NASW has introduced a Social Work Safety Bill in the U.S. Congress. Here in CT we want to have our Congressional delegation to become co-sponsors of the bill. It is difficult to get bills acted upon in Congress making it critical to have enough co-sponsors to bring a bill to a vote. Our goal is to reach out to our 5 House members and 2 Senators during December with a simple message – co-sponsor the Protecting Social Workers and Health Professionals from Workplace Violence Act.

What the bill does: The bill creates a grant program within the Department of Health and Human Services for the following purposes:

  • To allow employers to afford purchase of safety equipment (such as security cameras and GPS locators),
  • Make facility improvements,
  • Implement safety training programs,
  • Provide support services for social workers and other health professionals who have been victims of workplace violence.

Why this bill is needed: Between 2011-13 there were 23,000 reported workplace assaults, and nearly 75% were in health care and social services. A 2004 NASW study of 10,000 licensed social workers found that 44% reported personal safety issues at work and 30% felt their employer did not adequately address safety issues. Workplace violence creates loss of employment time for those who are injured, in some cases permanently disables the professional, increases burn out amongst professionals, and client services frequently are setback. Most social workers have a story to tell and our Congressional delegation needs to hear your personal experiences and the experiences of your colleagues.

Action Needed This Month: Contact your two U.S. Senators and House Member. Tell them why the Protecting Social Workers and Health Professionals from Workplace Violence Act is needed. Ask them to co-sponsor the bill. Tell them you are a social worker and a constituent. Here is your Congressional Contacts:

Senator Richard Blumenthal –  https://www.blumenthal.senate.gov/contact/  or 202-224-2823. Bill # S. 2880

Senator Chris Murphy – https://www.murphy.senate.gov/contact  or 202-224-4041. Bill # S. 2880

Representative _____ . To find your U.S. Representative go to https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp  . Bill # H.R. 5138

For questions contact Stephen Wanczyk-Karp, LMSW at skarp.naswct@socialworkers.org

Thank you for taking action and participating in the Power of Social Work! PLEASE SHARE THIS ALERT WITH YOUR SOCIAL WORK & HEALTH CARE COLLEAGUES.

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