What has NYSSSWA done to advocate for SSWs?
In October, 2022 NYSSSWA was asked by the New York General Assembly to participate on the School Safety and Security Task Force. Many thanks to so many of you who completed NYSSSWA’s School Safety Survey which provided valuable information. On November 3, Board member Dr. Robin DeLuca-Acconi, testified in Albany sharing your observations and advocating for School Social Workers and increased mental health services. To read her testimony:
NYSED Letter: Provides guidance on supporting student mental health. 4/16/2021
Bills & Legislation:
Mandating for More School Social Workers
Members of the NYSSSWA Legislative Committee continue to focus on collaborative efforts. NYSSSWA is excited about its collaboration with NASW-NY to increase student access to licensed/certified school social workers. Board members met with NASW-NY in January and February, 2022 prior to submitting a Joint Statement of Support on February 17, 2022 to the General Assembly in support of A5019 & S1969. We are pleased that we have several new sponsors in the House and the Senate.
Please help us promote School Social Workers as well as advocate for increased School Social Work services by contacting your legislators. See information below to take action today!
Websites to help you “Take Action”
Searching for a New York State Law?
Click here to find a New York State Law
Looking for Similar Laws in Other States?
National Conference of State Legislatures
School Social Work Resources to Assist You:
- See Talking Points that have been prepared by NYSSSWA regarding this bill.
- Refer to 2019’s New York SSW Week Press Release
- Explore useful resources under Promoting School Social Work.
- Macro Level Advocacy Toolkit “This toolkit will provide tools to increase your knowledge about how to be an effective advocate for the children and families you serve as well as how to promote the role, expertise, and value that school social workers bring to the educational team. Each module provides the components to develop a strategic plan around macro-level advocacy for state associations or leadership teams.” Source: SSWAA
- Check out numerous articles and supports in our website’s members only “Resources” under “Advocacy“
New York State Assembly
Ready to Take Action?
- Advocacy List with Emails Access spreadsheet compiled by NYSSSWA including members of the NYS Assembly Committee on Education, NYS Senate Committee on Education as well as Higher Education and the NYS Board of Regents
- Education Committee Members (Senate & General Assembly) and Board of Regents Directory compiled by NYSSSWA.
Other State Advocacy Resources:
- NYS Codes, Rules and Regulations
- New York State Division of Administrative Rules (NYS Register) DAR produces the weekly State Register that provides information on the rule making activities of state agencies.
- What is Rule Making in NYS?
“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.
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.
School Counseling Regulations
Amendments to Commissioner’s Regulations Related to School Counseling
A memo dated January 3, 2018 “is to inform you that amendments to Commissioner’s Regulations related to school counseling were adopted by the Board of Regents effective, July 1, 2017. The amended regulations(338 KB) impact the comprehensive developmental school counseling program beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.”
Please familiarize yourself with this information as well as the regulations so that you can use your expertise to discuss the interpretation of the regulations with your district.
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:
On December 14, 2016 NYSSSWA’s President issued a Request for Action