December 2021

Sunday, January 02, 2022 8:07 PM | Anonymous

We are in the midst of our annual membership drive and I have been thinking about the benefits and value of membership. Even though we are almost 1000 members strong, we operate on a very lean budget and manage to accomplish a lot. We work hard behind the scenes to keep our profession and our clinicians viable and informed. So much of what we do is fueled by the wonderful, caring volunteers who comprise our Board of Directors and various committees. We are still meeting virtually for 2021 but hope to be able to plan hybrid or in-person events next year.

During this past challenging year, we are very proud of what we accomplished in support of our members as well as strengthening our outreach. We will continue to provide innovative programming, advocacy and networking for clinical social workers in Maryland, DC and Virginia – now and in the future. Below are some of the important advantages of your GWSCSW membership:

  • Networking that builds peer relationships for a lifetime of practice. During the pandemic, we offer our members many ways each month to meet with each other and build the collegial bonds that last throughout their careers, from student members through early career stages, to mid-career experience and beyond into retirement years. As I mentioned, the Society is led by volunteers who staff committees, facilitate programs and welcome everyone to take part in events and become part of the evolving leadership team. The best way to get to know us is to join a committee! We embrace your participation.   
  • Protection for your practice and your clients through our impact on laws and legislation. We hire expert lobbyists to represent our membership and help us to set the standards for clinical social work at both a state and national level. Our lobbying efforts have influenced legislation to protect the safety, equity and economic security of our profession in the Maryland, DC, and Virginia state houses for forty years.       

A special note to the Maryland clinical social work community:  We are the only organization that pays for a Maryland lobbyist who looks after legislation of interest to and impacting clinical social workers – this covers you no matter where you are in the state! 

  • Giving back to the community. We further the profession of social work not just for ourselves, but for those who will come after us. Members developed a low-cost therapy program for MSW students who need to experience their own therapy before serving others. We offer mentoring to those just beginning their careers and help graduates overcome inherent test bias by sponsoring licensing prep classes. Each year, we donate to community-wide efforts for those in need.  
  • Access to our dynamic listserv. Our membership is diverse in experience and clinical knowledge, and our listserv resonates daily to questions and information about licensure, teletherapy, insurance, client referrals, promising job opportunities and overall emotional support for practice-based issues. The listserv has been a lifeline for many of us during the pandemic and gives a voice to all of us. It is one way that we keep our members operating with confidence and safety.  
  • Unique educational workshops with low-cost CEUs. We provide high-quality clinical programs at very low prices, to make it easy for you to stay current. In 2021, all of our workshops were accessible by Zoom and featured stellar presenters, including the recent “Tips and Tactics for Talking about Race: A Toolkit for Clinicians,” led by internationally-known expert Kenneth Hardy to rave reviews. Our popular ethics workshop with Fred Reamer keeps members alert to any and all licensure issues. Successful workshops for Fall included: “Play Therapy through the Lifespan” and “Integration of Couples and Sex Therapy.” 

We do all of this and more each year. GWSCSW is the only local social work organization that focuses its efforts primarily on the needs of clinicians—from graduate school through retirement and beyond! Membership is the best way to keep us all working together to promote our values and vision with strength and safety. Thank you again for your commitment and partnership.

Lynn Grodzki, LCSW-C
PO Box 711 | Garrisonville, VA  22463 | 202-478-7638 |

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