August 2020
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Message from Chapter President 
Florida Social Workers,
It's been said that we are "Generations Strong" and it turns out that we need every ounce of the strength generated by social workers past and present to cope with our current challenges.
As Florida enters the return-to-school season, while still in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are mindful of challenges our school social work colleagues face, as many return to work face-to-face, or experience ongoing challenges of working remotely, despite the multiple needs of their clients. Those of you that are parents have been making incredibly difficult decisions as well, about how to proceed with the education of your own children. We see you.
Our ongoing conversation and commitment to act for racial equality has opened a window, here at NASW-FL and new voices are emerging, as we look toward justice. We are having honest conversations at the State and Unit levels that are long overdue. We are listening.
Election season is upon us and we are mobilizing to get out the vote. We are so excited to have Jordan Reed back, to coordinate our efforts. He is also working with our two newly elected student Board Representatives, Hakeen Rome and Neal Sinha, who have hit the ground running to mobilize students throughout the state. There is a lot at stake for us as Americans, and as social workers. As you consider your options, I know you will be influenced by your social work heart. Consider too, how can you contribute toward getting others to vote. We can and must empower folks to participate in the election process. Many of us work with clients that will need support and encouragement through the process. We can stand up to efforts that limit voting opportunities for those in the communities we serve. You've got their backs and we've got yours.
Finally, I want to talk to you all about social work licensure. Several concerns cannot wait, despite all we have on the table with the upcoming elections, fighting racism and COVID-19. I'll be writing about licensure regularly and am interested in your input and feedback as well, once you've read the article included in this newsletter.

Susan Mankita, MSW, LCSW
NASW-FL, President

NASW Endorses Joe Biden 
for President

Joe Biden_ 2020 Presidential Candidate
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) enthusiastically endorses Joe Biden for President in 2020. NASW represents the interests of 110,000 social work members across the country. 

Mr. Biden started his public service career as a County Council member in New Castle, Delaware. He served in the United States Senate from 1973 to 2009 and as Vice President of the United States under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017. Mr. Biden holds the ideals of our profession in high regard (his daughter Ashley Biden, is a professional social worker). His voting record in Congress and actions as Vice President, align with NASW's Code of Ethics and our profession's social justice values. 

On health care, he supported the expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program and much-needed improvements in mental health services for Veterans.

While in the Senate, Mr. Biden worked to keep communities safe. He played a key role in the passage of the Brady background check bill and was a champion in 1994 for the passage of the assault weapons and high-capacity magazine bans. 

Mr. Biden wrote and spearheaded the original Violence Against Women Act, for which NASW continues to advocate. 

As Vice President, Mr. Biden was tasked by President Obama to pass and oversee implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Along with President Obama, Vice President Biden helped secure passage of the Affordable Care Act. This legislation significantly expanded health insurance coverage and prohibited insurance carriers from denying coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition. 

Mr. Biden is vocal in his support of marriage equality for LGBTQ individuals and was an early supporter of the Equality Act. 

Mr. Biden is also an advocate for addressing climate change and protecting the environment. As a Senator, he introduced the Global Climate Protection Act. 

The work of Vice President Biden has had an impact not only on the social work profession but the entire nation. We are proud to support Joe Biden for President of the United States. 

To support Mr. Biden's campaign, please visit to learn about volunteering and other opportunities.

Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW 
Chief Executive Officer

Mildred C. Joyner, DPS, MSW, LCSW 

NASW-FL Announces New Board of Directors and CCNLI Members

The election results for the 2020 Elections are listed below: We thank everyone who participated in the election, and all of you who voted. The 2021 Election information will be available this fall. 

NASW-FL Board of Directors - Members must exhibit a demonstrated commitment to the profession; extensive leadership experience and serve a two-year term from 2020-2022. 
The new NASW-FL Board members are:
Vice President - Fabio A. Naranjo, PhD, MSW, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work at Barry University;
MSW Student RepresentativeHakeen Rome, BSW, graduate student at Florida State University's College of Social Work;
BSW Student Representative - Neal Sinha, a senior at Florida Atlantic University;
Northeast Unit Chair - Shamara Gibson, LCSW-QS, CWCM,  Mara's Lighthouse Counseling Center, LLC;
Palm Beach Unit Chair - Alyse November, LCSW, Director of Different Like Me;

Space Coast Unit Chair - Amber Hartnett Joyce, MSW, LCSW, QS owner of True You Brevard LLC; and
Volusia/Flagler Unit Chair - Kimberly Devine, LCSW, owner of Get Off the Couch Counseling, LLC.
Chapter Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identification (CCNLI) - Members of this Committee must be willing and available to meet and assure a sound nominations process; must have knowledge of NASW's program needs and be familiar with the professional social work community; must be committed to identifying and developing Chapter leadership.
The new CCNLI members are:

Joshua Torres Hassett, MSW, LCSW, undergraduate faculty member at Ana G. Mendez dual-language University;
Taryn Jaramillo, DSW, LCSW;
April Steen Ph.D. LCSW, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Warner University; and
Dr. Carolyn Provenzano, MS, MSSW, Professor at the University of Louisville-Kent School of Social Work.

We still need Unit leadership for: Big Bend, Lake/Sumter, Treasure Coast and  Gainesville. If you interested in discussing unit leadership opportunities, please contact Jim Akin at

Licensure News and Concerns

By Susan Mankita, MSW, LCSW
NASW-FL President
NASW-FL is committed to having a seat at the table on matters related to licensure of our profession. Even though social workers in Florida are allowed to work without licenses, most Florida social workers would agree that for many, a license can be the key to obtaining higher level jobs and better pay.
There is some good licensure news. NASW-FL weighed in on and fought for several positive changes to licensure this past year. One change will make it much easier for social workers from other states to get licensed here by eliminating the requirement that certain coursework, like psychopathology, has to be taken. Another, which should take effect within the next few months, has eliminated punishment by the licensure board for defaulting on a student loan. We also recently signed onto a letter to the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) asking for improved communication and improvements in accessibility for testing.
We are currently facing 2 impending licensure events in Florida that will affect many social workers profoundly
1. Effective June 1, 2021, Florida social workers will no longer be able to take the exam immediately upon graduating with their MSWs, even though this has been our practice for more than 10 years. This change was made by ASWB, the association that supports social work regulatory boards around the country. We fought with ASWB, who wanted Florida social workers to wait a full two years to take our exam. We managed to get a six-month concession from them, but social workers will still have to wait 18 months before they can take their exams.
Unfortunately, this creates an unfair disadvantage for social workers, who often compete for jobs with the two other professions regulated by our 491 Licensure Board. Both Mental Health Counselors (MHCs) and Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are able to take their tests immediately after graduation. Employers seeking license-eligible employees who understand that the licensure exams can be barriers to licensure could see social workers as riskier hires.
In addition, social workers will have less time than the other professions to master their exams because the second change (discussed below), will limit the amount of time a Registered Intern can work on their licenses to 5 years. Thus, while MHC's and MFT's will have 5 years to pass their exams, social workers, limited by this 18-month rule, will only have 3 1/2 years. Again, this puts social work at a professional disadvantage in the state of Florida.
Now let's consider the second major cause for concern. Registered 491 Board Interns who have been registered since before April 1, 2017, will lose their status on March 31st 2022, if they have not completed the process. 
Unless something changes, on March 31st 2022, all Registered Clinical Social Work Interns who have been registered for more than 5 years without completion will no longer be able to renew their registrations. Not only will they lose their status with the licensure board, it is possible they will lose the opportunity to ever get a professional social work license in Florida. This change is the anticipated culmination of a law passed by the Florida Legislature to ensure people not linger in the system, when they are partially through the process, for extended periods of time.

If you fall into this group, you now have just over a year-and-a-half to complete your licensure or you may lose the opportunity to get it.
To understand how this will affect Florida social workers, it's important to think more deeply about why certain people have not finished their process in five years. It would be easy for those with licenses to ask the question, "why not?" Isn't five years enough for somebody to become a registered intern and accomplish all the tasks necessary to become fully licensed? I've had the opportunity to speak with many social workers throughout the state to understand some of the barriers that exist for people to get licensed.  For many, their lives became complicated after registration. For others, supervision, often not provided as a job benefit, turned out to be very costly. The most common reason may that the ASWB social work licensure test is very difficult to pass. Further complicating completion within the 5 year period now comes the COVID-19 pandemic. For many social workers, the demands their jobs, complicated by the virus, or having to school their children at home will influence their ability to finish.
In my own experiences, working with exam re-takers for many years, I can speak to this final barrier to licensure.  By their very nature, high stakes standardized tests are designed to be exclusionary. Think about it.  How can this sort of exam prove its worth if everyone passes it?  In fact, nationally, in 2018, only 62% of exam takers in total passed the clinical exam. Florida social workers have a unique problem. Our passage levels for our social work exam are among the worst in the country. But who doesn't pass it? I certainly know many wonderful social workers who struggle. I've been thinking about this a lot lately and personally I feel convinced that this is a way of propagating systemic racism that is unacceptable.
We would like to know more about this. Unfortunately, ASWB says that they do not maintain statistics about who passes and who fails and has denied the social work community access to this information.
We have work to do on licensure, but we would like to hear from you. If these rules are going to affect you, we'd like to know more about you. 

Please connect with us at and put Licensure Concerns into the subject line.
We will report regularly on what we learn as we craft our response to these impending issues for the social workers in Florida.

Please contact NASW-FL at or call 1-800-352-6279 with your licensure issues / concerns.
ASWB Licensing Exam 
Delays During COVID-19

This a copy of the letter NASW National sent to the Association on Social Work Boards (ASWB) concerning the ability of Registered Social Work Intern to take the clinical social work exam during the COVID-19 crisis. If you are having trouble scheduling or taking the exam please contact Jim Akin at .

Dear Mr. Hymans: 

We are writing to express concern about the inability of new social work graduates to take the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Licensing Exam and get licensed during the COVID-19 pandemic in a timely and safe manner. 

As you know, social workers, including clinical social workers (CSWs), are essential workers in the nation's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. In numerous settings ranging from hospitals to nursing homes to child protection settings and more, they are providing urgently needed services. It is crucial to ensure a sufficient social work workforce during a pandemic, which is showing no signs of abating. Indeed, the end of this public health crisis maybe not just many months but years into the future, given the anticipated mental health crisis. 

In addition, social workers, like millions of other Americans, are being hard hit by the economic impacts of the pandemic. Those who have recently graduated from social work programs, most of them with substantial student loan debts, are especially vulnerable to these impacts. Securing employment in their new profession is a priority not just for themselves but for their families. Most social work students have planned and worked toward the goal of not just earning their social work degree, but of earning licensure.

Click here to read the full letter.

Town Halls and Virtual Forum
on Racial Equity


Town Hall or Virtual Forum
Aug 28
Dismantling racist policing
Town Hall
Angelo McClain, NASW CEO
Mit Joyner, NASW President
Guadalupe Lara confirmed
Chad Dion Lassiter confirmed
Sept 11
Advancing antiracist social workTown Hall
Angelo McClain, NASW CEO
Mit Joyner NASW President (tentative)
Dawn Hobdy, NASW VP for Ethics, D and I
Sept 29Opening/Keynote/Racial Equity PanelVirtual Forum
Angelo McClain, NASW CEO
Mit Joyner, NASW President
Others TBD
Oct 6Cultural Competence and Racial Justice: Working to Undo RacismVirtual Forum
Karen Bullock, NCORED Chair
Vivian Jackson
Oct 13Ethics & Racial EquityVirtual ForumDawn Hobdy, NASW VP for Ethics, D and I
Others TBD
Oct 20
2020 Elections
Virtual Forum
Panelists TBD

  • Town Halls are 60-120 minutes, on Facebook Live -
  • Virtual Forums are 3 hours per session, from 2-5 PM (ET); they may be subdivided into two 90-minute sessions
  • All programming is recorded
  • CEs are only provided for Virtual Forums

Practice Alert
Home Health: NASW Advocacy for Telehealth During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Clarifications Regarding the Patient-Driven Groupings Model

August 2020 

The Medicare home health benefit, which includes medical social services, has long been essential to beneficiaries living with acute, chronic, and advanced health conditions. Access to home health services is of utmost importance during the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This Practice Alert provides an overview of the Medicare home health benefit; describes NASW's advocacy on behalf of both home health social workers and beneficiaries served during the COVID-19 pandemic; and clarifies the status of home health social work under the Patient-Driven Groupings Model. 

Overview of the Medicare Home Health Benefit 

All home health services must be ordered by a physician to be eligible for Medicare coverage. Either skilled nursing, occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT), or speech-language pathology (SLP)-or some combination thereof-must be ordered to initiate home health services (Hospital Insurance Benefits, 2020, ยง 409.44).

Click here to read the full Practice Alert.

Florida Rx Card & A New Resource to Help the Community Save

Everyone is looking for ways to save money.  The Florida Rx Card helps save on prescription medications and now there's a new way for families to save.  

This new resource is Dosh, a card-linked cash back reward App that can help anyone earn cash savings by giving cash back for purchases at a number of both large retail and local businesses.  (There was over $10 million in cash back rewards to consumers through Dosh last year).

Click here to learn more about Dosh.

In a joint statement, NASW, the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) write, "It's no surprise that self-care remains one of the most popular conversations among social workers across the globe." The professionals who have committed themselves to serving people and communities most in need are at risk of burnout, compassion fatigue, and secondary trauma. It's time to talk locally and nationally about what additional support is needed to ensure that social workers can function professionally at an optimal level while also living lives of fulfillment and joy. When social workers thrive, social work clients benefit the most. The rewards of practicing in our profession are significant. Achieving social work wellness requires a multifaceted approach with strategies employed at the individual, organizational, and societal levels. 

Virtual Aging Network Conference
August 25-26, 2020

The Florida Council on Aging (FCOA), in partnership with Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Association will be offering up to 10 CEs for qualified sessions.  

CLICK HERE to complete your application. Only registered conference attendees are eligible for CEs.

CEs are available for the following clinical licenses: FL Board of Nursing; Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling; Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants; and Florida Board of Nursing Home Administrators.

Click Here for the Schedule at a Glance plus workshops/speakers. 

For more information, visit

Technology Basics
Tech Basics with Cliff Lavin
Feeling Overwhelmed About Technology?

When COVID-19 started, and our policyholders faced technology challenges from working remotely, questions on this topic started coming our way. We wanted to cover the basics, so we worked with a professional with extensive knowledge on the subject and the valuable ability to communicate in simple language.

We asked our consultant, Cliff Lavin, for his help and decided to produce a series of eight videos, "Technology Basics with Cliff Lavin." Cliff presents what you need to know to have a good foundation on how to use and understand technology. This series will get you "in the know" quickly and effortlessly.

 Click Here for Technology Basics with Cliff Lavin series.

The Unspoken Trauma:
The Stories of Unaddressed Sexual Assault and Rape in Campus Communities

By: Celeste Rausch, Florida Gulf Coast
University MSW Graduate Student
Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN) is one of the nations leading sources of statistics and information regarding sexual assault and rape. The organization has continued to update its statistics throughout the years to reflect the changing challenges and concerns regarding acts of sexual assault and rape within our nation. At the beginning of my thesis research on victim-blaming of acquaintance rapes in 2017, RAINN reported that an American has an attempted or completed sexual assault every 93 seconds. At the time of writing this article, that statistic has changed to every 73 seconds an attempted or completed sexual assault happens (Rape Abuse Incest National Network, 2020b). The drastic change in the frequency of these assaults is alarming for me because it also makes me aware of how many stories are not reported or how many of these survivors do not share their stories.

Click here to read the full article.

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

Sept 16, 2020The 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

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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.

August 2020

August 20, 2020 * Virtual
*NASW-FL Lake/Sumter Unit presents "How Will I Know When It's Time to Place my Spouse into Memory Care" with James A. Deutch, DSW, LCSW, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This is a Virtual Workshop. This workshop is sponsored by Transition Life Consultants (TLC). TLC Non-NASW members receive CEUs courtesy of NASW-FL. All other non-NASW members pay $15 to NASW-FL for CEU Credits.

August 24, 2020 * Virtual
*NASW-FL Palm Beach Unit presents "Racial Equity Action Group Meeting" with Keisha Henry, LCSW & Rorri Geller-Mohamed, LCSW, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Welcome to the first meeting of our Racial Equity Action group. We will be coming together to discuss the next steps to start our first project focused on fostering a culture of equity and need your support and involvement. We need you! Our time is now! Hope to see you there! This is a virtual event. You will receive a link prior to the event.

August 26, 2020 * Virtual
*NASW-FL presents "Technology Addictions in Clinical Practice" presented by Earl Ledford, LCSW, CAP, CST, CET, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This workshop will take an in-depth look at the use of technology and the path leading to addictive behaviors in the use of the internet, smart phones, etc. Registration is: $30 Members, $45 Non-Members & $25 Students. You will receive the zoom login prior to event.

August 26, 2020 * Virtual
*NASW-FL Broward Unit presents "How to Create a Healthy New Normal" with Henry R. Kronner, PhD, LCSW & Hugo Rocchia, LCSW, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. You will receive a zoom link and login on the day of the workshop. Registration is FREE for NASW Members and $10 for Non-members and $5 for students.

August 27, 2020 * Virtual
*NASW-FL Central Unit is holding a "Child Welfare Social Worker Peer Support Group" hosted by Amy Moncion, MSW, LCSW, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. This is a Monthly meeting held on the 4th Thursday of the month. This meeting is open to both members/non-members of NASW throughout the state for sharing of community resources, collaboration, networking and case consultation. This meeting will be virtual until further notice. If you have questions for our facilitator, please submit them in advance to You will receive the Zoom login prior to the meeting. 

August 28, 2020 * Virtual
*NASW-FL Tampa Bay Unit is hosting an Annual Kick-Off and Virtual Networking event from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Please join us virtually for networking and brainstorming for topics for upcoming workshops. You will receive the zoom link prior to the event.

August 29, 2020 * Virtual
*NASW-FL Nature Coast Unit presents "A Call for Advocacy: Voter Engagement" with Nancy Abudu, Deputy Legal Director, Southern Poverty Law Center, Christina Cazanave, MSW, and Tiffany McClanathan, MSW, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Registration is $20 for members, $25 for non-members and free for students. This workshop has been approved for and offers 3 contact hours. You will receive a zoom link prior to the workshop.

This workshop is sponsored by: UNCONN School of Social Work/Voting is Social Work.

September 2020

September 15, 2020 * Virtual
*NASW-FL Central Unit is holding a "Virtual Networking Check-in" hosted by Elizabeth Zuravel, MSW, LGSW,LCSW, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Join us for virtual networking with our social workers, students and active/retired professionals in the Central area. If you have questions or suggestions for discussion topics, please email