2015 Legislative Agenda. - NASW-CT

NASW
National Association of Social Workers / Connecticut Chapter
2139 Silas Deane Highway
Amy Di Mauro, LCSW, President
Stephen A Karp, MSW, Executive Director
naswct@naswct.net
Suite 205
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
(860) 257-8066
NASW/CT 2015 Legislative Priorities
v Protecting the Safety Net for Connecticut’s Most Vulnerable Citizens and Fighting for Family
Economic Security
NASW/CT holds the position that every Connecticut resident and family should be able to meet their
basic human needs. In this spirit, NASW/CT opposes cuts to safety net programs that serve
Connecticut’s most vulnerable populations, and supports proposals that prevent individuals from
falling into poverty.
NASW/CT supports paid family leave legislation that expands current family medical leave in such a
way that it can be utilized by caregivers who are currently unserved as they cannot afford to take
unpaid leave.
v Promoting Access to Comprehensive Community Based Mental Health Services in Every
Community Along the Life Span
NASW/CT supports the expansion of School Based Health Centers (SBHC) across Connecticut.
School Based Health Centers provide an effective means of reaching children, especially in low
income communities, to provide needed health services. NASW/CT supports SBHCs that include
mental health services, and the expansion of School Based Mental Health Services. NASW/CT’s
position is that the current statutory definition of SBHC’s should designate licensed social workers as
the primary provider of mental health services. NASW/CT supports having school social workers in
every public school.
NASW/CT supports parity of Mental Health treatment across the spectrum of insurance plans,
thereby supporting legislation that will require private insurance to expand mental health coverage to
better mirror the public insurance coverage.
v Ensuring that Connecticut Residents Have Access to a Full Array of Options with Regard to
End of Life Decisions.
As an association whose Code of Ethics includes the dignity of each person and individual’s right to
self-determination, NASW/CT continues to support legislation that expands options and choice in
end of life decisions including measures that would allow a terminally ill individual compassionate
aid in dying. NASW also supports legislation that upholds individuals’ advanced directives.
v Protecting and Strengthening the Profession
over
NASW/CT supports legislation that expands opportunities for professional social workers including
any legislation that promotes social workers as the provider of choice in an integrated health system
of health and mental health.
v Promoting Appropriate Consideration of Juvenile Status
NASW/CT supports the revision of Connecticut’s statutes to be in keeping with the U.S. Supreme
Court decision that it is unconstitutional to not allow a court to take juvenile status into consideration
during sentencing. It is NASW/CT’s position that Connecticut should pass legislation creating criteria
that allows for consideration of parole for an inmate who committed a crime as a juvenile, was
sentenced without parole and is now an incarcerated adult.
v Empowering Connecticut’s Transgender Population
NASW/CT supports legislation that will allow transgender individuals to have their birth certificate
gender designation changed without regard to whether they have undergone gender change surgery.
v Strengthening the Mental Health Workforce
NASW/CT supports legislation that will strengthen or create loan reimbursement programs for social
workers in order to enhance the mental health workforce in Connecticut.