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Iowa Social Policy & Advocacy


for information on townhall meetings/coffees/Issues and Eggs, go to




Looks like we have a small but important victory in the Senate today!


Senator Zaun substituted HF 2300 for SF 2173 and the bill passed unanimously. This means that (if the Governor signs) LISWs will now be able to create PLLCs and PCs with LMHCs, LMFTs and psychologists!


On to the Governor's Desk!


Special thanks to all who sent emails on this bill and brought it up at town hall meetings!


Special shout out to the LMHCs and LMFTs who brought this to the attention of their contract lobbyist, Emily Piper, who worked with Sen. Zaun and Rep. Baltimore to create this legislation.


If you have a minute, please email your Senator and THANK them for their vote.


If you have time for two emails, send one to Senator Zaun and thank him for his work on this bill.






for town hall meetings/coffees/Eggs and Issues or an email or two!


Some good news!  HF 2300/SF2173


Allowing Social Workers to form PLLCs and PC with other, similar professionals


HF 2300 (originally filed as HSB 576) has been amended to include LISWs and passed out of full house judiciary committee unanimously.  It passed out of the House 2-22-18!


This bill will allow LISWs to create PLLCs and PCs with psychologists, mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists. 


Ask your Representative how they voted. If they voted in favor, thank them!



Now, it needs to go through the Senate

1)     Please ask your state senator to ensure that leadership schedules either SF2173 or HF2300 for debate

2)      SF 2173 has NOT been amended to include LISWs, so HF2300 is preferable at this time

3)      If they bring SF2173 to the floor for debate, ask your senator to amend it to include LISWs


CLICK HERE to find your State Senator's contact info.



Click on the link below for a copy of the bill that NASW Iowa supports (because it includes LISWs)



Click on the link below for a copy of the bill that needs to be amended, SF 2173 (originally filed as SSB 3043 by Senator Zaun of Urbandale)



We have sent Senator Zaun a document that spells out the LISW scope of practice.  He has told us that he "intends" to amend the bill when it comes to the floor for debate.




If you have time for a couple more emails, please contact Representatives Jacob Bossman, Vicki Lensing, Chip Baltimore, and Ashley Hinson and thank them for their help on the House version of the bill.  




HF 2428 (formerly HSB 666) directs the Department of Human Services to request a waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) that would allow Iowa to require all those on the Medicaid Expansion (Iowa Health and Wellness Plan) to work.



Please vote NO on HF 2428.  We all want state resources to be used efficiently.  This bill would create additional bureaucracy resulting in a less efficient state government with scarce resources going toward program administration rather than towards providing health care coverage to low income Iowans.  Many Iowans on the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan already work, but their wages are too low to afford their employers plan – or their employer doesn’t offer a health insurance plan. 


Targets: Your state representative.

CLICK HERE to find their contact information






SF 2117 The FY2018 (current year) De-Appropriations Bill


As the De-Appropriations Bill for this fiscal year stands now, the DHS budget would be cut by more than $6 million for the CURRENT fiscal year. 

  • Thank you for recommending that Medicaid NOT be cut for this fiscal year.
  • DHS has seen more than it's fair share of budget cuts in the past few years
  • It's time to look at the budgets of other agencies.  
  • There are other bill currently under consideration that would ask DHS staff to do more fraud reduction and add drug testing. These types of programs will require an additional investment to DHS, not less money. 



WEEKEND UPDATE – talking points for townhall meetings this weekend.

The good news!! 


We finally have bills that will implement the Complex Service Needs Workgroup Report  (Mental Health)

In the House: HF 2327

In the Senate: SF 2252

NASW IA support both bills.  These bills create a framework for providing services to people who live with severe mental illness.

Please ask your legislators to support these bills.  IF there is something about these bills that you don’t like, let us know so we can get them fixed! 


The bad news.


There are some legislators who believe that we need more stringent work requirements for public assistance. 



SSB 3193 is more of a work in progress.  As of Thursday, the sponsor for the bill, Sen. Jason Schultz states he is willing to work on it, but is determined that those who receive public assistance should be subject to drug testing and work requirement.  This bill # will also change, but as of Sunday evening, it is still SSB 3193.


Talking points:

  • The Medicaid requirements as proposed are NOT currently allowed in federal law.  DHS would have to file an extensive waiver before they could be enacted.
  • The SNAP requirements as proposed are NOT currently allowed in federal law. The Federal SNAP program DOES NOT allow waivers.
  • Family Investment Program (FIP), Iowa’s cash assistance program, already has a Promise Jobs requirement.
  • Drug testing requirements have proven cost INEFFECTIVE in other states – the drug testing costs more than the money that is saved by denying benefits to the very tiny percentage of participants who test positive. 
  • Iowa already has a robust fraud prevention system.


Targets: Subcommittee members


Sen. Jason Schultz (bill author)


Sen. Jake Chapman







NASW IA needs YOU to help with state level advocacy

As you will recall, National Association of Social Workers Iowa Chapter members and other professionals had quite a whirlwind of advocacy during the 2017 legislative session on a variety of issues, but particularly licensure. Thanks to all of you who reached out to your state legislators to make the voices of professional social workers heard. 


The 2018 Iowa State Legislative began on Monday, January 8.  The NASW IA government relations committee has developed a survey for those who are interested in doing advocacy work around state policy issues. 


If you are at all interested in engaging in this work, please answer the VERY short survey (link below) so we can be in touch with you for very specific activities.


One of the members of our government relations committee will be in touch with you shortly. 


Ways to do Advocacy on the State Level  


The gold standard for communicating with a government official is a face-to-face meeting.  If you can’t come to the Capitol to do this, you can do so at home at townhall meetings and coffees.


For information on when and where townhall meetings are scheduled, go to:


Personalized Letters to Government Officials


If you are short on time, you can always write to your state senators and representatives.  While it varies from legislator to legislator, email is a pretty effective way to reach most of them.  NASW also recommends a letter by USPS for state legislators. It’s different – so it gets their attention.

Find contact information for your State lawmakers with the link below:


The National Education Association (NEA) has a nice tip sheet on writing letters elected officials:


Phone Calls


Phone calls are not as effective for Iowa state legislators, because their voicemail can get full. If they know you and have your phone number in their cell phone, it can work.  You can call the Iowa Legislative switchboards, which are open from 8 am until 5 pm on days that the legislature is in session.(Noon to 5 pm on Mondays)


Senate switchboard



House switchboard



You can leave a voicemail once transferred to their extension, which then send an email to their legislative email account.


Letters to the Editor


Another way to make your stance known is to write a letter to the editor.  The beauty of a letter to the editor is that it can educate the public as well as your elected official. 


Here’s a nice resource from our friends at the Union of Concerned Scientists on how to write a good letter to the editor:


And another from the NEA:


Here’s a link on how to submit a Letter to the Des Moines Register:


Ways to Reach out to the Governor’s Office


Web form to send your thoughts to the Governor:


by phone: 515-281-5211


by Twitter:

Governor Kim Reynolds

Twitter Handle:  @KimReynoldsIA


For a handwritten letter use this address:

1007 E. Grand Ave.

Des Moines, Iowa 50319


Please feel free to call the NASW office should you have any questions



NASW Social Policy Statements
Each General Assembly Cycle, the Social Policies Committee reviews current policy statements and determines the need for revisions or additions to the priorities.  The committee strives to develop policy statements that reflect the issues facing social workers and their clients in Iowa as well as issues that appear to be of importance at the time. 


NASW, Iowa Chapter 2015-16 Social Policy Statements

2015-16 Access to Family Planning (Full statement)

Access to Family Planning 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Care for Juvenile Females in the Justice System (Full statement)

Care of Juvenile Females in the Justice System 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Child Mental Health Reform (Full statement)

Child Mental Health Reform 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Child Welfare(Full statement)

Child Welfare 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Economic Disparity (Full statement)

Economic Disparity 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Electoral Issues (Full statement)

Electoral Issues 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Healthcare Reform (Full statement)

Healthcare Reform 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Immigration Policy (Full statement)

Immigration Policy 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Marriage Equality (Full statement)

Marriage Equality 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Older Iowans (Full statement)

Older Iowans 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Social Work Reinvestment (Full statement)

Social Work Reinvestment 1 Page Summary


NASW, Iowa Chapter 2014-15 Social Policy Statements

2013-14 Access to Family Planning and Abortion Services
2013-14 Child Mental Health Reform
2013-14 Child Welfare Services
2013-14 Civil Marriage
2013-14 Family Investment Program (FIP) Basic Grant
2013-14 Fiscal Policy
2013-14 Health Care Reform
2013-14 Immigration Policy and Undocumented Persons in Iowa
2013-14 Older Iowans
2013-14 Services for Veterans
2013-14 Social Work Reinvestment
2013-14 Voter Rights

Advocacy is defined by many as arguing or pleading for a cause, whether a person, group, or policy. Advocacy is key to the role social workers play within their jobs and their communities. The Iowa Chapter develops legislative priorities on an annual basis reflecting the needs of those we serve society as a whole. NASW encourages members to become involved in advocacy efforts on many different levels.


Social Work Reinvestment
The Iowa Chapter is committed to advocating on behalf of the social work profession in Iowa.  To learn more about the Chapter's activities surrounding Social Work Reinvestment, CLICK HERE.

DONATE TODAY!!!  The work of the Chapter cannot be done without your help!  Consider a donation to the SWRI efforts in Iowa. 

You can send your donation to:

NASW, Iowa Chapter
Attn.:  SWRI Efforts
1620 Pleasant Street
Suite 212
Des Moines, IA  50314

Helpful Links:

Temporary Driver's License Legislation for Undocumented Latino Immigrants.  Written by Northwestern College Students under the supervision and revision of Dr. Valeria Stokes, LISW 

NASW-IA Chapter 2014 Social Work Labor Force Study

Iowa General Assembly
Find My Legislator
Register to Vote
Iowa Legislative Day

CLICK HERE to join the NASW or renew your membership today.

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