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Social Workers Hold Congressional Briefing To Highlight Benefits They Bring to Public Schools

WASHINGTON, D.C. – School districts across the country are grappling with the choice of reducing funding used to maintain police in schools or using some or all of the police funding to hire social workers and other service providers.

A Congressional Briefing will be held on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) to discuss the issue sponsored by several social work organizations including the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) in conjunction with Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), chair of the Congressional Social Work Caucus. There have been calls to remove police from public schools in the wake of demonstrations about police brutality.

The briefing titled, Bringing the Power of Social Work to Schools, will examine the merits of the bill, H.R. 7848 - Counseling Not Criminalization Act, recently introduced by Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-7) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN-5) in the House of Representatives.

A companion bill - S. 4360 -was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Chris Murphy. The bills seek to eliminate federal funding for school-based law enforcement and “establish a continuum of care and positive schoolwide systems of services that are evidence-based, inclusive, racially and gender responsive, and trauma informed.”

Panelists include:

  • Pia V. Escudero, executive director of the Student Health and Human Services (SHHS) division in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the United States.
  • Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers, a nonprofit organization founded in 1991 for school-based law enforcement officers, school administrators and school security.
  • Dr. Ron Avi Astor, the Marjorie Crump Professor of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs whose work focuses on bullying and violence in school settings.
  • Sandra D. Shephard, a member of Maryland’s Prince George’s County Board of Education.

“How we staff schools is directly related to school climate and culture,” NASW CEO Angelo McClain said. “We need to reimagine school safety the way we are reimagining the safety of communities at large, and increase our investments in mental health, social care and other supports.”

Joining the NASW in sponsoring the briefing are the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP), American Council for School Social Work, School Social Work Association of America, and the School Social Work Network.

Please Register for the Event


The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.