#MacroSW Organizing Chat 2: Building Relationships 3/2 at 9pm ET

Update: Chat archive is now available!
otupa1qvrelmmztkthdvlii0dvaffyko_k_xpzzqpiharv9ejqnewo2regenyjwuov2nd5qtpxjzepntvl6jtit8xb-itxqrrlbwxnbmb85lzan3vktjajxxtjyhcsby9buch19As the new presidential administration comes into power, basic assumptions about the role of government in assisting the most marginalized have been thrown into question. Social workers should be deeply concerned about proposed changes to social service programs and the government agencies that administer them.


The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has called on social workers to organize, oppose, resist, and educate in response to the anti-social work agenda that is being put forward by the new administration. But how do we actually proceed?

fighting-anti-sw-agenda-twitter

In the first chat of this series, we discussed power–how it’s defined, who has it, and how we build it. To build the power we need for change requires organized people or organized money. In this week’s chat, we will discuss how to build the relationships needed to effectively organize. What starts as a small group of likeminded people can grow into a network of activists driving a movement.

The most important component of organizing, like social work, is listening and building relationships. We must meet people where they are and forge connections based on empathy, shared experiences, or common interests. This development of trust allows us to ask people to take necessary actions they may not ordinarily take–attending a protest or challenging an elected official–in a way that isn’t transactional, but based on mutual self-interest and respect.

To take a closer look at these concepts, we will discuss the following questions:

  1. Organizing builds public relationships which differ from personal or professional ones. What do you think this means?
  2. How would you engage stakeholders to start organizing around an issue you care about?
  3. Do you see a unique role for social work institutions to build relationships for change?
  4. Once you’ve established public relationships for organizing, what do you think is the next step to address an issue?
  5. What will you do in the next month to organize around around the issue of your choice?

Resources:

About the HostQqXY63jEj1wbBoicVsEaQjGfuDlpZCo8Xk8T4KinZTZcZT9U3sPkz6_NTKAIrmeTRJJD1X2hwwQNBPuWdgNTzwsqRdzIL6RGlQ7LjWleiZlI08MQ1maO-VeWIKaxgKcdaVnMTmgX.jpg

Justin Vest is the lead organizer for Montgomery County at Progressive Maryland where he
leads issue-based advocacy campaigns and develops volunteer organizers to fight for social and economic justice. He earned his BSW from the University of Montevallo and MSW from the University of Alabama before relocating to the DC Metro area.

What Would You Say to Donald Trump? #MacroSW Chat on 2/23 at 9 p.m. EST

trump_chat

View the chat transcript.

You are on the front lines every day fighting for social justice, important causes and effective programs. What would you say to Donald Trump if he were sitting in your office about the policies we need to strengthen our communities and solve our nation’s toughest problems?

Join us for #MacroSW chat on February 23 at 9 p.m. EST to delve into pressing topics raised by social workers and the Trump Administration and share your stories, policy remedies and suggestions for how we can collaborate. This chat follows up on our invitation to the President and his administration to engage the social work community in a question and answer forum.

For this #MacroSW chat we will compile ideas and feedback to deliver to the Trump Administration. We hope Trump officials will join us and also extend an open invitation to Trump supporters who have similar concerns.

Here are some guidelines and posed questions for the chat.

  • Review the topics proposed to in our open invitation which include, refugees and immigration reform; child care beyond tax credits and paid leave; reducing opioid, crack, drug and alcohol addiction and criminalization; affordable healthcare for everyone; veteran’s mental health and addiction; violence against minorities and the police and, economy and social justice. Feel free to discuss other topics as well.
  • Questions/Contributions:
  1. What do you want @realDonaldTrump and his administration to know about social workers?
  2. What are your top three issues you want @realDonaldTrump to address and why?
  3. Share with @realDonaldTrump and his administration a challenge, success story or research/data related to your priority issues.
  • Don’t forget to tell us what state you work and live in and tweet directly to your Congressional reps too so they get the message or thanked for their efforts. Find your House Representatives and Senators.

Guidelines for engagement: Our goal is for a respectful and substantive dialogue on both sides of the political aisle so we can work toward real solutions and contribute to emerging policy discussions that impact social workers and those we serve. No cursing or disparaging comments about the President or the Trump Administration. We will also block and report anyone who is trolling, cyberbullying and disrespectful to chat participants who express their opinions. We stand by creating a safe environment for discussion consistent with the NASW Code of Ethics. Check out the Twitter rules for reference.

After the #MacroSW chat, consider writing a blog post to share resources, successes, and struggles and tell your personal stories.  When sharing don’t forget to use the #MacroSW hashtag so everyone can see your post!

We will do everything we can to deliver the transcript of this chat to the Trump Administration. If you know anyone with a direct connect, let us know!

Resources

What’s Next after the Affordable Care Act? 2-16-2017 #MacroSW chat

Hospital lobby escalatorOne of the signature pieces of legislation during the Obama administration was passage of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA weathered many attempts to be derailed throughout the remainder of President Obama’s term, with dozens of votes to repeal the act held in the House. In 2010, after the Supreme Court upheld the law, it seemed Obamacare was positioned to remain in place.

While the ACA has been considered flawed, even by its strongest proponents, the law enacted a series of changes to health care access. These changes expanded health care to millions of people. These changes included:

Removing provisions allowing health care insurers to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions;
Creating health care insurance marketplaces that allowed people without employer’s insurance to purchase health insurance coverage;
Providing subsidies to assist people in need in paying for health care insurance;
Allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26

Now, with a new administration, the ACA is facing a critical crossroads. While President Trump campaigned on a platform to repeal the act and replacing it, it remains unclear what these changes will look like, and when these changes may occur. While some proposals have been offered, the law in its current form remains in place. Meanwhile, as the current congress deliberates on what changes should occur, public opinion on the ACA law has reached a new high in popularity.

Social workers in clinical, inpatient care, and policy settings have had an emerging leadership role with the ACA. Now, our profession looks to ensure that gains made for individuals and their families are not lost and promoting ways to improve access to healthcare in the United States.

Here are some questions we will discuss this week:

How has the ACA changed health care access for you, your clients or communities?
What do you think will happen if the ACA is repealed?
What do you think could be done to improve the ACA?
What do you think is the most common misunderstanding about the ACA? Why?
How should social workers respond to the possible repeal of the ACA?

Resources:

As GOP pushes repeal, Obamacare has never been more popular: NBC News/WSJ Poll (NBC News): http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/brink-repeal-obamacare-has-never-been-more-popular-n707806

How repealing portions of the Affordable Care Act would affect health insurance coverage and premiums (Congressional Budget Office Report): https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/reports/52371-coverageandpremiums.pdf

Issue: Ensure that social workers are frontline health providers to effect Affordable Care Act integration (NASW): https://www.socialworkers.org/advocacy/documents/PP-FL-19716.IssueBrief-ACA-NC.pdf

Open Invitation to the Trump Administration to Engage the Social Work Community

white_houseWe, the partners of the #MacroSW Twitter Chat, invite Trump Administration representatives and the President to join the #MacroSW chat on Thursday, February 23, 2017, at 9:00 p.m. EST for an open question and answer forum to engage the social work community and professionals who work with people in need of healing and hope and to discuss a range of pressing issues.

#MacroSW twitter chat is a collaborative group of social workers who promote macro focused practices and fight for social justice. We are conveners in the social work profession and host weekly conversations on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST with social workers nationwide who come together online to strategize about practice, share resources, and network.  Here is our weekly schedule and feel free to connect with us at @OfficialMacroSW or email us at OfficialMacroSW@gmail.com.

Social workers have a mission to reach those who have been forgotten and left behind and to solve our toughest social problems. There are more than 640,000 social workers in the U.S. and we are the largest provider of mental health services in the country.  As a reminder, the National Association of Social Workers has sent the Trump transition team this document, Advancing the American Agenda: How the Social Work Profession Will Help which details social work’s rich history, our impact, and how we serve. It provides detailed research and statistics that touch on pertinent issues.

For a Twitter chat forum, questions would be posed to President Trump, and/or administration representatives, from social workers on the below topics. We would also welcome this chat to be convened on Twitter through Periscope or other video streaming service to answer questions live. These topics were selected because President Trump had spoken about these issues on the campaign trail or taken action by executive order.  We are open to other topic suggestions from both the Trump Administration and social work community.  Leave comments below this post or tweet us and mention our handle @OfficialMacroSW.

If no one from the Trump Administration joins the #MacroSW Twitter chat,  we will proceed with convening this question and answer forum and compile ideas and feedback to deliver to your administration. A blog post will follow this invitation closer to Feb. 23 outlining the questions and additional resources to prompt discussion.

Topics

  • Refugees and immigration reform. The Executive Order, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, which bans aliens from the nations of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia from traveling and seeking refuge in the U.S. This ban has caused alarm at home and around the world, raised constitutional questions which led to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a suspension of this order and has left many believing we are abandoning our core principles as Americans. Social workers play a key role in helping settle immigrants and refugees in communities, protect illegal immigrants who live in the shadows and are at a higher risk to suffer abuse and victims of crime. We also advocate fair and just immigration reforms which honors our nation’s history. We should agree humane treatment of all people is necessary to resolve the struggles our communities face in helping immigrants.  
  • Child care beyond tax credits and paid leave. Greater flexibility in affording childcare is a goal for everyone. We also need to improve opportunities and wages for the childcare workforce, which has an underpaid and predominantly female and minority-race workforce. And, there are too few affordable and high quality child care options for middle class and low income families, often negating efforts to work full-time.
  • Reducing opioid, crack, drug and alcohol addiction and criminalization. Nationwide addiction has destroyed families and communities. Social workers are on the front lines in combating addiction and can be relied upon to deliver treatment programs to break the cycle of addiction. We also seek to end the criminalization of addiction in which people end up in prison instead of treatment and minorities represent a disproportionately high number of inmates.  Social workers seek solutions to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, especially in communities of color, and offer treatment instead of jail for nonviolent offenders.
  • Affordable healthcare for everyone. As the Trump Administration and Congress seek to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, social workers have grave concerns about how this will be done. The expansion of health insurance and Medicaid has increased social workers’ ability to provide mental health and addiction services and created parity for health and behavioral healthcare and we want this to continue. Also, we know basic healthcare is a necessity for people to live independent and productive lives. This is especially important for the disabled and older adult communities who are entitled to live healthier and stay at home for as long as possible instead of in expensive nursing facilities.
  • Veteran’s mental health and addiction. Social workers are the largest provider of mental health and addiction services for veterans and their families. We need more social workers working in the veteran’s health administration to end the high suicide rates, heal PTSD and treat trauma, addiction and mental health disorders.
  • Violence against minorities and the police.  The intersection of racism, trauma and violence experienced by black communities and law enforcement officers has led to an untenable situation for everyone. It’s a tragedy that there is a greater incidence of violence and killings of people of color at the hands of police. When police officers die in the line of duty protecting our communities, this is a tragedy that happens far too often.  And here is a troubling statistic:  over 50 percent of police brutality incidents involve disabled people especially those of color.  Cases like Arnaldo Rios-Soto and Korryn Gaines are not isolated occurrences and show the dangerous realities some face if they encounter law enforcement.  Social workers are on the ground in every community, working to stem acts of violence and the aftermath of social unrest in the wake of the shootings and killings of black citizens and police officers.
  • Economy and social justice.  Jobs are the backbone of thriving communities; social workers often support those who are un- or under-employed, as are many people with disabilities.  Social workers are instrumental in supporting working-class families who are seeking work as well as creating opportunities for people to start businesses and build wealth in the shifting  economy with its many changes due to globalization and automation.

Social workers’ expertise and interests extend beyond this list. We are collaborators by nature and dedicated professionals who believe in equality, diversity and advocacy for those who cannot advocate for themselves. We work with marginalized and oppressed people everywhere and care deeply about human and civil rights. Our reach is broad:  social workers help people on a one-on-one basis as well as creating large-scale community change and policy initiatives.

In policies and philosophies where the Trump Administration and the social work community have mutual interest, mission alignment and the potential for productive work, we will work with this administration to reach important goals on behalf of all Americans.

We must state clearly, while we are open to collaboration with the new Trump Administration, we will organize and speak out against policies deemed harmful to minorities, immigrants, women, and other disenfranchised populations.  The purpose of this invitation is to open respectful dialogue which is necessary in order to devise the best solutions for our rich and sound democracy.

As President Trump has demonstrated so well, Twitter is a rich social media community where people can express themselves freely, and easily organize and communicate. Twitter is an incredible platform to engage large numbers of people and harness the best ideas. We hope that President Trump and his administration will join us for this conversation.

The Opioid Crisis 02-09-17 #MacroSW Chat

Map of USA overlaid with text "91 Americans die every day from opioid overdose (that includes prescription opioids and heroin).
Image: CDC  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the archive of this twitter chat.

Why do social workers need to know about the opioid epidemic?

  • Opioid dependence is an epidemic in the United States.
  • Many social workers are interested in addictions.
  • We will see opioid dependence regardless of where we practice social work.
  • It is important that all of us know more about this issue.

Join us on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 9 pm EST, 8 pm CST, and 6 pm PST as we look at the epidemic of overdose deaths in the U.S. caused by use of opioids. We’ll discuss current stats, contributing factors, and evidence-based treatment and prevention practices. The host is Pat Shelly from @UBSSW – she’ll be on the @OfficialMacroSW handle.

Our guest expert is Charles Syms, from the School of Social Work at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, using the @UBSSW handle.

Photo of Charles Syms, African American man,standing wiih arms crossed over chest, smiling, wearing white shirt, yellow tie, and eyeglasses.
Charles Syms, LCSW, ACSW

 

Charles Syms, LCSW/ACSW, is a clinical associate professor who has been a faculty member in the University at Buffalo’s School of Social Work since 1998. A past National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) Minority Research Fellow, Professor Syms’s current teaching and research interests include the treatment of individuals with substance use disorders, particularly the impact of alcohol and other drugs on people with mental health problems and those involved with child welfare system. He works to extend this education into the on-line environment.

Professor Syms has over 35 years of professional social work practice. He received his MSW in 1979 from California State University – Sacramento. His experience includes work in child welfare, domestic violence, forensic mental health and substance use disorders. He has held numerous positions, including child protection worker, child protection clinical consultant, prison psychiatric social worker, supervisor on an in-patient chemical dependency unit, domestic violence specialist and group leader, child welfare program director, and a leadership role in coordinating two community-based, university/public school collaborative violence prevention projects. Additionally, Professor Syms shares his experience and expertise as a member of agency-based and professional advisory boards at the local, state and national levels.

Here are some questions we will discuss this week:

  1. Just how widespread is the opioid epidemic?
  2. Why is it worse in the United States than elsewhere?
  3. What are the evidence-based practices that are effective in treating opioid dependence?
  4. Are there preferred prevention models?
  5. What implications for policy does Carl Hart’s talk, “Let’s quit abusing drug abusers,” offer?
  6. What are social workers doing at the macro level regarding this epidemic?

Resources:

“Let’s quit abusing drug abusers” by Carl Hart (19 min. video) http://www.tedmed.com/talks/show?id=309156

Understanding the epidemic: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/

Treatment Overview:  https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/effective-treatments-opioid-addiction/effective-treatments-opioid-addiction

Prevention: The IPP model.  https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/opioids/odprevention.html

Safe injection spaces: http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/2015/08/tuesday-new-film-documents-public-injection-drug-use-new-york-calls-supervised-injectio

Inside North America’s Only Legal Safe Injection Facility:  http://bit.ly/2ke4B1h
Look for the archive of all tweets from this chat that will be posted the following day on February 10.

 

New to Twitter chats? Here is a great guide: “How to Participate in a Live Twitter Chat – Tips for Social Workers” by our partner, Laurel Iverson Hitchcock.

About #MacroSW:
#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST).

-Click here for a list of chat partners.

-For the #MacroSW Chat Schedule, Recent Posts, and all chat Archives – See the column on the right side of our home page: http://macrosw.com