Monday, February 14, 2011
Social Work Safety and Loan Forgiveness Top NASW-MA Chapter's list.
Each legislative session the Chapter goes through a major process of identifying bills that it wishes to file and/or support. The process involves being in touch with our many Shared Interest Groups (SIGS), Commissions, Task Forces, the Board of Directors and the general membership. Beyond our own membership, we solicit ideas from allied organizations and groups to make sure that we are considering all the issues that affect our members and the clients and communities we serve. This year the Chapter filed two bills that focus specifically on the social work profession and is giving priority support to 14 other bills that our coalition and SIG partners are putting forth.
The two professional bills that directly impact social workers and the Social Work profession are: Loan Forgiveness and Maximizing Safety in the Workplace. (You can see the specifics of these two bills and the other bills on our priority list by clicking www.naswma.org)
Loan Forgiveness is essential for the profession to continue to recruit and retain talented young people. As our members age, (the average age in Massachusetts is 52) and retire we will be in big trouble if we cannot make ourselves attractive to energetic and passionate graduates or even to younger folks who are exploring career options.
At the same time, we need to make sure that our workplaces are safe, so that staff will feel supported, protected and encouraged to work in all areas of the profession.
These topics are the Chapter's top legislative priorities. If you would like to be involved in the Chapter’s efforts to make these bills become law, please me know. You will be put in touch with our Legislative staff who will be spending a good deal of their time at the State House and in the districts organizing for success.
Carol J. Trust