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The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest professional association of social workers in the world.  As the only organization dedicated to advocating for the entire profession of social work, NASW strengthens the social work profession and gives social workers and clients a stronger voice.

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Final registration call for Metro DC Social Workers to Earn up to 66 CEs at the NASWVA Annual Conference March 25-27!

Procrastinators alert! Metro DC social workers have only days left to register for the Thursday through Saturday, March 25-27, NASWVA Annual Conference, where they can earn up to 66 CEs, including all of their ethics, LGBTQ, and public health domain CEs.

Choose from 30-plus breakout sessions, four nationally known keynoters, two facilitated networking sessions, a full self-care track, a "Munch" and Learn with a world-class art curator, an Exhibitor Fair, and myriad of fun events such as a virtual pet parade, a mini cooking class, a virtual hike, sunrise yoga, a Celebrating Hygge night, and a meditation session. Topics include • ethics (8 sessions) • COVID-19 and telehealth lessons • racial justice and equity in social work ( 7 sessions and keynotes) • trauma • children's and adolescents' mental health • legal issues for social workers • ecotherapy • dance and music therapy • human trafficking • addiction • advocacy and much more.

The meeting offers numerous experiential learning formats that combat Zoom fatigue, and all sessions encourage attendee dialogue. Each attendee also receives a mailed engagement packet with goodies that let them experience learning and events hands-on.

Once registered, attendees can download a helpful conference app to create a customized daily professional development schedule, as well as to see other attendees, skim the agenda[LINK], and visit 17 virtual booths of sponsors and exhibitors.

Registration options include Live-only (18.5 CEs), Live+60 Days (live event plus 60 days to earn more CEs by viewing your choice of on-demand session recordings, or On-Demand-Only (access to every recorded session, including all recordings during the live event). NASW members-only discounts apply. Nonmembers welcome! Join hundreds of social workers in your professional community for this highly rated event and enjoy high-quality learning, fellowship, and fun!

Questions? Contact Metro DC Executive Director Debra Riggs, CAE, at driggs.naswmetrodc@socialworkers.org.


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Metro DC Members: Register Now for a Free, Fun “Social Workers Are Essential” Self-care Happy Hour March 31!

You’re invited! The Metro DC Board of Directors invites all Metro DC members to a free Social Work Month Virtual Celebration called “Social Workers Are Essential: Essential Self-Care” on Wednesday, March 31, from 6 to 7 p.m. Bring your beverage and food of choice for a happy hour of fun, networking, and celebration, including virtual activities!

Please register as soon as possible so preparations can be made. You will receive a Zoom link once you are registered. This is a members-only event!



Social Work Month in March Educates Public on the Many Roles of Metro DC’s “Unsung Heroes” in Providing Mental and Behavioral Health Care

The Metro DC Chapter is celebrating Social Work Month throughout March with the national theme “Social Workers Are Essential.” The campaign educates the public about social workers as advocates and resources, and highlights the valuable contributions social workers make statewide, especially during the pandemic.

Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the U.S, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, rising from a current 700,000 to an estimated 800,000 professionals by 2029. Metro DC has thousands of diverse licensed clinical social workers, and demand for social work services continues to outpace availability of behavioral health providers.

“Few people realize that social work professionals comprise the largest behavioral health group in the country, or that many of our members work alongside doctors, nurses, and other frontline workers, thus experiencing similar risks and exhaustion,” says Executive Director Debra Riggs, CAE. “The profession has exploded over the past decade and is poised to grow exponentially. Even Ashley Biden, daughter of President Biden, is a social worker!”

Riggs notes that Metro DC social workers “have worked extra-long hours and executed a radical pivot to telehealth to respond to skyrocketing public needs for more mental and behavioral health services throughout the metropolitan area.”

While TV and movie versions of social workers have generated an unfair stereotype of these professionals as people “who just take away kids from their families,” social workers are embedded in many work settings throughout society. They provide mental health and substance use disorder treatment, assist active military and veterans, help schoolchildren, transition the returns to society of people who have been imprisoned, help corporations better serve communities, and protect children from neglect and abuse. They also work in nonprofits, private practice, the court system, and local and state agencies.

However, the profession has other challenges beyond public confusion. A severe shortage of social workers in schools, colleges, and universities has often left young people inadequately supported when faced with complicated issues such as trauma, addiction, anxiety, loneliness, grief, and online learning stressors—all of which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

And although social workers play a critical role in the nation’s health care system, they could and should be much better compensated for their efforts, according to a 2019 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

“We hope Social Work Month will help the public realize that social workers are highly educated and well-trained professionals who subscribe to one of the healthcare industry’s most stringent codes of ethics,” says Riggs. “People should feel confident turning to social workers, who work tirelessly to advocate for their clients and communities.”

She notes that “social workers often are unsung heroes, and their natural tendency toward humility and discretion mean their extraordinary work is often undervalued or unseen. Please consider saying a kind word to the social workers in your lives and at work, especially during Social Work Month. Like our chapter, they are always fighting for policies that benefit families, individuals, and the vulnerable populations they serve such as children and older adults.”



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Happy Social Work Month!

NASW Metro DC Chapter will be celebrating the 2021 Social Work Month throughout March in recognition of the diverse ways that social workers contribute to their communities. Look for stories to roll out on social media and elsewhere from members about why they love social work and how they know that "Social Workers Are Essential," the theme for this year.

It's also the theme for the NASWVA Annual Conference that all Metro DC social workers are invited to attend virtually March 25-27. Thank you all for your hard work and commitment!



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New NASW Health Practice Alert on
"COVID-19 Vaccines FAQ"

In a new Practice Alert, COVID-19 Vaccines FAQ, NASW provides resources for social workers to learn more about available COVID-19 vaccines and the general eligibility guidelines to access a vaccine in the initial phases of distribution. 

NASW encourages individuals to receive a COVID-19 vaccine when they meet their state’s eligibility criteria. The organization is advocating for vaccine access for social workers and populations at high-risk for COVID-19 and will continue to monitor federal and state vaccine distribution plans.




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You’re Invited! Earn Up to 70.5 CEs at the Virtual 2021 NASW Virginia Annual Conference March 25-27

Meet your District of Columbia social work license requirements—including all ethics and LGBTQ CEs—by registering now for the virtual 2021 NASW Virginia Chapter Annual Conference March 25-27!

Under the theme “Social Workers Are Essential,” the three-day conference features a wide range of relevant and timely breakout sessions, workshops, keynotes, small-group virtual networking opportunities, and fun events such as a pet parade, virtual ecotherapy hike, sunrise yoga, and Hygge night.

You can earn 18.5 CEs live and an additional 52 CEs on-demand for 60 days afterward or, if you prefer, you can access all conference content completely on demand.

Among the practice-based and social justice topics on the schedule are LGBTQ issues, ethics, telehealth, pandemic lessons, aging, trauma, grief, ecotherapy, dance/movement therapy, racial justice and equity, addiction, working with first responders, and more.

You’ll also hear and engage with four nationally known keynoters:  Jim Donovan, Platinum-award-winning drummer of Rusted Roots and a music professor, Frank Warren, creator of the phenomenally popular website, PostSecret.com, and a suicide prevention advocate, Adios America, a spoken-word performing duo who use their slam poetry to comment on social issues such as racism, sexism, and Afro-Latina life in America, and Betty Mae Fikes, lifelong civil rights icon and songster/storyteller.

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NASW, NASW Metro DC Chapter Appalled and Angry at Rioting on Capitol Hill

"The National Association of Social Workers strongly condemns the unlawful storming of the U.S. Capitol by pro-[President] Trump rioters," announced NASW CEO Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW, in a statement January 6. "Their violent, riotous behavior is seditious and forced the evacuation of Congress and halted the declaration of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.

He urged people to "trust that the guardrails of democracy will hold, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in on January 20" and called "on all elected officials to condemn this unlawful attack on our democracy."

NASW Metro DC Chapter Executive Director Debra Riggs, CAE, echoed McClain's outrage.

"What the country witnessed yesterday in Washington, DC, was not peaceful protesting as enabled by our Constitution. It was nothing less than an insurrection by domestic terrorists determined to overthrow the democratic electoral processes that have sustained our great country for 244 years," said Executive Director Debra Riggs, CAE, of the NASW Metro DC Chapter. "We urge all citizens, especially social workers, to vocally oppose these dangerous displays that threaten lives and our democracy."

Noting the chapter's deep concern for local DC social workers during the riots, Riggs encourages members and other social work professionals to contact her (driggs.naswmetrodc@socialworkers.org) if they want to share their emotions or ideas of how the chapter can help return communities to a culture of civility, respect, and tolerance.



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NASW Seeks Comments on “Clinical Social Workers in Private Practice” Manual by Jan. 4, 2021


NASW’s Task Force for Private Practice Guidelines is seeking public and member comments for the document, Clinical Social Workers in Private Practice: A Reference Manual. The manual provides a useful set of guidelines for clinical social workers starting a private practice and for seasoned clinical social workers seeking specific information related to the practice and business side of a private practice. The public comment period began Friday, Dec. 4, and ends January 4, 2021. Please review the manual here. Questions about the manual can be sent to mcoleman.nasw@socialworkers.org.


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NASW Metro DC Chapter Congratulates President-Elect Biden, Vice President-Elect Harris on Historic Wins

The NASW Metro DC Chapter applauds NASW-endorsed President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for winning their historic congressional and national elections.

“The election of a woman, especially a woman of color, to the top ticket of the United States is long overdue and is a huge moment of pride for all who embrace equality,” says NASW Metro DC Executive Director Debra Riggs, CAE. “I want to thank all of DC’s social workers who voted, volunteered, and encouraged their clients to vote. Voting truly is social work! Now, as the state and nation try to heal from this brutal campaign season, we look forward to finding ways to reunite and refocus on the social justice and practice-related issues that NASW Metro DC has prioritized for the next few years.”

Read NASW's news release congratulating Joe Biden

I stand with Texas social workers

NASW Metro DC Supports Texas Social Workers Fighting Code of Ethics Changes That Enable Potential Discrimination

The NASW Metro DC Chapter stands in solidarity with Texas social workers who are fighting their Governor’s removal of protections against discrimination for disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression from the Social Work Code of Conduct! The Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners (TSBSWE) accepted the language from the Governor, whose rationalization is that agency rules cannot be more expansive than those in state law. However, the board has the explicit statutory authority to propose and adopt rules regarding “the scope of practice of and standards of care and ethical practice for social work.” This includes defining anti-discrimination protections under the Code of Conduct, which “should receive protected status,” says the chapter. “Social workers already have the ability to decline to provide services to a client based on their competencies and training, but they cannot discriminate based on selective personal values … [the new language] could send the erroneous message that [discrimination] is allowed. This might deter a client from coming in for services or cause a social worker to withhold a service they are ethically obligated to provide.” Sign the petition to show Texas social workers you oppose any changes to their Code of Conduct!

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Metro DC Chapter Applauds NASW Coalition Calling for CDC to Slow High Rate of COVID-19 in Jails, Prisons

NASW has co-signed a letter with a coalition of 100-plus medical experts, human rights organizations, and faith-based organizations that calls on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to revise its current COVID-19 guidance for adult and juvenile correctional facilities to restrict the use of punitive and prolonged solitary confinement as a form of pandemic response at the federal, state, and local levels. Learn more here.


 

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NASW Releases Statement Opposing Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping

NASW has released a statement voicing 'deep disappointment' in President Trump's Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping. 'The order distorts our nation’s history and broadly understood concepts such as 'systemic racism' and 'White privilege.' And it is a thinly veiled attempt by Trump to stoke racial division in an already-fractured country for his own political purpose.' Read the full statement: https://bit.ly/3j4njGn


 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

NASW Metro DC Mourns Death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

NASW Virginia is deeply saddened at the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an icon of the movement to protect and secure human rights for immigrants, women, and LGBTQ citizens. An unflagging champion for gender equality and a trailblazer for equal justice under the law, Justice Ginsburg was only the second woman to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and she served until her final living day. She lies in repose at the Supreme Court on Sept. 22 and 23, and will be buried next to her husband Sept. 29 at Arlington National Cemetery. We will miss you, Notorious RGB, and we will continue to honor your legacy through our advocacy work and our individual votes! In her own words: "If you want to be a true professional, do something outside yourself."


 

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National Suicide Hotline Designation Act Heads for Presidential Signature into Law

The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the bipartisan S. 2661, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, September 22, marking a legislative victory for NASW and its members nationwide who advocated strongly for it.

The bill is an important step to making operational a nationwide three-digit dialing code for mental health crises and suicide prevention: 988. The legislation passed the Senate earlier in 2020 and will now go for signing by President Trump to become law.


 

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National Suicide Prevention Month Resources for September

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, which comes at a critical time this year during the pandemic and national racial reckoning. Thanks to the lobbying of NASW and its mental health allies, preparations continue for the federal government's transition to an easy-to-remember three-digit (988) national suicide hotline, which goes into effect in 2022. Meanwhile, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline remains 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

Get more resources at NAMI.org


 
 

 

Women's Equality Day - Wednesday, August 26, 2020

NASW Metro DC Celebrates Women's Equality Day

Women’s Equality Day, celebrated every August 26, commemorates the passage of women’s suffrage in the U.S. and reminds us of the hurdles overcome by the heroic women who faced violence and gender discrimination to propel the women’s movement forward. When we reflect on the long battle to get the 19th Amendment ratified, we cannot ignore the fact that the movement largely excluded Black women. For example, the National American Woman Suffrage Association prevented Black women from attending their conventions. Black women often had to march separately from white women in suffrage parades. To this day, Black voters still face aggressive attacks on hard-fought voting rights. Some jurisdictions are using intimidation or threats to accessibility in order to discourage Black people from voting. 

Women aren’t done fighting for equal rights. Today, the wage gap between men and women, especially women of color, still impacts women’s economic power, and gender-based discrimination still plagues workplaces and business transactions. Celebrate Women’s Equality Day by registering to vote, helping others register to vote, and advocating for access to absentee ballots and early voting for every election. For ways #socialwokers can play a role in voter turnout visit https://votingissocialwork.org/


 

 

We stand with you. #BlackLivesMatter

Social Workers Must Help Dismantle Systems of Oppression and Fight Racism Within Social Work Profession

What can social workers do to fight systemic racism? NASW has released a more detailed call to action in a news release, Social Workers Must Help Dismantle Systems of Oppression and Fight Racism Within Social Work Profession


 

NASW Practice Alert on Home Health: Telehealth During COVID-19 and New Payment System

The Medicare home health benefit, which includes medical social services, has long been essential to beneficiaries living with acute, chronic, and advanced health conditions. Access to home health services is of utmost importance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new NASW Practice Alert provides an overview of the Medicare home health benefit, describes NASW’s advocacy on behalf of both home health social workers and beneficiaries served during the COVID-19 pandemic, and clarifies the status of home health social work under the Patient-Driven Groupings Model.

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NASW Metro DC Mourns the Death of Civil Rights Leader Rep. John Lewis

NASW Metro DC Chapter members are grieving the death of Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), whose leadership and sacrifice led the nation through the early days of the civil rights movement right up until the recent protests against the murder of Black Minneapolis resident George Floyd.

Lewis always said he hoped his legacy would focus around voter rights and voter access, and he spoke often about the need to ensure all Americans—especially people of color—could easily vote. NASW is already involved in voter registration campaigns, coalitions, and advocacy, and social workers in Metro DC will be supporting those efforts. We will miss you and your “good trouble” leadership, Rep. Lewis!

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Emergency Telehealth Regs Extended to October 25

Health and Human Services is extending the public health emergency (PHE) period by 90 days—the second announced extension, according to a June 29 HSS tweet by spokesman Michael Caputo. Currently scheduled to expire July 25, the new expiration date is October 25, 2020. Telehealth flexibilities under Medicare are attached to this federal PHE. NASW is reaching out to commercial and self-funded plans to advocate for telehealth permanence. Some plans stopped paying for out-of-network telehealth already.

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NASW Social Work Talks Podcast Focuses on Successful Telehealth Transitioning, Racism

Recent NASW Social Work Talks podcasts take on both telehealth and racism. Listen to Tips for Successfully Implementing Teletherapy for guidance from Pat Spencer, LCSW, who moved her practice to teletherapy during New Jersey's stay-at-home order.

Facing Racism, Moving Forward explores the racism pandemic and how the social work profession can advance progress. The recording features Dion Lassiter, MSW, executive director at the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and president of the Black Men at Penn School of Social Work, Inc. at University of Pennsylvania. 

Social Work Online CE Institute

Find a Wide Variety of Training Through the Social Work Online CE Institute

Looking for training on a specific topic? Need to find a class fast? Want to train from the comfort of your own home or office? The Online CE Institute is a great option, because it offers hundreds of options, many free to members, that can be accessed quickly and easily. To find training, visit the Social Work Online CE Institute.

 

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One More Supervision Course Offered in 2020

As you know, a training to become an approved supervisor for your license is not required in the District. However, consider registering to help you better support your supervisee. NASW Metro DC is offering one more (virtual) training that will earn you up to 14 CEUs toward relicensing this year.

Full course descriptions of each program are available here. An access code and manual PDF will be sent the day prior to training:

November 13-14: Foundations of Supervision. 14 CEUs. Instructor: Delores Dungee-Anderson, PhD, LCSW CTST, Prof. $275 members, $350 nonmembers. Registration deadline: November 11.

A Welcome Letter from Metro DC Chapter New Executive Director, Debra Riggs

March 2020

Social Work Month is a wonderful time for me both to thank you for your hard work and commitment, and to introduce myself as the new executive director of the Metro Washington Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers!

I’ve been executive director of NASW Virginia for 22 years, but even before my grad school days studying for my social work degree, I have always had a passion for this profession. At university, I worked as a social worker for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Inc., and then later as a case manager in the juvenile justice system.

Since those early-career days, I’ve been in the nonprofit sector for 35-plus years at charitable and trade organizations and now in a professional association as leader of NASW Virginia. Along the way, I earned my Certificate of Association Executive certification, held by less than 10% of U.S. nonprofit leaders, and was given NASW’s 2012 Executive Director of the Year Award.

I strongly believe in collaboration, so I serve on many advisory boards with schools of social work—most currently as chair of Longwood University Advisory Board—and have a soft spot for social work students and professionals just starting out in the field.

However, I’m always happy when March gives me a chance to also give special thanks to our mid-career and longtime social workers, who have served their clients and families for decades under stressful and constantly changing conditions. Thank you, thank you.

March also provides the chance to raise public awareness about America’s fastest-growing profession and the diversity of nearly 800,000 social workers who work within it. Indeed, we influence everyone from babies to older adults, from city dwellers to rural families. Basically, our work touches everyone, everywhere!

The membership of NASW Metro DC reflects this vast diversity—our members work in hospitals, schools, private practice, government agencies, clinics, you name it. But while our work may differ significantly, our core ethics and our commitment to protecting the rights and welfare of our clients unite our specialties, connecting us through our passion to help people and build a more positive, just world. Thank you each again!

I am so pleased with the national theme chosen by NASW this year: ”Social Workers: Generations Strong.” As part of this initiative, I want to recognize and share stories of DC area social workers who are continuing the professional legacies of a parent or other relative. In those cases, a child witnessed and was so inspired by the good work of a loved one that he or she chose to enter the field as well. Please email me at driggs.naswDC@socialworkers.org if you are one of these generational legacies—I’d love to hear about and share your journey.

Professional development programming is a strength of mine, and I’m so excited about the possibilities of creating relevant training for NASW Metro DC members. As I enthusiastically take on this new role, I hope that any of you who may be interested in volunteering for a leadership position will email me at driggs.naswDC@socialworkers.orgThe chapter needs your ideas, candor, patience, and engagement to forge a path that best serves the unique needs of DC’s social workers.

Again, thank you for your membership and dedication to your clients and organizations. 

Warm regards,

Debra Riggs, CAE

Executive Director, NASW Metro DC

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