April 2020
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Message from Chapter President 

On March 26, 2020, our NASW-Florida, Zoom classroom began. This initiative started as an idea to support social work education programs and students in field placement because of the shift to online learning imposed by COVID-19. However, it has grown into a labor of purpose and passion. 

As most grappled with how to begin the day working from home, Susan Mankita and I were logging in to connect with students from around the globe. I am grateful for this lesson about the power of ideas. We all have them, but sometimes we choose to keep them to ourselves out of fear, insecurity, or a lack of confidence of the support and resources. 

In this case, when I shared the idea with Jim Akin, Susan Mankita, Katrina Boone, and the NASW-FL Board of Directors, the response was a green light. Within 48 hours, social work practitioners and leaders from around the state signed on to offer a relevant session that aligns with CSWE standards and would appeal to students. Thanks to Christine Call and Jean Krier for creating the first NASW certificates that most of our students have ever received. Currently, we are averaging 150-180 students per session, and the word is out, so students from Florida to Germany are participating daily.
Please read these comments from students that underscore the importance of student engagement. In this case, the teacher has become the student and there are 3 lessons I am fortunate to receive.
Lesson 1: Students are grateful for the opportunity to continue learning and they appreciate the expertise and wisdom of experienced professionals.  
  • What you're doing is definitely helping a lot! Thank you.
  • Thank you for the webinar this morning! It was very informative and really got us thinking.
  • These zoom meetings have been very helpful in this very chaotic time.
  • This was eye-opening for me. I'm definitely more open to working with this population after this.
  • Thank you for imparting your knowledge, wisdom, and care.
  • I feel like this discussion has opened my eyes to yet another possibility in the social work profession. Thank you so much for the information.
  • I very much appreciate the insight and data you provided.
  • This class is fantastic, needs to be available in all SW programs!
  • I feel like I've learned a lot and I have definitely grown from this.
  • I am taking so many notes. Thank for widening my awareness & sharing valuable wisdom to benefit our clients.
  • Makes me want to be the social worker's social worker one day.
  • I would attend these sessions even if I wasn't doing it for field placement hours. Love this stuff!
  • This info is so valuable, a lot of things in my own life just made so much sense to me! 
Lesson 2: Classrooms can become communities of support and affirmation. These comments highlight the compassion and humanity students shared with each other, that is contrary to the cancel culture we see in our society.  
  • I appreciated everyone's comments and questions.
  • It's so rewarding to be in this forum with so many like-minded people.
  • Social Work 2020 #Bringing our best selves!
  • The best part about this field is how diverse it is.
  • Social workers make the world better, even for each other.
  • Thank you! All of these Zoom meetings have been wonderful so far. It is great to be here with like-minded up-and-coming social workers as well.
  • I appreciate all the resources we all exchanged as a collective group.
  • I also see this platform as community building.
  • I am an online student. These zoom meetings are the first time I felt connected and part of the SW community. Thank you
  • I'm enjoying these sessions; they are keeping me feeling like I'm connected. Thank you!
  • These webinars have been the highlight of my day on some days. I find it hard to stay motivated in school but pushing on, trying to incorporate self-care and routine.
Lesson 3: When we work together, we demonstrate the value of collective responsibility. We push NASW as an organization to rise to the occasion. We reflect the value of membership.  
  • Thanks for this info! Pumped for LEAD next year
  • Thank you so much, this was needed! You guys are doing a great job putting all these sessions out there for us. I appreciate you!
  • I am so looking forward to signing up as an NASW member! I am benefiting so much from these sessions and I cannot thank you enough for your leadership and holding the space as well.
  • Grateful for all that you're doing and happy to be a part of NASW-FL!
  • Thank you for having the webinars. I am able to complete my internship now as a direct result of the webinars.
  • Thank you for presenting all these great webinars for us students!
  • Thank you, NASW-FL, for providing these opportunities to further our understanding in the pursuit of social work.
  • NASW is amazing!!
  • Thank you so much for providing us with fruitful seminars to put in our toolbox. I've learned so much in these last couple of weeks.
  • I will definitely look into NASW membership. Thank you!
  • This has been amazing. Thank you to everyone who has helped make these sessions happen.
  • I see this as a very positive outcome from the current situation. I am enjoying this opportunity to learn. This is like the NASW-FL convention on steroids.
And finally, one of the most frequently stated comments has been the request to continue through summer, due to the continuation of remote instruction and internships until at least the fall. Of course, we will continue to play a role in supporting social work education. We will begin by contacting our social work programs for ideas on their needs, and then develop a summer plan. 

We invite you to join us. If you are interested in offering a session, please   email me at

Click here for the  Online Zoom Sessions schedule.
My best,
Carol Campbell Edwards, LCSW
NASW-FL, President

Student Representatives Column

Social Work Students,
I hope you are all staying healthy, both physically and mentally. This world has changed significantly for us all in a short period of time. All of our norms have been switched around, and if you are feeling like I am, you are just trying to keep up with all the constant changes in hopes that our world will go back to how we know and love it to be.
All of our classes have moved online at this point. For those of you who have not taken an online course, this may be a difficult transition. I encourage you to utilize the resources your schools are providing you. I also encourage you to reach out to your professors. They are here to help you succeed, and they are probably just as stressed out as you are.
For those of you graduating this semester, I hope you push away those negative feelings regarding your ceremony being delayed. This situation does not take away any of the hard work or dedication you have put into your schooling. On the contrary, you working and dealing with this situation should show you how incredible of a social worker you are becoming.
NASW has also provided us with a plethora of information regarding updates to the hours needed for graduation. Take some time to explore some of the information that is available on the website. It can be vastly helpful to you and may assist in reducing some anxiety you may have been feeling.
Best wishes,
MSW Student Representative

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

Social workers are on the frontlines and see first-hand the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the populations we serve.  To continue to provide services, many are adapting and revising the way services are provided turning to telehealth and other technologies.

NASW-FL is providing resources and information to help members navigate COVID19.

Click here  for COVID19 Resources. 

Call to End Family Separation 
of Migrants and Forced 
Adoption of Migrant Children 

NASW-FL Immigration Justice Task Force 

Statements and articles have been written detailing the federal government's policy of separating migrant families at the border, the long-term negative psychological consequences of this practice, how some migrant children are being forced into adoption when their parents are deported or in detention even through backdoor channels, and how confidential therapy notes are being used against immigrant children.

Click here to read the full article.

6 Strategies to Enhance 
Your Daily Happiness 
by Paty Hernandez (Miami-Dade Unit Chair)
Finding happiness during difficult times can be as though you're trying to catch a butterfly in a glass jar. You're running around begging (stress) for it to land in your jar so you can show everyone what you caught. Once you do trap the butterfly, soon that happy feeling floats away as you see the reality of the butterfly as it tries to escape its trap.

Happiness is a feeling we all wish to experience more of, yet sometimes we believe we don't hold onto it long enough. Just when you capture joy, it appears to float away just as quickly as other feelings such as frustration, anger, sadness, annoyance, etc. burst in like a younger sibling who steals your jar with the beautiful butterfly in it.

Truth is happiness, just like any other feeling needs just as much energy as other thoughts to expand. For example, when you're happy, stay with that moment by being grateful for it and fighting off any other intrusive thoughts. Do more of what brings you happiness rather than being distracted by useless thoughts that'll only bring you down.
I'd like to share 6 of my favorite ways to experience happiness daily and keep dopamine, the happy hormone flowing with ease. Happiness does take work and practice, which is so worth it. Of course you can share these tips with your clients and others around you.

6 Tips for Happiness Everyday

1. Do more activities that bring you happiness.  If you struggle with this, then I suggest creating a happy list by writing down at least 20 things that bring you happiness. Then post it where you can see it and commit to doing at least 1 joyful activity each day.

2. Savor each moment through gratitude.  When you state what you're grateful for every moment, you're filling up with an overall feeling of tranquility and inner peace every time. If you don't have one already, then I suggest you purchase or create a gratitude journal and spend 5 minutes a day writing what you're grateful for.

3. Practice random acts of kindness.  Being kind to others shifts your attention from you and onto others by being kind. It can be as simple as a smile, opening a door, leaving a little extra tip, volunteering, picking up trash on the street, etc.

4. Stop comparing yourself to others.  Everyone is on their own path of self-discovery towards living a purposeful life. It's easy to see the side of the person you're comparing yourself to what they want to show, yet behind closed doors, their life is even more miserable. They're choosing to show happiness rather than despair regardless of what's going on. Instead of comparing yourself to someone else, ask yourself what you can do to show up and demonstrate more of the attributes you see in others.

5. Take care of your body.  Daily practice of hygiene, eating healthy foods, physical movement, and positive affirmations really does a body good. Plus, you feel amazing each time you drink a nutritious smoothie for a more extended amount of time rather than a sweet-tasting donut riddle with guilt that your body will growl at you in a few minutes.

6. Strengthen your spiritual connection.  Religion is one way of being spiritual, yet you don't have to be part of a religious community to be spiritual. From spending time outdoors, reading an inspirational book, listening to spiritual teachers, talking to the energy around you, practicing Reiki, or another spiritual practice connects you to an inner light that grows more each day.
We can't change the world during this uncertain time yet we can change how we react to it.  Commit today to experiencing life with more happiness and daily self-care tools.

Pearson VUE Suspends Testing

As of April 6, 2020, Pearson VUE has suspended testing until May 1, 2020.

If your test is scheduled for April 17-30, Pearson VUE will contact you directly about rescheduling. 

Visit our COVID-19 page for more details about registering and scheduling exams:

Nominations Open - Deadline April 16

Thank You Healthcare Workers

We want to extend our deepest gratitude to Florida's healthcare community who  put themselves in the path of COVID-19. Our doctors, nurses, technicians, transporters, EMTs, pharmacists and everyone who supports patient care are rising to the occasion and caring for our most vulnerable populations.

Thank you to all the healthcare workers for all that you do and for the sacrifices you make each day. 

Please know that during this tumultuous time, your kindness, expertise, ingenuity, humanity and heroic efforts make all the difference.   

COVID-19-Related VA 
Positions for Social Workers

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is recruiting social workers to help with COVID-19 operations in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities across the nation. 

The social workers sought below are needed at VA facilities on a temporary basis:

An Hour With Private Practice: Questions & Answers

2020 Schedule
An Hour with Private Practice: Questions & Answers (HOPP) is a free question and answer session for NASW members. Unless noted otherwise on the schedule, the call-in sessions focus on a specific private practice subject and are led by Mirean Coleman, LICSW, Clinical Manager at NASW. 

There is no registration and members can join in the discussion, ask questions, and make comments. These sessions provide members with important clinical social work updates impacting the delivery of mental health services in a private solo or group practice.

HOPP is held every other third Wednesday of the month from noon until 1 pm ET. Audio recordings and handouts for HOPP are available at; click on An Hour With Private Practice.

Teleconference Dial-In Number
Members can join HOPP by dialing the following teleconference line at least 5-10 minutes prior to the start time:
  • US/CAN Toll Free Number:1-866-519-2796
  • Participant Passcode: 708603

May 20, 2020 Minimizing Liability Risks in Private Practice
Lonnie Ropp - Director, Product Management and Underwriting, NASW Risk Retention Group, Inc.
July 15, 2020 Legal Considerations When Releasing Files to Other Parties
Elizabeth Felton, JD, LICSW - NASW Associate General Counsel
Sept 16, 2020 The Ethics of Documentation in Private Practice
Dawn Hobdy, LICSW - NASW Director of Ethics and Professional Review  
Nov.18, 2020
What's New for Private Practitioners in 2021
Mirean Coleman, LICSW, CT - NASW Clinical Manager

Suggestions for HOPP schedule may be sent to

Top of Page

Insurance A brief History

April 2020

We buy insurance for many reasons to mitigate our risk. Insurance policies come in many forms, variations, and sizes, such as risk protection for life, health, auto, home, and liability.

The one thing that they all have in common is shifting risk to another party in exchange for premiums paid. Insurance is an integral and well-established risk mitigation tool in our global society. According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, in the U.S. alone during 2018, over $1.22 trillion in premium was paid.

Click here to read the full article.

University Updates
From Around the State

Social work education is an important part of NASW, and maintaining relationships with students and their universities is even more important. Check out our latest University News and Updates on our website.

Local Unit News & Events
What's Going on Near You!

NASW Florida is broken up into   18 volunteer-led units that hold meetings, continuing education events, community projects, and social events for its members. This local network is one of our greatest membership benefits! Use the links below to find out what's going on in your local area.

Ecambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton 
Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla
Gainesville Unit 
Alachua, Bradford, Dixie, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Suwannee, Union
Baker, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Hamilton, Nassau, St. Johns
Central Unit
Orange, Osceola, Seminole
Emerald Coast Unit
Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Washington
Tampa Bay Unit
Hillsborough, Pinellas
Space Coast Unit
Palm Beach Unit
Palm Beach, Glades
Broward Unit
Miami-Dade Unit
Dade, Monroe
Southwest Unit
Charlotte, Collier, De Soto, Hendry, Lee
Heartland Unit
Hardee, Highlands, Polk
Sarasota/Manatee Unit
Manatee, Sarasota
Treasure Coast Unit
Indian River, Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee
Nature Coast Unit
Citrus, Hernando, Pasco
Lake/Sumter Unit
Lake, Sumter
Volusia/Flagler Unit
Flagler, Volusia

Here's a listing of events for the coming month. Additional details are available on our Calendar of Events or, if a unit event, on the local unit's page.

April 2020

April 16, 2020 * Port St. Lucie, FL-  CANCELLED
*NASW-FL Treasure Coast Unit presents "Introduction to Medical Cannabis: History, Pharmacodynamics, and Treatment" with Dr. Jessica McCain, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Brennity at Tradition Senior Living.
A light dinner and beverages will be provided. Registration is free. This event is sponsored by Brennity at Tradition.

April 18, 2020 * VIRTUAL
*NASW-FL Miami-Dade Unit presents a Virtual "Social Workers' Peer Support Group" with Martha Vallejo, LCSW & Edith Caballero, LCSW, RYT-200 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Our support group continues virtually to support each other personally and professionally during this unprecedented time. Join via the link below at 10 a.m. on April 18th.

April 18, 2020 * Virtual
*NASW-FL Tampa Bay Unit presents "Changes Impacting Social Work Practice on the Local, State and National Levels" with Nancy Gordon, LCSW and Sharon Barber, MSW; from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
You will have the opportunity to share concerns and the challenges you are experiencing during the COVID-19 Pandemic as well as explore the many ways to cope and practice self-care. This is a virtual workshop. Once you have registered, you will receive a link to enter the workshop. Registration is free!

April 20, 2020 * VIRTUAL
*NASW-FL Miami-Dade Unit presents "21 Days of Growth Through Meditation" with Paty Hernandez, LCSW, MSW, MPH. Paty Hernandez will facilitate Deepak Chopra's 21 Days of Abundance through an online whatsapp group that's open to any person interested in participating.
Paty will send you a task every morning for 21 days beginning on April 20th, which will include a video to the whatsapp group. The only requirement is the dedication to meditate and journal daily for 21 days.

April 20, 2020 * Boca Raton, FL
*NASW-FL Palm Beach Unit - South presents "Body Image in Eating Disorders with Diverse Presentations and Populations" with Lara Conley, LCSW and Melanie Smith, LMHC, CEDS, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. Registration is FREE for NASW members and $10 for non-members. Space is limited. Early Registration is recommended.

April 24, 2020 * Jacksonville, FL -  CANCELLED
*NASW-FL Northeast Unit presents "Use of Technology in Mental Health: Clinical and Ethical Considerations" with Earl Ledford, LCSW, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Hadlow Center in Jacksonville. Registration is for $30 for NASW Members and $45 for non-members. This workshop meets current licensure requirements to Ethics.

April 25, 2020 * Miami, FL
*NASW-FL Miami-Dade Unit presents "Trauma-Informed, Skills-Based, Heart-Centered Approaches to Treating Substance Use Disorders" with Edith Caballero, LCSW, MCAP & Martha Vallejo, LCSW, CT, from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at Keiser University. Registration is $10 for NASW members, $30 for non-members, $5 for NASW Student members and $20 for Student non-members. Light snacks & resfreshments will be provided.

April 27, 2020 * Virtual
*NASW-FL Palm Beach Unit - North presents "I Think My Client has an Eating Disorder" with Dr. Joann Hendelman, PhD, FAED, CEDS, CEDRN, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Registration is FREE for NASW members and $10 for non-members. This is a virtual workshop. Once you have registered on NASW-FL, you will receive a link to enter the workshop. If you have already registered for this workshop, you do not need to register again.

May 2020

May 9, 2020 * Saint Leo, FL
*NASW-FL Nature Coast Unit presents "Assessment and Prevention Strategies for Suicidal Clients" with George Jacinto, PhD, LCSW & Julie W. Buckley, PhD, ACSW, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Saint Leo University, Kirk Hall 123-24 in St. Leo.
Registration is $10 for NASW Members and $20 for Non-members. A light breakfast and beverages will be provided.

May 18, 2020 * Boca Raton, FL
*NASW-FL Palm Beach Unit - South presents "The Power of Resiliency: Overcoming Adversity and Utilizing Resources" with Tonya Pignato, LCSW, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. Registration is FREE for NASW members and $10 for non-members. Space is limited. Early Registration is recommended.

May 19, 2020 * Port St. Lucie, FL
*NASW-FL Treasure Coast Unit presents "Macro Practice: A Look at Community Organization, Collaboration and Initiatives" with Brett Hall, LCSW, Executive Director of the Mental Health Collaborative of Indian River County, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Port St. Lucie Hospital. A light dinner and refreshments will be provided. Registration is free.
This event is sponsored by Port Saint Lucie Hospital.

May 30 - June 6, 2020 * Reykjavik, Iceland - CANCELLED
*Florida State University College of Social Work and NASW-FL present Clinical Practice International: Reykjavik, Iceland. In 2020, this popular professional development course is being offered in the beautiful city of Reykjavik, Iceland. The course gives participants the exciting opportunity to see clinical social work-its theory, practice, and diversity-in a larger international arena, a vantage point that has become increasingly more important in our current global society. A large focus of the program will be on current social social issues in Iceland and how these are being addressed by the professional social work community.