Policy Issues

The services that social workers provide are vital to supporting the well-being of people throughout the United States. Social workers have become even more essential as economic inequality and health disparities increase, as the population ages, and as the middle class struggles to maintain stability.

Federal policymakers play critical roles in promoting policies that help individuals, families, and communities to fulfill their potential and to lead healthy, productive lives. NASW has developed a policy agenda, which asserts the association’s advocacy priorities for the legislative cycle. NASW’s policy agenda is consistent with the NASW policies in Social Work Speaks, which is developed by members of the association at Delegate Assembly.


2021 Blueprint of Federal Social Policy Priorities

Recommendations to the Biden-Harris Administration and Congress

collage of diverse people

NASW looks to the new administration and Congress to galvanize the country around fighting the most devastating public health crisis in America since 1918, and its economic and many other impacts. The rapid deployment of the COVID-19 vaccines is crucial in our recovery and the relief packages to date continue to be instrumental in mitigating the devastation. But more action is needed to save lives and livelihoods.

Read the 2021 Blueprint >>


The White House as a Field Placement

Reflections on the Past and a Future for Policy and Political Practice

The NASW and the University of Michigan report, The White House as a Field Placement: Reflections on the Past and a Future for Policy and Political Practice, features a speech by social worker and White House Fellow Harold Richman. The report explores macro policy field placements, political social work, and policy practice roles for social workers.

Learn more about the White House report >>


Key Policy Issues

Following are the key issues that NASW was working on during the 116th Congress. Although a great part of the association’s energy is spent on these issues, NASW’s work on Capitol Hill is not limited to these areas, but is driven by the agenda that members of Congress set for themselves.

U.S. Capitol building with cloudy skies

COVID-19 Advocacy

Learn how NASW is advocating for social workers and the people they serve throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

NASW COVID-19 Advocacy


voting station

Increasing Voter Participation

Voter participation is a social work issue! Get resources and online training to learn how to get out the vote in your community.

Learn about increasing voter participation


woman holding laptop, US capitol building

National Policy Fellowships

Gain invaluable experience working on public policy issues to become a well-informed leader.

Learn about national policy fellowships




NASW Social Work Talks Podcast

Hear social work experts discuss their challenges and successes in  advocacy and policy work.