On the NASW website, list 5 issues that NASW is or has been advocating for. Write about one of the issues and explain the NASW's stand on the issue.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The National Association for Social Workers (NASW) is not an organization that shies from civil discourse and policy advocacy.  Their website reflects this.  One issue that the association is rather focused on is the extension of the Violence Against Women's Act (VAWA) to an international emphasis.  IVAWA "calls for a comprehensive U.S. response to end violence against women and girls globally."  The NASW has embraced the idea that empowering families cannot stop at U.S. borders.  It is an internationalist perspective that reflects the global vision the organization holds towards the rights of families and individuals.  

Another issue that the organization is fighting for is the political and legislative commitment to the field.  The Social Work Reinvestment Act is an act of legislation reintroduced in the House by Representative Barbara Lee and by Senator Barbara Mikulski and represents the fundamental interests of the NASW:

The Social Work Reinvestment Act is the most comprehensive bill ever introduced in the U.S. Congress addressing the workforce challenges facing our profession. Due to economic, political, and social challenges in all corners of American life, social work services are more needed than ever before. Clients depend on the services and resources provided by social workers to maintain employment, shelter, food, health outcomes, and other life-sustaining services. As we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty, we must consider the social work profession to be more important than ever in helping to support communities and neighborhoods and to alleviate poverty.

Such legislation affirms the nation's support of social work and the professionals who deliver it.  This is something that the organization sees as critical and essential.  

Sometimes the advocacy that the NASW takes is on a grassroots level.  The NASW brings attention to problems and seeks to galvanize support around change.  An example of this would be its publicizing of events in the news such as the food chain Kroger's eliminating health coverage of employee spouses who work.  The NASW website suggests that over 17,000 local workers will be impacted by the changes.  The NASW also seeks to increase advocacy and awareness through its Twitter feed.  In one such instance, the NASW provides a link to a blog that points out the need to eliminate discrimination of LGBT individuals and enhance their civil rights.  The blog talks about how "the changing landscape of marriage" in terms of sanctioning marriage for LGBT is critical in order to end prejudice and discrimination.  Finally, NASW uses its Facebook page to enhance advocacy of issues that it deems important to the organization.  On its Facebook page is advocacy for Women's rights, suggesting that "There can be no human rights without women's rights."  The NASW believes that the strengthening of families lies with ending violence and prejudice against women.

In terms of identifying one issue of importance, the NASW is fairly direct towards IVAWA.  The headline on the page that details the legislation states in bold "Urge Congress to Support and Pass I-VAWA!"  This goes very far in how the organization believes that IVAWA is something towards which it must advocate. At the bottom of the page is a plea where "Action Requested" and "Please urge your Members of Congress to pass IVAWA today!"  This helps to make clear that the NASW believes in the need to pass IVAWA, ensuring that the rights of families are protected around the world and that the United States takes an active role in delivering this promise to all.

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