Friday, February 13, 2009

Texas State Laws and Rules for Social Workers

This week, I attended a 6 hour workshop given by Vicki Hansen on the rules and laws that govern social work practice in Texas.  We met at the Union Gospel Mission - what a privilege to learn about their important work to serve the homeless in Tarrant County!  Some who drive down Lancaster and see so many homeless people want to roll up their windows and get away quickly.  I appreciated the opportunity to spend time with the dedicated staff 
at Union Gospel Mission and hear about their important work with hundreds of women, children, and men who live on the streets of Fort Worth.  The number of people who depend on Union Gospel Mission EVERY day is staggering.  The call for social justice is staggering here in our town.  If you haven't had the chance and are interested, send me an email and I'll connect you with the Program Director to learn more about their work.  Social Workers are called to serve the most vulnerable and the staff at Union Gospel are meeting that call for service every day, 24/7.  

So, what did I learn about Texas laws and rules and social work?  First, Vicki Hanse
n, Executive Director for the NASW Texas Chapter, did a great job of showing us the multitude of laws and rules t
hat govern social work practice in Texas.  It is mind-blowing and nearly mind-numbing.  But, she accomplished her goal which was to make us aware of these laws and rule and how to "keep  up" so that we reduce our risk of getting in trouble.  As a social work educators Dr Tracy Diets and I became acutely aware of our responsibility to my students and field instructors to help them understand their responsibility to know the rules and laws that govern professional practice of social work.  Based on all that I learned from Vicki's workshop, I strongly encourage any social worker who hasn't already attended this vitally important workshop to do so as soon as possible. Buy the book Texas Law for the Social Worker:  A Sourcebook - it is VERY helpful.  Next, I remind everyone that Vicki Hansen will be giving this workshop at the NASW Texas Conference in October.  Sign up now and check out Vicki's presentation.  The feedback from past confrences showed that Vicki was one of the top rated presentations at the conference.  

Social Workers in have to follow countless rules and laws.  Keeping up to date with that information is essential to reducing risk and managing ethical challenges.  

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