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Pennsylvania lawmakers learn that ‘Social Workers Change Futures’

The NASW Pennsylvania Chapter held a rally on April 16 at its state capitol rotunda in honor of its annual Legislative Advocacy Day.

More than 800 social work students and professionals carried signs that read, “Social Workers Change Futures.”

Throughout the day, social workers met with their legislators to advocate for Senate Bill 807, which would establish licensure for bachelor-level social workers, and asked for support of practice protection for all licensed social work professionals across the commonwealth.

NASW-Pennsylvania Executive Director Ron Simon addresses more than 800 social workers rallying for positive change in state policy during the chapter’s annual Legislative Advocacy Day in April.

The chapter says mental health providers, such as social workers and professional counselors, are allowed to practice without a license. Yet social workers are the largest providers of mental health services in Pennsylvania and the nation. “The state Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors is the only one of 29 regulated boards in Pennsylvania that does not have a legal practice act in place,” the chapter’s executive director, Ron Simon, informed the crowd.

Several legislators spoke about the critical role social workers play in communities, and chapter President Gwen Phillips said social workers “are part of everyone’s human experience.”

From the July 2013 NASW News

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