January 2020
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Message from Chapter President 
NASW-FL Spearheads Legislative, Education, and Advocacy Day

The Florida Legislative Session began January 14, 2020. As the president of the National Association of Social Workers Florida Chapter (NASW-FL), I am eager to share this information with you regarding Legislative, Education, and Advocacy Day, or LEAD. NASW-FL is geared up to advocate and lobby our representatives regarding several important bills pertinent to the social work profession and the individuals, families, and communities we serve.

On January 27, 2020, we host a training session (3:30 - 7:00 pm) at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center (505 Pensacola Street) in Tallahassee, Florida. This session will educate participating social workers on how to interact with and lobby our Florida legislators. An introduction to our LEAD Training is on YouTube to get you started (see below). I encourage you to watch the YouTube video prior to the January 27 training.

LEAD 2020 Training PPT Youtube
LEAD 2020 Training 

The next day, January 28, 2020, we will rally at Waller Park (8:00 - 9:00 am) for breakfast and words from our speakers. Then we proceed to legislative appointments with our senators and representatives (9:00 am - 3:30 pm).

Priority Bills for the 2020 Florida Legislative Session

Support legislation for additional funding and increased service delivery.

( SB 190 / HB 81) Support School Social Workers in the delivery of mental health services by expanding Medicaid school-based services. Passed one committee in the House.

( SB 104 / HB 687) Expand mental health services for Veterans and their families by expanding statewide the 211 pilot program. Passed 2 committees in the Senate.

( SB 122 / HB 43) "Jordan's Law" improves effective case management in child welfare by reducing caseloads and streamlining communication. Passed 1 committee in the House.

Advocate for just and fair criminal justice system, immigration policies, employment, 2020 census, and prevention of gun violence.

( SB 610 / HB 285) Direct Filing of an Information: Removes references to state attorney's discretion to direct file juvenile; revises discretionary direct file criteria; provides for opportunity for hearing to reverse direct file; revises provisions concerning housing of children held in detention; expunctions of criminal history records granted when the person was a minor. Passed 1 Senate committee.

( SB 68 / HB 163) Update and expand funding for housing options for individuals experiencing homelessness. Passed 1 committee in both the Senate and House.

( SB 206 / HB 161) "Florida Competitive Workforce Act"; adding sexual orientation and gender identity as impermissible grounds for discrimination in public lodging establishments and public food service establishments; providing an exception for the constitutionally protected free exercise of religion, etc.

LEAD Day Resources:

If you are not located in Florida, may I strongly encourage you to reach out to your state or local NASW chapter! You can search for your chapter at .

Student Representatives Column

Happy January, Social Work Students!
I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday break. Now that we are back at school, remember to re-ground yourself and get back in the routine of your new class schedule. For those of you graduating in the spring, like me, I want to take this time to remind you to stay focused and strong until the end. 

Remember, LEAD is this month on the 27th and 28th. If you are interested in attending, reach out to your school's college of social work to find out if they are planning on attending as a school. You may also register for LEAD. 

The LEAD website also includes a training video, agenda and schedule. 

As always, if you have any further questions or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to me.
I hope to see many of you there!
Ashton Sanchez
MSW Student Representative

Elevate Social Work -  Action Needed

Elevate Social Work: Urge Your Congressional Representative to Cosponsor the Social Work Reinvestment Act! 

Are there enough #socialworkers to address evolving and pressing societal challenges such as substance use disorders, poverty and discrimination? If not, where are the gaps? What are the barriers to recruiting and retaining this essential workforce, which is the nation's largest provider of mental health services? 

The Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1532) is much-needed legislation aimed at answering these and other questions. Introduced by @RepBarbaraLee, the bill will establish a Social Work Reinvestment Commission to conduct a comprehensive analysis of current trends within the academic and professional social work communities. work communities.

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2020 Election Dates

Election Day

A Presidential Primary Election is held on the third Tuesday of March in a presidential election year. The Primary Election is held 11 weeks before the General Election for purposes of nominating party nominees to be voted for in the General Election to fill a national, state, county, or district office. A General Election is held in November of every even-numbered year. The election dates for 2020 are:
  • Presidential Preference Primary Election: March 17
  • rimary Election: August 18
  • General Election: November 3
What is the Presidential Preference Primary?
  • The 2020 Presidential Preference Primary Election (PPP) is part of the nominating process in Florida for the United States presidential elections. In the PPP, voters registered with one of Florida's major political parties express their preference for the presidential candidate they would like to see representing their party on the General Election ballot in November.
  • After the PPP, designated political party delegates from Florida formally nominate the preferred presidential candidate at the respective party's national convention. These national conventions are typically held in July or August. Based on the party rules governing delegate voting procedures, the party decides at the convention which presidential candidate will represent the party on the General Election ballot.
Deadline to Register to Vote (Book Closing)

Eligible individuals can register to vote at any time.  The deadline to register to participate in upcoming elections is 29 days before the election.  The voter registration deadlines for 2020 are:
  • Presidential Preference Primary Election: February 18 (Federal holiday moves the deadline to the next business day)
  • Primary Election: July 20
  • General Election: October 5
To register to vote and to check your voter registration, please visit

By Mariana Mackinnon, BSW
Florida Gulf Coast University

Back packs,
Rat traps,
Diamond rings,
Some students know pests...
More than they know fancy things.
Inside this backpack is everything....
A client walks up to shake my hand.
She'd just coughed into hers,
I've made a plan.
As soon as she leaves, I'll sanitize my hands,
So, the first thing in my bag is germ x...
To wipe the privilege off my hands.
I've become aware that when working with the homeless coalition,
My heart weighs heavy and my mind is too loud.
I care so much about what people are going through,
I think a quick fix is a handout.
And I wonder when I found this pedestal,
Because judgement isn't normally my thing,
So, I remind myself of a quote...
"Be careful not to measure your holiness by other people's sins."
Said martin luther-
But not the king.
No, he would say,
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things",
And that rings true for me.

When I shadow the school social worker at a middle school,
I sit in on meetings with group home administrators and school psychologists.
The most important thing I have taken away from this so far has been that...
every child going to school,
Hopefully has at least a backpack,
And if they do,
They carry things inside,
A story,
One you may have not gotten the chance to read that day,
A full or empty belly,
Or half full like the tank of gas that just barely got them to school while their parents cursed them for being a burden,
They carry faith or none,
They carry their own set of health issues,
They have their own conscience and set of mistakes, good thing those are fixable (with whiteout),
They carry an internal mirror with often a heavily critical self-perception,
that tells them things like,
You're unworthy or you need to act out to get attention because at home that's how it is,
They have clothes or,
The ones they're wearing are the majority of what they own,
They have their own talents and passions,
And if you can get them to talk about it,
By maybe doing ballet with a six-year old,
you will find out so much,
But most importantly,
They carry a pen,
To rewrite their own destiny,
School is an opportunity for children to recreate themselves,
as it should be,
When working,
I create a lot of documents that go home with parents, staff and students.
These handouts focus on social emotional learning.
I create activities for students to do in classrooms,
To teach them how to better understand their emotions,
If I could light a candle in here I would,
Since Columbine,
223,000 children have been exposed to gun violence during school hours,
223 lives of teachers, students and staff, lost,
That's what it took to pass legislation that makes mental health a mandatory part of student's curriculum.
That's why there is no extra room in any students backpack for your biases,
The role of a mental health professional is sacred,

The importance of professionalism and the level of care we have as soon to be graduates is... becoming increasingly more evident to me as each day that passes,
The school social worker sadly doesn't have a permanent workspace at the school I shadow her at.

She works out of what she calls a testing closet (due to its size)

She makes light of it,
It's funny but it's also somewhat sad.
testing and meeting state standards,
is more important than kids being happy,
And healthy,

Every student and every person,

Carries a backpack,

Whether you can see it or not,

They come with their own ideas and beliefs,

And there are some things you cannot change or influence,

But the beautiful thing about backpacks,

Is that you can always add on,

And maybe you can't unzip it fully.

Maybe you'll never fully know what's inside,

And for me that's something I struggle with.
I love people so much,
I want to know everything to be able to fix it.
To help,
But I'm also a firm believer that the universe brings you things as it should,
And maybe sitting with that kid at lunch and making him laugh,
Is all he needed to believe that he's valuable.
Maybe the Baker Act while painful was necessary to save that child from them self,
Maybe the box of canned goods given to that woman who coughed into her hands,
And wishing her luck on her endeavors was all her backpack could take.
I don't know what's in your backpack's,
I don't know what you carry,
I want to know...
I'll always want to know...
But I find peace in knowing that whether it's stitching to remind you of something important,
A pin to celebrate even the smallest of successes (because that goes so far),
A pocket,
There is always room to add something good to someone's backpack,
Even if it looks full of bad and bulky things.
So if you're like me,
And you try to hurry to unzip cases,
You want to know everything before the problem fully presents itself,
Be patient,
And trust that you'll figure it out.
It's human to be critical. It's also human to empathetic.
In social work, we learn about ourselves through learning about our clients.

And my own critical voice and impulsive nature to figure things out,
Is something I need to work on,

But what I know for sure...

Is that I love backpacks...

Especially the ones that seem impossible to unzip.

Share Your Services, Products 
and Information at the 
NASW-FL Annual Conference

2020 Conference Sponsor Prospectus

You are invited to participate in the 2020 NASW-FL Annual Social Work Conference , June 11 - 13, at The Florida Hotel and Conference Center in Orlando, FL.
Sponsors receive assorted benefits and recognition:  
  • Hundreds of people who want / need your products and services
  • Recognition in the Conference Program
  • Inclusion in the Sponsor Booth game
  • Pre- and post-conference attendee list; post-conference list includes email/mail contact information
  • Logo on NASW-FL's website with a link to your organization through Dec. 30, 2020
  • Your logo on Sponsor signs produced by NASW-FL
  • Invaluable long-term customers and contacts
You may pay by credit card, purchase order or check. If paying by purchase order, please select check as your payment type.
Please email Christine Call, or call 1-800-352-6279 if you have questions or sponsorship ideas.

Florida Laws and Rules
Reference Manual

Florida Laws and Rules Manual
Florida Laws and Rules
 A Complete Reference Manual for the 
3-Hour Laws and Rules Update Course

Florida Statutes 456, 491 &
Florida Administrative Code 
Rule Chapter 64B4

This manual will help you understand the importance of Florida laws and rules relevant to clinical social work and become familiar with the Florida Statutes that pertain to specific areas of clinical practice.

Price:  $15.00

Click Here to Order

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

January 15, 2020 Billing and Coding Updates for 2020
Mirean Coleman, LICSW, CT - NASW Clinical Manager
March 18, 2020 Are you Ready for An Audit? Tips to Prepare
Mirean Coleman, LICSW, CT - NASW Clinical Manager
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

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Practice Alerts: 
Avoid Medicare Claim Rejections  &
2020 Updates on Medicare
& Other Matters


by Mirean Coleman, MSW, LICSW, CT Clinical Manager 
January 2020 

The Medicare Access and Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization ACT (MACRA) requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards. As a result, CMS has replaced SSNs with new randomly generated Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs). The new cards are expected to offer better identity protection to Medicare beneficiaries. CMS has completed its distribution of new Medicare cards to Medicare beneficiaries. The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) has also completed its mailing of new Medicare cards with MBIs.

Click here to read the full Practice Alert.



by Mirean Coleman, LICSW, CT Clinical Manager 
January 2020 

*CPT copyright 2019. American Medical Association. All rights reserved. CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association. 

In 2020, there are several important national updates that clinical social workers (CSWs) should be aware of to help them maintain an effective business and clinical practice. These updates include the areas of coding, claims, quality payment, and reimbursement.

Click here  to read the full Practice Alert.

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US Liability Insurance Market Snapshot picture

January 2020

This month's tip article gives you the highlights of where the liability insurance market recently was and is heading, particularly the professional liability market within the medical malpractice segment. 

The supporting information was obtained from four sources: Deloitte Center for Financial Services, Insights, December 2019; USI 2019 Sponsored National Practice Leaders; Marsh's Global Insurance Market Study, 2019; and NASWRRG first-hand experience.

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.

January 2020

January 18, 2020 * Winter Park, FL
*NASW-FL Central Unit presents "When Action Meets Compassion: Ethics as a Call to Advocacy" with Kristina Ramos, MSW, with Special Guest Speaker FL Representative Anna V. Eskamani, District 47, from 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. at Tibby's New Orleans Kitchen, The Napoleon Room. Registration is $10 for NASW members and $15 for non-members. There will be Light Appetizers/Soda/Tea. This workshop is limited to 20 people.

January 18, 2020 * Miami, FL
*NASW-FL Miami-Dade Unit presents "Social Workers' Peer Support Group & Yoga Class" with Martha Vallejo, LCSW & Edith Caballero, LCSW, RYT-200, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Keiser University. Please join us for our Peer Support Group and Chair Yoga Class. Please bring comfortable clothes for yoga practice. You can bring your own mat if you prefer; however, mats will be available for use. No experience necessary. Registration is free.

January 20, 2020 * Boca Raton, FL
*NASW-FL Palm Beach Unit - South presents "Dementia: Clinical Issues that Arise in Working with Patients and Caregivers" with Alyse November, 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. This workshop is sponsored by CSI Caregivers Services.

January 21, 2020 * Stuart, FL
*NASW-FL Treasure Coast Unit presents "Metta Meditation for Loving-Kindness in Social Work Practice" with Candice Rasa, LCSW, IET, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Discovery Village at Stuart. A light dinner and beverages will be provided. Registration is free. This event is sponsored by Discovery Village at Stuart.

January 24, 2020 * West Palm Beach, FL
*NASW-FL Palm Beach Unit will host a Meet and Greet Happy Hour from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Duffy's Sports Grill. Please join us as we get to know each other, network and kick-off the new year with our fellow social workers. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come.

January 27, 2020 * Leesburg, FL
*NASW-FL Lake/Sumter Unit presents "Lake County Guardian ad Litem Program" with Connie McMaster, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. at Leesburg Library, 100 E. Main St. Registration is FREE for NASW members and $15,00 for Non-Members requested CEs.

January 27-28, 2020 * Tallahassee, FL 
*NASW-FL will host Legislative Education Advocacy Day (LEAD).  

January 29, 2020 * Palm Coast, FL
*NASW-FL Volusia/Flagler Unit  presents "Maternal Depression and How it Informs Practice" with Erin Orjuela, LCSW & Kian Jacobs, LCSW, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Get Off the Couch Counseling.
Registration is first come, first served. Registration is capped at 12 people. Registration fee is $10 which includes pizza. Pre-Pay only. There will be NO on-site registration.

February 2020

February 7 - 8, 2020 * Orlando, FL
*NASW-FL presents Social Work Licensure Exam Preparation Course, with Sophia F. Dziegielewski, PhD, LCSW, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days at The Florida Hotel and Conference Center. Registration is $225 for NASW Members and $275 for Non-members.

February 10, 2020 * Palm Beach Gardens, FL
*NASW-FL Palm Beach Unit - North presents "How 211 Can Help Local Seniors" with Erin McConnell, MSW, CIRS-A, CIRS & Patrice Schroeder, MA Human Behavior, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Barry University. Registration is FREE for NASW members and $10 for non-members. This workshop is sponsored by Center for Discovery.

February 17, 2020 * Boca Raton, FL
*NASW-FL Palm Beach Unit - South presents "Intimate Relationships: Healing through Mindfulness Sex" with Sally Valentine, PhD, LCSW, QS, CSTS, 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 2020

April 13, 2020 * Palm Beach Gardens, FL
*NASW-FL Palm Beach Unit - North presents "I Think My client has an Eating Disorder" with Dr. Joann Hendelman, PhD, FAED, CEDS, CEDRN,from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Barry University.
Registration is FREE for NASW members and $10 for non-members. Dinner is generously being sponsored by CSI Caregivers Services.

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.

May 2020

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 30 - June 6, 2020 * Reykjavik, Iceland
*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.