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Iowa Social Policy & Advocacy


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


Now, more than ever, NASW IA needs

YOU to help with state level advocacy


The 2019 Iowa State Legislative session began on Monday, January 14. 

In the past, the tradition has been to have open subcommittee meetings with 24 hour notice.  This session, the tradition was not adopted by several of the committees of the Iowa State Senate.  The Human Resources committee, which deals with much of the legislation that social workers and their clients care about, was one of those committees.


This means we need your help more than ever.  While NASW IA staff and interns try to cover as many subcommittees on as many relevant bills as we can, we can't attend subcommittee meetings that aren't held in public. If there isn't 24 hour notice, that makes it all the more difficult for us to juggle our busy schedules.


Please, when we send out an advocacy alert, answer our call to action.  When things happen on short notice, we will send out emails and post on our official Facebook page.  More detailed explanations will be found on this website. When we have a bit more notice, we will ask you to attend townhall meetings over the weekend to let your legislators know in person how the legislation they are creating impacts social workers and the people we serve.  This is an excellent way to hold your legislators accountable – they have to answer your questions in front of their constituents. 


Please consider helping NASW-Iowa Chapter with state level advocacy efforts. Now, more than ever, we need your help in representing the social work profession and the people we serve. 



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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