparative” therapy.
This legislative victory is a long time coming. NASW-NYS has long condemned the use of conversion therapy and for years, we continued to push for passage of legislation that would ban this dangerous and outdated practice.