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.
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
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 Focus. Clicking 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)
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 email@example.com
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!
National Legislative InformationH.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.
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).
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).
Helpful Advocacy Links
SSWA Policy and Advocacy: https://www.sswaa.org/policy-and-advocacy
Please see the .pdf below for guidance from KSDE about HB2567 that was passed in May 2022.
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.
This is a letter to help you communicate with your legislator about social workers and the importance of our presence in schools
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 Statement||National Associations statement indicating effectiveness of teaming strategies to address school mental health concerns|
|Kansas Legislature Video||This 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.|