August 2017

Even though August tends to be a quiet month, we are not slowing down here at NASW-MA.

In response to recent attacks on transgender people and the rest of the LGBTQ community, we are eager to reengage our LGBTQ Shared Interest Group. Are you interested in these issues and want to get involved locally here in Massachusetts? Please email me or Michael LaBerge and we will add your name to our list as we work to engage members in local action.

Into this fall we will also have a special focus on changes to MassHealth impacting social workers, clients, and communities served by social workers; the Opioid Crisis and how we can have an impact through programming and legislative engagement; ending insurance company clawbacks that hurt private practitioners; advocating for student loan forgiveness for social workers in areas of highest need; lifting the welfare cap that unnecessarily harms our state's most vulnerable children;  criminal justice reform; and other key issues as indicated in our legislative agenda.

We want to hear from you about the issues that matter to you most. Please engage with us through FOCUS, these e-newsletters, and on social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram (new!).

Lastly, we know August is a time when you may have a chance to take a vacation and read a good book. Remember the NASW Reads book club book, Chasing the Scream. This book focuses on the War on Drugs and is especially relevant now with respect to the opioid crisis. More information about the NASW book club and how to get engaged is at the end of this newsletter.

Please be in touch anytime and enjoy August!

In solidarity,
(617) 227-9635 x16

  • Chapter Updates

  • Social Work Action Center

  • Private Practice

  • Notes from the Field

  • Licensing Test Prep and CE Opportunities

  • Focusing on FOCUS

  • Volunteer Opportunities

  • NASW Reads! 
Welcoming New Staff
Henry de Lima, MSW
Membership and Program Manager

Henry will be travelling across the state learning how to make your NASW-MA membership best work for you. Henry will also be lending a keen ear to critical social work practice issues and working with the rest of the team to ensure we are meeting the needs of members with our programming and advocacy. 

To be in touch with Henry, email him:, or call: (617) 227-9635 x67. 
Cassandra Prager
Events Marketing & Sales Coordinator
Cassandra will be working 20 hours per week at NASW to ensure that the 15th Biennial Social Work Symposium is a huge success once again. It is the premiere professional social work event in New England. Symposium will take place April 11-12, 2018, in Framingham. More details to come!

To be in touch with Cassandra, email her:, or call: (617) 227-9635 x20. 

 Nursing Home Committee Hosts Another Successful Conference

More than 160 social workers participated in the Nursing Home Committee's annual conference at Bentley University in June. Keynote speaker Dr. Frederick Reamer (pictured to the left) spoke about ethics in social work practice and discussed strategies to prevent and respond to ethics issues for nursing home social workers and residents. Additional workshops at the conference focused on new federal nursing home regulations, bullying, safety issues for social workers, and substance use issues in nursing homes.

The Committee looks forward to bringing more relevant and pertinent workshops to NASW members at the conference next year. Stay tuned! For more information about the Nursing Home Committee or to learn how to get involved, please contact to Jonas Goldenberg at:
Nominate a Colleague for a Social Work Award
NASW-MA Awards Deadline is 9/30/17! Nominate a social work colleague who is breaking new ground, leading the profession in a new direction, or taking a social issue and moving it forward for an  NASW-MA Chapter Award.

Submit nominations by 9/30/17 here.   
Concern Over the Future of Health Care and MassHealth
Health care is a human right and social workers know the importance of protecting that right. This last month it has felt like a roller coaster, not knowing if the Affordable Care Act would be repealed and how many millions could lose their coverage.  Thankfully, the proposals to repeal the ACA were defeated in the US Senate last week. Activists across the country, including many social workers, stepped up and called senators to tell them not to strip away coverage.

We know efforts to dilute or even attempt to repeal the law once again may not be over . This is why we must stay vigilant and be ready to mobilize.

It is also critically important we stay attuned to what is happening right here in Massachusetts. Last week, the state legislature did not accept changes to our state's Medicaid program, MassHealth, that were proposed by Governor Baker. The Baker plan would have disqualified 140,000 non-disabled adults from MassHealth in order to cut costs. These individuals would have been moved to commercial plans through the Connector, required to pay co-pays and also lose dental coverage. The legislature is going to review potential future changes to MassHealth and we will keep members informed if changes are proposed.   

In November 2016, MassHealth received what is known as a Delivery System Reform Implementation Plan (DSRIP) waiver, or 1115 waiver, from the federal government. This waiver will bring several billion dollars to our state over the next five years. Six percent of the waiver, or $115 million, will go to Statewide Investments to scale up statewide infrastructure and workforce capacity. Through this we expect workforce investment in social workers, including loan forgiveness. We shared this link in the July e-news but wanted to share it again and make sure you have access to the slides to see how you may benefit:

Here at NASW-MA, we are collecting stories from social workers who have seen the benefits of MassHealth for clients and communities. If you or someone you know is on MassHealth and would be affected by loss of coverage, please email us and share your story. 

Photo: Save Healthcare | Solidarity Rally |  Photo credit: Sarah Isabel Duarte
Transgender Rights are Human Rights
On Wednesday, July 25, President Trump banned transgender individuals from serving in the military by way of Twitter. This is outrageous. A person's gender or sexuality should not inhibit them from serving in the military and should not subject them to bias in any way. Selection criteria should be solely based on merit.

Read NASW's statement and call to rescind the ban here

As Rebekah mentioned in the introduction of this August E-news,  NASW-MA is looking to reinvigorate its LGBTQ Shared Interest Group. If interested in joining this group, please email Michael LaBerge
Join the Fight for $15 Minimum Wage
Collect signatures with Raise Up Massachusetts. 

NASW-MA is a member of the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition, which is working to ensure workers can earn a living wage of $15 an hour so they can make ends meet, feed their families, and be healthy.

Sign up here to help Raise Up MA collect signatures for Paid Family and Medical Leave and a $15 Minimum Wage! 

You can also attend the Minimum Wage Hearing on 9/18. Details below.
Upcoming Hearings
9/18/17 -  Minimum Wage Hearing, Gardner Auditorium, MA State House, 1 - 3 pm. 
Join a Committee or Shared Interest Group
9/18/17 -  NASW-MA Addiction Shared Interest Group, NASW-MA (14 Beacon St, Suite 409, Boston), 6 - 7:30 pm.

9/19/17 -  NASW-MA Legislative Advocacy Committe e, NASW-MA (14 Beacon St, Suite 409, Boston), 6 - 7:30 pm.

9/25/17 -  NASW-MA Criminal Justice Committee, MassHousing (1 Beacon St, 6th floor, Boston), 5:30 - 7 pm Please RSVP to

Want to join the LGBTQ Shared Interest Group? Contact Michael LaBerge
Service Exclusively for Private Practitioners - Check it Out!
Our call volume is higher than ever before! Join the Social Work Therapy Referral Service (SWTRS) to gain:

  • New Clients
  • Expanded Referral Base
  • Connections to Other Clinicians in Private Practice
Private Practice Manual -  Steep Discount 
Purchase your copy of the NASW-MA Private Practice Manual, 5th Edition for everything you need to start or maintain your private practice. Members pay only $40 and get free shipping! This edition includes new features such as:

  • Creating Your Business Structure: Which Business Entity is Best for You?
  • Billing Providers and Online Billing Services
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Telemental Health
  • Ten Commandments of Risk Management
  • Selling a Clinical Social Work Practice  
Technology in Social Work Practice
After more than two years of research, deliberation, and thoughtful writing, NASW and three related social work organizations, the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and the Clinical Social Work Association (CSWA), have published the Standards for Technology in Social Work Practice.” This 64-page, brochure-type document was developed as a guide for social workers as we expand the use of technology in the 21st century through social media, email. text, etc. Read it  here
Access to Behavioral Health Care in MA: The Basics
In July, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation released a report, Access to Behavioral Health Care in Massachusetts: The Basicsdesigned to increase understanding of the behavioral health care system in Massachusetts and the issues affecting access to care for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders. It is intended to serve as a foundation for future work focused on behavioral health system solutions. You can access the report by clicking the link above or the picture to the right.
Behavioral Health Workforce Survey - Social Work Voices  are Needed
The Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association has convened the Behavioral Health Unfinished Agenda for Reform (BUHAR) coalition  that is eager to receive responses from social workers and psychiatrists to address workplace shortages. Last month in the July e-news, we shared the original survey with you. Based on some of our NASW-MA recommendations, BUHAR has reformatted the survey and made it clear which category of social worker should answer which question, thus making the survey much more accessible. We hope this updated version makes it easier to respond! Please complete the survey. 

The results of this survey will help BUHAR understand ways to support social workers to do the crucial work in clinical settings and to possibly move forward with corresponding policy recommendations. If you have any questions at all, please reach out to Rebekah at
Thinking about taking the licensing test? Don't miss these courses!
8/5/17 - Licensing Test Prep, Salem State University, Salem, MA, 9 am - 4 pm. Register here.  

8/11/17 - Licensing Test Prep, Wheelock College, Brookline, MA, 9 am - 4 pm. Register here.

More course offerings to come!  
Visit our website ( regularly for updates and feel free to reach out to Henry de Lima, Membership and Program Manager, for more information on Licensing Test Prep. Henry can be reached by email at:
Continuing Education Opportunities in September 
Interesting and low-cost workshops for you!
9/15/17 -  Love, Sex and Self-Respect: Your Body Holds The Keys [3 CEs], Holiday Inn, Dedham, MA, 9 am - 12:15 pm. Register  here

9/17/17 -  NASW Fall Film Festival: Manchester by the Sea [3 CEs], The Studio Cinema, Belmont, MA, 2 - 5:30 pm. Register  here

9/28/17  -  Safety In The Workplace For Social Workers In Private Practice and Other Settings [3.5 CEs] , Grand View Farm, Burlington, MA, 9 am - 12:45 pm. Register  here
September FOCUS
FOCUS is the premiere monthly social work publication in MA and an exclusive NASW-MA membership benefit. 

September's issue will include:

  • A CE course worth 1.5 CEs in the centerfold
  • Legislative and advocacy updates about Social Work Loan Forgiveness, Death with Dignity, and Legislative Education and Advocacy Day
  • Practice news related to bioenergetic therapy, engaging in macro social work as a clinical social worker, and managed care
  • Information about our fall CE and Licensing Test Prep events
  • Career Services and Ask Our Attorney columns
  • Regional events calendar
Assurance Homecare, LLC  in Haverhill, MA, seeks volunteer social worker to join Professional Advisory Committee. More information here

Homes for Families needs volunteer child care providers for its Vision Day at the DCU Center in Worcester on 8/10/17 from 9 am - 3 pm. More information here

Parents Helping Parents is seeking volunteer parental stress line counselors and support group facilitators. Commitment ranges from 1-3.5 hours per week. More information here.
Chasing the Scream - examining the War on Drugs
Make the most of your summer reading and pick up your copy of Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari to prepare for NASW READS' book club meeting on 10/3, 6-8 pm. Join the discussion in-person or online

Have a recommendation for our next NASW READS book? Email us.