NASW Ohio Chapter Advocacy Agenda
NASW Ohio Chapter's advocacy agenda features our top priorities for the year. We will either take the lead, collaborate or follow. The issues that fall under the ‘Lead’ category will be the first priority for the Ohio Chapter and will primarily focus on professional issues. The issues that fall under the ‘Collaborate’ category are those that we will actively push for passage with other organizations and associations. The issues that fall under the ‘Follow’ category are where we have joined other statewide advocacy groups to build strong united campaigns under a coalition to advocate for those we serve. Join the Social Work Advocacy Group to stay involved and attend NASW Ohio Chapter Advocacy Day.
Priority 1: Educational Debt Relief
Educational debt is a threat to the future of social work. The social work profession is one of the hardest hit professions from increases in tuition because the cost of obtaining multiple degrees is combined with low starting salaries. The disparity between educational debt and salaries makes it difficult for social workers to stay in the field. We must ensure that social work is a profession that attracts new workers and can retain current social workers.
Priority 2: Civil Service Exemption Removal
Social work licensure was created in Ohio in 1984. Since then only licensed social workers can use the title "social worker," except for civil service settings. NASW Ohio Chapter is actively working to remove the civil service exemptions in our licensing law for non-social workers. This removal will give social workers full title protection.
Priority 3: Healthcare Reform & Social Workers
With the Affordable Care Act comes many healthcare reforms, including the move toward preventative care and interdisciplinary teams and toward creation of health homes. This provides an opportunity for NASW Ohio Chapter to ensure social workers are considered for care coordinator and other healthcare jobs.
Priority 4: Licensing Board Advocacy
NASW Ohio Chapter is a strong advocate for social workers and workforce issues with the Ohio social work licensing board.
NASW Ohio Chapter is an active coalition partner in Freedom of Choice Ohio and the Coalition for Family Health on the Ohio Prevention First efforts to pass legislation for comprehensive sex education and coverage for contraceptives.
We will work with other organizations to ensure that social workers are hired and retained in a myriad of work settings.
NASW Ohio Chapter is an active coalition partner in Advocates for Ohio's Future, an organization working to maintain vital public services - health, human services, early care and education - at a level that meets people's basic needs and protects our state's most vulnerable populations. NASW Ohio Chapter is also an active partner in Have a Heart Ohio Coalition, a nonpartisan, statewide network of more than 100 organizations and individuals advocating for policies and sufficient funding investment in programs that meet basic human needs and develop human capital in order to improve the quality of life of Ohio's most vulnerable.
Collaborate with the Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage, a coalition that supports insurance market reforms, public coverage or subsidies to make coverage affordable, shared responsibility for health care spending, and other measures. NASW Ohio Chapter is also a member of the UHCAN Coalition (United Healthcare Action Network).
The Ohio Chapter is also a member of:
The Coalition for Patient Rights: A coalition of associations and providers working to improve timely access to quality and appropriate health care treatment and medication for the optimal well-being of all Ohioans. Cheri L. Walter, Chair – Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities.
The Ohio Statewide Health Disparities Collaborative provides a coordinated effort to address health disparities in Ohio and serve as a vehicle for the development of a policy agenda and funding strategies in the futures. The goal of the Collaborative is to serve as a catalyst in creating successful community partnerships to reduce health disparities for low income and minority families. Convener: Children’s Defense Fund