In This Issue | JUNE 2021

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President's Message

Lynn Grodzki

As Spring beckons, we are seeing a lot of energy and creativity within our Society. I feel very inspired and appreciative of the hard work of many. Despite concerns at the start of the pandemic, we are not only surviving, we are thriving. Our chapter remains in very good financial health and our membership is growing. We are acclaiming new programs, welcoming new members, meeting member’s needs for connection and education and have some encouraging legislative policy to share.

I think we can credit this to a creative and collaborative Board who stay connected to our members’ needs. I am so grateful to our wonderful group of volunteers. One recent program has been a great success thanks to Frances Wu, Melissa Grady and others on our University Liaison Committee. We partnered with NCSSS (National Catholic School of Social Service) to offer a free, one-day workshop for graduating MSW students to try and address potential bias within the LG test that may have resulted in fewer grads passing the test. It was a success!

Corey Beauford, LICSW, was the presenter on our Zoom platform on April 17. He was reviewed as “clear, informative. empathic and personable.” He offered a wealth of additional materials for participants and gave us permission to tape the program so students could revisit the workshop as often as needed, prior to taking the test. Almost the entire graduating class of NCSSS registered with our Zoom program. We received very positive responses and great evaluations from students, NCSSS professors and a big thumbs up from Dr. Roslynn Scott-Adams, Assistant NCSS Dean.

The GWSCSW Board is busy with other new programs, including low-cost therapy for MSW students, many of whom graduate from school without having experienced psychotherapy for themselves. Kate Rossier has spearheaded this program and coordinated with members who are willing and eager to provide therapy for MSW students at reduced rates.

Some big news on the legislative front: Many of us have complained about the limitations of not being able to follow our clients and patients for continued care across state lines, when they move or when we do. Our national association, the CSWA (Clinical Social Work Association) announced an exciting program: The Department of Defense and Council of State Governments have partnered to create an interstate compact for clinical social workers. CSWA is one of the three main stakeholders! This may be a way to affect legislation and help the Federal and State governments rethink the need to allowing clinical social workers to offer a continuity of care, regardless of location. Stay tuned for more.

The Anti-Racism Taskforce launched a very successful introductory program for members seeking a brave space (not just a safe space) within which to grow their understanding of how systemic racism comes up in the therapy room. This facilitated group experience to allowed members to think and talk about the impact of racism in their lives and their clinical work with each other and all reported that it was deeply meaningful.

We are also in the process of a society website redesign, which will make the GWSCSW website easier to navigate and a better tool for displaying all the resources we are accruing. We are starting to have a presence on social media and trying to make sure that those local clinical social workers who want connection and resources can find us. We had a good time and a good turnout at the New Member Brunch on Zoom and I really enjoyed meeting many new members  who are joining our Society.

I invite members to check out a new entry in the “Welcome to Our Wisdom” section of the existing GWSCSW website. Just log in and go to https://www.gwscsw.org/members-wisdom to see the 30-minute interview with May Benatar, LCSW, PhD, one of our long-term members who is a clinician and published author. She shares her process of writing and some tips and techniques for getting published!  There is even more going on: ongoing CE programs (we have a new Education Branch Director, Ari Sallas-Brookwell!) and a renewed interest in our mentoring program, and ideas for a variety of support groups.

We invite any members who are curious about joining a committee or volunteering to get to how it works, behind the scenes to join us at an upcoming ZOOM board meeting. We welcome you to get involved. Watch for the invitation on the listserv and on our email blast.

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FALL 2021 New Member Brunch 

Cindy Crane and Nancy Harris, Membership Committee Co-chairs 

If you missed this one, there will be another in the Fall… Our Spring 2021 new member virtual brunch was a smashing success. Attended by 27 people on zoom, we also had 8 Board members who introduced new members to everything the Society has to offer, as well as outlining ways to get involved. We broke out into discussion groups twice, allowing for more natural conversation. 

We are really excited about possibly resuming in-person brunches starting in Fall 2021!

If not in-person, though, we will hold another virtual brunch in the Fall of 2021.  Forget what in-person events are like? Well if it is your first new member brunch, here’s what you can expect:

WHAT: IN-PERSON* FALL 2021 New Member Brunch 

This yummy brunch event is an opportunity to learn all the many resources GWSCSW can provide, and it's a great networking opportunity. 

WHERE: New membership committee’s co-chair Cindy Crane’s home in Bethesda, Maryland.
This will be held outdoors, provided the weather cooperates (otherwise we are inside).

WHEN: Fall 2021, Sunday 11 am - 1 pm  (date to be determined) .

Stay tuned for more details in the months to come!

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Interstate Compact for Social Workers on the (Distant) Horizon  

Judy Gallant, Director of Legislation| Email: judy.gallant@verizon.net 

Interstate Compact for Social Workers on the (Distant) Horizon

In November 2020, the Department of Defense (DOD) put out a Request for Proposals for a grant to develop Interstate Compacts for Licensure Portability. The grant would allow 5 selected professions to work with the Council of State Governments’ National Center for Interstate Compacts to develop model interstate occupational licensure compact legislation. The primary impetus of the DOD-funded grant is to address licensing portability issues that affect military spouses, but will apply to all practitioners of the profession.

CSWA initially applied for the grant, and named the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) and NASW as stakeholders that should also be involved. In addition to DOD selecting the social work profession, teachers, dentistry/dental hygienists, cosmetologists and massage therapists will also receive the grants.

The $500,000 of grant money for each profession goes to the Council for State Governments (CSG), and a small amount of the grant may be used to fund travel and hotels for staff of CSWA, ASWB and NASW to meet together with the CSG. The meetings with CSWA, NASW and ASWB will have the goal of helping CSG understand the issues involved for our profession in order for agreements to be reached about how the Model State legislation will be designed. A 20-member advisory group will examine current policies, best practices and alternative structures in order to establish recommendations for the contents of an interstate compact. Kendra Roberson, CSWA President; Laura Groshong, CSWA Director of Policy and Practice; Margot Aronson, CSWA Deputy Director of Policy and Practice, GWSCSW Co-Chair of DC Legislation and Advocacy; and Judy Gallant, CSWA Government Relations Committee member, GWSCSW Director of  Legislation and Advocacy will all be part of the advisory group to the Council for State Governments.

The scope of the DOD/CSG assistance includes the drafting of a model interstate compact legislation by CSG lawyers, developing a legislative resource kit, and convening a national meeting of state policymakers to introduce the compact. This part may take 14-18 months to accomplish. Activities that are not part of the grant, but which will still need CSWA, NASW, and ASWB support and cooperation, will be creating the Interstate Commission that will govern compact activities and potentially mediate any disputes between states. A shared contact data system will also need to be developed. State Legislatures, along with Boards of Social Work, will need to be encouraged to consider, and then to vote for becoming part of the Social Work interstate compact for licensure portability. This is the time that members of CSWA, GWSCSW and NASW will likely be able to have the most impact through personal advocacy with legislators. We will be talking about this more as that time comes closer. It may be 3-4 years before we see any states joining the interstate compact that will govern social workers interstate licensure.

Some resources that may answer some of your questions:

There was a recent lively list-serv conversation on this topic, raising important points. Questions about how this might impact our practices, in-person provision of services, decreased income potentially as a result of lower fees from competing out-of-state practitioners, and other issues were raised. Other questions that will need to be addressed: Will the compact include standardized licensure fees? Will CEUs earned in one state be accepted in all states participating in the Compact? Some state standards for licensure are more stringent than others. How will these discrepancies be resolved? Will some states need to raise (or lower) their standards? How will fees be handled?

Be sure to contact one of us with any questions, suggestions, or information you might have, or to join one of the committees: in DC, Margot Aronson at malevin@erols.com or Adele Natter at anatter@verizon.net; in Maryland, Judy Gallant, judy.gallant@verizon.net; and in Virginia, Judy Ratliff, jratliff48@hotmail.com or Wayne Martin at wamnoles@aol.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Anti-Racism Taskforce (ART) - A brief report and suggestion for your own journey!

Anti-Racism Taskforce: Hannah Davis | Karla Abney | Mike Giordano | Margot Lamson | Kate Rossier | Wendi Kaplan

During our Brave Space Dialogue in February, the Anti-Racism Taskforce (ART) shared a Continuum on Becoming Anti-Racist. The continuum explores the culture shift that needs to take place to move from a monocultural to an anti-racist multicultural organization.

After such a robust conversation during the Brave Space Dialogue, we thought it was important to share an overview of this work with the whole Society. It’s important to note this work is viewed on a continuum, meaning it’s fluid and you and/or the organization can slide up and down the continuum in various ways. We realize on this journey of anti-racism it may be hard to fit yourself into one specific category and it’s important to remain fluid and be a continuous learner. 

Monocultural → Multicultural → Anti-Racist → Anti-Racist Multicultural 
Racial and Cultural Differences Seen as Deficits -> Tolerant Racial and Cultural Differences -> Racial and Cultural Differences Seen as Assets

Moving from Monocultural to Anti-Racist Multicilutural Organization

 Racial and cultural differences seen as defects  Tolerant of racial and cultural differences  Racial and cultural differences seen as assets
Exclusive: An exclusionary institution that intentionally and publicly excludes or segregates non-Whites and Whites. It enforces a status quo in the organization.

Passive: A passive institution can be thought of as a “good ol’ boys” club or network. It allows in “others” with a “proper” perspective and credentials. Monocultural norms of the dominant culture are viewed as the “right way.”

 Symbolic Change:  A symbolic change organization may make a statement and feels it’s a non-racist institution with open doors, but in reality there’s little change in the culture and policies of the organization.

Identity Change: An identity change organization has a growing understanding of racism as a barrier to its work and mission. It as an increased commitment to dismantle racism, yet the culture may still maintain White privilege.

 Structural Change: A structural change institution is transforming. There is a commitment to the process of intentional, institutional restructuring and it works to actively ensure full participation. Structures, policies and practices begin to shift to promote power sharing.

Fully inclusive: A fully inclusive institution has full participation from all and shares power. There is a sense of restored community and mutual caring, and members of this institution work as allies with others in combating all forms of social oppression.



Based on work by Bailey Jackson and Rita Hardiman and expanded by Andrea Avazian, Ronice Branding and Melia LaCour

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Legislation & Advocacy | National

Laura Groshong, LICSW, CSWA Director of Policy and Practice

CSWA has been holding virtual Town Halls every 3-4 weeks for the past six months, moderated by Laura Groshong, CSWA Director of Policy and Practice.  Since there are not many representatives from GWSCSW – except for stalwarts Steve Szopa and Margot Aronson (Hi, Steve and Margot!) – I thought you might like to get a taste of what goes on in these 90-minute meetings of 30-40 CSWA members around the country.  The summary below is from our April 20 Town Hall:

We convened about 15 minutes after the verdicts on Chauvin were announced and almost everyone referenced the relief they felt about the decision; some tears were shed by most attendees.  It took about an hour to get through the intros and process the feelings raised by the decision.

We did get to other issues including:

  1. How will people be able to decide whether to go back to the office or not (referred them to my webinar to review the many issues involved)
  2. What to do about patients who lie about having COVID (a terrible situation)
  3. How to decide whether to give up the office or not (a steadily increasing number are giving it up)
  4. Will insurance cover audio/telemental health and for how long (audio only till PHE ends, TMH till end of year)
  5. Should you take on patients who are suicidal without meeting in person (a risk that should be assessed on a case by case basis)
  6. Survive and Thrive, CSWA’s Zoom group for clinical social workers of color, got a shout out from members
  7. An attendee offered to revive the AZ Society
  8. Much interest in CSWA sponsoring consulting groups  

Several long-term members of the group have formed relationships outside the meetings and everyone was very grateful for the opportunity to continue to meet.

We hope you join us at our next session on June 8, 5:30 pm EDT
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

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Legislation & Advocacy | District of Columbia

Adele Natter Margot Aronson, Committee co-chairs

DC LICENSE RENEWALS

As of the first week in May, the District of Columbia Board of Social Work has opened the renewal process for DC licensees due by July 31, 2021.  All current licensees should have received an email with detailed instructions, sent by Mavis Azariah, the Board’s Health Licensing Specialist, in late April.  Be aware that there will be no paper option this year; all renewals must be made on-line.

If you have not received the informative email, please let Ms. Azariah know.  And, if your information (name, mailing address, email address, phone number, etc.) has changed since your last renewal, please send your new contact information to her at mavis.azariah@dc.gov.   For name changes, you will need to include a copy of the name change document/s (marriage certificate, divorce decree, etc.).

PANDEMIC-RELATED POLICIES

The Public Health Emergency was extended by Mayor Bowser to May 20, 2021.  At this writing, it is not expected to be extended again beyond that date.

The DC Licensure Waiver  was extended to May 20, 2021 and was recently amended so that the waiver is in effect 60 days beyond the end date of the Public Health Emergency.  But any clinical social workers working for continuity of care in DC under the waiver, who plan to continue working in DC,  should apply for licensure in DC now.

Telehealth Policy: Clinical social workers can practice using audio, visual, and telephone, as long as they practice within ethical and HIPAA standards of care. This policy will likely be in place for some time after the end of the public health emergency, or perhaps made permanent. Watch for an announcement on the Board’s website as well as the GWSCSW list-serve.

Continuing Education policy changes: The requirement for live, in-person, interactive CE classes has been suspended during the current licensing period, to July 31, 2021.  CE  classes can be recorded or online; but in-person classes also meet the CE requirements.  

40 hours of approved CE units per licensing cycle are required and must include:

  • 6 hours of Ethics
  • 2 hours of LGBTQ training
  • 4 hours in Public Health Priorities

The required Public Health Priorities CEUs must relate to one or more of the following key public health priorities:

  1. Responsible opioid prescribing and effective pain management;
  2. Nutrition and obesity prevention;
  3. Identifying and reporting abuse (child and adult), neglect (child and adult), human trafficking, and domestic violence;
  4. Sexual health (including taking sexual history, discussing sexual experiences with patients, sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV/AIDS), HPV vaccines, connections to cancer, latent tuberculosis, safe sex, and birth control);
  5. Ethics and appropriate patient interactions (i.e. boundaries, patient privacy, and communications including telehealth);
  6. Smoking, vaping, and tobacco (including dangers, smoking cessation, and non-smoke tobacco products);
  7. Preparing your patients for an emergency and handling vulnerable populations in an emergency;
  8. Identifying impairment (physical or mental) in patients and providers (including complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act);
  9. Vaccinations (including legal requirements and appropriate exemptions); and, 
  10. Implicit bias, cultural competence and Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in health and health care.

Ethics CEUs can be used to satisfy the Public Health Priorities when the topic fits one of the 10 categories listed above (which are pretty broad).  On your license renewal you will indicate which Public Health Priority is covered by the CEU.

LBGTQ CEUs are separate and may not be used to satisfy another requirement. 

There is no longer a requirement for HIV CEUs.

More detailed information and cites can be found on the DC Social Work Board website.

DC BOARD OF SOCIAL WORK OPEN SESSIONS

Thank you to everyone for your attention and questions about the DC Board of Social Work, its policies, and policy  changes during the pandemic.  Quite a few of our members have attended Board meetings and advocated on issues of interest.  The Board has taken notice of your interest and advocacy and has become more responsive and cognizant of the effects of policies and policy changes ‘on the ground.'

Remember:  DC Board of Social Work Open Session meetings are, typically, the 4th Monday of each month, beginning at 10 AM.  A detailed agenda, the virtual meeting link, and the minutes from the last meeting are all on the website several days before the meeting.  Proposed agenda items must be submitted to Ms. Azariah at least a week before the meeting.  We have observed that robust attendance by the public is welcomed and, clearly, valued by the Board. NEXT DC BOARD MEETING is scheduled for Monday, June 28, 10:00 am 

AND A SHOUT-OUT FOR DC ON THE HILL …

On January 3 of this year, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced bill HR 51 to the House, with 216 co-sponsors in support of DC Statehood.  The bill passed on April 22, with a bipartisan 216 to 208 vote!

The House bill is now in the Senate. The Senate version, S 51, introduced by Senator Tom Carper of Delaware on January 26, has 45 cosponsors.  The numbers of cosponsors on each bill represent a huge (and obviously effective) effort on the part of District residents to educate our families and friends and colleagues in states across the nation about the importance of this issue.  Kudos!

And now, the rights of DC residents to have a voice in the selection of those who make the laws we must obey - and an end to the rights of Congressional members from around the country to nullify and amend our local laws at whim - is in the hands of the Senate. 

Adele Natter, LICSW, Co-Chairs the GWSCSW Legislation & Advocacy Committee for DC.. Adele has been an active participant on the Committee for the past four years; she represented GWSCSW on a Board of Social Work sub-committee, which included NASW and CSWA representatives. Adele maintains a private practice focused on helping individuals with anger and emotional regulation issues. She is also a Clinical Instructor in the Psychiatry Residency Program of the George Washington University Medical School. She holds a BA in Psychology from UCLA and received her MSW from the University of Maryland.

Margot Aronson, LICSW, co-chairs the GWSCSW Legislation and Advocacy Committee for DC along with Adele Natter, LICSW. A past GWSCSW president, she has also served as newsletter editor and director of Legislation & Advocacy. Margot currently advocates on mental health and LCSW practice issues for us all at the national level as the Clinical Social Work Association Deputy Director for Policy and Practice.

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Legislation & Advocacy | Maryland

Judy Gallant

This report is based, in part, on the multi-page summary of this year’s legislative session from our lobbyist, Pam Metz Kasemeyer, JD.

The Maryland General Assembly completed its 2021 legislative session on Monday, April 12. There were no in-person sessions due to the pandemic – all business and votes were conducted via Zoom and YouTube. The committee voting sessions, which have previously been primarily closed-door meetings, were available to be viewed in real time by the public.

Some of the most important laws affecting LCSW-Cs that passed this session address telehealth rules; LCSW-Cs being authorized to be a second signature for involuntary admission to a hospital; reducing the age an adolescent may consent to mental health treatment from 16 to 12 years old; implicit bias training that will be required for license renewal; and a reduction in supervision hours required for new LCSW-Cs. Details are below. Information on additional legislation passed in 2021 will appear in the September newsletter.

Our major priority this session was to advocate for the continuation of telehealth access for patients and we were successful! There was broad support for Senate Bill 3: Preserve Telehealth Access Act of 2021 which codifies the use of telehealth that had been expanded in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. The legislation requires insurance plans (including Medicaid) to pay equally for in-person and telehealth visits with the same CPT codes. Telephone services (audio only) is now codified as telehealth in Maryland. Additionally, insurance companies will be unable to require providers and patients to use proprietary telehealth platforms in Maryland. The bill will be in effect between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2023. During that time, the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) is required to study the impact of providing telehealth services on patients and providers and must issue a report with recommendations to the General Assembly by December 1, 2022. The General Assembly will have the opportunity to make the law, and potential changes to it, permanent during the  2023 session (prior to the termination of the provisions on June 30, 2023).

The MHCC, through our lobbyist, Pam Metz Kasemeyer, has requested to meet with us in May to help them with being in touch with providers for the study. Look for updates about this in our next newsletter.

Our member, Arthur Flax, developed important legislation – House Bill 698: Mental Health-Assent to and Certificates for Admission-Licensed Certified Social worker-Clinical and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor  - which now authorizes LCSW-Cs and LCPCs to be the second signatory on a certification of involuntary admission to a state facility or VA hospital, as well as a second signatory of a voluntary admission of a minor to a child or adolescent unit of a state facility. Kudos to Arthur for identifying the need for this, identifying sponsoring legislators, helping to draft the bill, and shepherding the legislation through to enactment. We gave testimony supporting the bill, as did NASW and others.

The Senate Bill 41: Health – Mental and Emotional Disorders – Consent (Mental Health Access Initiative) lowers the age from 16 years to 12 years, at which a youth can seek mental health treatment without consent from a parent or guardian. The health care provider retains the authority to determine if the minor is mature and capable of giving informed consent, and also permits the provider to release information to a parent or guardian without the minor’s consent, unless the provider believes the disclosure will lead to harm to the minor or deter the minor from seeking care. A minor younger than 16 is not authorized to consent to the use of prescription medications to treat a mental or emotional disorder. The current provisions of law, which do not allow a minor to refuse consultation, diagnosis or treatment for a mental or emotional disorder for which a parent or guardian has given consent, remains unchanged.

House Bill 28: Public Health – Implicit Bias Training and the Office of Minority Health Disparities requires all licensed and certified health care professionals to complete an implicit bias training course that is recognized by a health occupations board or accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education and approved by the Cultural and Linguistic Health Care Professional Competency Program, in conjunction with the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities. A health care provider must attest to the completion of an implicit bias training course on the provider’s first application for license renewal after April 1, 2022. Additionally, the bill expands the reporting requirements of the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities to include racial and ethnic data in their annual “Health Care Disparities Policy Report Card,” post the information on their website, and update the data every 6 months.

House Bill 811: State Board of Social Work Examiners – Revisions largely makes technical changes, but additionally reduces the supervision hours required for training for an LCSW-C from 144 hours to 100 hours. Virginia and DC and other jurisdictions across the country also require 100 supervision hours for their clinical licenses.

Judy Gallant, LCSW-C, is the director of the Society’s Legislation & Advocacy program, as well as chair of the Maryland Clinical Social Work Coalition, our GWSCSW legislative committee in Maryland. She maintains a private practice in Silver Spring.

Pamela Metz Kasemeyer, JD, and her firm of Schwartz, Metz & Wise, PA, represent us in Annapolis and guide our advocacy strategy. Ms. Kasemeyer is an acknowledged authority on Maryland’s health care and environmental laws and has represented a variety of interests before the Maryland General Assembly and regulatory agencies for more than 25 years.

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Legislation & Advocacy | Virginia

Judy Ratliff and Wayne Martin, Co-Chairs, VA Legislation and Advocacy Committee

LEGISLATION PASSED BY THE VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE IN 2021

Information contained in this article has been taken from communications from the Governor’s office, Delegate Ken Plum and our lobbyist, Sue Roland.

  • There will be no telehealth coverage for mental health under Medicaid. We, our lobbyist, Sue Roland, and the VSCSW board will be working to get it included in the next legislative session.
  • The legislature approved an amendment proposed by Governor Ralph Northam that decriminalizes the possession by adults of a small amount of marijuana, effective July 1, 2021....Selling, buying or driving with marijuana remains illegal at this time. Retail sales of marijuana will not begin until January 1, 2024. Many complex issues remain to be resolved as to who will be certified to sell the product, how an illicit market will be controlled, and what the limitations on purchasing will be.
  • The Legislature passed a bill that creates a Behavioral Health Commission. It’s purposes are to study and make recommendations for improvement of behavioral services and the behavioral services system in the Commonwealth.
  • Virginia ended the death penalty.
  • Virginia passed the Voting Rights Act of Virginia.  Included in it are:  the repeal of a voter identification law; the enactment of a 45-day no excuse absentee ballot voting period that permits early voting, made Election Day a holiday; and established a system for automatic voter registration for anyone who receives a Virginia driver’s license.  The Virginia Voting Rights Act follows some of the provisions of the earlier federal law but applies to localities in the state to ensure that voting remains accessible. “The Voting Rights Act of Virginia prohibits discrimination in elections administration, requires local election officials to get feedback or pre-approval for voting changes, allows individuals to sue in cases of voter suppression and allows access to early voting on Sunday.
  • A law was passed that extends eviction protections for renters experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic through July 1, 2022.
  • Governor Northam signed legislation creating tuition-free community college programs for low and middle income students.  The goal is to connect these students with the skills, training and resources that they need to secure jobs in high-demand fields and be financially independent without having mountains of student debt.  The idea is that they will be able to develop the skills needed in areas like healthcare and information technology.
  • The Virginia Agriculture Food Assistance Program and Fund was established to allow Virginia farmers and food producers to directly donate or sell their food products to food banks, increasing the availability of fresh produce for food-insecure families.
  • Medicaid recipients can receive up to a 12-month prescription for birth control, increasing access to contraception for those who need it.
  • A bill for expungement of records of convictions for several misdemeanor crimes passed as did a bill to establish a process for seeking expungement through the courts for other crimes.
  • Bills passed to remove the prohibition on abortion coverage in any qualified health insurance plan offered through the Virginia state-based exchange.
  • Governor Northam announced that any Virginians released from incarceration will qualify to have their civil rights restored, even if they remain on community supervision.

BOARD OF SOCIAL WORK

The Board will cease making hard-copy licenses, certifications and registrations.  During the next renewal, a final hard copy that contains the expiration date will be issued.  The renewal period for the Board of Social Work will begin in early May and the Board will send out email notices at that time. This final copy should be maintained, carried or posted in accordance with relevant applicable laws and regulations.  State health regulatory boards, insurance providers and citizens seeking verification of current licensure status in the Commonwealth of Virginia may obtain this information via “License Lookup”.


Judy Ratliff, LCSW, (recently retired from work but not from GWSCSW or from life). She is the Co-Chair, VA Legislation and Advocacy Committee.

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Senior Seminar 

  Grace Lebow, Senior Representative

Clinical Society Seminars for Later Career and Retired Social Workers have blossomed with two new zoom groups.  The new leaders are Patti Gibberman and Hannah Craven, leading another Northern Virginia group, and Nancy Harris and Judith Gallant leading the newest and seventh Seminar/Group in Montgomery County.

Our other leaders are Estelle Berley with Carolyn Maurer, leaders of the first group that began in 2006 in N.W. D.C.; Susan Miller and Karen Brandt in NOVA since 2015; Marcie Solomon in N. W. D.C since 2016 ; Rebecca Harrison in Reston since 2017;  and  Roberta Goldberg since 2017 in Bethesda.   

If you are interested in joining a Senior Seminar to share the challenges of being senior therapists, to get support with transitions, or also, if you are retired, I welcome you to phone me for more detailed information. --  Grace Lebow | 240-858-4738 | gracelebow@comcast.net

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Are you a Maryland member interested in joining a group of like-minded social workers considering or beginning the process of retirement? Nancy Harris and Judy Gallant are forming a Senior Seminar and would love to hear from other interested clinicians. We are currently trying to determine a time when most interested people can meet on a regular basis. We will talk about what we each would like from the group and set up a structure to support that.

Please contact Nancy Harris at 301-385-3375 or at nlharris1214@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you. Grace Lebow is also available to answer questions at 240-858-4738.

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Communications Branch 

Steve Szopa, Director of Communications 

The Communications Branch has been working to put a fresh face on our branding.  Below are updates on the communications efforts happening in the Society:

  • Website: We have been working on our new website and plan to launch it soon.  Please take a look and let us know what you think. 
  • Social Media:  We are in the works to develop a strong social media presence and are looking into the idea of a very part-time paid consultant to help us be more active and targeted. We are looking forward to building our network on all social platforms to share content related to the Society as well as mental health practice.
  • List-serv: In response to your feedback, we have modified our list-serv guidelines to reduce the number of postings of non-GWSCSW education and training ads. We now request that members limit the posting of their non-GWSCSW events to twice per month.  If you are offering multiple classes, please group them into one email so you can refrain from posting reminders more often than twice per month. 
  • Newsletter: The quarterly newsletter is available in a printed version as well as the online version. To receive a printed version, sign into the website, go to your profile and scroll down until you find preferences for a digital or printed version of the newsletter.

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Mentor Program  

Nancy Harris, LCSW-C. Mentorship Coordinator

Connect with a mentor if you are a new social worker…

“I am a first-year LMSW and I'm delighted to have …my GWSCSW mentor. I always leave our sessions
w
ith greater inspiration, knowledge, and direction in my career. Without the GWSCSW and the mentor program, we would not have had the chance to meet and connect on this level, and for that I am grateful. I recommend my colleagues
join the mentor program and connect with a highly experienced social worker.”

The Mentor Program matches experienced social workers with social workers who are either new to the field, new to the DC metro area, or going for advanced licensure 2 years after MSW. The mentors and mentees agree on the duration of their discussions, which vary from one meeting to ongoing meetings over several years. They limit their discussions to professional development concerns, and avoid therapy or clinical supervision.

“The mentor program was a friendly way-in to the Society for me, upon moving to the Baltimore area and not
having many connections here. I wanted to meet people and get involved, but felt overwhelmed and didn't know where to start. The mentor program provided a friendly face and a pathway towards that. Additionally, the fact that the society 
has a mentor program and actively reached out to me, demonstrated that they care about being accessible for new people, which I really appreciated."

If you’re interested in having a mentor please go to the GWSCSW website and fill out the mentee application. Or if you have questions, contact Nancy Harris, LCSW-C, coordinator of the Mentor Program. She’s at nlharris1214@gmail.com or (301) 385-3375.

And we could use some new mentors too…

Perhaps you would like to be a mentor? Fill out the application on the website. You can meet for as much or little time as needed. Sometimes mentees only need a little information and support. In any event, you and the mentee will decide how much time and of course, it should be something manageable for you both. I’d be happy to talk to anyone interested in being a mentor. Feel free to call or email. Contact: Nancy Harris, nlharris1214@gmail.com or (301) 385-3375.

What I enjoy about being a mentor…

  • Talking to new social workers
  • Remembering my own beginning years as a social worker
  • Hearing about what new social workers face
  • New issues in the field
  • Being helpful
  • Problem-solving how to help mentees get what they need

www.gwscsw.com/mentoring

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Tech Talk – A New Column from the Social Media Committee

Chana Lockerman

My transition to full-time teletherapy in March 2020 was abrupt. A symptomatic individual came into the building and that was the turning point for my practice. I shut the office down in an instant, emailed afternoon clients that their sessions would be online, and hurried home to shower. There was no time to take stock or think it through. I saw clients in-person that morning and haven’t since.

It was easier than expected to make the change.  I was already seeing a very small number of clients via teletherapy. I already had the platform and know-how. I’ve also been teaching online since 2018, and so was familiar with (dare I say skilled in) building rapport in the virtual space.

Even with my previous experience, online therapy was exhausting. But then something happened. I got used to it. I even started to like it. Online work even began to feel fun. I found myself thinking back on the many home visits of my home-based therapy days. So much could be accomplished with the client in their own environment! And I was comfortable in my environment, in my comfy pants, in my house, with my dog at my side. I surprised myself in wanting to keep this going, imagining one or two days in the office, with the rest of my working days happening at home.

I was curious to find out if my feelings and experiences were similar to others’, so I set out to survey our members about their own teletherapy experiences. I was also curious about plans for future use of teletherapy after the pandemic crisis subsides. The results were overwhelmingly positive: 95% of respondents plan to use teletherapy after Covid. Two thirds of respondents will use teletherapy for at least 50% of their practice, some for much more. Survey respondents used words like “blessing”, “surprisingly effective”, and “I love it” to describe their positive experiences. Many felt that teletherapy removed barriers in accessing care.

There were respondents who shared negative feelings about teletherapy. I hope they find that this write-up honors their points of view as well. Some used words like “frustrated” or “mixed.” Like any intervention, there will be those for whom it is not a good fit, therapist and client alike. I hope we can talk more about holding space for those who prefer in-person therapy in an increasingly online world.

For those looking to continue with teletherapy in the longer term, there are some needs that were identified. These include insurance coverage for teletherapy, better internet connections, better devices, and cost-effective HIPAA-compliant platforms. Many also identified interstate licensure as a major issue. See the Legislative Branch’s report for more information about the amazing work being done to create an interstate compact for social workers!

For me, the opportunities feel endless. There have been challenges, to be sure. Just as I have a window into clients’ lives, they have a window into mine. It has been positive for clients to see that my life is no different from theirs. Clients will ask, “What’s that sound?” and I’ll have to explain that my dog is chewing on the doorframe or my child is downstairs belting out songs from Frozen II. Clients laugh. Laughter is, after all, the best medicine.

The Committee is actively seeking new members! If you would like to help out, have ideas for future Tech Talk columns, or just want to connect, please email chana@rockcreekcounseling.com .

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Out and About

GMU School of Social Work requested that their Community Advisory Council provide a virtual panel presentation to their MSW students on Social Work job trends and the Covid Impact. 

As a member of the Council, and a long- time GWSCSW member, a retired clinician in private practice, Beverly Magida, LCSW presented on Clinical Social Work Job Trends and the Covid  Impact. Other Council Members presented on Minority Social Work Job Trends.  This workshop was held on May 5, from 4-5:30 pm and was available to GMU Social Work students via zoom, with small break out rooms.  This event was a great opportunity for students to ask career-related questions, and learn more about what to expect in terms of Social Work job availability.

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GWSCSW Job Board

GWSCSW is proud to feature a job resource to connect career opportunities with our members.

Visit the GWSCSW job board to look for jobs or to post a job today.

Manage Your Career:

  • Search and apply to positions that value your credentials!
  • Upload your anonymous resume so employers can contact you, but you maintain control of your information and choose to whom you release your information.
  • Receive an alert every time a job becomes available that matches your personal profile, skills, interests, and preferred location(s).
  • Access career resources and job searching tips and tools.

Recruit for Open Positions:

  • Post your jobs, or your institution's jobs, where the most qualified professionals will find and apply to them.
  • Email your jobs directly to job seekers via the exclusive Job Flash email.
  • Search the resume database and contact qualified candidates proactively.


Consider advertising in the next issue of News & Views

Post ads for:

  • continuing education training,
  • office space, upcoming groups,
  • job opportunities, specialized services, etc.
The GWSCSW newsletter is circulated to more than 1,000 members, prospective members, and other clinical social work professionals in the area. GWSCSW members rely on the newsletter to locate upcoming professional events and activities for continuing education, professional development, and networking opportunities.

Please get in touch with Donna Dietz, GWSCSW Administrator (admin@gwscsw.org) to reserve your space in the next issue. 

Don't forget -- we offer free design for your display ad!

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Classified Advertising

Advertisements, accompanied by full payment, must be received by  GWSCSW by the first of the month preceding publication. Material should be sent to admin@gwscsw.org. For questions about advertising, call 202-537-0007.

Adolescent/Young Adult Therapy: CBT, DBT, Medical Illness Counseling, Unified Protocol, Group Therapy. Powerful interventions for depression, anxiety, anger, perfectionism, fear, shame, rumination, social anxiety, ASD and more. Rathbone & Associates. Rely on Experts. 301-229-9490 www.rathbone.info.

Professional CEUs: Rathbone & Associates Professional Training Program. See our current schedule at www.rathbone.info, click on “Professional Trainings”. Current topics, quality speakers, practical skills.

Classified Ads: 75¢ per word | Minimum price $15 (20 words)
Display Ads: Full page 7 x 9¼ $325 | Half page $250| Quarter page $125 | Eighth page $75  

Electronic submission (JPG) preferred. Publication does not in any way constitute endorsement or approval by GWSCSW, which reserves the right to reject advertisements for any reason at any time.

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News & Views
Nancy Pines, Editor

News & Views is published four times a year: March, June, September and December.

Articles expressing the personal views of members on issues affecting the social work profession are welcome and will be reviewed and published at the discretion of the editor. Signed articles reflect the views of the authors; society endorsement is not intended. Articles are subject to editing for space and clarity.

News & Views Submission Guidelines

I am the volunteer editor of our quarterly newsletter. I love this job and will stay with it as long as I can or until deposed.  My great helper, Donna Dietz, our administrator, is the designer of the newsletter, She makes it attractive and readable, even though she has a lot of other things to do. If you have a submission, please send it to me: npines12@aol.com. I edit the articles and reports and send them on to the proofers who check up on me. BTW, we have two dedicated proofers, Shoba Nayar and Adele Natter,  but could use another one. Please let me know if you are interested. Email address is above.

Articles – Focus on your area of expertise and practice, ethical dilemmas, responses to events in the media or other topics relevant to clinical social work. Articles should be 500–700 words.

Reports- For each newsletter, I hope to hear from all branch and committee people to inform us of their activities.

Out & About – Share news about you: an article you’ve written, if you’ve been in the news, taught a class, earned a new certification or are a singer, artist or writer. Submissions should be 50 words or less. Send all submissions to npines12@aol.com

Advertising: admin@gwscsw.org

Next submission deadline:  July 31, 2021

Need to reach a Board member?  Click here for the listing of the GWSCSW Board of Directors

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