The Connecticut Association of School Social Workers (CASSW) and National Association of Social Workers, Connecticut Chapter (NASW/CT) are very pleased to announce the formation of the Alliance of School Social Workers of NASW/CT. The Alliance, which has been in discussion for over a year, between CASSW and NASW/CT, creates a unified approach to the advancement and protection of school social work interests in Connecticut.
In the current environment of economic turmoil and political change, the pressures on students and their families have dramatically increased. These pressures have led to an increased need for school-based mental health services. School social workers are the front line and leading responders to students and families in need of assistance. Given this challenging environment, school social workers are in need of greater support and advocacy. Combining the resources of CASSW and NASW/CT will most effectively deliver the assistance needed and strong voice required for these times.
CASSW brings to NASW/CT their expertise in school social work issues and the leadership of dedicated individuals who practice school social work. NASW/CT brings the advantage of strong organizational support, staffing, resources of 2,900 members within the association and successful experience at advocating for social work practice, including campaigns to protect school social workers positions.
The Alliance will provide school social workers with enhanced continuing education opportunities, information sharing, networking opportunities, and advocacy. The Network will also have its own pages on the NASW/CT chapter’s website and featured articles in the chapter’s newsletter. Both statewide and regional activities and support are envisioned which will bring school social workers together from various school districts. The Alliance will become an organizational member of the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) to ensure that Connecticut’s school social workers have a voice in SSWAA and can take advantage of all the resources SSWAA has to offer. The Alliance will strengthen the voice of school social work within NASW/CT, the larger social work community, with the State Department of Education and throughout Connecticut’s public school districts.
Over the summer the Alliance will be setting the groundwork for launching the Alliance’s work. School social workers, and others interested in school social work, who would like to participate in the Alliance should contact Steve Karp at the NASW/CT office firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-257-8066 so that you will be notified of Alliance activities. The Alliance can only be as strong as its active members make it. We encourage members to step forward and support Alliance activities by offering your expertise. Short term and longer term commitments are both welcome. Please share your ideas with the Alliance’s steering committee.
To the best of our knowledge this is the first time that a state’s School Social Worker Association and a NASW Chapter have united in this fashion. It is a tribute to the leadership of both groups for their foresight in understanding the importance, value and strength of speaking with a unified voice on behalf of the practice of school social workers and the students and families whom they help.