Reinvestment Act Gets Changes, Additions

— Heidi Sfiligoj, News Staff


As the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M .Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act gains traction in both chambers of Congress, NASW recognizes the important input from many sister social work and allied organizations including the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) and the Clinical Social Work Association (CSWA). NASW also worked with Dr. Dorothy I. Height, for whom the bill is named, to suggest multiple changes to the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act (H.R. 795/S. 686) before reintroduction.

“We were lucky to work with the National Association of Black Social Workers, who brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the bill, providing insight to create a more inclusive piece of legislation,” said NASW Executive Director Elizabeth J. Clark. “The Clinical Social Work Association and the Center for Clinical Social Work offered suggestions in critically important areas and helped us to better present the role that the clinical social work workforce will play in the coming years.”

Earlier this year, the bill was reintroduced in both chambers by Rep. Edolphus “Ed” Towns (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), both social workers who were supportive of reintroducing the strongest piece of legislation possible.

The additions to the legislation include an enhanced Social Work Reinvestment Commission composed of a broad, knowledgeable membership, which will complete an expanded study to ensure the best possible recommendations to Congress. The bill also creates more inclusive demonstration programs, which include Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions, as well as a broader diversity component overall.

The legislation retains the same focus, however, seeking to set the foundation to reinvest in the profession of social work and to ensure that it survives and thrives for years to come.

“This bill is a testament to extraordinary work of Dr. Height and Whitney Young. We’ve worked with Dr. Height to ensure that the Social Work Reinvestment Act is an accurate answer to the challenges our profession is facing” said Clark. “We are honored to name this legislation after her. She provided enhanced content to ensure that she is satisfied with the bill that bears her name.”

In an advocacy alert sent in May, NASW informed members that it worked with NABSW, CSWA and Height to strengthen the Social Work Reinvestment Act.

“NASW finds strength working alongside sister social work organizations, as we are ultimately working to protect and promote our profession as well as the millions of clients we serve,” Clark said.

For more information: Social Work