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News & Press: Legislation/Policy

End-of-Year Message From NASW-Michigan Policy Director

Friday, December 15, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Dear Social Work Colleagues,


As we approach the end of a long and politically challenging 2017 and begin to think about spending time with our families and getting some much-needed R&R, I wanted to send out this quick message to you all. I want to thank all of you for the time you've put into helping us fight for socially just policies, making the voice of social workers and vulnerable people heard, and most of all for your membership. Without you we cannot do this critical work.


As bad as this past year has seemed, in regard to politics and policies, we have had some critical wins - because of the effort YOU put in! Earlier in the year we were able to fight off attacks on the Affordable Care Act, which includes the Healthy Michigan Plan that brings health insurance to over 600,000 in Michigan. Just this past October, the 20-visit cap was lifted for behavioral health visits to outpatient Medicaid providers, which increases access to those services. And most recently, we were able to stop a harmful policy that would have removed hundreds of treatment providers from the field, including social workers and peer supports.


As we look forward to the possibilities that 2018 can bring us, I want to encourage you to find ways to get involved with NASW at the local, state, and national level. Whether it is helping to organize local advocacy groups, canvassing for political candidates, writing news articles, making phone calls to legislators, or joining one of our many committees and workgroups, we need you! We need active members for NASW to be effective advocates for social justice.


Next year, I hope to see some very exciting legislation on behavioral health and criminal justice reform that will hopefully include expanded roles for social workers in those settings, critical issues like ending gerrymandering on the 2018 ballot, and one of the most important mid-term elections of our lifetime. If you are looking for more ways to get involved, please contact me. There are many ways you can contribute that will fit your interests, abilities, and availability. My office number is 517-487-1548 ex11 and my email address is or


Thank you for all that you do!

Allan Wachendorfer, LMSW

Director of Public Policy



P.S. This coming year, during social work month, we plan to return to holding a traditional "Lobby Day" in Lansing. We still plan to host the annual Legislative Education and Advocacy Day November 1, 2018, but NASW-Michigan Lobby Day will take the voices of social workers right to the doorstep of our elected officials! Please mark your calendar for March 21st and expect to get more details in January. Students and professionals will be invited.

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