Not only is March a great month because it indicates that Spring is right around the corner, it's also a great month because it recognizes two of the very things that will save the world: women and social work. In all seriousness, March is an excellent time to celebrate and reflect on all the sacrifices, hard work, and dedication that women and social workers have devoted to enhancing the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities across the country.
Unfortunately, women’s incredible impact on individuals, families, and communities is often overlooked because of their gender, sexual orientation, and/or race. Furthermore, the remarkable work of social workers is frequently undermined and highly underpaid. As our discipline highlights, feminism promotes intersectionality, so KSCSW would like to highlight how some of the great women in the field left their social work footprint throughout time.
Jane Addams (1860-1935) is Nobel Peace Prize recipient and world renowned as a pioneer social worke in America. Dedicated to her craft, she decided to live amongst the people she was helping in the settlement house she built in 1889- the Hull House in Chicago. There, she provided legal aid, childcare, and offered training in crafts and domestic skills. Addams would focus on Chicago's low-income communities and eventually earn a spot in the Chicago Board of Education and in the School Management Committee.
Wendy Sherman (1949) is a social worker that has worked at the highest levels of regional, national, and international governments to increase safety, advance women's roles, and achieve justice and fairness. Some of her career highlights include serving as the first female Undersecretary for Political Affairs, where she led negotiations for the Iran Nuclear Deal. She credited her social work organizational skills with allowing her to lead the negotiations and bring them to a peaceful end. President Obama would also award Sherman with the National Security Medal.
Dr. Anna Scheyette is a TEDx speaker, social worker, professor, and former Dean of the University of Georgia School of Social Work. Her initial work in social work began by researching community-based interventions for adults with severe mental illnesses. She then would create a research agenda looking at the growing rates of suicide and stress in farmers in the United States. Dr. Scheyette is the Editor in Chief for the Journal of Social Work and is an editorial consultant for Social Work Research and the Journal of Social Work Education.
While the list of prominent women in social work continues, it's important to note that all social workers make up different pieces of the puzzle that together fight for the greater good. Social workers commit much of their life to the well-being of communities, especially those most vulnerable. This is the time to appreciate, celebrate, and honor social workers in your area. Although March, like every month, will come and go, a social worker's impact on individuals, families, and communities will live forever.
Happy Children’s Advocacy Week, social workers! This week, social workers from all over the tri-state will meet in Frankfort to advocate on behalf of children’s safety, health, education, and economic well-being. With this going on and Lobby Day coming up in less than 2 weeks, I think it is crucial that we take the time to understand not only what it takes to be a good advocate, but an effective advocate.
Whether you use this information in person this February 22 for Lobby Day, or you use it to contact your legislator via email or letter, it is valuable as a social worker to understand how to be an effective advocate. Advocacy is an important part of social work, as we promote equality, inclusion, and social justice.
Have any more tips on how to become a more effective advocate? Leave a comment!
This week, we celebrate the beginning of Black History Month. Black History Month was founded by Carter G. Woodson in 1926, however it was not officially adopted as a federal holiday until 1976.
Since becoming a federal holiday, The Association for the Study of African American Life and History assigns a new theme each year that is endorsed by the US Government. This year's theme is resistance. This theme recognizes the resistance of brutality, oppression, and injustice demonstrated by the Black community.
This theme seems fitting, as the world witnessed another public display of police brutality on a Black man last month. Nature photographer and father to a 4-year old son, Tyre Nichols, was tased, punched, kicked, and beaten with a baton by three police officers in Memphis, TN. Shortly after the public release of the body camera footage, the officers were arrested. Mostly peaceful protests of police brutality have ensued across the country. This incident serves as a reminder that the Black community still faces unfair oppression, violence, and prejudice.
Black History Month is a time to spotlight Black achievement, celebrate triumphs, and honor the struggles of African Americans. Here are some ways to support Black communities this month:
Have more ideas on how to support Black communities during Black History Month? Leave a comment!
To all social workers. Please see the message below from the Clinical Social Work Association regarding legislative updates:
As the holidays come to an end and we begin a new year, it's time to focus on some important changes that are happening that impact social workers. Recently congress passed a Medicare $1.7 trillion spending bill. See below for the details:
The rule addressing working across state lines is for LCSWs who are Medicare paneled and working with Medicare beneficiaries. This does not apply to LCSWs who are opted out, or not opted in or out. The rule does not apply to commercial insurers. ~LWG
Medicare in $1.7 Trillion Spending Bill – Effect on LCSWs
December 21, 2022
Congress just passed a $1.7 trillion spending bill which has some impact on LCSWs through Medicare coverage. Now it is up to the President to sign it. Here are the ways that our practices will be affected if all these changes take place on January 1, 2023:
One more item – the Good Faith Estimate is supposed to be given to patients every year so look at when you gave your patients their first GFE and prepare to repeat the process.
UPDATE: Medicare Coverage and Parity Changes for LCSWS
There continue to be questions about the change to Medicare policy about treating patients across state lines. Different regions have different policies in this regard. Look at the section in yellow below and call your MAC to get information about a region you wish to practice in. Here is more detailed information on the telehealth changes: https://telehealth.hhs.gov/providers/billing-and-reimbursement/medicare-payment-policies-during-covid-19/
Telehealth Policy Changes
The federal government announced a series of policy changes that broaden Medicare coverage for telehealth during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Some important changes to Medicare telehealth coverage and reimbursement during this period include:
There is one more piece of good news in the omnibus bill. You may recall that when the parity act passed in 2008 there was a loophole that allowed public plans to opt out of having a mental health benefit at all. That meant that they did not have to have a benefit AT PARITY with medical/surgical benefits. That loophole has been closed in the omnibus bill. This means a million more people will have mandated mental health treatment. More information can be found at https://www.thekennedyforum.org/blog/these-major-employers-have-opted-out-of-providing-adequate-mental-health-addiction-coverage/
H.R. 432, Mental Health Access Improvement Act
The Mental Health Access Improvement Act passed as part of the omnibus bill. This means that LMFTs and LPCs are now Medicare providers. Their reimbursement rates will be 75% of psychologist rates, like LCSWs, or 80% of their usual and customary rates, whichever is less. This is possibly more than what LCSWs are paid and CSWA will be looking into keeping LCSWs at the same reimbursement level.
These changes were passed by the House this morning so the President should be signing the bill shortly.
Holidays, that time of year where joy, love, and happiness sets in. Although, on the opposite side of things, it can get busy, emotionally draining, and mentally exhausting. It is so easy to get caught up doing everything for others that you might find putting yourself on the backburner. Sometimes, holidays can be a hard reminder of the loss of a loved one. Regardless of what stressor it may be, practicing self-care and being mindful of what you can and cannot handle is vital to mental health.
Here are a few tips to practice self-care during the holidays:
*Know and respect your limits. The holidays are often accompanied by a long list of obligations, errands and events
*Set reasonable expectations
*Avoid known triggers
*Decorate for comfort
*Make healthy choices
*Get enough rest
*Recite affirmations, this is a good way to keep yourself centered
***And always be kind to yourself!
Happy Holidays and may you spend them with the ones you love most!
The holidays can be triggering for many individuals. A time that can bring joy and laughter to some may bring tears and sadness to others. The holidays can be triggering for some individuals. How can we help our clients during these times:
1. Help your clients make a plan for the holidays. Identify possible triggers or stressors, coping/adaptive skills, and individuals they can reach out to when feeling triggered.
2. Have your clients identify a "roadmap" of at least 3 things they can look forward to during the upcoming month (these can be small things). Be willing to be creative with identifying these.
3. Teach clients how to set boundaries with unhealthy family members or friends. Teach them how to say "no" to prevent feeling overwhelmed or burnt out.
4. Normalize that it is okay to not always feel happy and excited about the holidays.
Helping connect clients with supports in an important part of preparing for the holidays. Some resources include:
Don't forget to take care of yourself and utilize self care techniques!
Policy affects practice
The NASW said it best, the social work profession was founded in social change. Social workers are there for those who need it. They are the public's biggest advocates in times of need. They also see the effects of law every day in practice, and those who endorse the laws can be moved by the important stories social workers have to tell.
Why is law important to know?
Social workers help all kinds of people. They assist in adoption, therapy, poverty, addiction, unemployment, disability, abuse, discrimination, and so much more. All these things that they help with, have laws that are attached.
Being involved with legislative action keeps social workers up to date on current issues and issues to come. Being engaged in legislative action also prepares them to better serve their clients. They can help shape policy and help constituents by working with federal, state and local agencies to get individual appropriate assistance. For social workers to help change law, it is important for them to stay current on laws.
If social workers want to create new policies, it is best to first understand why existing policies were developed. They can then be able to identify problems in these policies, find ways policies could be improved, and design solid proposals to help move towards change. In the end, these changes can help all people and improve humanity.
How do social workers advocate for policy change?
Social workers can interact with their communities to learn more about the challenges they face. They can then raise awareness about those issues by educating everyone, from the lawmakers to nonprofit groups and empower community members to advocate for policy change. Social workers can also go to their elected officials and working within their agency to make a change.
To get policy updates, go to:
To see policy issues, go to:
To stay informed, act, or to get legislative alerts from the NASW to:
It is that time of the year again. A time where you, the sovereign individual, can express any concerns or support of ideas through way of voting. Fortunately, voting turnout has reached record-breaking numbers in the past few years. In the U.S. 2020 general election, upwards of 158.4 million people voted, amounting to about 62.8% of people of voting age (Desilver, 2022). That marks the largest voter turnout in U.S. history, and Kentuckians did their part. With over two million Kentuckians doing their civic duty, the state saw the highest number of voters in a Kentucky election (Shreve, 2021). So, it is evident we are all doing our part in the U.S. general election, but what about voting for our local representatives? Unfortunately, for this year's primary election, the unofficial turnout for the state only reached 19%, which was short of the 31% turnout we had for the 2020 primaries (Watkins, 2022).
Luckily, we have another chance. The general election in Kentucky is Tuesday, November 8th. This is our last chance of the year to cast our vote and fight for what we believe in. A common theme amongst people who do not vote is that their vote will not matter or that their lives will not be affected whether they vote or not. This thought could not be further from the truth. If you decide not to vote, you simultaneously decide not to have a voice. The consequences will affect your job, family, healthcare, and overall way of life. Use your freedom. Use your right. Moreover, use the most essential tool any human has at their disposal, their voice. And use it by going out to vote!
Desilver. (2022, November 1). Turnout in U.S. has soared in recent elections but by some measures still trails that of many other countries. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/11/01/turnout-in-u-s-has-soared-in-recent-elections-but-by-some-measures-still-trails-that-of-many-other-countries/
Shreve. (2021, January 14). 2020 Saw Kentucky’s Highest Voter Turnout Ever. 2020’s Record-High Kentucky Voter Turnout. Retrieved from https://spectrumnews1.com/ky/louisville/news/2021/01/14/kentucky-2020-election-turnout-highest-ever
Watkins. (2022, May 19). Voter turnout figures are in for Kentucky’s primary. Here’s how they compare to past years. The Courier-Journal. Retrieved from https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2022/05/19/kentucky-primary-election-2022-how-voter-turnout-compares-prior-years/9826730002/
Vote “NO” November 8th!
Right now, abortions are not currently being performed in Kentucky except for medical emergencies because the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade earlier this year. Pro Choice groups have filed lawsuits stating that the ban is unconstitutional, but the
Supreme Court will not even hear the case until November 15th, which is after the election.
The right to abort should be between the patient and the provider, not the governments and politicians decision. Some may not see it, but abortion is absolutely part of health care. Women's health should be for theirs to decide. No one should be allowed to make
that decision for them and their health.
In 2021, 34 girls, ages 15 and younger received abortions because of first degree rape. Why would someone force a child to raise a child? The thought is imaginable! The wording on the ballot will ask if you’re in favor of amending the state constitution. The question will be at the end of the ballot. This is how the question will appear:
“Are you in favor of amending the Constitution of Kentucky by creating a new Section of the Constitution to be numbered Section 26A to State as follows: To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or
require the funding of abortion”
So, if you vote “no” it means you do not support the proposed changes.
Vote for reproductive freedom, vote “NO” on 2!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.