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DA Minutes: March 2012
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Minutes of Third SSWAA Delegate Assembly

Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, MA
March 31, 2012

Michelle Alvarez, President called the Delegate Assembly to order at 1:17 p.m. This is the 3rd assembly of the delegates of the states who are affiliated with SSWAA.

There are 19 of the 24 Delegate Assembly members (states) present. Introductions were made.

Board and voting members present are: Michelle Alvarez, President; Sharron Williams, Secretary; Anne McInerney, Professional Standards and Practices Representatives; Brenda Lindsey, University Representative; Benita Whitfield-Shanklin, Midwest Member at Large; Howard Blonsky, Northwest Member at Large; Rebecca Kunkel, Southern Member at Large; Daniel McCarthy, Western Member at Large and; Rochelle Leiber-Miller; Past President.

Staff Members present are: Dot Kontak, Conference Director & Communication Director; Frederick Streeck, Executive Director, Myrna Mandawiltz and Libby Nealis who are Government Relations staff

The previous minutes could not be approved because the minutes were not delivered to all delegates. Therefore, the minutes will be accepted at a later date. After a review of a portion of the minutes, the following spelling corrections were made: Benita Croom Kimbrew, Beverley Wilks and Sonnya Nieves.

The agenda was accepted with the following additions - National Model.


Guest Speaker:
Sue Thomas from Hazelden Foundation – spoke to the DA about a Bullying project. They have worked with SSWAA and ASCA to create a 3 hour video course online which has a fee of $50. The Board and Delegates received handouts from Sue about this course.

There have been delays in the launch of the new website. Frederick Streeck and Dot Kontak have been communicating with the new company that is located in Austin, TX. The new launching is tentatively scheduled for May 2012. This website will have more features including an enhanced data base and enhanced member sections.

Conference Report:
The conference attendance for Boston is 435, so far. (This is compared to 500 in Myrtle Beach). Forty-five out of 50 states were represented at this conference. Dot will need to work through the conference and workshop evaluations and bring back a full report.

Government Relations:
Myra Mandlawitz and Libby Nealis reported on government relations updates. SSWAA is prominent in D.C. with several organizations. They are working hard to get the US Department of Education to recognize School Social Work more. There are 94 organizations now a part of the Committee for Education Funding (CEF).

Strategic Plan Draft:
The Board met in January to start on the plan. Frederick asked the Delegate Assembly to review the new vision and the mission statements. There are three main goals that SSWAA will focus on. The Board will accept ideas from the DA and will report again at a later time to vote.

SSWAA Awards:
Frederick talked about the awards presented at the conference: Book Award, School Social Worker of the Year Award, Gary Schaffer Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award. He would like to promote the awards and nominations being presented. Also the award committee members would like to have feedback throughout the nominations and selection process.

Timeline Document:
The document was not available to be handed out; however, Frederick Streeck talked about the events that took place since 2008. The request from the Grand Jury investigating this matter that SSWAA not discuss this situation has been lifted and SSWAA is now able to discuss matters dealing with the legal situation. Frederick also explained the new procedures to maintain financial records and ensure ‘checks and balances’ are in place and accurate. Phil Barker - Michigan moved and it was seconded by Donna Davis – New Jersey, a motion to have SSWAA develop and publish a statement to the members that addresses the history and the events that happened in the past to include documentations and remedies so this will not happen again. The statement will also include the future state of the organization. The motion carried.


New Jersey – Donna Davis:
Reported: two conferences are held in the state; membership has declined; looking to bring in new people on the state board; working with various teams in the state and also looking to get a state liaison in the Department of Education.

Tennessee – Annice Overall:
Reported: have 100 members in state association; Social Workers are not employed as School Social Workers, so there are about 200 total state-wide; working through the ‘race to the top’ (i.e., school social work evaluations/rubric).

Pennsylvania – Sonnya Nieves
Reported: have a small organization – about 150 members; lobbying with in the state to get certification; were invited to the table to assist in writing a model; working with NASW and other organizations.

Illinois – Mary Bragg
Reported: have 1000 members; still concerned about membership; SSWAA affiliation will be a plus for membership; there is a concern about School Social Worker losing jobs; celebrated School Social Work Week; having more workshops to teach new skills.

Iowa - Lois Schreur:
Reported: have over 85 members with 200 in the state; have a newsletter and annual conference; no state consultant with the Department of Education; legislators are planning on cutting money to the education fund.

Minnesota – Tammie Knick
Reported: have 305 members, which is a decline; attendance at conferences has also declined; thinking of rezoning the state; have 30 members on the board; celebrated school social work week; had a day at the hill; had a resolution from the governor about school social work week; has strong leadership on board; give scholarships to graduate students; had to raise membership dues.

Connecticut – Regina Karas
Reported: has been a transition year with the board; have after-school workshops; contracting with the website; membership is 130, which is a decline.

Texas – Lara Hulin
Reported: is newly affiliated and newly established with SSWAA; hopeful have 55 members; unknown of the true numbers of school social workers in Texas; there is no consultant in the state department of education; they usually have 400 people to attend the state conference; have strong regional representation; networking with other organizations.

Indiana – Pam Lawrence Puls
Reported: have 580 members; have a state consultant; Department of Education made significant cuts; have two licenses in Indiana; Department of Education is looking to cut their teacher’s license which will be bad for the School Social Workers.

Missouri – Gayle Abram
Reported: have 100 members; statewide, there are 400 school social workers; leadership is committed and dedicated to the organization; planning for Spring conference; have two conferences; looking to grow regions.

North Carolina – Katrina Nesmith
Reported: have 300 members; statewide there are 1000 school social workers; working on the new state guidelines for the evaluation of school social workers; do not have a state consultant; celebrated school social work week; had a resolution from the governor; working on the new website; working on the next conference; looking for incentives for members to join.

Virginia – Bonita Croom-Kimbrew
Reported: have a Department of Education representative who worked as a school social worker; have state certification; 827 School Social Workers who are certified (118 School Social Workers also have visiting teachers certification); Fairfax County employ largest amount of School Social Workers – they have over 200; they are reorganizing.

Florida – Beverley Wilks
Reported: looking to revamp the regions in the state; have a state consultant; state conference is in October; Frederick and Myrna will present at the fall conference.

Maryland – Pat Childs
Reported: have 33 members (10 to renew); membership has declined; most have completed the combined membership; have a coalition with the Baltimore Education Committee; had a state conference in November; budget cuts in the education fund.

Michigan – Phil Barker
Reported: have a strong lobbying presence; have annual state conference; have a strong relationship with NASW and Department of Education; completing a three year plan; have CE workshops regionally; Medicaid reimbursement procedures have been an issue.

– Tim Schwaller
Reported: has a declining membership; have 180 members; statewide 500 school social workers; hired a lobbyist; have a full board; have regional representatives; have a state consultant; have great partnerships with community organizations; working on a website to make it beneficial; looking to do spring and fall conference; will host Mid-west Council this year (2012).

California – Tory Cox
Reported: have 276 members (67 paid SSWAA members); statewide 400 members; have not had a statewide conference since 2009; have rural regions; have an online CE; website continues to be updated; needs to be more active in the social media; budget cuts; trying to become affiliated with Los Angeles Unified; excited about SSWAA being in San Diego in 2013.

Washington – Julie Sullenszino
Reported: have 230 School Social Workers statewide; have 65 paid members; have an executive director; some School Social Work position are in jeopardy; State Education Agency is no longer requiring internship for graduate students but most complete one if they plan to seek school positions; will have conference in the Fall; celebrated school social work


Standards and Practice Topics:
Reported given by Anne. Looking for people to give input on the report. recommendations were taken to be presented to the Board.

Highly Qualified School Social Workers Statement:
SSWAA is creating a document defining “Highly Qualified School Social Workers”. A copy was passed around. Discussion was made regarding the ‘highly qualified’ statements and will be taken to the Board. Tim Schwaller (seconded by Mary Bragg) moved that the entire paragraph of Clarification section under the Education be removed. The motion passed.

Title of School Social Worker:
The Delegate Assembly has been asked if they want SSWAA to take a position on the title of “School Social Worker”. President Michelle Alvarez asked for volunteers to work on this issue electronically. The volunteers are: Brenda Lindsey, Mary Bragg, Katrina Nesmith, Regina Karas.

National Model of School Social Work:
A draft of the national model was passed out. Brenda Lindsey shared comments made on the model from the workshop. She is looking for more feedback from the Delegate Assembly.

National Research Agenda:
Brenda discussed the research she is working on involving connecting practitioners in the field.

Monthly Webinars on Research Topics:
Around May, SSWAA will be starting webinars. This will be a feature on the new website. More information will be emailed to the members about the details.


President Michelle is asking for a vision of the Delegate Assembly. She wants Delegate Assembly members to participate in phone calls to further develop the Delegate Assembly process and the roles. Phil Barker and Bonita Croom-Kimbrew, Donna Davis, Tim Schwaller volunteered to work on this issue.

Budget issues:
The Delegate Assembly has a line-item of $2,000. Comments were taken on how the money would be spent.

Delegate Assembly Meeting in Summer?:
The decision needs to be made if the Delegate Assembly will meet in Washington D.C. this summer 2012. The pros and cons were discussed about a summer meeting. Other issues to consider are budget and time of year. President Michelle Alvarez will work with the committee to make a decision.

Nominations and Election:
There are 5 Board positions that will be elected for the 2013-14 term. They are: President Elect; North East Member at Large; Mid-West Member at Large; University Representative; Standards and Practices Representative. Daniel is requesting volunteers to assist on the nominations committee and to review the applications and create the slate.

Legislative Board Position:
The Board has had a position on the Board regarding Legislative Chair. If the Delegate Assembly is interested in working with the chair on Legislative concerns, please let us know.

Support to States Committee
Rebecca Kunkel will email her report to the Delegate Assembly.

Summer Legislative/Leadership Meeting

The DA asked if there will be a summer meeting. Michelle discussed concerns and announced that a decision will be made on Sunday, April 1st.

Daniel thanked the DA committee for working hard to set the agenda although we didn’t get through it. The DA notebook is meant to be an informative, historical tool that should be passed on to the next DA.


President Michelle Alvarez adjourned the meeting at 6:06 p.m.

Submitted by:
Sharron Williams

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