Over the years, NASW has asked you to speak out on behalf of many causes and issues. You have always risen to the occasion. Significant strides have been made in areas such as children’s health care, employment nondiscrimination, and fair pay legislation.Â Your advocacy has resulted in the enhanced mental health, social and psychosocial functioning of clients across the country.
I am calling on you today, however, to ask each of you to take a small action, that when combined, can ensure the future of the profession.
On February 14, 2008 the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act (H.R. 5447) was introduced in the United States House of Representatives by Congressman and fellow social worker Edolphus Towns (D-NY) along with original cosponsors Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT), Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH).
This groundbreaking legislation bears the names of two of the United States’ greatest social justice advocates and social workers and serves as an investment in the professionals that will care for the millions of aging baby boomers, wounded veterans, the ever-increasing numbers of people diagnosed with cancer, over six million youth with a serious mental illness, and the millions of people living with HIV/AIDS among others. Yet, insurmountable education debt, insufficient salaries, and serious safety concerns are threatening the profession.Â The Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act (H.R. 5447)will explore the many successful efforts already undertaken by our nation’s social workers, while examining the persistent challenges to these efforts.Â
Social work has always been at the forefront of ensuring that the most vulnerable in society have a safety net of protection. Our communities are in need, more than ever for vital services provided by over 600,000 social workers across the nation.Â Passage of this legislation is crucial to ensure an adequate social work workforce.Â The future of this profession depends on the steps that we take to reinvest in it today.Â We cannot make this happen without the assistance of every one of our members across the country.Â
Please help us ensure that the profession of social work will grow and thrive in the coming decades. I am asking you as a leader in the profession, to encourage your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 5447 today by clicking here http://capwiz.com/socialworkers/issues/bills/?bill=11013991.
For more information, contact Elizabeth Franklin at (202) 408-8600 ext. 537 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH
NASW Executive Director