WASSW Member Bulletin March 4, 2022

Happy School Social Work Week!

WASSW would like to extend our deepest thanks to our members and to all school social workers across Washington! The work you do is a lifeline to students, staff and families in the school districts you serve.

This is an important time to celebrate each other and our profession. The school social work profession is growing in our state!  In this challenging time, school social workers are being recognized for the valuable perspective and skills we contribute to meeting mental health needs. 

In our roles as advocates, we continue to inform education leaders about our unique knowledge and training, We would like to share the SSWAA web page devoted to school social work week - it contains many resources to educate others about our profession.

Please know that WASSW appreciates you and recognizes you for the hard work you do and the indispensable role you play in supporting children!

Join us for a Discussion Hour

Please join us for a gathering next Friday, March 11, 2022, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm for a discussion about school social work. Led by Janice Nordland, WASSW & NASW Legislative Action Committee Member, and Liz Nelson, WASSW Past President. We will provide an update on legislation of interest to our profession and have a general discussion about the current role of school social workers. This will be a casual time for us to gain a sense of what school social work practice looks like for our colleagues during this challenging time. No need to register - come as you are and feel free to invite any school social worker colleagues. if you would like to share a question or discussion topic of interest to you, please feel free to fill out this Google Form.  Zoom Link for Coffee Hour


WASSW Has been actively involved in several legislative initiatives during the 2022 session, which ends on March 10. Until then, things can change, but this is the status of some of our interests:

Budget proviso for OSPI program leadership. We were successful in getting funding in the House budget for centralization and leadership of school social work services at OSPI. We are working on getting Senate agreement and inclusion in the final legislative budget. As you know, we have no program leadership at OSPI and believe this is needed to support our profession and provide guidance to school districts as new hiring happens. 

HB 1664 will substantially increase funding for school social workers, school psychologists, school counselors and school nurses. This bill has passed the House and at this time is scheduled for a vote in the full Senate. Assuming it passes the Senate, it will go to the Governor for signing!

HB 1890 will fund the work of the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Workgroup to do a statewide review and gap analysis of prenatal-25 mental health services and create a strategic plan to provide the services youth need. As you know, the system is broken and fragmented, and WASSW supports this move to improve services and their delivery. 

Budget proviso to expand School-Based Health Centers. This will provide funding for two more school-based health programs, which include behavioral health. 

WASSW Centering in Equity

WASSW is spending this school year in deeply reflecting on our purpose, our mission and vision, and our operational structure. It has been so rewarding and we're excited to be recreating ourselves in a way that is centered on equity. Social workers are leaders in promoting a safe and equitable environment in our schools and we are committed to learn and grow to promote a safe and equitable environment for our members. 

Here are our Mission and Vision statements in their current form.  They are still under discussion, so we appreciate any thoughts, concerns or suggestions you may have:

We're actively creating affinity groups among our members; namely a BIPOC school social work group.  If you are interested in learning more about this, please share your name here so we can connect with you about creating more connections.  Link to Information Sharing Form. 

Link to Mission/Vision Feedback Form.                  Thank you!

School social workers from around the country will be gathering in Chicago next month! Attending a national conference is an opportunity for professional development directed to the unique needs and concerns of our profession. It also is a powerful and fun experience connecting with so many other school social workers. 

Visit us at our website: WASSW.org

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