Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Year's Resolution!

As 2010 winds down and it is time once again to set new goals for the New Year, The NASW MA Chapter invites you to resolve to get involved in Chapter activities!  The Chapter is currently in the final stages of setting its exciting legislative agenda for next session. We are looking for our talented members to provide testimony at the State House, mobilize your peers and of course participate in our Legislative Education Advocacy Day on March 30th at the State House to celebrate Social Work Month. 

In the areas of Continuing Education and Clinical Issues we are closely watching payment reform and continuing our advocacy with managed care companies.  Planning for new Continuing Education programs that include live sessions, podcasts and the 2012 Symposium are all underway.  If you have a talent for writing, presenting or event planning or would like to be a part of organizing Symposium 2012 and other CE programs, contact the Chapter Office.  The Chapter is also updating our Licensing Test Prep program to comply with the new ASWB changes taking effect in 2011.  Our CEU and LTP schedules are available on our website and open for registration!

If outreach is a more appealing to you, the Chapter has unveiled its Social Work Reinvestment Initiative.  Staff and volunteers are heading out to Massachusetts high schools, youth programs, and community colleges to speak to students about considering a career in social work.  Come tell your story and help educate youth about the wonderful field of social work! We will have an informal “train the trainer” session in late January at the Chapter office for interested members. 

NASW MA has several Shared Interest Groups (SIGS) in various areas of practice that are always open to new members!  These groups meet to network, organize continuing education conferences, follow legislation, draft policy statements, represent NASW in the community, and generally serve as the eyes and ears of the chapter, feeding back information to staff and the elected leadership. To get involved, please e-mail You can be added to a SIG(s) e-mail list, or connected to a staff member overseeing the activity in which you have interest. The complete list is available on our website

To explore areas that might of interest to you please check out one of our upcoming networking events!  Our next event will be on February 8th at Big City in Boston.  Social workers of all levels are invited! Come join us for some good food and great company! Events on the North Shore and Central Massachusetts are also in consideration.

Call the Chapter office to see how you can get involved!

Carol J. Trust

Friday, December 17, 2010


I am just getting ready to go on my winter vacation and, as usual, a whole range of thoughts are swirling in my head and heart. The major thought is one that I am truly committed to.  It has to do with an article I read years ago about humans’ biological needs to ‘get away’ or as us modernists say ‘go on vacation.’  The article focused on our animal origins as beings of the forest, of the mountains, of the plains, of the jungles. Our early ancestors didn’t exactly get away.  They were in our view away but it was their norm. They were grazing, lazying about, climbing, walking, wandering.  And we homosapiens  have to do same.  We have just not evolved far enough  from our ancestors to be without these early experiences.  And so, vacations were created.  To bring us closer to our earlier natural environments.  Ashley Montague, one of my favorite  writers on “Man’s Early Origins’ is a huge booster for vacations, or just any get aways that take us back to the forests and the plains.  So, off I go, supported by a brilliant social anthropologist’s rationales and principles.  But not too far, as I will be checking my emails periodically.  I do love getting away and I love being in the middle of the action as well.  Can’t lose, either way.

Carol J. Trust

Thursday, December 9, 2010


We all have an immediate and great opportunity to put our values into practice on the Federal level. Right now, members of Congress are planning to bring the Development, Relief, and Education For Alien Minors (DREAM) Act up for a vote and your voice is needed to make this happen.

The Dream Act would provide an earned legal pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth who pursue higher education or serve in the U.S. military. This bill  exemplifies the core social work values of human rights, freedom from discrimination and social justice.

Many of these immigrant youth grow up without even knowing that they do not have legal status-until they find out they cannot attend college or work or join the military. Students who would be eligible for the DREAM act have already been raised and educated in the United States.  By allowing them to gain legal citizenship,  to continue their education  or to serve in the military, and to work will give our country a huge return on this investment.  The Congressional  Budget Office determined that the DREAM Act will increase government revenues by $2.3 Billion over 10 years and result in a net reduction in the deficit of $1.4 Billion over the same period.

WHAT TO DO?   Contact your Senators and Representatives in Congress and urge them to vote YES on the DREAM Act. 

Learn more about the DREAM Act at:

Carol J. Trust

Friday, December 3, 2010

Growing up in New Hampshire and the Holiday Spirit

Those of you who have met me look in disbelief when I say I am from New Hampshire. “Oh, come on, you’re from New York.  You’ve got your ‘NEW’s’ mixed up. No, really, I am from New Hampshire- Concud—just kidding, it really is Concord, but none of us townies ever quite got the pronunciation of the ‘r’s the way the rest of the country says it.  I grew up on Westbourne Road, up by the High School, down the street from the State Hospital and over by the woods.  I seem to know what I am talking about when I give these GPS coordinates.  And I have witnesses to my early residence.  There was Graham McSwiney who lived across the street with his Boxer, Mugsy.  And the Hayes kids, all 6 of them, who lived next door.  Diagonally across the street were the Clarners who talked funnier than me with their great Concud accent. I can produce witnesses. And, I guess I just look like I’m from New York.

Yet, I have a certain New Hampshire ethic inbred in me.  The one that proffers  measured frugality.  Emma Landry, my Mom’s chum and a native of Concord had a neat expression that frames the  frugality creed: “ Use it up. Wear it Out. Make it Do or do without.”  And now comes a big Holiday Season that screams another message:  “Buy me.  Buy me. Buy me.” What’s a girl to do in the face of these two conflicting messages?   Enter the Regifting concept.  I love you.  It not only fits in with my New Hampshire  roots, it is a fabulous way of sharing the wealth without succumbing to the consumer frenzy. Regifting here I come.  I just wish I could convert the rest of my circle of neighbors, friends, family. No chance.  This year my staff planned the Holiday party and everyone is a Secret Santa to someone.  Now, let’s see.  Regift or buy.  Mmmm.

Carol J Trust