Thursday, March 31, 2011

Payment Reform: NASW’s Vigilant Stance

What does this mean for the social work community? How will these new proposals impact the delivery of mental health and social work services in clinics and agencies?  And what about all our LICSWs in private and group practices?  What will happen to the whole ‘fee for service’  payment system?  These are some of the questions that the health and mental health community are asking as we review the Governor’s  Payment Reform Legislation that was released in February 2011.

Let me tell you that the Massachusetts Chapter of NASW is being vigilant.  The Chapter has formed an Ad Hoc Advisory Group of members who are knowledgeable about  the delivery of mental health service in clinics, hospitals, private practice and other settings.  The group made up of policy experts, private practitioners, policy consultants and academia are meeting to devise proposals and action steps for the Chapter to take as the Payment Reform movement proceeds.  You can be sure that NASW will take a stand for social workers to be well represented on any of the Task Forces and Advisory Groups that the Secretary of Health and Human Services is forming.

We are watching, we are strategizing and we are active.  If you have particular knowledge about this new Payment Reform Legislation and would to join our group.  Let me know.

Carol J. Trust

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Local Social Workers Prepared to Help Victims of Devastating Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan

In the aftermath of the tragic events in Japan earthquake followed by the deadly tsunami, it is difficult to find the words that express my profound sadness. We all struggle to find ways of responding to this horrific event. However, there is something that social workers can do. The NASW Foundation’s Social Work Disaster Assistance Fund has been established to ‘help social workers help others’. Our colleagues in the Japanese professional social work association are uniquely suited to assess the needs of disaster victims in a culturally competent manner and to provide leadership in promoting effective disaster relief and recovery efforts. Your financial contributions are appreciated. 100% of donations received go directly to those who have suffered loss and are in need of financial or other assistance due to a disaster.

When a disaster strikes, social workers may be personally affected and need help themselves.  They lose their homes, their jobs, and their businesses (including private practices).  Some have even lost loved ones.  Your donation will help them re-establish their lives, so they can continue to help others.

The Social Work Disaster Assistance Fund enables the NASW Foundation to fulfill a key component of its mission statement:  to assist with rapid response in social crises.
Social workers have always been at the forefront of helping others.  Please make a contribution to the Social Work Disaster Assistance Fund today!

In addition, NASW-MA has contacted the Japanese Consulate to notify them of our Social Work Therapy Referral Service (SWTRS).  The Massachusetts Chapter SWTRS team has nearly 300 Licensed Independent Clinical Social Workers (LICSW) ready to assist family members and friends of those impacted by this horrible disaster. Our thoughts are with those affected by this monstrous devastation.

Carol J. Trust

Thursday, March 10, 2011


How often do we here the word "politics"and immediately assign it a negative connotation? 

Well, I want you to consider this.  There is nothing inherently nasty about politics. In fact, the NASW-MA Chapter has, and continues to, positively affect social change through politics.
Case in point- PACE which is the acronym for  the NASW MA Chapter’s Political Action for Candidate Election arm.  This Committee of highly informed political ‘junkies’ –all lively NASW members – who are hungry for political and electoral happenings, keeps the Chapter and the Association on the front burner of electoral activities.  Because of PACE’s important work, which includes interviewing and endorsing candidates who share the same values and vision as social workers, NASW-MA is seen as the organization that candidates seek endorsement when running for both State Senate and House seats.  Sitting at the small conference table in the Chapter office, interviewing the next potential Treasurer or Governor for the state is a thrilling experience. This is an exciting time to get involved with PACE as the group starts to plan  its upcoming strategies.  You can be part of this worthy AND positive process.

Empower yourself. Join PACE today!

For more information about PACE please contact Julie Balasalle at or 617-227-9635 x20.

Carol J. Trust

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


March is Social Work month- a wonderful reminder of the vastness and contributions of our great profession. And I am  recalling a public education campaign that NASW ran about 20 years ago that is still so relevant, I am revisiting it this week.

The "Say you are a Social Worker Campaign"  called upon professional social workers to declare their profession in all public (and social) communications and venues rather than using other vague titles, which serve to mask our higher educational  accomplishments (BSW, MSW, DSW and Ph.D.)  And to what am I referring? Case in point.  You are being interviewed by a newspaper for an article on your work, or you are at a social event and some asks you what you do, or you are responding to a Red Cross disaster scene and must introduce yourself to firefighters on the scene as you reach out to them.  What do we often hear?  ‘ Oh, I am a psychotherapist,’ or ‘I counsel troubled teenagers’, or ‘I work  with domestic violence victims’ or ‘ I am the Director of a mental health clinic’. You would be surprised how often social workers say describe themselves in these terms.  There is nothing  wrong with these statements especially when they are prefaced with “I am a social worker”, then add, “I counsel troubled youth”, or I have a private practice in psychotherapy”, or ‘I work with homeless veterans, etc.

When you introduce yourself in this way, you’ll be performing an invaluable public education service that benefits our professional and ultimately yourself. 

No professional public relations effort can impress the public consciousness as much as tens of thousands of social workers saying, “I AM A SOCIAL WORKER.”  When you do not it is a loss to the entire profession  and to the public.  The best way to bolster the image of the social work profession is for social workers to identify themselves as SOCIAL WORKERS!  Join me in declaring our profession!  Be inspired by the NASW-MA Chapter's video, "This Could Be You: The Many Faces of Social Work."  Check it out right here:

Carol J. Trust