They protect our most vulnerable. Now social workers want to make sure the reputation of their profession is protected. Social workers went to the Capitol Thursday to advocate for HB988, a bill which would hold stringent educational and licensing standards in place.

Licensing practices began in Mississippi in 1987 in an effort to make sure people are properly educated and licensed to work with our most vulnerable populations.

Social work licensing involves training at the Bachelor or Masters level from a college or university program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), national examination by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), supervision, and adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and defined scope of practice.  Mississippi has licensing at the BSW, MSW, and Clinical/Advanced level in accordance with the ASWB Model Practice Act.  These are national standards used in every state in the country, and this allows social workers to apply for reciprocity to practice around the country, and internationally.  
The group is opposed to another bill which they say would dilute the educational standards for bachelor’s level social workers.

“The services of professional social workers are needed now more than ever,” says Janice Sandefur, ACSW, LCSW, Executive Director for NASW, MS Chapter. “Social Workers serve clients from the cradle to the grave, in healthcare/mental healthcare, corrections, family services, aging populations, K-12 schools, evidence-based research, community organizing, and policy including becoming our legislators, making organizations and government accountable.”