The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest association of professional social workers. Our members serve all communities and all populations. Here you can find the latest news from NASW. Read Social Work Advocates, press releases and statements; browse past issues of NASW News, learn about Social Work Month activities; get facts about social workers; find social work research and data; or visit one of our blogs.

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Archived Home-Page: 6/2020 through 3/2022

It’s World Social Work Day!

Happy World Social Work Day! This year’s theme is “Co-building a New Eco-Social World: Leaving No One Behind.” It presents a vision and action plan to create new global values, policies, and practices that develop trust security, and confidence for all. Learn more here:

NASW Metro DC Voices Support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Light of Bomb Threats

At a time of Black History Month celebration, NASW Metro DC is appalled to learn of dozens of bomb threats to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Virginia, DC, and across the country.

We stand in solidarity with these vital higher education institutions and strongly oppose efforts by anyone to disrupt or demean the important role of HBCUs in advancing the futures of America's students, regardless of race or ethnicity. Violence and threats have no place in the nation's ongoing discussions and reckoning with its prejudiced past. Fear and violence do not create a successful path forward. Social workers of Metro DC stand ready to help anyone who needs extra support for their mental and behavioral health.

Update: federal rule to prevent surprise health care billing–application to clinical social workers

NASW has published two blog posts—the first on dec. 21, 2021, and the second on jan, 5, 2022--to clarify information that was not available until january regarding part ii of a federal rule that pertains to the provision of good faith estimates (gfes) in the federal consumer protection rule (no surprises act) that took effect jan. 1, 2022.

The January post provides new information on part i of this regulation. if you reviewed nasw’s december 21 post, you may also find it helpful to read this one. we are continuing to closely monitor this dynamic policy area so we can continue to provide updates to our members. we are also advocating on behalf of clinical social workers with key federal regulatory agencies and other stakeholders.

background on federal rule new federal regulations implementing the no surprises act (enacted by congress in 2020) went into effect january 1, 2022. the law aims to protect consumers from unanticipated medical bills. there are three (3) parts to the regulations that were developed by multiple federal agencies, including the u.s. department of health and human services. read more about each here.

Anniversary of January 6 insurrection highlights need to pass freedom to vote act

On the one-year anniversary of the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the capitol, NASW Metro DC urges members to stand in support of the freedom to vote act (s.b 2747), a crucial piece of legislation to safeguard voting rights. this legislation, formerly the for the people act, safeguards voting rights by expanding voter registration and voting access.

Voter suppression is an affront to civil rights and disproportionality impacts people of color, low-income individuals, persons with disabilities, and other marginalized individuals. NASW continues to advocate for this and other such pieces of legislation, and collaborates in partnership with other voter rights organizations, such as voto latino, rock the vote, voting is social work, and more.

As the chapter’s policy committee continues to advocate for all metro dc social workers, we urge you to keep these issues in the forefront through the year. nasw will keep you up to date as bills advance or stall and will inform you on the best ways to get involved to make your voice as a social worker heard.

“Advocacy and social justice are core to the field of social work, and voting rights are of utmost importance to uphold, now and always,” says metro dc executive director debra riggs, cae. “we continue to support the addition of dc as a state and to push for improved access to polling sites, extended early voting, and continued investment in high-security and ballot-protecting equipment and training to secure people’s vote. keeping democracy strong is not, and never should be, a partisan issue.”

No-Surprise medical bills law goes into effect for social workers and other healthcare providers

A new federal rule to protect consumers from surprise health care bills went into effect jan. 1, and this rule includes lcsws. nasw virginia is working with the national policy team to provide more guidance and information on this rule change, but some highlights are listed below:

Who does this apply to? this rule applies to both current and future patients who are uninsured or self-pay. good faith estimates (gfes) do not need to be provided to patients who are enrolled in federal health insurance plans.

what should we cover in the good faith estimate? providers must provide a gfe of expected charges that may be billed for items and services to individuals who are uninsured or who are self-pay. the gfe must be provided both orally and in writing, upon request or at the time of scheduling health care items and service, and within specific timeframes.

what steps should i follow to comply? · ask patients if they have any health insurance coverage and ascertain if they are uninsured or self-pay. if a patient is insured, make a copy of the insurance card for your files and ask the patient if they plan to submit a claim for the services they will receive. · inform all uninsured and self-pay patients of their right to a gfe. written notice must be provided in clear language that the individual can understand in an accessible format, prominently displayed in the office and on the provider/facility’s website and must be easily searchable from a public search engine. written notices should account for any vision, hearing, or language limitations, including individuals with limited english proficiency or other literacy needs. it may be provided on paper or electronically, depending on the individual’s preference. the written notice should also state that information will be orally provided when the service is scheduled or when the patient asks about costs, and will be available in accessible formats in the language(s) spoken by the patient. provide all uninsured or self-pay patients with a gfe. a link to what this should include is here.

what is the timeframe? information regarding scheduled items and services must be furnished within one business day of scheduling an item or service to be provided in three business days, and within three business days of scheduling an item or service to be provided in at least 10 business days. a new gfe must be provided, within the specified timeframes if the patient reschedules the requested item or service. if any information provided in the estimate changes, a new gfe must be provided no later than one business day before the scheduled care. also, if there is a change in the expected provider less than one business day before the scheduled care, the replacement provider must accept the original gfe as their expected charges.

how should i address gfes for recurring services? if you expect to provide a recurring service to the uninsured or self-pay patient, you may submit a single gfe to that patient for those services so long as the gfe includes, in a clear and understandable manner, the “expected scope of the recurring primary items or services (such as timeframes, frequency, and total number of recurring items or services).” the gfe can only include recurring services that are expected to be provided within the next 12 months. for additional recurrences beyond 12 months, the provider must provide a new gfe and communicate any changes between the initial and the new estimates. for example, if you have a patient whom you expect will need continuing services throughout the year, the gfe could say, “i expect that my care of you will require continued weekly therapy sessions continuing through the end of the year at $x per session for a total of 50 weeks, accounting for vacations and holidays for an estimated total of [amount].” if the future course of treatment is less certain, the gfe could say, “depending on the progress we make this year, i expect that you will need 10–20 more sessions this year. at $x per session, the estimated total cost would be [amount].”

what if i am in a group practice or other type of facility? you should contact your compliance officer for guidance.

is there a template? you can find templates that can be used to prepare gfes and model language for informing patients of their rights to gfe here. you can learn more about this rule change, enforcement, disputes, and future actions here. the chapter and nasw will continue to monitor this policy and any developments and pass along new information as it becomes available. please speak with your legal advisor in addition to reviewing this guidance since legal and regulatory issues are highly fact-specific.

winter/spring 2022 licensure exam prep dates announced, registration open

let naswva help you prepare for the license exam this new year! register today for one of our winter-spring licensure exam prep training programs. all run 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., offer 6 ces, and include 6-month access to robust study portal resources and discussions.

  • february 4: register by january 20 for manual pre-workshop delivery, febuary 2 for manual delivery post-workshop.
  • april 22: register by april 7 for manual pre-workshop delivery; april 20 final registration deadline.
  • may 13: register by april 28 for manual pre-workshop delivery; may 11 final registration deadline.
  • june 10: register by may 26 for manual pre-workshop delivery; june 8 final registration deadline.

news alert for metro dc lcsws:

the dc board of social work has voted september 27 to extend the suspension of face-to-face ceus through the 2023 licensing renewal year (july 31, 2023). start registering for nasw metro dc chapter virtual trainings today by checking out the events calendar

nasw seeks volunteers to revamp its standards for clinical social work

great volunteer opportunity! nasw is seeking clinical social workers to serve on a new task force to revise its nasw standards for clinical social work in social work practice, a resource published in 2005. social workers should be licensed at the clinical level in the state in which they are practicing and have at least 10 years of experience in one or more of the following practice settings:

• community mental health centers • hospitals • substance use treatment and recovery programs • schools • ambulatory healthcare settings • partial hospitalization programs • child welfare agencies • aging services • employee assistance programs • private practice

estimated time of commitment is 12-18 months with meetings via teleconference. if interested, please submit your resume to by september 30.

nasw action alert: contact your congressional delegate about addressing climate change

it's time to act on climate change and environmental justice! contact your elected officials to amplify the messages that climate change is a health emergency and that adequate funding must be allocated for climate action on infrastructure and transportation that protects the health of our communities. learn more here:


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.


new practice guidance available: “new program instruction from administration on children, youth, and families: child abuse prevention and treatment”

a new document is available to provide guidance for social workers who assist their agencies with applications for child abuse and neglect prevention and treatment programs state grant funds, work in agencies administering the child abuse prevention and treatment act (capta) state grant, and/or work with community-based child abuse prevention (cbcap) program grantees.

“new program instruction from administration on children, youth, and families: child abuse prevention and treatment” is available at

the program instruction provides information on the allowable use of the funding and actions states and territories must take to report on planned and use of the funds. additionally, the pi provides updates on the regular fiscal year 2021 appropriation for the capta state grant program and the requirement to prioritize use of funds to develop and implement plans of safe care for substance-exposed infants and their families.


nasw apologizes for racist practices in american social work

the national association of social workers (nasw) has released a statement acknowledging that “our profession and this association have not always lived up to our mission of pursuing social justice for all. nasw apologizes for supporting policies and activities that have harmed people of color.” according to nasw ceo angelo mcclain, phd, licsw. “while nasw continues to offer anti-racist training in communities, publicly denounces violence, and advocates tirelessly for anti-racist policy changes, we must also acknowledge the role the social work profession has played in supporting discriminatory systems and programs for decades.”

for instance: • progressive era social workers built and ran segregated settlement houses. • social worker suffragists blocked african americans from gaining the right to vote. • social workers helped recruit black men into the infamous tuskegee experiment. • social workers participated in the removal of native american children from their families and placement in boarding schools. • and since the founding of the profession, bias among some social workers has limited delivery of health care, mental health treatment, and social services to people of color.

details of this work are included in the newly released report, undoing racism through social work: nasw report to the profession on racial justice priorities and action.

“this acknowledgement comes at a critical time, especially as we enter the juneteenth weekend,” says nasw metro dc executive director debra riggs, cae. “our recent surveys show that fighting systemic racism is members’ top social justice issue of concern, and they are committed to advocacy around it. we also have expanded trainings on racial equity, social work and race, implicit bias, self-awareness, multicultural supervision, and other such topics to support social workers as they reflect on their own biases and serve clients directly harmed by ongoing racism. together, we will make progress on this stubborn and complex issue.”

read the full statement here.

manage your student loan debt with savi

more than 80% of bsw and msw graduates carry loan debt, according to the council on social work education, and managing student loans as a social worker comes with unique challenges. many social workers have both undergraduate and post-graduate education, leading to more debt.

nasw has partnered with savi, a student loan technology company, to provide members with access to resources and expertise to better understand, manage, and repay student loan debt. the savi student loan tool analyzes repayment and forgiveness programs to help borrowers make better decisions and determine the best solution, and can also provide digital enrollment and re-enrollment each year.

members can select a free account to explore options at no cost or choose a member-discounted premium account to get help enrolling and submitting application paperwork directly to loan servicers, as well as to access one-on-one support with student loan experts. according to savi, users have a projected average savings of $2,064 a year and save hours in paperwork and anxiety.

nasw and nasw metro dc advocate for loan forgiveness for social workers as part of their ongoing work to improve working conditions and salaries, to support social work professionals, and to ensure that consumers have continued access to qualified professionals.

nasw celebrates june 17 u.s. supreme court ruling that affordable care act will remain law

the u.s. supreme court ruled june 17 that the patient protection and affordable care act (aca) will remain as law. the 7-2 ruling in california v. texas determined that the plaintiffs, a group of 18 republican-led states, did not have legal standing to bring the case. the plaintiffs sought to dismantle the aca, arguing that the aca could not continue without the financial penalty of the individual mandate, which was eliminated by congress in 2017.

nasw celebrates this important victory for virginia and our country. over the past several years, legal challenges to the aca have created uncertainty for millions of americans. they have also put many consumer protections at risk, including protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions, access to preventive services, and access to behavioral health services.

through the covid-19 pandemic, the aca has been more important than ever before. as people have suffered financial hardships, the health care marketplaces and medicaid have seen record enrollment. more than 31 million people now have health insurance coverage through the aca, and the law has made a significant difference in reducing the uninsured rate in all 50 states since 2010. today’s ruling ensures that individuals and families will continue to have quality health insurance coverage through the aca.

nasw continues to support the biden administration’s efforts build on the aca’s successes to make health care more affordable and accessible for all people.

nasw metro dc joins nasw vaccination month of action campaign to help minority communities

as part of a new month of action to help black, latinx, and other communities of color boost covid-19 vaccination rates, nasw is asking metro dc social workers to share and reinforce special digital messaging and tools. the social media messaging and outreach is in english and spanish, and the metro dc chapter will be posting these regularly throughout june on facebook.

the effort supports the biden administration big push in june to attain a minimum 70% vaccination rate across the country by july 4. dc is expected to reach that level in the next week if vaccinations continue at the current pace. however, areas such as ward 8 are well below vaccination goals due to problems with transportation, child care accessibility, inability to take off work, a lack of technology to learn where vaccination sites are, and vaccine hesitancy or misunderstandings.

as of late may, 44.5% of the dc population is fully vaccinated. however, only 20% of black residents are fully vaccinated—a huge concern since 80% of covid-19 patients are currently black, states a may 25 article in the washington post. the recent census shows that dc’s racial composition is 45% black and 42.5% white, with the remainder identifying in other racial groups or not answering.

naswva responds to chauvin verdict, offers support to black social workers and others

former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter april 20. this verdict offers a small glimmer of hope that we can live in a community where police are held accountable for harming and murdering black and brown people.

however, this verdict will not bring murder victim george floyd back. our hearts are still broken over his death.

we thank all the advocates who have worked on the front line to tirelessly seek justice for mr. floyd and his family and friends. although this feels like a victory in one sense, we continue to echo nasw’s national call for dramatic reform of the current police state in the united states. we must look at how white supremacy, imperialism, and capitalism compel us to fundamentally reshape community safety and protection for one another. we must invest in care and community.

if you have not yet read nasw virginia’s statement on racial justice, equity, and equality, you’ll find it here.

to all black social workers and members, please know that the chapter stands beside you in solidarity at this difficult time. as your professional home, we want to support you however you find meaningful, knowing full well that the social work profession must itself continue candid conversations about its own role in systemic racism. we know that looking within is as critical as working toward external change. we promise that we as a chapter and wider organization are working to do better.

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.”

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!

new nasw health practice alert on
"covid-19 vaccines faq"

in a new practice alert, covid-19 vaccines faqnasw 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.

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 ( 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.

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

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

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!

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.

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:

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."

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.

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

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

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.

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!

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.



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.