More than 900 Social Workers Rally to Advocate for HB 1415
Harrisburg, PA- The National Association of Social Workers Pennsylvania Chapter (NASW-PA) held another successful Legislative Advocacy Day on Tuesday, April 12th sponsored by Marywood University School of Social Work. With more than 900 attendees, social workers had a major presence in the Capitol. The day consisted of meetings with more than 200 members of the General Assembly, during which social work students and professionals advocated for House Bill 1415, which creates practice protection for Licensed Clinical Social Workers, ultimately protecting consumers of mental health services in Pennsylvania. Six legislators spoke during the rally in the Rotunda and NASW-PA gained 10 new co-sponsors for their bill, HB1415.
The following legislators spoke at the rally: Representative Leslie Acosta (D-Philadelphia), Senator John P. Blake (D-Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe), Representative Thomas P. Murt (R-Montgomery, Philadelphia), Greg Grasa, Executive Director of House Children and Youth Committee, Representative Dan Frankel (D- , Representative Jason Dawkins (D-Philadelphia), Representative Joanna McClinton (D-Delaware, Philadelphia).
According to NASW-PA Executive Director Johanna Byrd, "NASW-PA is grateful to the members of the General Assembly who met with social workers from across the state, especially those who voiced their support for HB 1415. It is time for Pennsylvania to catch up with the rest of the country to ensure basic consumer protections are in place, and with their help, we can get this bill across the finish line this session.” Pennsylvania is one of only two states (the other being Montana) that does not currently require those who open a therapeutic private practice to be licensed.
What is Legislative Advocacy Day?
Legislative Advocacy Day is an annual event hosted NASW-PA, in which nearly 1,000 social work students and professionals gather to advocate for a piece of legislation that is relevant to the social work profession. Throughout the day attendees have the opportunity to visit their legislators and tell them why this legislation is important and how it will benefit the Commonwealth. This year we are advocating for practice protection for clinical social workers, which will ensure that clients are being treated by qualified professionals only. Last year's Legislative Advocacy Day helped push our legislation into both the PA Senate and the PA House of Representatives. This year's Advocacy Day will be critical in gaining support for our House Bill 1415 and our Senate Bill 1078.
What to Expect:
Advocacy Day is for social work students and professionals. We expect student attendees from PA schools of social work as well as professional social workers from all across the Commonwealth. This is a great chance for you to experience legislative advocacy as well as the law making process. This is also a great chance for professionals, experienced in the legislative process, to come show their support for the social work profession. Last year we had five legislators speak at our rally, we were publicly recognized by Representative Frankel in a House Resolution during session, and we gained multiple supporters for our bill. We expect this year to be just as successful, if not more.
If you have questions about Legislative Advocacy Day contact Tara Breitsprecher, Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy, NASW-PA. You can reach her at 717-395-9498 or email@example.com
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2015: Thank you for Making Advocacy Day a Success!
April 14th, 2015 - NASW-PA held another successful Legislative Advocacy Day! With nearly 900 attendees, social workers had a major presence in the Capitol. We had a higher media presence this year than any other year. Our rally in the rotunda was covered by PCN, the Democratic caucus, Temple University and Shippensburg University. Five legislators spoke during the rally including Sen. Blake who left Senate session in order to join us. Rep. Frankel added to the excitement of the day with the unanimous passage of a House Resolution recognizing NASW’s 60th anniversary (see video below).