BPD Update Online, Fall 2002
Editor's Prerogative
President's Report
Thinking About Research...
A Conversation About Research with Joe Schriver
News from IASWR
Online Government Documents
Measuring the Effectiveness of Practice
20th Annual Baccalaureate Social Work Education Conference
20th Annual BPD Conference
BPD Membership Form
CSWE Accreditation Services
Technology Corner
Ron Federico Memorial Lecture
Silent/Live Auction
Committee Reports
Pittsburgh Hilton and Towers, Site of the 2002 BPD Conference
Photo Album: Come to Pittsburgh!!!
Contact BPD Update Online

Social work research identifies strategies and solutions that enhance individual, family and community well being by exploring the social, behavioral and environmental connections to health and mental health issues. Recognizing the far reaching effects of this type of research, the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors (BPD), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work (NADD), the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education (GADE), and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) formed the Action Network for Social Work Education and Research (ANSWER) Coalition in 1995. The Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research (IASWR) joined ANSWER the following year, and the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) became a member in 1999.

ANSWER was created with the mission of increasing legislative and executive branch advocacy on behalf of social work education, training, and research. In March 2002, NASW took the lead on coordinating the lobbying efforts made by ANSWER. Dave Dempsey, Manager of Government Relations, and Ann Bradford, Senior Government Relations Associate, are the NASW contacts for ANSWER and both can be reached at (202) 408-8600 or ddempsey@naswdc.org and abradford@naswdc.org. One of the first steps taken by NASW in this new role was to devote a section of the NASW website to ANSWER and its initiatives. This website, which may be viewed at: http://www.socialworkers.org/advocacy/answer/default.asp, includes information about the coalition and the member organizations, as well as how ANSWER is advocating for social work research through proposed legislation and appropriations requests.

Specifically, visitors of the website will find information about S. 70/H.R. 3814, the National Center for Social Work Research Act. This bill, which was introduced by Senator Inouye (D-HI) in the Senate and Representatives Rodriguez, MSW (D-TX) and Upton (R-MI) in the House of Representatives, would establish a center to collect data on significant public health and social problems and promote the study and investigation of prevention and treatment of those problems. The focus of the National Center would be on the social work care of individuals and their families experiencing problems such as acute and chronic illnesses, abuse and neglect, and youth and family violence. More effective delivery of social and health services and better informed policy making related to major social problems is envisioned as a result of the National Center's activities. Social workers and other providers would have access to an increased knowledge base about best practices for delivering social work and health services. In addition, policymakers would receive up-to-date research findings in order to help them, according to S.70/H.R. 3814, "better understand complex social issues and make informed funding decisions about service effectiveness and cost efficiency."

S. 70 is currently before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and H.R. 3814 is before the House Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Health. While ANSWER is not expecting this bill to pass during the remainder of the 107th Congress, it is still important for Members of Congress to hear about this bill and sign on as co-sponsors since their support will help in moving the bill forward when it is reintroduced during the 108th Congress. There are currently seven co-sponsors in the Senate and thirty-three in the House. The list of co-sponsors, as well as information as to how individuals can lobby their Representatives and Senators to sign on to the bill, can be found on the previously mentioned website.

ANSWER's current focus is on the Republican Members of Congress. With such a closely divided Congress, it is essential that the bill have bipartisan support. The website provides specific information and suggestions on how individuals and schools of social work can affect the outcome of this legislation. For example, information can be found about how to write a letter to a Representative or Senator, as well as what to say when calling a Member to ask for his/her support. The website also provides information on how to plan a school wide "Call-In Day." This specific information can be found at http://www.socialworkers.org/advocacy/answer/grassroots/callin_day.asp. To receive more information about grassroots activities, individuals should contact Ms. Lakitia Mayo, of NASW, at lmayo@naswdc.org or (202) 408-8600.

In addition to advocating for S.70/H.R. 3814, ANSWER has requested that Congress include language in the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Conference Report for FY03. The language, which may be viewed on the website, is in regards to social work research being conducted at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The requested language "encourages the CDC to collaborate with relevant social work organizations and academic institutions, including schools of social work in carrying out its research agenda," and "urges NIH to develop and coordinate a social work research plan outlining research priorities and a social work research agenda for the next five years, along with professional judgment funding projections, across NIH Institutes and Centers to be reported to Congress by March 1, 2003." While this language was not included in the Senate Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations bill, ANSWER remains optimistic that it will appear in the House version. Related language, which urged NIH to find ways to promote social work research throughout the agency, was included in the FY02 Conference Report.

ANSWER is already looking towards the 108th Congress and devising a legislative advocacy plan that will help to further social work research. Goals will be set and plans made during the next ANSWER Steering Committee meeting which is planned for October 3 at the meeting site of the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work in Seattle, Washington. To reach the goals set by the coalition, the participation of social work students, educators, and practitioners will be essential. NASW will be issuing Action Alerts via the ANSWER website, as well as through the coalition member organizations, throughout the coming year. Social workers will be called upon to write letters, make phone calls, and schedule meetings with their Members of Congress. ANSWER is confident that these advocacy efforts will assist in expanding the benefits that social work research provides individuals, families, and communities.

Click on this link to send Email to: Dave Dempsey, Manager of Government Relations

Click on this link to send Email to: Ann Bradford, Senior Government Relations Associate

Click on this link to go to the ANSWER section of the NASW web site:

Click on this link for information on how to plan a school "Call-In Day"

For more information about grassroots activities, please email Ms. Lakitia Mayo of NASW

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