The NASW-NYS policy staff, in conjunction with the Advocacy & Government Relations Committee, work to identify issues of importance to our membership and to the social work profession at large. These issues are ever evolving, reflect the diversity of the profession and cover a wide range of topics but are always guided by the following principles.

NASW -NYS Legislative Guiding Principles

The New York State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-NYS) is comprised of over 8,000 members throughout the State of New York. Nationally, NASW is the largest professional organization of social workers with over 140,000 members in 56 Chapters across the world. Social workers are professionals who hold bachelors, masters and/or doctoral degrees in social work and practice in the fields of health, mental health, child welfare, public welfare, vocational rehabilitation, aging, family services, education, criminal justice, and industry. They are administrators, clinicians, policy analysts, researchers, educators, community organizers, and elected officials

Mission Statement – Professional social workers contribute a unique perspective to the development of sound social policies that consider the relationship between public policies and the individuals affected by such initiatives. As the voice of such professionals, the mission of NASW-NYS is to promote and advocate throughout New York State for the: strength, unity, identity and status of the social work profession, the enhancement of social work practice, and policies, services and programs that promote social and economic justice.

While our policy priorities are, to a degree, ever evolving, they remain rooted in our mission statement and therefore reflect a wide breadth and swath of issues as reflected in the following…

  • The strength, unity, identity and status of the social work profession NASW-NYS has an ongoing commitment to give voice to the profession of social work, thereby assuring the field’s specific skill sets and specialized knowledge base germane to care coordination, case management and the provision of clinical services are recognized as a vitally important component of service delivery throughout the state’s multi-faceted and evolving system. As such, our advocacy work will continue to focus on the promotion of policies that uphold the high standards of education, experience and quality practice of social work services through our work related to licensure implementation, scope of practice protections, and varying mechanisms of reimbursement structures often impacting service delivery.
  • “The enhancement of social work practice” Our advocacy work will also focus on the creation and advancement of policies that seek to enhance and maintain workforce development and increase employment opportunities for members of the social work profession. As such, we will focus on policy development related to the broadening of practice settings, expansion of access to education through loan forgiveness and high quality continuing education. In addition, NASW-NYS Policy Staff will continue to play an integral role in the development and execution of policies associated with implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
  • “Policies, services and programs that promote social and economic justice ” NASW-NYS also maintains its commitment to ensuring that every New Yorker, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender and gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, political belief, religion, citizenship status, place of residence, veterans status, disability or socioeconomic status, has access to the resources and services necessary to maintain at least a minimum quality standard of living through the promotion and encouragement of policies that afford all citizens access to economic security, educational opportunities, appropriate health and mental health care and affordable housing. NASW-NYS recognizes the importance of improving social conditions in respect to poverty, unemployment, and discrimination, and will therefore support initiatives that address these issues, as well as other forms of injustice.

Adopted by the NASW-NYS Board of Directors: December of 2010


View our current legislative priorities: State | National