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Public Policy News

Special APM Edition

Student Aid/Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Student aid programs such as Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, and other student aid programs are vital to ensuring access to higher education for social work students. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program will allow more students to pursue the profession and achieve important financial milestones in their own lives. Learn more about how you can advocate for student aid and the PSLF program here.

Gun Violence and School Safety

There is a need to expand access to mental and behavioral health supports in schools and communities. CSWE believes that federal policy should make addressing gun violence a public health initiative. This means utilizing research and evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies to improve health, safety, and life expectancy. Learn more about how you can advocate for addressing gun violence and school safety here.  

Immigration

Congress needs to act quickly on necessary legislative action and protection for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients and other immigrants without permanent status. Additionally, continued oversight of other immigration issues, including family separation and asylum petitions, is needed to ensure child welfare and social justice. Learn more about how you can advocate for addressing immigration issues here.

Voter Mobilization

Voting Is Social Work is a campaign to integrate voter engagement into social work education and practice. The National Social Work Voter Mobilization Campaign encourages all social work students, faculty members, and organizations to engage and empower voters in their communities. The campaign also urges the social work community to include nonpartisan voter registration, education, and outreach as part of their professional responsibilities and practice. Visit the Voter Mobilization Campaign website to access resources.
 

September 2019

CSWE ADVOCACY AND OUTREACH

CSWE Participates in Congressional Advocacy Meetings

CSWE Signs Letter Supporting Social Determinants Bill

CAPITOL HILL NEWS

Congress Holds Hearing on Student Loans

Congress Focuses on Gun Violence Impact on Students

WHITE HOUSE AND FEDERAL AGENCY NEWS

CSWE Meets With Department of Education

MEMBER RESOURCES

Call for Proposals on Aligning Medical and Social Services Systems


CSWE ADVOCACY AND OUTREACH

CSWE Participates in Congressional Advocacy Meetings 

Through its Public Policy Initiative, CSWE recently reconnected with long-time social work champions, including the office of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), co-chair of the Congressional Social Work Caucus, and introduced CSWE to new champions such as Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA), co-chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus. Meetings also took place with the offices of Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Tom Cole (R-OK), Jim McGovern (D-MA), and Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA), co-sponsors of the Social Determinants Accelerator Act, to express support for legislation that would recognize and address social determinants of health. On the Senate side, CSWE representatives met with the offices of Senators Cardin (D-MD) and Reed (D-RI). 

CSWE Signs Letter Supporting Social Determinants Bill

CSWE joined several organizations in signing on to the Mental Health Liaison Group’s letter in support of the UNDERSTAND Act (S. 1323), sponsored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Bob Casey (D-PA). The bipartisan bill would gather data on social determinants of health by requiring Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program providers to use ICD-10 Z-codes to track trends between social determinants and various health issues. The goal of the bill is to gather new data to influence future policymaking regarding social determinants of health.
 

CAPITOL HILL NEWS

Congress Holds Hearing on Student Loans

The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services recently held a hearing, “A $1.5 Trillion Crisis: Protecting Student Borrowers and Holding Student Loan Servicers Accountable.” Student loan debt has been a topic of concern for many policymakers. As part of its regular advocacy, CSWE encourages increased support for student aid and maintenance and improvement of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. During the hearing, several members of Congress argued that the cost of college was the fundamental issue driving the student loan crisis. Hearing witness Seth Frotman, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, noted, “The student debt crisis is a consumer protection crisis because too many for too long have allowed predatory players to have near free reign to prey on the struggle of student loan borrowers.” Substantive changes to student loans will require a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). CSWE’s principles for an HEA reauthorization are available here.

Congress Focuses on Gun Violence Impact on Students

While Congress continues to struggle to advance legislation concerning gun violence, the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee recently held a hearing, "The Importance of Trauma-Informed Practices in Education to Assist Students Impacted by Gun Violence and Other Adversities." Members of Congress and witnesses discussed various issues including toxic stress; adverse childhood experiences; the impact of poverty, violence, and trauma on students and teachers; and the importance of early detection, among other issues. Dr. Ingrida Baker, associate superintendent of McDowell County Schools, spoke about the challenge of funding positions that can support trauma-informed practices. She noted, “We should not have to choose [between] helping students to learn and do math and hiring nurses, mental health therapists and social workers.” With competing political and legislative priorities, it is unlikely that significant policies devoted to addressing gun violence and trauma-informed practices will advance.
 

WHITE HOUSE AND FEDERAL AGENCY NEWS

CSWE Meets With Department of Education

Dr. Darla Spence Coffey, CSWE president and CEO, and CSWE Director of Accreditation Dr. Mary Kurfess recently met with senior leadership at the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss social work education, programmatic accreditation, mental health in higher education, student aid, and graduate education, among other issues. Meeting with federal agencies helps raise the profile of social work education and CSWE and gives CSWE information about agency priorities. ED communicated the desire to create latitude within accreditation and to provide accreditors the space to innovate. CSWE offered to serve as a resource for ED.
 

MEMBER RESOURCES

Call for Proposals on Aligning Medical and Social Services Systems

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is seeking Systems for Action (S4A) proposals that would better align and coordinate between medical, social services, and public health systems, with the goal of increased health equity and better health outcomes. Public entities and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply, and applications including social workers are encouraged. RWJF is funding four awards of up to $500,000 for a 3-year period. Applications are due by November 6.