January 2018

Happy New Year! After a week off, NASW-MA staff are back in action, reenergized for the year ahead.

We had many accomplishments in 2017, paving the way for a successful 2018. Take a moment to view our first-ever NASW-MA Annual Report here.

An essential part of our work is to remind the public of the value of social work and social workers, hold elected officials accountable to social work values, and to advocate for society's most vulnerable. In response to a recent federal audit, we published a letter in the Boston Globe : "We can do more to serve our most vulnerable children." Read it here.

As we work together to advance the social work profession, social and economic justice, human rights, and unimpeded access to services for all, there are many ways to get involved and stay informed through our many membership benefits: Clinical Alert listserv, Private Practice Google Group, Legislative Alert Network, Social Work Voice magazine (formerly FOCUS), this monthly e-newsletter, 30+ Shared Interest Groups and Committees, and our social media channels.

Our strength is in our numbers. Thank you for joining with us in 2018 and beyond.


Rebekah Gewirtz
Executive Director
617-227-9635 x16

  • Membership Hub
  • Symposium 2018
  • Social Work Action Center
  • Private Practice
  • Notes from the Field
  • Continuing Education
  • Licensing Test Prep
  • Social Work Voice
  • National News
Let's Review: 2017 Annual Report
Looking back, 2017 was full of challenges but as an association, we had many successes, paving the way for a successful and impactful 2018 and beyond.

Take a moment to view our first-ever NASW-MA Annual Report here.

Have feedback? Let us know: chapter.naswma@socialworkers.org.
Introducing New Member Type: Associate Students
Associate Student members are those enrolled as full- or part-time students in an undergraduate or graduate program in a field other than social work, or in a non-CSWE-accredited social work program,  who do not hold a social work degree. 

Learn more here.
Join a Committee or Shared Interest Group
Come to a meeting! Click here to see upcoming meeting dates.

Get involved! See a full list of our 30+ member groups and contact information here.
Symposium 2018 Updates: Everything you Need to Know Right Here!
Save the Date: April 12-13, 2018
Register for Symposium 2018 Today!
Earn up to 15.5 CEUs at Symposium 2018: On the Front Lines, featuring Ke ynote Speaker Jackie Woodside, LICSW. The largest gathering of social workers in New England, and the only statewide gathering in Massachusetts, Symposium 2018 will run from April 12-13, 2018, in Framingham, MA. This event will feature 90+ workshops, 100+ speaker, 60+ exhibitors, a free Awards Luncheon, and, new this year, the free-to-attend Networking Night @ Symposium.

See the Symposium 2018 Registration Booklet, with full list of all workshops, here .
Faculty and Staff, Encourage Your Students to Submit Posters for Symposium 2018
Do you have a micro, mezzo, or macro project, topic, or paper you have already written? Are you working on a project or paper (practice or research) for your internship or a class? If yes, this is your opportunity to spotlight your work! Showcase your work and receive recognition at Symposium 2018 in April.
Application Deadline: February 12, 2018

BSW, MSW, and PhD students are welcome to apply!
Exhibit, Advertise, or Sponsor at the Largest Gathering of Social Workers in New England!
Symposium 2018 offers a wide range of promotional packages to accommodate all budgets and is a unique opportunity to:

  • Promote your brand to approximately 800 practicing social workers from all over New England
  • Network with 1,000 professional attendees, vendors, sponsors, and presenters
  • Gain brand awareness with hundreds of influential community members

For more information, email Cassandra Prager, cprager.naswma@socialworkers.org or visit: naswma.org/symposium.
New Year for New Activists!
Have you made a New Year’s resolution to become more engaged in your community and with the chapter? Here are a few ways to make a far-reaching impact in the social work profession:

  1. Join the Political Action for Candidate Election (NASW-MA PACE). We encourage members of all geographic areas to join us - in person or by phone! We are gearing up for 2018 elections and will need regional perspectives from all over the state engaged in PACE. Perfect for those keeping tabs on campaigns and elected officials to ensure that they are fighting for us. Contact Sophie Hansen for more information.
  2. The Legislative Advocacy Committee (LAC) has been busy signing on in support of initiatives core to social work and our values with various partners. The last 6 months of this legislative session will be busy as we mobilize members to push bills out of committee and on to passage! Contact Co-Chair Mary Ruhl for more information.
  3. Join our Legislative Alert Network email list to engage in requests to contact legislators to pass important legislation and to learn about hot issues happening on Beacon Hill.
Priority Bills Gaining Traction!
  1. LGTBQ Conversion Therapy Ban has gotten great traction in the Senate but some language continues to be debated in the House. We are working closely with our partners at MassEquality for continued updates and actions to ensure passage of this bill.
  2. Lift the Cap on Kids Welfare Bill was reported favorably out of both the House and Senate committee for Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, meaning it is now in both House/Senate Ways and Means. Our coalition believes that we can achieve most traction by targeting the FY19 budget. This is currently in discussion, so we are working diligently to meet with several members of the House with the hopes to include this in the 2019 budget.
  3. End of Life Options Act may favorably report out of committees now that Mass Medical Society moves opinion from ‘Opposed’ to ‘Neutral.’
  4. Gender Discrimination in Disability. NASW-MA's Executive Director Rebekah Gewirtz will be testifying in support of Rep. Balser’s bill at a hearing in early January.

Want to submit testimony for any of the above bills or others on the legislative agenda? Contact Sophie Hansen .
Register TODAY for Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD)!
Registration for Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD) is now open! Visit naswma.org/LEAD to register today! There will be no on-site registration, so pre-registration is the only way to attend!

LEAD 2018 will take place on Monday, April 2, from 9:30 am - 1:30 pm , beginning at Emmanuel Church of Boston and ending at the Massachusetts State House. The day will feature dynamic workshops and speeches from key leaders, advocates, and champions of social justice issues. The hundreds of social workers in attendance will show the strength of the profession while marching together through Boston Common to the State House.

For more information on LEAD or to volunteer at the event, contact our Political Director Sophie Hansen , or LEAD Intern Coordinator Katie O'Leary .
Health Insurance Open Enrollments Ends January 23rd
In MA, open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) is from November 1, 2017 - January 23, 2018. Now is the time to enroll in health insurance or change your plan.

We encourage social workers to share enrollment information with clients and communities you serve to bring awareness to the current open enrollment period.

Download the easily accessible health insurance flyer we created, available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese here. One side is designed to help providers understand health insurance and the open enrollment process, the other side is designed to help patients and clients navigate health insurance enrollment using our state's health insurance marketplace, the MA Health Connector.
From Beacon Health Options: Trainings and Updates to the Payment Integrity Compliance Reviews
Beginning on December 15, 2017, the Beacon Payment Integrity Department and the Special Investigation Unit will be presenting monthly webinars specific to compliance, regulations, payment integrity, fraud and abuse, and provider responsibilities. Providers should either attend the live training  or review the presentation once posted on-line or distributed by email.  

As an accommodation to Massachusetts providers,  Beacon will temporarily broaden acceptable documentation for authentication and duration of services . For services provided through December 31, 2017, and for Massachusetts providers, only, Beacon will accept progress notes, psychotherapy notes (redacted to meet HIPAA requirements), encounter forms, and billing sheets to authenticate the services and to confirm the duration of services reported on claims submissions. Beginning February 1, 2018, however, this temporary accommodation will end and providers must meet Beacon documentation requirements for authentication and duration of services on the progress notes in order to avoid clawbacks.

At NASW-MA we have been working hard to support the anti-clawback bill currently being considered by the legislature. The initiative passed as part of the Senate healthcare bill and now the goal is to get it included in the House version of the bill. For more information on advocacy to end unfair clawbacks, be in touch with Sophie Hansen .

More information on Beacon audit process here.
Join the Social Work Therapy Referral Service Now - Only $150!
In private practice? The Social Work Therapy Referral Service (SWTRS) needs you!

Referral calls to SWTRS are continuing to rise, and we need motivated clinicians like you to join SWTRS to meet the demand. Please help spread the word to friends and colleagues. New members can join now for the half-year introductory rate of $150.

For further information, or to request an application, contact Barbara Burka at info@therapymatcher.org or 781-721-1044 or click the "Join SWTRS" button below.
Valuable Member Benefit: Join the 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 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 and timely clinical alerts to members.

Sign up by sending an email to chapter.naswma@socialworkers.org with "Join Google Group" in the subject line.
What All LICSWs in MA Must Do to Comply with MassHealth
All Licensed Independent Clinical Social Workers (LICSWs) in Massachusetts are required to register with MassHealth as either billing or non-billing providers. This requirement was put in place to ensure that MassHealth is complying with the Affordable Care Act. 

The MA Board of Registration of Social Work REQUIRES ALL  LICSWs to meet this requirement by September 30, 2018! Failure to do so could result in the suspension or loss of your license.

Read more and access step-by-step instructions here .
NASW Reads: 13 Reasons Why
2 CEUs Available!
January 16, 2018

NASW Reads: 13 Reasons Why
by Jay Asher
AdCare Outpatient Services
95 Lincoln Street
Worcester, MA
6:00 - 8:00 pm

Join the Central Regional Council Book Club, in person or virtually, to discuss 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. The discussion will be led by Stacy Homan, LICSW, School Adjustment Counselor, Worcester Public Schools.
Licensing Test Prep Happening in Your Neighborhood!
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:
  • January 27 | Boston
  • March 10 | Springfield
  • April 14 | Worcester
  • May 12 Boston
  • June 16 | Northampton
  • July 20 | Bedford
Save your spot today!
In Your Mailbox: Social Work Voice
Did you receive your copy of Social Work Voice, our new monthly newsletter? This magazine-style publication has replaced FOCUS as the premiere monthly social work publication in Massachusetts and an exclusive NASW-MA membership benefit. 

We expect the new publication format and content will be more accessible to our readers and as a result a more valuable member benefit. Do you agree? Email your feedback to Communications Director Jamie Klufts: jklufts.naswma@socialworkers.org. She'd love to hear from you.

February's issue will include :
  • Coffee and Conversation with Jackie Woodside, Symposium Keynote
  • Managed Care News and Timely Clinical Alerts
  • Symposium Schedule and Registration Information
  • Announcement of Spring Continuing Education Programs
  • ...and more!
Advertise with the Premiere Social Work Publication in MA: Social Work Voice
Have an employment opportunity, office space opening, continuing education program or training, supervision services, or other relevant information to share with your social work peers?

Advertise with Social Work Voice, the premiere social work publication in MA! We produce 10 issues per year. The February issue goes to all 19,000 social workers across the state! View our website or media kit for information on pricing and deadlines.

If you want to advertise in February, the ad submission deadline is January 12th.
NASW National Conference - Save the Date: June 20-23, 2018
The 2018 NASW National Conference will be held June 20-23, 2018, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. Mark your calendars now and plan to be a part of the meeting of the profession!