The Action Network for Social Work Education and Research, or ANSWER, continues to serve as the steering committee and support the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act, HR 1106/S 584.

NASW joins the Association of Baccalaureate Program Directors (BPD), Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE), National Association of Deans and Directors (NADD), Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW), and Social Work Policy Institute (SWPI) to make up the ANSWER Coalition.

The group met in April and members were briefed on the latest developments related to the reinvestment act, which was reintroduced in Congress by Rep. Edolphus “Ed” Towns, D-N.Y., and Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., on World Social Work Day, March 15.

Coalition attendees said they would also support the work of the new Congressional Social Work Caucus, which was launched on World Social Work Day as well. Led by Towns, the caucus includes dozens of House members who have pledged support for the social work profession and its clients. The caucus works to address the numerous issue areas tackled by social workers and educate stakeholders and the public regarding social workers’ important role.

The coalition members discussed additional social work legislation at the ANSWER meeting. Attendees learned that Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, has reintroduced the National Office of Social Work Research Act, S 41, and the Strengthen Social Work Workforce Act, S 42. The research act would create a national office within the National Institutes of Health to conduct, support and disseminate targeted research concerning social work methods and outcomes related to problems of significant social concern. The workforce act would amend Title VII of the Public Health Service Act to ensure that social work students or social work schools are eligible for support under certain programs that would assist individuals in pursuing health careers, or for geriatrics training project grants, and would establish a social work training program.

The Clinical Social Work Medicare Equity Act, S 583, was reintroduced by Mikulski. It would amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to permit direct payment under the Medicare program for clinical social worker services provided to residents of skilled nursing facilities.

SWPI symposium. The coalition agreed to join the NASW Foundation Social Work Policy Institute in convening a May 18 think-tank symposium titled “Investing in the Social Work Workforce.” The meeting, which will be covered in a future issue of the NASW News, was scheduled to bring key stakeholders together to examine policy, professional education and training and payment/reimbursement for services across fields of practice.