New York State Advocacy

School Social Work Bill

NYSSSWA leadership continues to work with NY Assembly Assistant Speaker Félix W. Ortiz regarding NY Bill A05373 that requires access to “at least one full-time licensed or certified school social worker to be employed in each elementary, intermediate, middle, junior high school and senior high school” in New York State.   Please help us promote School Social Workers as well as advocate for this legislation by contacting your legislators.  See more information below and take action today!

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Bills & Legislation

School Social Work Bill

See Press Conference 2/12/2018

        A05373   (2019) Sponsor: Félix W. Ortiz  (D-Kings)
       Ao9533 (2018 Text)

Requires “access to at least one full-time licensed or certified school social worker to be employed in each elementary, intermediate, middle, junior high school and senior high school” in New York State.

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  • Contact your NY Assemblyman and NY Senator by phone or email and tell them to support Assembly Bill A05373 and Senate  Bill 3447 sponsored by Senator Andrew Goundares   (Use links below or call Senate: 518-455-2800,   Assembly: 518-455-4100 and ask for the office of your local representative.
  • Send letters to the editors of your local paper.
  • Contact School Board representatives and your local unions.
  • Add your name to the following:

Click Here to Support This Legislation–Click “Aye”

School Social Work Resources to Assist You:

OA5131 Sponsor: Ortiz  School Counselor Legislation
“Requires at least one full-time guidance counselor to be employed in each elementary, intermediate, middle, junior and senior high school throughout the state; sets duties of guidance counselors.”   Read Important Details  all School Social Workers should know.


Additional Legislation

New York State Assembly

Education Committee

New York State Senate

Education Committee

Members: Click here

Higher Education Committee:

Members: Click here

Ready to Take Action?

“The State Legislature is responsible for enacting the general laws in New York. In doing so, the Legislature often delegates “rule making powers” to the state’s administrative departments and agencies. These agencies are then empowered to develop and enforce the rules and regulations they find necessary to implement the broad policies adopted by the Legislature.” This document describes how rules are created to enact laws in NYS.

NYS School Social Worker Survival Toolkit

Click here to download the self-advocacy resource guide by NASW-NYS School Social Work Task Force in collaboration with NYSSSWA.

Advocacy Reports

School Superintendents Recognize the Need to Support Mental Health Services (October, 2017)

This Fall, the Council of School Superintendents reported that in response to asking superintendents what some of the biggest problems are that they are facing,  the superintendents’  most widely cited significant problem was the “ ‘Capacity to help students in meeting non-academic needs including, for example, health and mental health issues,’  cited by 45 percent of superintendents”.   See Superintendent’s Biggest Problems.

The Council also reported that according to their financial survey increases to “mental health, social work, counseling and similar services supplanted extra academic help for struggling students as the most widely selected priority”.  See Funding Priorities.  The survey results are welcome news for School Social Worker’s who are licensed and provide emotional and behavioral support to students in schools across the state.

We are excited that a greater awareness of the prevention, early intervention, Tier II, Tier III, and post-intervention mental health needs of students and school communities, PreK-16, is swiftly emerging. Certified School social workers are licensed mental health professionals grounded in school regulation and culture. Their service provides the appropriate balance of expertise to meet the climate, cultural, crisis and mental health needs of schools, yet, absent district mandate, there remain many districts void of this critical support.

Proposed School Counseling Amendments:

The  New York State Education Department finalized the Counseling Amendments on  November 10th and  presented them to the Board of Regents P-12 Education/Higher Education Joint Meeting on November 14th, 2016.  Please see:

This is the link to the second document-

See also: NYSSSWA President’s  Request for Action  dated December 14, 2016 for more information.

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