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Legislative Education and Advocacy Day
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2019 Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD)

WHEN: March 25, 2019 | 7:30am – 2:00pm
WHERE: Pennsylvania State Capitol | Harrisburg, PA

What is Legislative Education and Advocacy Day?
Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD) is an annual event hosted by NASW-PA, at which nearly 1,000 social work students and professionals gather to advocate for legislation that is relevant to the social work profession. Attendees visit their legislators throughout the day and tell them why such legislation is important and how it will serve the Commonwealth. NASW-PA will schedule all legislative meetings, so attendees don't need to worry about doing so. Just make sure you know who your state legislators are! You can look them up using this link.

What to Expect:
Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD) 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 six legislators speak at our rally and we gained multiple supporters for our bill. We expect this year to be just as successful, if not more.

What We Advocate For:
NASW-PA advocates for legislation that benefits the social work profession and clients throughout the Commonwealth. Our legislative agenda – which is available on the NASW-PA website – provides an expansive view of the legislation that we advocate for, covering issues ranging from practice protection and licensure to discrimination in health care.

This Year's Focus: House Bill 390
This year we have decided we will advocate specifically for House Bill 390, which focuses on the importance of certification for school social workers. The need for social services in schools is as strong as ever. Certification for school social workers ensures educational quality, professional standards, and accountability. All of these lead to better outcomes for students, and better services provided.

HB 390 Summary:
This legislation will update the Pennsylvania School Code to include a certification that permits a professional to provide social work services in school districts. Currently, social work is the only developmental service in the school code that does not correspond with an education specialist certification category. Certification for school social workers would ensure educational quality, professional standards, and accountability, all of which lead to better outcomes for students, and better services provided in schools.

HB 390 Talking Points:
  1. The need for social work services has been recognized by many school districts. Some school districts employ school social workers while others utilize the services of contracted social workers through the Student Assistance Program.
  2. Social workers provide invaluable resources in school environments o en providing critical mental health and case management services to children and their families.
  3. Having social workers on staff allows guidance counselors and school psychologists the ability to focus on their designated roles rather than having to expend countless hours providing mental health, case management, crisis intervention, and referral services for children in need of additional assistance.
  4. While there are many school employees who operate with the title of “School Social Worker,” there is no such employee according to the PA School Code.
  5. Social work services are included in the PA School Code as “student services.” Section 12.41(e) in the PA School Code states that “persons delivering student services shall be specifically licensed or certified as required by statute or regulation,” but there is no corresponding certificate for school social workers.
  6. This legislation is in no way a mandate and would not impact the designation of the Home and School Visitor, which currently exists in the school code.
Click here to download the HB 390 Summary & Talking Points (PDF)

Agenda for the Day
The morning session of LEAD will take place at the Forum. We will have a welcome session, with a briefing for what to expect for the day. From there, attendees will be dismissed to walk over to the Capitol Building (within walking distance) to start the day's activities. The table below outlines what to expect in terms of agenda.

7:30am – 8:30am | Registration
8:30am – 8:40am | Welcome to LEAD
8:40am – 9:40am | Legislative Process, What to Expect, and Talking Points

9:30am – 1:00pm | Attend legislative visits and committee meetings. NASW-PA will schedule legislative visits ahead of time. The time and location of your legislative visits will be provided during morning registration. 

1:00pm – 2:00pm | Rally at the Capitol featuring remarks from members of the General Assembly on the social work profession and social workers in school settings.

Join Us for a Free Webinar Designed to Prepare You for LEAD
This webinar is designed to help you prepare for Legislative Education and Advocacy Day 2019. We will be discussing the legislation we are advocating for, and what to expect for the day.

Webinar: Prepare for LEAD 2019

Are you planning on attending Legislative Education and Advocacy Day on Monday, March 25th? If you are, we encourage you to join us this Saturday for a webinar designed to help prepare you for the day. We will cover basics about the day, information about the bill we are advocating for, and more. See the details below!


Saturday, March 23, 2019 | 11:00am – 12:00pm


Johanna Byrd, ACSW, IOM, CAE, Executive Director, NASW-PA

Click Here to Register for Free

Interested in sponsoring Legislative Advocacy Day?
Click here for the sponsorship opportunities flyer.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Have Questions?
If you have questions about Legislative Advocacy Day contact Johanna Byrd at or 717-232-4125 x101

Look Up Your Legislators
If you need help figuring out who your legislators are, you can use this link to look them up!





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Phone: 717.232.4125

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