At the NYS Chapter, we know that the best advocacy and our greatest potential to make change lies in the mobilization of our members and social workers across the State. While NYS Chapter staff and volunteer leadership meet with, have calls with, and engage with legislators and their staff daily, it is our collective representation of NYS social workers that empowers, supports, and amplifies our work. Each topic, bill, and initiative the NYS Chapter engages with legislators on, we also encourage social workers to advocate with us with the goal of creating a loud thunder of social work voices that cannot be ignored.
COVID-19 ADVOCACY AT THE STATE LEVEL
Your Executive Director, Samantha Fletcher, has kept in close contact with the Staff of NYSED, OMH, and the Governor's Office giving us the ability to provide immediate updates on mandates related to continuing education, licensure, and telehealth.
- Social workers who are up for licensure renewal between March 1- September 1, 2020 will be permitted to complete 100% of their continuing education as self-study (For NYS Approved Self Study Programs, click here).
- NYSED affirmed that supervision hours accrued through approved telehealth platforms will be attributed to your total needed for licensure. We would like to thank NYSED, David Hamilton, and his staff for responding quickly to the requests and needs of NYS social workers and applaud their rapid response. NASW-NYS recognizes NYSED as an advocate for NYS social workers during this time and are encouraged by their continual expeditious responses to our, and NYS social workers, needs.
ACT NOW! ADVOCACY
ACT NOW is an advocacy tool developed by NASW-NYS that connects NYS members directly with their representatives on issues that our members have identified. After you create your member profile, you are immediately connected to your representatives ranging from Federal, to State, local, & even school boards. NASW-NYS pre-populates letters & tweets for you to send in a click of a button, or you can write your own! Would you prefer to call your representative, and explain to them directly what this means for you and your clients? We provide their phone number, and a script to start you off! YOU are the voice of social work, and no one is a better advocate for your needs, your clients, and your communities, than you. When we all advocate with one united, powerful voice, we will be heard around the world! See below for the ACT NOW alerts that have been activated during this crises, resulting in over a thousand individual actions from social workers to their representatives:
- ACT NOW: Advocate to Governor Cuomo today to advocate for all state-run health plans to cover telehealth services for licensed social workers. There is a solution to continue this care through an emergency executive order.
- ACT NOW: Increase Social Worker Reimbursement
- ACT NOW: Urge NYS Representatives to Support Audio Only Medicare Telehealth Coverage
- ACT NOW: Urge Congress to Ensure that Medicare Reimburse for Mental and Behavioral Health Services Provided by Audio-Only Telehealth
- ACT NOW: Ask U.S. Congress to Include Mental and Behavioral Health, Sufficient Paid Leave and Access to Personal Protective Equipment in COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Legislation!
- ACT NOW: Tell Your Representative to Support Child Welfare COVID-19 Priorities
- ACT NOW: Join our national partners & other advocates for a Day of Action Twitterstorm urging Congress and the Administration to boost SNAP benefits and help families put food on the table during COVID-19.
- ACT NOW: Join NASW in urging Congress to include social workers in COVID-19 hazard pay as essential workers.
- ACT NOW: Join NASW & ask Congress to pass the COVID-19 Every Worker Protection Act. It would require The Occupational Safety and Health Administration to establish an Emergency Temporary Standard to protect all workers including social workers from the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
There are 59,178 licensed social workers alone in NYS, this doesn’t include all MSW and BSW social workers! We are a HUGE voting block, and with our ACT NOW platform and your support we have the potential to create radical social change for the profession of social work and those we serve.
NASW-NYS is working around the clock to keep social workers updated on continual updates related to COVID-19, advocate for social work protections, reimbursements, and raise public awareness about how vital social workers are in crisis response to this global pandemic. This page will act as your best resource for all updates regarding COVID-19, and will be continually updated as developments occur. We also encourage you to follow our social media platforms for real time updates:
STATEMENT ON XENOPHOBIA
“The NASW-NYS firmly rejects any form of racial superiority, racism, or xenophobia against the Asian and broader international community in the United States. As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, there have been increases in racial attacks and blatant prejudices against the Asian community.
Every human has the fundamental right to dignity and equality. Any and all acts of racism through propaganda, physical attacks, or racial slurs are condemned by the NASW-NYS. We have seen a rise in online posts of demeaning pictures about the Asian community for the sake of “comedy” as well as people intentionally avoiding businesses run by Asian owners. These actions are inherently racist and have done nothing but spread misinformation about the virus and hatred towards the Asian community.
This virus is non-discriminatory and can infect any individual. Attempts to justify racial superiority with the virus are a violation of dignity, safety, and equality.
As we enter unprecedented times, we must come together and grapple with the difficulties ahead by showing our solidarity and support.”
STATE OF THE CHAPTER ADDRESS
Samantha Fletcher, NASW-NYS Executive Director, addressed our membership after outreach from the NYS social work community looking for a voice of guidance and assurance in response to COVID-19. We changed our previously scheduled State of the Chapter address to give updates about what the Chapter has done, and will continue to do, for social workers during this time. Use the link below to listen to the address and stay tuned for future membership meetings with your Executive Director, Samantha Fletcher.
Evelyn G. Williams has over 30 years of progressive experience in health care administration, consulting, legislative advocacy, and teaching at the baccalaureate and graduate levels. Her primary professional direction was in community health care assisting in opening three community health centers (CHC) and providing technical assistance to CHC’s in the federal Region II locations. She also held several administrative positions in the NYS Department of Health. In 1999, after completing eleven years as the President/CEO of Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center, Evelyn chose to pursue her consulting career, working with community-based organizations in the areas of program development, strategic management, and leadership.
Her consultant endeavors include providing consultant services to state and federal agencies, community-based organizations, and social/cultural groups. She assisted organizations in opening health care programs, developing short and long-term strategic plans, writing grants, conducting organizational performance evaluations, designing fundraising projects, facilitating governing board retreats, and planning and implementing statewide and national conferences and professional meetings.
Concurrent with the progressive experience in health care, Ms. Williams has had varied teaching positions since 1979. Completing her tenure in FORUM and the Center of International Programs within Empire State College, she is currently a lecturer within the School of Social Welfare, University at Albany.
Ms. Williams’ leadership skills are represented through serving on several statewide and regional professional organizations’ governing boards, as well as her role as legislative chair and chairperson of the community health care statewide association.
Ms. Williams, in addition to the above, is a certified yoga & Shake Your Soul/Dancekinetics instructor and a proud grandmother.
Chapter Chat Schedule
|Speaker||Topic||Date / Time|
|Evelyn Williams||Cultivating a Deeper Experience of Relaxation and Inner Peace||May 28, 2020 | 3:00-4:00PM|
|Alyssa Gibbons||Working with Veterans and Service Member||June 2, 2020 | 6:00-7:00PM|
NASW National Resources The National office of NASW has been working on multiple fronts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure access to services, such as teletherapy. Social workers are in a unique position to promote disease prevention efforts (including disseminating accurate information from trusted sources), and to help address anxiety and other concerns that are arising as a result of this public health crisis. They have collected an incredible array of resources to support social workers, and we highly recommend you visit their COVID-19 Resource site in addition to ours. See below for a few specific areas we find most helpful:
The National office of NASW has been working on multiple fronts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure access to services, such as teletherapy. Social workers are in a unique position to promote disease prevention efforts (including disseminating accurate information from trusted sources), and to help address anxiety and other concerns that are arising as a result of this public health crisis.
They have collected an incredible array of resources to support social workers, and we highly recommend you visit their COVID-19 Resource site in addition to ours. See below for a few specific areas we find most helpful:
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Visit their main page here. The CDC coronavirus webpage provides guidance on preparation and action steps for various settings:
Visit their main page here.
The CDC coronavirus webpage provides guidance on preparation and action steps for various settings:
Other Sources Social workers may also consult other reliable sources for current information and setting-specific guidance, including:
Social workers may also consult other reliable sources for current information and setting-specific guidance, including:
In Our Own Voices The Pride Center of the Capital Region The Pride Center of the Capital Region is maintaining digital forms of communication to make sure we all stay connected: Social Security Administration: COVID Updates
The Pride Center of the Capital Region The Pride Center of the Capital Region is maintaining digital forms of communication to make sure we all stay connected:
The Pride Center of the Capital Region is maintaining digital forms of communication to make sure we all stay connected:
Social Security Administration: COVID Updates
Public Health Solutions Resources
Public Health Solutions is here to help New Yorkers through the COVID-19 pandemic. All services are operating on modified times and available virtually to meet the growing health needs of everyone affected by the pandemic.
COVID-19: Preparedness Tools
Association of Social Work Boards
Department of Health
- Main Page
- Continuing Education
ATTENTION: In response to the evolving situation with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), and for those licensees whose registrations are due to renew March 1-June 1, 2020, the Department will grant an adjustment to all licensees to complete up to 100% of the continuing education as self-study- NYS Office of Professions, State Board for Social Work and Mental Health Practitioners. ***This is ONLY license renewals from March 1-June 1, 2020*** All other licensing dates are STILL limited to 12 self-study CE credits maximum.
- To go to our NYSED Approved self-study CE Program in partnership with Medicare Interactive Pro, click here.
- NYSED Tele-practice Guidance
Telehealth Learning Series
The Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network, the Center for Excellence on Protected Health Information (CoE-PHI), the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers, and the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT) at the University of Nevada - Reno (UNR) are facilitating a FREE, national online discussion and resource sharing opportunity for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers and peer support specialists faced with transitioning their services to the use of telephone and videoconferencing methods in response to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.
NASW-NYS knows YOU are the power of social work, and there would be no NASW without our members. Contribute to our efforts below:
- Want to get involved with NASW-NYS leadership, volunteer during this time, or help amplify our efforts in your community? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Click here to let us know what CE topics and Presenters you want NASW-NYS to deliver.