Thursday, February 21, 2013

Safety in the Workplace for Social Worker: BIG WIN

We have terrific news from the Massachusetts Chapter. On Friday, February 15, 2013, Governor Deval Patrick signed our Social Work Safety in the Workplace legislation into law. This is a huge victory for the social work profession and the clients and communities served by the profession.

This victory was possible because of the combined efforts of several groups and individuals, including the Statewide Social Work Safety Task Force jointly convened by NASW and the Boston University School of Social Work in 2008, and the NASW-MA Chapter Board of Directors which authorized staff to prioritize this effort.

The passage of the Law is part of a larger campaign to Maximize Safety for Social Workers in the Workplace. The campaign includes:
1. Producing Practice Standards on Maximizing Safety in the Workplace: Tracy Whitaker, at National, is staffing a national work group that is in the process of developing this document.

2. Developing and delivering Safety Training to all organizations and agencies employing social workers: The Chapter has developed a curriculum, trained a cadre of social workers to deliver the training and has begun the training of public and private organizations.

3. Writing a Policy statement for Social Work Speaks: The compendium of the Association’s positions and actions on a broad range of public and professional issues.

NASW continues on its roll to protect social workers and the clients they serve. And the Massachusetts Chapter is leading that possibility.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


In the face of all the challenging and fascinating issues that come to the profession and the Chapter, we have a wonderful ‘good news’ announcement about one of our many dedicated NASW members. If I had a trumpet I would sound a congratulations blast. Here is to Ms. Melinda Strauss, former chair of the MA Chapter’s LGBT Shared Interest Group that has been meeting since the 1980s. Melinda is being honored with several other mothers by Keshet, an organization that works for the full inclusion and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jews in Jewish life.

Melinda, LICSW, and 6 other women are the founding members of the Keshet Parent and Family Connection, a national mentoring and leadership program for Jewish parents and family members of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Jews. This group provides confidential peer support to parents and other family members dealing with any state of their child’s or family members coming out process and to young adults struggling with how to tell their families about their identities. All the mentors have worked through their own process of accepting, understanding and celebrating their children and their identities.

Melinda, dear mentor, we honor you as a fierce and loving mother, a highly dedicated professional social worker and a supreme mench!

Friday, February 1, 2013


Uncle Sam Wants You

Finally we have a serious response to mental health professional’s and other’s call for increased psychological, social and family supports for veterans, returning armed services personnel and their families.

The response is significant. Here are three of the major programs that have emerged for those of us – clinical social workers and all licensed mental health professionals who have a commitment to working with armed service personnel and their families or who may just want to be aware of the many resources available.

First - the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has announced that it is hiring 2,000 additional licensed mental health providers and is making a special outreach to licensed clinical social work. Go on line to connect with a VA recruiter

Second - NASW has connected with Army OneSource Behavioral Health Campaign which offers free online courses to licensed professionals wanting superior training in working with veterans.

The national accredited courses being offered are: Military Cultural Competence, PTSD Then and Now, The Impact of Deployment and Combat Stress on Families and Children Part 1 and Families and Deployment, Part 2; Enhancing Resilience, and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Members will receive emails about the campaign with a link to access the online courses beginning March 6. Please make sure that you have provided the chapter with an updated email address. You may also view information about the campaign if you like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and join the chapter’s LinkedIn group.

Third – As a result and in collaboration with Dr. Jill Biden’s and First Lady, Michelle Obama’s creation of ‘JOINING FORCES’ the National Association of Social Workers is developing free online courses focused on working with the many aspects of armed forces. These courses expected to be ready the Spring of 2013. This training model is the result of.

Joining Forces is a comprehensive national initiative to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and services they have earned. NASW has been a proud member of Joining Forces since 2011 and is committed to educating, training all social and preparing social workers to meet the needs of those who have made incredible sacrifices for the United States.

The free online 5-course training module will include military culture, advocacy, direct practice, cultural competency and standards review. This course will not be limited to social workers who specifically work with veterans and military families, but also private practitioners, clinical social workers, agency social workers, policy practitioners, educators, and researchers.

A professional Credential for Social Work with Veterans and Military Families will be offered for one year to all NASW members and is geared towards social workers that work primarily with service members, veterans, or their loved ones.

Standards for Social Work Practice with Veterans and Military Families will be disseminated to all members with the goal of providing a basic level of education on veterans and military families.

These materials will be forthcoming the Spring 2013.

SOCIAL WORKERS: Add to your already incredible training experience and talent with these additional professional opportunities.