Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

As I look out my window onto the Old Granary cemetery, below, I see the leaves turning colors of all the varieties of Delicious Apples--green, yellow, orangey yellow and red. It is a glorious site. The Red Tail Falcons are floating over Mother Goose's gravestone and as the leaves drop, I can see more and more of the Suffolk Law School Building, just across the street from the cemetery. But the real action is what is going on in the Chapter office, engineered by the staff and volunteers. Here is a short roundup of just today's events to give you an idea of the range of activities that we are engaged in, representing, you, our members and the profession.

This morning, Mary Roderick, Director of Professional Issues and I met with the MA Social Work Licensing Board to discuss the increased rates for taking the Licensing Exam that the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) is proposing. One of the increases is up to 49%. We strongly urged the representative from the MA Social Work Licensing Board to vote against what we consider an egregious increase, particularly in this fragile economic environment.

After meeting with the State Licensing Board, I took the 'T 'over to the MA Department of Child and Family Services (DCF), where NASW is part of a team crafting the details of the DCF Advisory Council to the Department and the Commissioner. This Advisory Council was established under the Child Welfare Reform Act, however it just started meeting this year. NASW is making sure that professional social work input is given and integrated into this important advisory and advocacy initiative.

Then at 3 pm Rebekah Gewirtz, Director of Governmental Relations and I met with the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Higher Education at the State House. Senator Galluccio and Representative Torrisi called us over to discuss a possible pilot project in relation to the Social Work Loan Forgiveness Bill that the Chapter has filed. They were concerned, given the present fiscal climate, that our full proposed bill would probably not receive a favorable showing this year and they wanted to discuss a pilot option. We are exploring this possibility right now.
Keep in mind, THEY CALLED US! This is a testament to the recognition that social work has established on Beacon Hill.

Also today, Kristina Whiton, Director of Continuing Education and Clinical Issues, finalized many of the over 70 presentations that are slated for the April Symposium 2010-the Chapter's signature Continuing Education event that draws over 800 participants, advertisers and exhibitors.

This is just a sampling of initiatives that the staff and I are vigorously working on to support you and the clients and communities that you serve. We are eager to hear from you about other ideas you have for the Chapter and the Association. The phone lines are open. The emails are alerted. And the fax is on. We await your feedback, your comments and your possibilities.

Carol Trust