Monday, April 30, 2012


Today I received another one of those calls where the person calling expressed surprise that she connected to the Executive Director, (even though it is I whom she dialed.) Followed by profuse apologies for bothering me and explanations that she had hoped to just leave a voice message.  I find these calls quite amusing. It is as if people are calling the State House and Governor Patrick answers the phone. I am honored and delighted by the comments. And I have a message for you, Dear NASW members.

BOTHER ME.  PLEASE.  I want you to call me. I want to hear from you about your concerns, your complaints, your compliments, your ideas, your observations, your wonderings. You are the lens into what is going on in the field.  You keep us informed, alerted, on our toes.  As much as we keep are eagle eyes vigilant, we do not always hear as quickly as you do: when the Medicare rates go down, when you heard a great Continuing Education program that you feel the chapter should know about; when your field placements are not working out as you wanted them to; when you know of a whole new category of social work jobs are being offered (as was just announced by the Veterans Administration;) when an outstanding non social worker employer again, stood up for the social work department of its large agency, when the agency was forced to reduce its workforce.  The list goes on.

So, PLEASE, call (my favorite form of communication,) write, email or fax. I so appreciate hearing from you.   And then call again. I need your information, your knowledge, your professional insights.

Mi telefono es su telefono.

Carol Trust

Monday, April 23, 2012

Death With Dignity

Our Chapter has been asked to support a ballot initiative called “Death with Dignity.’ The proponents and the opponents presented their sides of the issue to The MA Chapter’s Board of Directors.  The Board discussed and discussed and then decided to withhold taking any action at the April meeting, pending further research into the issue.  My staff was asked to talk with NASW Chapters in the three states (Oregon, Washington State and Montana) that had passed the initiative into law, to see what the ramifications were.

This is one of the many fascinating subjects that the Chapter is often asked to take a position on.  Initial review of “Social Work Speaks”, the compendium of public policy statements that the National Board and the Delegate Assembly has approved has no specific policy on the subject, although several of the policy statements refer to a basic principle of the profession.  And that is to support an individual’s right to choose, to support individual’s right for autonomy.

The MA Chapter Board will be taking up the issue at its June 2012 Board meeting.  And I welcome our member’s views on the subject. You can find out more about the issue by visiting the following websites: (proponents) and (opponents).

Thank you,

Carol J. Trust

Monday, April 9, 2012


This weekend was a double whammy day: Easter Sunday and Passover Week.  And there are probably important sports events happening that I have minimal interest in. (Sorry my sports fans colleagues.)  Although I did get interested in the recent series of games featuring the top College Basketball teams.  And as I wonder why, I see that I am interested in what makes 'excellent', 'superb', and extraordinary.  The top two team players would certainly hold all those adjectives. Fabulous individual and team playing, superior strategy and high level accuracy.

Most of us would never make it to these teams whether they were senior varsity, or National level or Olympic category.  We are not there. However, we do have the capacity to have extraordinary lives  in very simple ways.  What makes one extraordinary?  Well, there are lots of features.  I am taking a course now that has presented a variety of elements that cause and extraordinary life.  The one that comes to me now has to do with being courageous.  This does not mean that one is fearless.  Rather it has to do with acknowledging your fear and acting anyway.  This could be in an athletic event, in speaking out at a community or school meeting or even, calling up the managed care organization or insurance company that you are having trouble getting authorization for a seeing a client.  All the voices in your head (I'll have to wait to long to speak with someone, when I finally speak to someone, that person will deny me, or if I raise a question, I may get kicked off the panel.)   Being courageous is not just something we work with our clients to develop. It is for us- the professionals that our clients  count on and for us as individuals with great dreams of having extraordinary lives, as professional social workers, parents, neighbors, relatives.

How many times do we yield to that voice in our heads that says, "Don't be a fool, they will never say yes, or you don't have enough money, or time, or intelligence to do that, or 'they will say no."

This is a call to listen to that  negative voice, thank it for speaking up, and then go forward with what you originally intended to do before the voices took over.

This is part of being extraordinary.

Carol J. Trust