November 2018

In light of the recent tragedies in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and elsewhere, I want to take this opportunity to re-orient you to the real, tangible change we can make on a state level if we vote. By electing champions in the State House, we can make the Commonwealth a better place to live, for all.

The General Election is coming up this Tuesday, November 6 . View our slate of NASW-MA PACE-endorsed candidates and information about the ballot questions below in our special section on the election.

Are you a school social worker? Do you work with school-aged youth? Join us as we explore Fear and Safety in Schools: The Role of Mental Health Staff at our annual School Social Work Conference on Friday, November 16 in Worcester.

Please note that our office will be closed on Monday, November 12, in observance of Veteran's Day. We will also be closed Thursday, November 22, and Friday, November 23 for Thanksgiving.

If you celebrate, Happy Thanksgiving!

Rebekah Gewirtz
Executive Director
617-227-9635 x116

PS NASW-MA is hiring for an Events & Program Manager , a Membership & Inclusion Coordinator , and a Central Regional Coordinator . Click the links for details on each position!

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Watch: Our Executive Director and Political Director Busting Myths and Urging MA to Vote YES on 3!
Join NASW-MA and stand with transgender individuals on Nov. 6 by voting YES on Question 3! A "yes" vote is a vote to uphold a Massachusetts law enacted in 2016 that protects transgender people from discrimination in public spaces, like restaurants, shops, and doctors’ offices.
NASW MA PACE Endorsements in your community!


House of Representatives
*Asterisk denotes incumbent

For a full list of endorsements, including primary winners, visit:
Provide Your Feedback on NASW-MA Campaigns and Advocacy!
We would like to know about member's thoughts on joining or staying a member of NASW-MA, and specifically your thoughts on NASW-MA advocacy campaigns. Your responses are directly responsible for improving the delivery of our programs. All responses will be kept confidential and anonymous. This is a 9-question survey that should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. Get started .
Statement: Remaining Neutral on Ballot Question 1
As an organization, we typically do not like to stay out of important decisions such as this one. However, after much deliberation our board decided to remain neutral. Our statement seeks to reflect the careful thought and discussion that went into this important decision.

In our statement, you’ll note the second paragraph outlines the concerns with Question 1 about impact of passage on non-nursing staff in hospitals and behavioral health institutions, while the third paragraph outlines our historical commitment to working with labor unions and for social work ratios in child welfare. The board did not make this decision lightly, understanding the potential push-back from all options: remaining neutral, endorsing yes, or endorsing no.

Questions? Please contact NASW-MA political director, Sophie Hansen, 617-227-9635 x112
Nominations for NASW-MA Awards Close November 15!
Don't miss out - make sure the colleagues and organizations you love, respect, and admire are recognized for their contributions to social work and/or social justice. Nomination deadline for NASW-MA Awards is November 15! Submit your nomination now:

Award categories include:
Social Work Month 2019 Theme Announced!
During Social Work Month 2019, NASW will launch the “ Elevate Social Work” Campaign that will educate the public about the contributions social workers have made to our society and why the profession is so vital to our nation.

NASW also wants to use the campaign to begin a conversation to help social workers get better compensation for the work they do.

Read more about the 2019 rationale here.
Member Brandy Henry Appointed to State's Restrictive Housing Oversight Committee
NASW member Brandy Henry, LICSW, was recently appointed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to the Commonwealth's Restrictive Housing Oversight Committee. This new committee was created in the recently passed criminal justice reform law. The committee will oversee the use of restrictive housing (also known as solitary confinement) in Massachusetts state prisons and county jails. Restrictive housing is a housing placement where a prisoner is confined to a cell for more than 22 hours per day.  Henry fills the seat on the committee designated for the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Members of the committee will gather information on the use of restrictive housing in correctional institutions to determine its impact on prisoners, rates of violence recidivism, incarceration costs and self-harm within correctional institutions. The committee will also submit annual recommendations to the state house and senate chairs of the joint committee on public safety and homeland security. Recommendations will include ways to minimize the use of restrictive housing and improve outcomes for prisoners and facility safety. The committee will also conduct a cost analysis and an evaluation of the process of restrictive housing in the Commonwealth.  

The Criminal Justice Committee wants to hear from you!  This is an active group of social workers who meet monthly to discuss social work and social justice in the legal system. Their next meetings are November 26th & December 17th. Email  or  to learn more. You can also like and follow the CJ Committee on Facebook to stay in-the-know.
Coming To Your Mailbox: Social Work Voice
You will receive the November/December issue of Social Work Voice on or around November 15. Highlights from this issue include:

  • Testimony 101: Bringing Social Work Expertise to the State House
  • Public Safety Through Treatment: A New Direction for County Corrections 
  • Grasping at Hot Coal: Resentment
  • Putting the "Self" Back in Self-Care
  • ... and much more!
Have an upcoming event, job opening, or other opportunity to share with the social work community? Advertise with us! All ads appear on our website and are published in Social Work Voice. The ad deadline for the upcoming January issue is December 28. Email Jamie Klufts for more information.
Greater Boston
Misery or Mastery: Documenting Medical Necessity
3 CEUs Available!
Learn the formula to quickly write effective treatment plans and progress notes that document medical necessity. As a result authorizations are easy, audits are less threatening, HIPAA is honored, and your good clinical work is represented with integrity. This program is sponsored by Therapy Matcher.

Friday, November 2, 2018
9:30 am - 12:45 pm
Parish of St. Michael, 90 Concord Rd., Bedford

Speaker: Beth Rontal, LICSW, the "Documentation Wizard"
Online registration is closed, but you may register at the door!
CANCELLED - NASW Fall Film Festival: Strong Island
This event, originally schedule for November 4, 2018, has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Central MA
"Fear and Safety in Schools: The Role of Mental Health Staff"
5.5 CEUs Available!
The Annual School Social Work Conference will explore how fear impacts the safety of our schools and what social workers and counselors can do to support students, staff, families, and themselves. Lunch will be provided. 

Friday, November 16, 2018
8:45 am - 3:30 pm
Hogan Center, Holy Cross College, Worcester
Keynote: James McCauley, LICSW, Associate Director and Co-founder, Riverside Trauma Center, "Out of Harm’s Way: Restoring Safety, Predictability, and Control to our School Communities"

In this keynote address we will explore what science teaches us about resilience and how we can change our brains to manage real and imagined fears. We will explore specific strategies for overcoming adversity and maximizing our potential. We will also discuss why we need to be strong advocates and role models for self-care in our school communities
Morning Workshops:
  • Session 1: “Sharing Our Stories: Discussion and Consultation on Fear and Safety in Our Own School(s)” with Nanci Ginty Butler, LICSW, Riverside Trauma Center
  • Session 2: "How School Social Workers Can Best Support Students in Safely Navigating Social Media" with Jacquelyn Lamont, Director of Youth Safety and Outreach, Suffolk District Attorney’s Office
  • Session 3: “Effective Interventions with Students: Dealing with Parental or Guardian Substance Use” with Karen Welling, LICSW, Early Childhood Trauma Specialist

Afternoon Workshops:
  • Session 4: "Self-care for School Social Workers"
  • Session 5: "Supporting Immigrant Students in Schools – A Panel Discussion"
  • Session 6: “Confronting Ethical Challenges in School Social Work Practice: The Conflicts and Challenges” with Stephen O’Neill, LICSW, BCD, JD, and Seth Kleinman, LICSW
Northeast Region Book Club: "The East Side of Addiction"
2 CEUs
Join the Northeast Regional Council for its first-ever book club meeting! Participants will read "The East Side of Addiction" before the November 15th event. Discussion will be led by two of the book's authors: Jack Maroney, MS, LADC-1, President and CEO of C.A.R.E., Inc., and James DiReda, LICSW, Director, BSW Program, Anna Maria College.

Thursday, November 15, 2018
6:30 - 8:30 pm
Chelmsford Public Library, McCarthy Meeting Room, 25 Boston Rd., Chelmsford
Hope & Health: Addiction Recovery Resources Conference
Thursday, November 29, 2018
8:00 am - 1:15 pm
Berkshire Community College, Main Campus, 1350 West Street, K-111, Pittsfield

This event is co-sponsored by NASW-MA.

Click the flyer image to view panelists, workshops, and speakers for this event!
Lunch & Learn: Testifying at the State House
Join us during your lunch break and from the comfort of your home or office for an educational webinar about how and why social workers can and should lend their voices to legislative testimony. With more voices, we can more effectively advance the social work profession and social justice.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018
12:00 - 12:45 pm
Greater Boston
Save the Date: Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD) 2019
NASW-MA annual LEAD will take place Monday, March 25, 2019. LEAD offers an opportunity for social workers to lobby with state lawmakers and advocate for legislation that is important to our clients and the social work profession. Be informed on important social work legislation!

We are looking for energetic volunteers to help coordinate LEAD 2019! Please contact NASW MA Chapter LEAD Coordinator Daniela Reyes at or 617-227-9635 x122.
Bring Your Voice to the State House, join our Testimony Speaker Bureau!
Our Chapter testifies at the State House in support or opposition of various bills, often those that are on our legislative agenda or at the request of coalition partners. We encourage social workers in all settings to come to hearings and make their voice heard on issues that make a difference in the social work profession and the clients and communities we serve.

To this end, we are preparing for the next session (which starts in January) by creating a Testimony Speaker Bureau of social workers who are experts in a variety of areas, to be mobilized when a bill needs the voice of social workers.
  • Participate in a brief Lunch & Learn webinar, December 12 at 12:00 pm regarding public hearings and how to prepare oral and submit written testimony.
  • Sophie Hansen, NASW-MA Political Director, will reach out to you requesting testimony throughout the two-year session (Jan. 2019 - July 2020) as opportunities arise. Sometimes we are only given a few days notice.
  • This is an on-call volunteer position and there is no requirement to attend a hearing if it does not work with your schedule.
  • All hearings are located at the State House in Boston, typically Monday-Thursday during business hours (9:00 am - 5:00 pm).

Want to share your expertise by giving testimony? Please fill out this form.
Proposed Changes to Public Charge: Protect Immigrant Families!
The Trump administration has proposed a new regulation that would block immigrant families from having a permanent, secure future in the United States. Under the new rule, immigrants who legally access health care, safe housing, and healthy food programs could be denied admission to the country or refused a green card. The proposed rule also makes clear that earning low wages, having children, or dealing with a medical condition could be held against immigrants seeking a permanent future in the United States.

It’s not final yet—but the clock is ticking with a Dec. 10 deadline. We need to move swiftly. Diversity is our greatest strength, and we’re stronger when we join together across racial differences. We know we can make an impact, like when we demanded an end to the administration's family separation policy.

Under federal law, the government is required to read and respond to  every  unique comment before issuing a final rule.  That’s why we need you to submit yours now. A flood of comments can slow down the process, shape the administration’s decisions, and show how many people care.

The deadline to submit comments is on December 10 and Massachusetts has a goal of submitting 2,000 unique comments. Help us now!

For more information on public charge and how you can help visit Protecting Immigrant Families.
Therapy Matcher Fall Special - Join Today!
Receive referrals for your private practice! Join Therapy Matcher in November to enjoy membership through June 30th. Receive referrals that match your insurance, location, schedule, and specialties and be part of a network of hundreds of practicing LICSWs. Available to new members only, receive up to 9 months for a heavily discounted rate.
Protecting Access to Confidential Healthcare (PATCH):
How This Law Helps Your Clients
An Act to protect access to confidential healthcare  ( Chapter 63 of the Acts of 2018 ), sponsored by Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) and Representative Kate Hogan (D-Stow), was signed by the Governor into law on March 30, 2018.

This  law  fixes a crucial barrier to accessing health care by ensuring that when multiple people are on the same insurance plan, confidential health care information is not shared with anyone other than the patient.  Learn more background about this law .
For resources including sheets for patients and providers on how to use this new law, please visit and look for the complementing article in the January issue of Social Work Voice!

NASW-MA is part of the PATCH Alliance and we want to hear from you on how implementation is going; please contact Sophie with any concerns raised from you or your clients.
Valuable Member Benefit: Join the NASW-MA Private Practice Google Group
The Private Practice Google Group is an exclusive member benefit powered by social work colleagues from across the state and NASW-MA. By signing up you'll receive timely updates from your colleagues about ethics, billing and insurance, and other critical private practice issues. You can also pose your own questions to the group to crowd source answers from colleagues. NASW-MA also uses this platform to send important clinical alerts to members.

Sign up to join the group by sending an email to with "Join Google Group" in the subject line.
Open Enrollment for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act is here!
Open enrollment is here! For MA residents, you can join, renew, or change your health insurance coverage through the Health Connector from now through January 23, 2019, for coverage that starts January 1. Get started today:
The Social Work Assistance Network (SWAN) - A Resource for You!
SWAN is a free, confidential colleague assistance program sponsored by the Massachusetts Chapter of NASW. SWAN assists social workers with consultation regarding personal and professional issues, which may be having an impact on their ability to practice in an optimal manner. Learn more about this service and member benefit here .
Worcester Cancer Collaborative Conference - Free CEUs
Join the Cancer Collaborative in Worcester on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018, for 3 free CEUs. Katie Dobbin Binda, an NASW-MA member, is a featured speaker. Details and registration here .
Licensing Test Prep Happening in Your Neck of the Woods!
NASW-MA Licensing Test Prep courses include:
  • FREE Social Work ASWB Exam Guide
  • Access to online ASWB exam guide portal
  • Full-day Test Prep course (9 am - 4 pm)

Upcoming exam dates and locations:
  • November 2 | Brockton
  • December 8 | Springfield
Save your spot today!
New CE Tracker Released!
Confidently track your social worker licensing renewal requirements with CE Tracker—the online tool that tells you exactly what you need to renew your license and tracks your progress along the way. This online platform allows you to track your license renewal requirements, completed CE’s, and provides suggested content to obtain the continuing education you nee d. Learn more at
Save the Date! NASW Virtual Conference
Mark your calendars for the NASW 2018 Virtual Conference, Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 14 & 15. This two-day program will address the opioid crisis from a social work perspective, feature both plenary and breakout sessions, and offer CE credits. This event will be live-streamed. Information will be on the NASW website .