As School Social Workers, we are leaders in our schools. From social-emotional learning to mental health, we serve the entire community of children, families, and schools. We are advocates for the most vulnerable populations in our communities - always lifting them up, serving their needs, and empowering others to do the same. We are champions to all of those we serve, changing lives and providing hope every day!
INSSWA consistently monitors important legislation to keep you in the loop both locally in Indiana, and federally across the nation. Essentially, we are a resource to stay up to date during the legislative session each year. We work with organizations such as NASW, MCCOY, CPLI, and IUPUI to ensure that we and you are informed about the status of House and Senate Bills and what you can do to impact votes. We want you to touch base with your reps, so we offer opportunities to learn about contacting your representatives. For those of you interested in being more hands on, we attend the ISTA Day of Action, which includes training and information sessions about local bills. We also send members to work with and be trained by our national partner, SWAA, in Washington D.C.
INSSWA can be your resource for practice skills working with politicians and staying abreast on hot topics.
Politicians are not experts in the field of social work, but YOU ARE! Politicians need your input when making decisions that affect social workers and our clientele. Laws that are passed have a direct impact on the policy that governs your job - this is especially true in schools. Most recently, think about the Bully Law or even newer is the Firearms in School Parking Lots Law. You know your clientele better than anyone else. Let’s make sure that our representatives are given the information you possess so that they can make the best possible decisions.
Get to know your representatives on a first-name basis. You can begin by introducing yourself over an email or phone call. When the legislative session is out, schedule time to meet with them. Remember that representatives are more likely to be receptive to someone they’ve met than they would be to a stranger.
As a social worker, you already possess the skills necessary for talking with politicians: patience, reflecting content, asking open-ended questions, active listening, etc. You have the tools you need to make a difference. If you aren’t feeling confident, take a friend with you during your meeting. Remember, politicians are professionally trained nice people, so it won’t be nearly as intimidating as you may have envisioned.