Your Voice Matters

Welcome to KSSWA's advocacy page!  Here you can make a difference, because your voice matters for your students, for your school, and for your profession.  Below you will find resources to help in your advocacy efforts.  However the most impact we can have is if all School Social Workers join together with a unifying voice across the state.  School Social Workers need to be the ones dictating what the profession is and can be.  As School Social Workers we know and see the influence we can have on a student, family, and educational system.  It is only with your support that we can advocate and grow this profession at the state level.  Collectively our voice is powerful and can make change happen.  So please join with us to create one collective voice for School Social Workers across the State of Kansas.

Advocacy Goals

1. Advocate for the social, emotional, and educational well-being of children and families

2. Increase the profession of School Social Work in Kansas

3. Educate about the impact of trauma and promote trauma informed schools

2022-2023 Legislative Agenda

Updated 2022-2023 Legislative Focus coming soon. Until then, please view 2020-21 Legislative Focus below to see past goals and priorities for KSSWA. 

Here is our 2020-21 Legislative FocusClicking on the link will take you directly to our two page document which gives KSSWA's goals and priorities that will help with impacting legislation for School Social Workers across Kansas. If nothing else use the first page to inform and educate your legislators, school or community about the impact School Social Workers have. It is our voices not only individually but united together that makes a difference for the children and families we serve.

School Mental Health Advocacy Day (SMHAD)


SMHAD Information

2 FREE CEU's FOR SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKERS OFFERED AT SMHAD!

Join us on Thursday, January 26th at the Capitol in Topeka for School Mental Health Advocacy Day.

During this time, we will be hearing from speakers focusing on the legislative process, advocacy, and networking with other school mental health providers. Then during the afternoon session we will have the opportunity to speak to our legislators about school mental health in schools and our impact on our students during PRESCHEDULED legislative visits. 

Once you are registered you will receive updates and advocacy resources to use before, during, and after this event. Click here to register!

We hope to have a great turn out at this impactful advocacy event for our members, non-members, and students!

If you have any questions about this event please email: Shelby Burnett, KSSWA Legislative Chair at sburnett@tong464.org

December 2022 Legislative Updates

The Kansas Senate and House are adjourned until January 9, 2023 at 2:30pm


Contact your Representative and Senator to encourage their support with the legislation below!

Find Your Congress Member

Find Your State and Federal Representatives

Governor Kelly's Website

National Legislative Information

H.R. 7780 Mental Health Matters Act (No Bill Movement since 10/11/22)

Summary: This bill requires certain federal actions to increase access to mental and behavioral health care. Among other provisions, the bill creates various grants to increase the number of school-based mental health services providers, establishes requirements for institutions of higher education concerning students with disabilities, prohibits arbitration and discretionary clauses in employer-sponsored benefit plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, and establishes an occupational research program on mental health (congress.gov).

This bill also highlights SSWAA recommendations for a 1:250 ratio of school social workers to students and best practice as guided by SSWAA. 

Bill Movement

  • H.R. 7780 Mental Health Matters Act Text
  • May 16, 2022 Introduced in the House
  • September 22, 2022 Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Education and Labor 
  • September 29, 2022 Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed by the Yeas and Nays: 220 - 205
  • October 11, 2022 Received in the Senate and read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. 

H.R. 7037 School Social Workers Improving Student Success Act (No Bill Movement since 9/2/22)

Summary: This bill provides certain resources to increase the number of social workers in elementary and secondary schools. Specifically, the bill directs the Department of Education to award grants to high-need local educational agencies to retain or hire school social workers. The bill also establishes a national technical assistance center for school social work to, among other duties, develop strategies for improving the effectiveness of the school social work workforce (congress.gov).

Bill Movement

    • March 9, 2022 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor

    National School Mental Health Bills

      H.R. 7672 Advancing Student Services in Schools Today Act (No Bill Movement since 5/6/22)

      Summary: This bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services to award grants to, among others, local educational agencies to increase the number of mental health and substance use disorder care providers in schools and school-based health centers. It also increases the federal government's share of Medicaid costs for behavioral health services furnished in those settings (congress.gov).

      Bill Movement

      Helpful Advocacy Links

      SSWA Policy and Advocacy: https://www.sswaa.org/policy-and-advocacy

      KSDE Guidance - Section 27 HB2567: Nonacademic Tests, Questionnaires, Surveys & Exams

      Please see the .pdf below for guidance from KSDE about HB2567 that was passed in May 2022. 

      HB 2567 - Nonacademic Surveys (Updated 8.18.22) (2).pdf

      Contact Your Legislators

      To find further information about who represents your district please visit Openstates website. You can enter your address here to find who it is that represents your district. Legislators usually welcome any contact with constituents, so please email, call or even invite them to your school to further that relationship.    

      Resources for Advocating


      Letter-to-Legislator July 2022(1).docx

      Letter-to-Legislator July 2022 (2).docx

      This is a letter to help you communicate with your legislator about social workers and the importance of our presence in schools

      Letter-to-School-Administrators Updated July 2022(1).docx

      Letter-to-School-Administrators Updated July 2022 (2).docx


      This is a letter to let a school administrator about school social worker and how we can benefit students, staff and our communities

      Surgeon General Youth Mental Health Advisory
      Information regarding youth mental health and creating a responsive systematic support for todays youth. 
      School Mental Health Teaming StatementNational Associations statement indicating effectiveness of teaming strategies to address school mental health concerns
      Kansas Legislature VideoThis is a video put together to assist with the navigation the Kansas Legislature Website
      School Social Work Association of America - News & Advocacy

      This portion of the SSWAA website includes advocacy resources, legislative updates, and guidance regarding how to contact legislators on various levels. 

      School Social Workers - A Necessity in the Fight Against Youth Mental Health .pdf Provided is a policy brief from a member of KSSWA, Sara Nowak. This brief discusses School Social Workers and the importance of our positions to help support our students mental health needs.

      KSSWA Advocacy Information last updated on:  December 29, 2022

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