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SSWAA Advocacy in Action

The Advocacy and Legislative Action Committee is excited to continue elevating school social work nationwide. In the past year, we have advocated for social workers, students, families, schools, and communities through committee involvement, working to introduce legislation, consulting with individual states on pressing issues, participating in White House and Congressional briefings, and creating resources to support social workers in addressing issues around diversity, equity, and inclusion. We were involved in endorsing numerous sign-on letters submitted to policymakers, reviewing, analyzing, and revising legislation with key legislators, and sending action alerts to SSWAA members.


We also actively engaged with NASW, the U.S. Department of Education, the White House Task Force on Education, the Human Rights Campaign, and the American Psychological Association to develop stronger relationships with key stakeholders. In addition to our direct work, we were active as part of several coalitions, including the Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG), National Alliance of Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (NASISP), Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH), and the APA Task Force Collaboration (Violence Prevention).


Keep in mind that as state legislative sessions begin, the Advocacy and Legislative Action Committee is available for consultation around state legislative issues.


Advocacy & Legislative Action Resources

The Advocacy and Legislative Action Committee wants to share resources to support states' advocacy efforts around school social work, anti-racism, and social justice issues.


For state associations and leadership teams, macro-level advocacy is a critical tool to promote our profession and advocate for students, families, and communities. School social workers’ unique understanding of family, education, and mental health systems provides the knowledge to educate others about how these systems impact one another positively and negatively.


To access the Macro Advocacy Toolkit, click here.


In light of the increase of anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation introduced across the country, the Advocacy and Legislative Action Committee created talking points, fact sheets, and resources supporting efforts to educate, build allies, and fight against this harmful legislation.


Click the links below to access these resources:


SSWAA Legislative Priorities

While there certainly have been challenges this past year, we are energized by the momentum we are seeing in the awareness of the impact school social workers have on student well-being and academic outcomes, the prioritization of school mental health, and the advancement of key legislation such as the School Social Workers Supporting Student Success Act.


In preparation for the 118th Congress, the Advocacy and Legislative Action Committee is working closely with Lobbyit, SSWAA’s Government Relations firm, to ensure that school social work is front and center on the national education scene. This year our legislative priorities include increasing the following:

  • School-Based Mental Health Services

  • Recognition for the School Social Work Profession

  • Federal Funding for Education

  • Support Student and Family Well-being, and

  • Workforce Diversity and Development


For a detailed description of our 2023 SSWAA Legislative Priorities, click here.


Join us

Are you interested in being on the front line of SSW advocacy? Consider joining the Advocacy and Legislative Action Committee during our monthly meetings (the fourth Monday of each month at 8:00 PM EST). We welcome your input and involvement in advocating for school social work and the students, families, schools, and communities we serve.


Contact

Please reach out to the co-chairs Emilie Souhrada (emiliejsouhrada@gmail.com) and Robert Lucio (robert.lucio@saintleo.edu) for more information.


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