Learn about COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available and
general eligibility guidelines to access a vaccine in the initial phases
of distribution. NASW encourages individuals to receive a COVID-19
vaccine when they meet their state’s eligibility criteria. NASW is
advocating for vaccine access for social workers and populations that
are at high-risk for COVID-19.
The National Employment Law Project is providing this policy toolkit for workers, their advocates and allies, and policymakers to help ensure that workers are protected.
NASW offers guidance on resuming the provision of in-person services, for solo practitioners as well as those in group practices.
“Social workers are essential workers on
the front lines providing much-needed mental health care in-person in
numerous settings, ranging from hospitals to nursing facilities to
family homes. They are also instrumental in attending to the social
needs of patients that must be addressed to help ensure recovery, such
as access to nutritional food, reliable transportation and safe housing.
To perform these functions at the highest possible level, worker safety
must be a priority,” said Angelo McClain, Ph.D, LICSW, Chief Executive
Officer of NASW.
If You Have a Private Practice
- Cleaning and hygiene: Follow CDC guidelines on cleaning and hygiene protocols for your workplace.
- Communication: Let your clients know through
multiple channels that you are aware of COVID-19 and measures you are
implementing to keep your office as safe as possible (e.g. cleaning,
arrangement of furniture, cancellation policy flexibility to reduce
exposures from ill or potentially ill clients).
- Management: Identify someone who can run the key
business operations in the event of a disruption to your operations such
that you will need support.
- Finances: Ensure that you have sufficient reserves to cover expenses if you have a decline in revenue.
- Teletherapy: Some clients (or you) may prefer to
provide services via teletherapy for a period of time. If you do not
currently provide services in this manner, check with your payers to
verify that they will reimburse for services provided this way. See
NASW’s technology standards
for guidance. Review your malpractice insurance policy regarding
provisions around teletherapy and where it is provided (for example,
from your home in the event that you cannot use your office due to any
quarantine or containment requirements in your area).