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News & Press: Updates for Members

NASW-NC Was Here For You in 2019!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Seth Maid
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The staff and volunteer leadership of NASW-NC worked tirelessly in 2019 to advocate for, and lobby on behalf of, our social work membership. We provided professional, career and ethical support and consultation to thousands of NASW members in our great state. Here are just a few of our major accomplishments in 2019 that would not be possible without a robust and active membership:

 

Two MAJOR Legislative Victories!

NASW-NC Saved Clinical Social Work Licensure
That’s right! NASW-NC succeeded in passing legislation that would bring the Social Work Certification and Licensure Board into compliance with how the national clinical social work exam is administered. Starting in 2021, LCSWAs will need to complete ALL supervised hours as an Associate licensee before sitting for the clinical social work exam. Without this change, North Carolina would no longer have been able to administer the exam, meaning that social workers in North Carolina would no longer have been able to become fully licensed. This legislation would not have passed without NASW-NC’s lobbying efforts. PLEASE READ THIS AGAIN. Share the good news that NASW-NC is working hard to protect the social work profession and ALL social workers should be a member of NASW!

 

Health Information Exchange Connection Delay
A one-year deadline extension for providers to connect to the state’s Health Information Exchange Authority was signed into law. NASW-NC’s lobbying was instrumental in pushing the deadline back by one year for providers who receive state funds to connect to the HIEA. Originally, providers would need to be connected to the state’s HIEA by June 1, 2019 and submit client data using an electronic health record. Most providers were not ready and this legislation pushed the connection deadline to June 1, 2020.

 

North Carolina Social Work Advocacy Day!
NASW-NC hosted over 500 social workers at Social Work Advocacy Day on March 6, 2019, empowering social workers to use their social work voice and visit their legislators! All three social workers in office attended the event and spoke to attendees as well as Secretary Mandy Cohen from the Department of Health and Human Services! See photos here.

 

Social Work Voice at the State of North Carolina

  • School Social Work: After NASW-NC spent three years of meeting with the North Carolina Department of Instruction, DPI FINALLY set aside funds to hire a statewide School Social Work Consultant, a position that had not been prioritized until NASW-NC’s involvement and advocacy.
  • Prisons: NASW-NC met regularly with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety to advocate for the profession and to review and change policies related to behavioral health, intellectual and developmental disabilities inside the prison system.
  • North Carolina Boards and Commissions: A number of NASW-NC members were appointed to statewide boards and commissions at the recommendation of NASW-NC. Many of these boards and commissions provide policy recommendations to legislators and the Governor and now have a social work voice! Current NASW-NC members who serve:
    • Daniel Ball-Agha – North Carolina State Social Services Commission
    • Karen Bullock – Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging
    • Danielle Coleman – North Carolina Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services
    • Iris Carlton-LaNey – North Carolina State Social Services Commission
    • Cindy Edwards – North Carolina State Social Services Commission
    • Yvette Gosline – North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board
    • Veronica Hardy – North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board
    • Anthony Harris – North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board
    • Stacey Kolomer – North Carolina Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure Board
    • Kathy Lowe – Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging
    • Mark Marquez – North Carolina State Social Services Commission
    • Mike McGuire – North Carolina Substance Abuse Professionals Certification Board
    • Drew Pledger – Chair, North Carolina State Social Services Commission
    • Laurie Ray – North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board
    • Larry Sharpe – North Carolina State Social Services Commission
    • Sarah Verbiest – North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force, co-chair of the Perinatal Committee
  • Medicaid Transformation: NASW-NC has been very present and involved as the social work voice with the Department of Health and Human Services planning for managed care in North Carolina. Despite the suspension of the transition of Medicaid services to managed care because of the lack of a state budget, Medicaid transformation will happen as it is statutorily mandated. NASW-NC serves on the Tailored Plan Committee helping to design the Medicaid Tailored Plans for individuals whose primary health care needs are behavioral health and I/DD related. Planning for the Tailored Plans will continue with the hope that it can be implemented in 2021.

Coalition and Partnerships

NASW-NC serves on over 30 statewide coalitions and provides the social work perspective to these groups. These coalitions provide policy recommendations to state leaders, lawmakers, and community organizations on a variety of issues from aging, child welfare, insurance reimbursement, addictions, and more.

 

Valerie Arendt is currently the Vice Chair to The Coalition and Kay Castillo is the Chair of the Mental Health Coalition and Chair to the Professional Association Council, a group representing all licensed behavioral health professionals in North Carolina.

 

Social Justice Advocacy

Banning Conversion Therapy: a trend across the country, NASW-NC worked with partners to introduce several pro-LGBT bills including a ban on conversion therapy for minors. Unfortunately, the bill did not receive a hearing. The Governor later signed Executive Order 97 which prohibits state funding from going to any organization performing conversion therapy. NASW-NC will continue to work with the Social Work Certification and Licensure Board and other stakeholders to fully ban conversion therapy in North Carolina.

Redistricting: with the roller coaster of the budget stalemate, redistricting also came into play this legislative session. In September, a three-judge panel ruled that some state legislative districts needed to be redrawn quickly because they were drawn unfairly. Legislators quickly redrew districts and the Court approved them later. In October, another court decision was made that Congressional districts needed to also be redrawn. The Court ruled to allow the use of these newly draw maps to move forward for the 2020 elections. If you’re an NASW-NC member, you can read more about redistricting and why it’s of concern to social workers in the NASW-NC November/December/January 2019-2020 newsletter!

 

For information on other important legislation we worked on in 2019, click here.


Membership, Continuing Education, and Professional Development

NASW-NC staff provided countless hours of professional consultation for members including:

  • Over 100 personalized resume reviews for NASW-NC members.
  • Professional consultation including career consultation, ethical support through the NASW-NC Ethics Committee, legal resources and consultation through the NASW Legal Defense Fund, and hours and hours of professional guidance regarding social work licensure.
  • NASW-NC hosted seven sold out conferences striving to provide quality, ethical, evidence-based continuing education that reflects the NASW Code of Ethics and Core Values of the social work profession at a steeply discounted rate for NASW-NC members.
  • NASW-NC Local Program Units hosted 97 meetings, continuing education and networking opportunities around North Carolina.
  • NASW-NC hosted seven live webinars free for members and another four recorded webinars uploaded for viewing.

We are proud of what we have done for the members of NASW-NC and how we have amplified the voice of the social work profession in North Carolina. However, we can’t do this without you. We have a long road ahead in 2020 and many ambitious social justice endeavors to tackle and we need you by our side. Thank you for your NASW membership and please help us spread the good word: NASW-NC is the only association advocating for the entire profession of social work in North Carolina and we need your help.


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