Connecticut passes social work title protection bill

The six social workers who are members of the Connecticut House and Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, who is chair of the Public Health Committee, pose after the social work title protection bill passed. In the photo (from left to right): Reps. Toni Walker, Rick Lopes, Pat Wilson Pheanious, Cristin McCarthy Vahey, Jillian Gilcrest, Jonathan Steinberg and Anne Hughes. McCarthy Vahey and Gilchrest are members of NASW.

The six social workers who are members of the Connecticut House of Representatives and Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, chair of the Public Health Committee and a key sponsor of the bill, pose after the social work title protection bill passed. In the photo (from left to right): Reps. Toni Walker, Rick Lopes, Pat Wilson Pheanious, Cristin McCarthy Vahey, Jillian Gilcrest, Jonathan Steinberg and Anne Hughes. McCarthy Vahey and Gilchrest are members of the National Association of Social Workers.

 

The Connecticut Legislation on June 5 passed a social work title protection bill that the National Association of Social Workers Connecticut Chapter had worked to achieve.

The bill will protect the use of the title social worker to BSWs, MSWs and Doctorate degrees in social work. It grandfathered in municipal workers and exempted state agencies due to collective bargaining.

Most importantly though the bill contains language that codifies the preference in hiring of BSWs and MSWs for the state’s social worker classification. Preference had been achieved in 2014 but it was an executive order that could be reversed at any time. The state decided to include the hiring preference language because officials have found BSWs and MSWs tend to perform better in these jobs.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is expected to sign the bill into law. It would go into effect on October 1.

 

2 comments

  1. Elaine Wilkinson

    Really good news.
    Having worked for 10 years in an agency that used the Social Work title without the distinction between persons with degrees in social work. Our profession. all too often got a bad name. While there were many hardworking and dedicated workers without social work degrees, they’d have been better called Protective Service workers. Their perspective was very different from the social worker’s perspective and clients did not always get beneficial services.
    Unfortunately, it would be impossible to hire degreed social workers to fill the need in some of these agencies.

  2. Susan Kosche Vallem

    Good news. All states, especially Iowa, need to pass such legislation. There’s hope.

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