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  • Wisconsin Social Workers: What Will You Do For NASW-WI?

    By Kristi Wood, MSW, APSW.  There are thousands of us, over 16,000 to be precise: the social workers who make Wisconsin a great place to live. We help keep children safe.Kristi

    We help families improve the quality of their lives. We keep our hospitals running well by helping patients plan for their needs upon discharge. We provide services and therapies to help people learn skills, recover from trauma, and heal from a multitude of hurts. We help people access resources. We help people reaching the end of their lives live out the rest of their lives with dignity and comfort.


    Even if you are not a member of the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, I am your president. One of my goals in this role is to help you realize and define how you will contribute to NASW-WI.


    You may be asking, ‘Why isn’t it the other way around? What is NASW-WI doing for me?’ Well, I would be happy to give you some examples:


    • Our Executive Director, Marc Herstand, is lobbying for the Higher Education Lower Student Debt Bill to help assure that student debt is less of a burden on you.
    • Our committees and interns are creating and distributing fact sheets to advocate for higher pay for social workers in schools, hospitals, and clinics.
    • Over five hundred social workers and students attended Advocacy Day in April of 2017, speaking with their Wisconsin legislators about issues that affect our profession and the people we serve. We will do it all again in April of 2019, and every social worker and student is invited to join us in making change on a macro level.
    • Our Executive Director, Marc Herstand, is lobbying for the Child Victims Act, to give adult survivors of sexual abuse a three-year window to charge their perpetrators.


    This is by no means an exhaustive list. For more examples, go to and under Member Services you can read the 2018 Spring Newsletter.


    You and I are on the ‘front lines’, doing micro and mezzo work to help make the lives of individuals a bit more livable. Marc, our NASW-WI Board, and Committee Chairs and members are tackling legislative and social policy issues that improve our working conditions and help to make many Wisconsinites’ lives more livable for generations to come. They all work on the front lines, therefore I am confident that you can contribute as well.


    Ok, that’s great, you say. Why should I be a member? NASW-WI’s strength is in our numbers. Our membership dues pay the salary of our Executive Director, provide networking events, and cover expenses of Advocacy Day and our Annual Conference. Funds help us offer services such as our Student Ambassador program. The bigger we are, the more we can do for our profession. And NASW has now launched its first ever online community for members. For a more detailed list of member benefits, go to and under the About Us tab click on Membership. If you join as a student, membership is less than $5 per month!


    If you have a passion for going beyond being a member, there are committees that will give you experience in multiple areas of social work: Legislative and Social Policy, Professional Standards and Regulation, and Continuing Education just to name a few. Most of our committees meet by phone one hour per month.


    I ask you to please consider how you can best support NASW-WI. The time you invest in the profession, even if it is one hour a month, will benefit you as well as every social worker in Wisconsin.


    I have immense gratitude for the work you do every day.


    In service to the social workers of Wisconsin,

    Kristi Wood, MSW, APSW

    President, NASW-WI