#MacroSW Chat 7/6: ADA & Section 504: Disabled Students’ Rights on College Campuses

Image of an empty classroom. Classroom has three rows of tables with blue chairs. In front of the classroom is 3 large white boards.
Some rights reserved by Steven Brewer

Chat archive available!

Disabled students’ rights to receive an education and accommodations are protected under two important policies.  The Americans with Disabilities (Act) prohibits the discrimination of Americans who are disabled, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that all colleges and universities that receive federal funding (most public and private institutions) have to provide accommodations to disabled students.  

Though these policies exist, disabled college students receive pushback from their colleges and professors in accessing and acknowledging the accommodations they need to succeed in the classroom.  These barriers impede on students’ ability to engage, learn, and feel included and respected.  The growing trend of ignoring that accommodations are vital and not a hindrance is one that must be addressed.  

As we prepare to celebrate the 27th anniversary of the ADA on July 26th, and the start of the 2017-2018 academic year in a few weeks, it is fitting for students, professors, and social workers to understand the barriers disabled students on campuses experience, and how to advocate for their rights.  

Here are a few resources that goes in-depth about the mandates that protect disabled college students, stories of failing to receive or allow accommodations, and how to advocate:

A Comparison of ADA, IDEA, & Section 504

Despite accommodations, some UMN students clash with professors over “unseen” disabilities

How Can Universities Better Support Disabled Students to Graduate

Why I Dread the Accommodations Talk

The Neglected Demographic:  Faculty Members with Disabilities

Self-Advocacy:  Know Yourself, Know What You Need, Know How to Get It

Our #MacroSW Partner facilitating the chat is Vilissa Thompson (@VilissaThompson).

Here are the questions we hope to discuss during the chat:

  1. Is the thinking about accommodations for disabled students tied to ableism, ignorance, or both?
  2. Has your college campus prioritized ensuring that students receive the accommodations they have a right to?  Why or why not?
  3. Have you witnessed or experienced resistance to acknowledging the accommodations of disabled students?
  4. Academics: How do you view providing accommodations to students in your classrooms?
  5. Students: Do you feel that professors understand why accommodations are important?  Why or why not?
  6. All: What can be done to eliminate stigma and resistance to respecting the accommodation needs of disabled students?


#MacroSW Chat 6/15/17: Aging in the 21st Century with Dr. Nathalie P. Jones

Update: the archive for this chat can be found here

For our Thursday chat on June 15th, #MacroSW chat will cover Aging in the 21s Century.

digital life

When thinking about aging in the 21st Century, consider that individuals are: living longer, making more healthy life choices, using technology to stimulate their minds, and becoming more physically active.

The current condition of the aging population is a focus of heightened discussion within the social work profession (one example of this focus is the upcoming virtual NASW conference, Aging Through the Social Work Lens). According to the National Institute on Aging, in 2010 there were 524 million people aged 65 years and older, representing eight percent of the global population. Moreover, older adults are increasing participation in physical activities, and have demonstrated increased technology use, which increases cognitive stimulation. This suggests possible explanations for increased life expectancy. As a result, academic and practical social workers are seeking deeper insights for this life expectancy, and overall quality of life.  Research emphasizes the life choices that the older adults are making as it relates to health, physical activity and brain activity through technology use. When older adults become more active, their heart rate increases and their confidence is heightened by their independence (Berlin, Kruger and Klenosky, 2017).

According to Pew Research Center, 79% of people in the United States use technology on a regular basis. Of this percentage, adults aged 65 to 69 are known to spend large amounts of time online. Technology use has become popular across the board with populations ranging from infancy to older adults. In particular, it has impacted the older population by increasing their cognitive activity; provided support for safety precautions (security cameras); and has allowed for overall heightened independence (Rogers, Stronge and Fisk, 2005). While the aging population has more choices to prolong life, it seems that they are in need of more social workers to support and advocate on their behalf. While discussing and exploring aging in the 21st Century, the limitations include current literature in practice and social work education on aging in the 21st century. The strengths include the ability to explore and to add to this body of literature as well as to increase the emphasis on social work with aging populations within social work education.ProfNJones

Our guest host will be Nathalie P. Jones, PhD, MSW (@DrNJonesTSU), Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work at Tarleton State University.

Nathalie enjoys working with the aging population and has a research interest that includes Healthy Aging. As a Masters level student Nathalie completed her internship serving the older population. Also, while in practice Nathalie was a gerontology social worker for the West Palm Beach Housing Authority. Currently, she is a Faculty Fellow and is proud to have the opportunity to discuss Aging in the 21st Century during the #MacroSW chat.

Possible discussion questions for the #MacroSW chat:

  • When you were younger how did “aging” look to you?
  • As you got older, how did your impression of aging change?
  • What age is considered the late adulthood phase?
  • What does aging look like to you in the 21st Century?
  • What impact does the younger generation have on the aging population?
  • How has technology impacted the aging population currently, like social media?
  • How can social workers support the aging population in the 21st century?

Additional Questions:

  • In what ways have you seen technology among members of the aging population?
  • What barriers to physical activity have you seen older adults struggle with?
  • How should social workers become more visible/interactive with and to the aging population?

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 information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out: http://macrosw.com.


Anderson, M. & Perrin, A. (2017), Tech Adoption Climbs Among Older Adults. Pew Research Center Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2017/05/17/tech-adoption-climbs-among-older-adults/

Berlin, K., Kruger, T., & Klenosky, D. B. (2016). A mixed-methods investigation of successful aging among older women engaged in sports-based versus exercise-based leisure time physical activities. Journal of Women & Aging, 1-11.

National Institute on Aging Retrieved from https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/publication/global-health-and-aging/living-longer

Rogers, W. A., Stronge, A. J., & Fisk, A. D. (2005). Technology and aging. Reviews of human factors and ergonomics, 1(1), 130-171.

20 by 2020 proposal to the CSWE

By Rachel L. West

You can help make macro matter. The Commission to Advance Macro Social Work Practice has delivered the 20 by 2020 proposal to the CSWE.

The CSWE (Council on Social Work Education) is a regulatory body charged with accrediting all BSW and MSW programs in North America. They set the standard for social work curricula and field placements.

Since it’s inception, the Commission has worked to advocate and strengthen macro social work practice. For the past couple of years they have worked on creating the 20 by 2020 proposal.

The proposal calls for:

The Special Commission proposes that CSWE actively supports steps to increase MSW student enrollment in macro practice concentrations nationally to 20 percent of MSW students declaring a concentration by the year 2020. (This is a national figure, not a school-by-school objective.) (Source)

The CSWE will review the proposal at its June 15th Board meeting.  #MacroSW has written an endorsement letter. On behalf of the Commission we are asking social workers and organizations (schools of social work and associations serving macro practice professionals) to do the same.

Below you will find links to a sample letter and the proposal. The endorsement letter must be in PDF format. Please email your letter to Michael Reisch by June 14th.

You can read the full proposal here. If you need assistance writing your letter you can refer to ACOSA’s endorsement letter here. Please do not copy and paste from the letter. Use your own words to express why your in support of the 20 by 2020 proposal. Your support is much appreciated.

Community Intervention Models: Problems, Strengths and Future Applications



Community Intervention Models: Problems, Strengths and Future Applications

Many community intervention models are mentioned in the literature, and three key approaches are referenced (Rothman, Erlich & Tropman, 2001). Let’s look at a brief description of these approaches. The first, locality development, stresses the involvement of a wide range of participation among community members addressing issues of central concern to them. Social solidarity is a strong requirement for success in this approach (Homan, 2004; Rothman et al., 2008). The second approach comes from social planning and policy and stresses the use of experts and educated professionals solving the community’s problems-often from a distance. This approach is empirical and data driven (Homan, 2004; Rothman et al., 2008). The third type of model comes from social action approaches which frequently emphasize the differences between the advantaged and disadvantaged within a community. This approach applies pressure on the advantaged group to leverage social change (Hoeffer &Chigbu, 2015).


While these three models are not exhaustive, (Rothmanm 1996) this has been somewhat of a useful lens from which to conceptualize and develop and evaluate community change efforts. Each model has been utilized to some degree to help create and measure community change, has mobilized community members and has provided useful ways for people to address systemic problems.

Associated Problems

In today’s rapidly moving and complex social environment not all of the three models produce positive community change.  In fact, they are likely outdated ( Boehm & Cnaan 2012). To meet the challenges of today’s societal demands, scholars and community practitioners have called for a hybrid approach due to the problems inherent in each modality. For example the locality approach emphasizes helping people help themselves, but this approach is often to blind to the larger factors of national, state or local government which often overshadows the ability of the localized population to mobilize for themselves see themselves as relevant actors (Carlton-LaNey, &Burwell, 1995). The social planning approach is criticized for being overly, rigorous, rational, and technical. In communities where the populace has less educational opportunities data driven strategies may leave people behind. Finally, one of the problems associated with the social action approach is that is highly militarized (Hoefer &Chigbu). The use of confrontational tactics and pitting one group against another usually requires the use of a third-party to resolve the inherent conflicts.

Newer Approaches

The literature suggests newer models have been developed in recent years including the community advocacy model, community engagement and feminist models, as well as a number of others (Boehm & Cnaan, 2012). While all these models have relevance and are more useful, than previous ones, they are primarily rooted in the classical models so many of the original limitations exist. One of the main criticisms is the overall lack of community involvement from the beginning stages. Newer approaches will need to include community members and community practitioners’ perspectives from conceptualization, implementation through evaluation. This empowers participants to share and build strengths as active initiators based on their perspectives on what needs to change, how it will change and when change will take place (Hoefer & Chigbu).

A new conceptual approach to community intervention is called the MAP-  Motivation and Persuasion Process, which is a hybrid configuration that addresses most of the gaps in the 3 classic models .(Hoefer & Chigbu). A major criticism of all three classic models is the lack of community involvement of its members in decision-making (Boehm & Cnaan, 2012). Bundled in a theoretical framework of empowerment, the MAP brings together persuasive psychology, motivational counseling, and principled negotiation to integrate community involvement as central to the model.  A number of studies indicate these approaches have been successful in working with communities, institutions and individuals (Cialdini , R.,2009; O’Donohue & Beitz, 2007; Pliois, 2007).  The MAP helps community members develop skill in self- negotiation with institutions and is built on principles which are central to social work:  self-determination and community empowerment (Goldworthy, 2007). Community members work alongside community practitioners and policy makers to learn a variety of skills leading to positive outcomes including use of authority, maintenance of consistency, demonstration of commitment, maintenance of objectivity, tactful response to resistance, display of empathy, and pursuit of self efficacy. These components comprise a model of community change by empowering community members to collectively come together with a skill set that can lead to successful outcomes (Hoefer and Chigbu).

macrosw 6-1-17 community models


Hopefully as macro social workers assume more central roles in public policy, urban planning and municipal government, social work values will support more community planned change models.   We must continue to advocate for centralized, normative opportunities for collaboration between community members, community practitioners and strength based problem solvers to work equitably in solving community problems.

Questions for tonight’s chat:

1 .What are the macro (social and community) challenges receiving most attention in your community today and why?

  1. In addition to the MAP what community intervention models do you think are more relevant to today and why?
  2. How do you see macro social work values operating in your community’s approach to solving problems and identifying strengths?
  3. What is the level of engagement between community members and community practitioners in addressing your community’s challenges?

If time permits-

  1. How visible are macro social workers and allied professionals in city planning, municipal and county government in your community?
  2. What is social work’s role today in helping our communities develop new models of community intervention?



Boehn, A. & Chnaan, R.  (2012). Towards a practice-based model  for community intervention. Linking So theory and practice. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 39, 141-168.

Carlton-Laney, I.,  & Burwell, N. (1995). African American  community practice models:  Historical and contemporary responses. Journal of Community Practice, 4(2),1-6.

Cialdini, R. (2009). Influence: Science and Practice (5th ed.). New :York NY; Pearson.

Hoefer , R. & Chigbu, K.2015) The motivation and persuasion process (MAP):  Proposing a practice model for community intervention

Goldsworthy, J. (2002). Resurrecting a model of integrating  individual work with  community development and social action. Community Development Journal, 37, 327-337.

Homan,M. (2004). Promoting community change: Making it happen in the real world. Belmont,CA: Brooks/Cole

Pliois, E. (2007).Competency in generalist practice: A guide to theory and evidence based decision making. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Rothman, J. ,Erlich, J., & Tropman, J., (2001 strategies of community intervention. (6th ed.).  Itasca, IL: F,E.Peacock.



Media Night on 5/25/17: Indian Child Welfare Act with Melanie Sage and National Indian Child Welfare Association

Transcript from this chat: https://storify.com/OfficialMacroSW/media-night-on-5-25-17-indian-child-welfare-act-wi

For our Maimagesy Media Night, we will be talking about the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). ICWA, a federal law passed in 1978, seeks to keep American Indian and Alaskan Native children with their families. Although nearly forty years have passed since this problem was identified and a legal intervention made, American Indian children are still significantly overrepresented in foster care. The ICWA law is often not properly upheld, and has not addressed the problem it was designed to fix. There are no clear means of enforcing ICWA outside of court appeal.

Major components of ICWA include: 1) the need for active efforts to prevent removal of AI/AN children from their families and to reunify them as soon as there are no longer imminent risks to safety; 2) placement preference to keep children with family, cultural community, or an AI/AN family if they must be placed out of home or adopted; and 3) communication with the tribe with whom the child is enrolled whenever the public child welfare agency intervenes.

Here is a link to four short YouTube videos that share the stories of families affected by ICWA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpxlN7vL_lA&list=PLDv7Yx44CyGQWp2gwf094UnZBeKnMJx5w

These stories were produced by National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) and are called The Heart of ICWA.

Our guest hosts will be Melanie Sage (@melaniesage) , PhD, LICSW, Assistant Professor at the University of North Dakota, and the National Indian Child Welfare Association (@NativeChildren).

MelanieSageMelanie Sage is a child welfare researcher, and is currently leading a statewide ICWA compliance improvement project. This $2.5 million federally funded project seeks to bring stakeholders together across systems to improve ICWA compliance and the rate at which AI/AN children are protected safely with their families and in their communities after contact with child welfare systems.

downloadThe National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) is a national voice for American Indian children and families. We are the most comprehensive source of information on American Indian child welfare and the only national American Indian organization focused specifically on the tribal capacity to prevent child abuse and neglect.  NICWA is a private, nonprofit, membership organization based in Portland, Oregon. Our members include tribes, individuals—both Indian and non-Indian—and private organizations from around the United States concerned with American Indian child and family issues.

Our #MacroSW Partner facilitating the chat is Laurel Hitchcock (@laurelhitchcock).

Here are the questions we hope to discuss during the chat:

  1. Why is the ICWA federal law of 1978 insufficient for changing child welfare practice?
  2. Whose responsibility is it to enforce ICWA, and how should they be held accountable?
  3. How can child welfare agencies become more responsive to the value of family and cultural connections?
  4. How can social workers be better advocates for ICWA?
  5. What will you do to defend ICWA?
  6. What was the most piece of information you learned about ICWA from this chat and why?

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 information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out: http://macrosw.com.

About #MacroSW Media Nights:

Tune in for our once a month #MacroSW Media Night to talk about different social problems highlighted by the press. We’ll feature a video, podcast, blog post or article that features a hot topic. These chats are ideal for class assignment or extra credit opportunity.  For the chat schedule: https://macrosw.com/special-events/.

#MacroSW Twitter Chat 4-27-2017 Resistance Strategies for the Long Haul


We have collectively survived the first 100 days of a new presidential administration. We have protested, demanded town hall meetings, written letters,  organized petitions thorough social media, increased and decreased time on our smartphones and have found creative ways to commiserate with and inspire one another. We have developed new curricula, increased our advocacy and watched- sometimes in disbelief at the ever unfolding political and social chain of events.

The good news is that we can make change, start or stop a movement and it doesn’t take a lot of people to do so.

We are addressing the issue of self care periodically in #MacroSW, not only because it’s a timely topic but a necessary one. How do we sustain ourselves, but also how do we sustain movements of resistance? In order to resist oppression, injustice, inequality,In order to continue our work and to make it sustainable, however, we must be strategic about what we are doing, who we ally ourselves with and and how we organize. We need synergy and sustainability.

Here are the questions to ponder for this week’s chat:

What are the greatest challenges ahead?

Name a self care tactic, and a greater resistance tactic that works for you.

Is social work leading movements of resistance? Why or why not?s

What are your practice priorities in terms of sustainable resistance?

Bring your ideas and actions to the chat, as well as resources you find valuable to share.

Perhaps the following articles will inspire a shift in mind or action:




Inequality for All Movie Night w/ @JimmySW on 4/6

Here is the Symplur transcript from tonight’s chat.

Inequality for allSocial work students (and everyone else) from across the country are welcome to participate in a student-focused chat about income equality.  Join us for a live, interactive event in which social work professors Jimmy Young, of the California State University San Marcos, and Laurel Hitchcock, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will facilitate a live discussion about the documentary film Inequality for All on Thursday, April 6th at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST).

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to connect with social work students, educators and practitioners from around the world. To participate:

  1. Watch the documentary Inequality for All. See below for information on how to access the movie.
  2. Your instructor may ask you to write a brief statement about your reaction to the movie.
  3. Participate in the live Twitter chat using the hashtag #MacroSW. Tweet any questions or responses directed to the moderators and social work professors Jimmy Young (@JimmySW) and Laurel Hitchcock (@laurelhitchcock). Include #MacroSW in all of your tweets.
  4. Following the live chat, your instructor may also ask you to write a brief self-reflection essay about your experience of participating in this event.

The written parts of the assignment are optional and are not required to participate. However, we do encourage you to take some time to reflect upon what you learn from the film and the topics that are discussed in the chat. How might they inform your future social work practice?

To Access the Film: Visit the film’s website at: http://inequalityforall.com/. Scroll down until you see “Watch it Now.” You can rent the movie ($2.99 – $3.99) or purchase. You can still request the DVD from Netflix. Alternatively, you can watch this interview between Bill Moyers and Robert Reich discussing the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-rpkZe2OEo

About the Film: Directed by Jacob Kornbluth, Inequality for All is a 2013 documentary film that examines the widening income gap in the United States. Using the stories of real people and real lives, the narrative explores the effects this increasing gap has not only on the U.S. economy but also on democracy itself. Presented by American economist, author and professor Robert Reich, the film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and won a U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Achievement in Filmmaking.

Questions for the live chat:

  1. What is happening today in terms of distribution of wealth? Why is it happening? What do you see happening and what are the causes?
  2. When do you think inequality becomes a problem?
  3. If the government sets the rules for how the market functions, who do these rules benefit or hurt?
  4. Who is looking out for the American worker? Who do you think should be and what could be done?
  5. After watching the film, do you agree/disagree with the idea of equal opportunity and the American Dream?
  6. What do you think most Americans don’t realize about income Inequality?
  7. What single word best describes how the film made you feel?
  8. What’s next? How do we as social workers address inequality or move forward?

If you are an educator wanting to incorporate this chat as an assignment in your class, please click here for details.  We hope you can join us! Please contact Jimmy or Laurel if you plan to have your class or maybe student groups participate in the chat.  They will also welcome your questions.

Media Night on 3/30: Ethics in Macro Social Work Practice with Heather McCabe

hamccabeHere is the transcript: https://storify.com/OfficialMacroSW/media-night-on-3-30-ethics-in-macro-social-work-pr

Social workers are often asked to consider the ethics of working with their clients in a therapeutic relationship. Here we will discuss the implications of ethics working along the full continuum of social work – from micro to macro. Most have heard about ethical issues like Confidentiality, Dual Relationships, and Sexual Relationships. How do ethics look when working with communities? What ethical obligations do social workers have to work for social justice when working one on one with clients?

We will explore how practitioners and students view ethical obligations around macro practice and social justice issues. Our guest expert is Heather McCabeAssistant Professor of Social Work at Indiana University.  She served as a medical social worker at a pediatric tertiary care hospital for several years before returning to school for her law degree.  She also served as the Director of the Public Health Law Program  and then Executive Director for the Hall Center for Law and Health at the IU School of Law – Indianapolis before coming to her current position.  Professor McCabe’s research is primarily in the areas of public health, health policy, health disparities, health reform, and disability related policy.  She is particularly interested in exploring the effects of multidisciplinary education and collaboration in her work.

To prepare for this chat, please review the NASW Code of Ethics: https://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/code.asp

Questions to be explored:

  1. Do you think about the NASW Code of Ethics applying to community organizing, policy practice, advocacy? If so, how?
  2. If you see multiple clients with the same systemic issue, do you have any ethical obligation to address the issue?
  3. What types of bills do you see as impacting your clients? What responsibility to you have to advocate for/educate about them?
  4. Do you advocate for policy in your day to day work? Give an example.
  5. How do we continue encouraging social workers to see practice as a continuum, which includes macro practice?


  • Reisch, M. & Lowe, J.I. (2000). “Of means and ends” revisited: Teaching ethical community organizing in an unethical society. Journal of Community Practice, 7(1), 19-38.
  • Hardina, D. (2000). Guidelines for ethical practice in community organization. Social Work, 49(4), 595-604.
  • Harrington, D., & Dolgoff, R. (2008). Hierarchies of Ethical Principles for Ethical Decision Making in Social Work. Ethics and Social Welfare, 2(2), 183–196. doi:10.1080/17496530802117680
  • National Association of Social Workers. (2008).  Code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Washington, DC: NASW Press.
  • Rome, S.H.,Hoechstetter, S., and Wolf-Branigin, M. (2010). Pushing the envelope: Empowering clients through political action. Journal of Policy Practice, 9(3-4), 201-219.
  • Rome, S.H. (2009). Value inventory for policy advocacy. In E.P Congress, P.N. Black, and K. Strom-Gottfried (Eds.) Teaching Social Work Values and Ethics. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

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 information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out: http://macrosw.com.

About #MacroSW Media Nights: Tune in for our once a month #MacroSW Media Night to talk about different social problems highlighted by the press. We’ll feature a video, podcast, blog post or article that features a hot topic. These chats are ideal for class assignment or extra credit opportunity.  For the chat schedule: https://macrosw.com/special-events/.


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?


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

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?


“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).

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