Updates from the Executive Director

8/12/2022 - 2 Statements from NASW National

It’s been a very (yet ANOTHER) busy week in the world of NASW, and I wanted to take a few moments to share 2 important updates on recent national issues impacting social workers right now. 

The first item to draw your attention to is the NASW National statement in response to the recent release of pass rate data from ASWB (currently, the only nationally recognized testing body for social work examination).  As folks may be aware, to some, this data was quite shocking.  To others, the release of this data only validated what had been suspected for decades….  Please see below for the NASW National statement. 



8/11/2022 - ASWB social work licensing exam pass rate data confirm concern over racial disparities 

The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) on August 5 published data in  a 2022 ASWB Exam Pass Rate Analysis. This disclosure stems from years of advocacy by NASW and other social work organizations, schools of social work, and individual advocates to push ASWB to post data that it has been unwilling to release for decades. 

The data revealed glaring disparities in pass rates among racial groups, particularly for Black test takers. It also raised concerns about disparities in pass rates for other demographics, including social workers who are older adults.

All social work institutions - including ASWB and licensing boards, NASW and other associations, and social work higher education programs - must openly confront systemic racism within our profession.  We must all commit to work to ensure reforms are made to ensure the licensing process is equitable for all, protecting the public without unnecessary gatekeeping and discrimination.

NASW through its national office and its 55 chapters is committed to working closely with partners to develop a coordinated and timely response to this issue and propose innovative solutions that reduce harm and increase diverse representation at all levels of social work practice.

https://www.socialworkers.org/News/News-Releases/ID/2531/ASWB-social-work-licensing-exam-pass-rate-data-confirm-concern-over-racial-disparities

Additional reading:

Secondly, I wanted to update you all on where things are at with the CareDash website.  Earlier this month, I shared concerns about the practice of this website (which had been associated with BetterHelp) creating online profiles for social worker based solely on NPI public data.  Many folks (including myself) checked out our “profiles” and found information horribly outdated, misleading, and inaccurate.  At the time, CareDash had been refusing to remove individual provider sites and instead, requested that social workers create memberships to their website to “take ownership” of our profile pages.  Well, I’m very pleased to report that thanks to YOUR advocacy and the hard work of our NASW Legal Team, we’ve seen some significant progress on this issue:

NASW National Statement: NASW Combats Troubling Business Practice Harming Social Workers and their Clients | Social Work Blog

Here’s the highlight:

  • We previously informed you of our concerns about the posting of psychotherapists’ profiles, without their knowledge or consent, in soliciting business for online psychotherapy platforms.
  • As a result of our actions and your response, NASW is currently engaged in productive discussion with BetterHelp regarding this practice.
  • As a result of these efforts, as noted above, BetterHelp has disassociated itself from CareDash – for which we are grateful. THANK YOU!

We are grateful to our members for bringing this practice to our attention and for advocating to end it. This is more proof that your voice and engagement is critical to the work we do!

Additional Reading:

This only reinforces the collective power of our joined advocacy and voices in righting what we see are wrongs in our field.  Thank you, all!!


7/13/2022 - Updates on Social Work Compact and CareDash

As promised, I wanted to share more information about the draft Social Work Compact legislation language that I let folks know was coming this month.  See attached email from NASW National CEO, Angelo McClain as well as a memo from yours truly FILLED with links and updates.  LOTS of information is contained here, so please save this document for easy reference later.  I will continue to keep y’all informed about our plans here at NASW ME to advocate on behalf of this compact.  OF NOTE:  The current draft of this legislation may provide problems here in Maine to advance this compact forward.  The “Sticking Point” here in Maine will be the way that the Bachelors Level of licensing, the LSW, are defined in the compact.  The compact defines an LSW as someone having a BSW degree from an accredited university/college.  As you all may know, here in Maine, it is possible for LSWs to obtain licensure without having a Bachelors in Social Work.  Our conditional LSW license (the LSX) allows for folks in other degree programs to enter into social work licensing with supervision and testing requirements.  I am advocating nationally that this be revisited and allowed to be more flexible at the Bachelors level.  Otherwise, Maine might be excluded from participating in the Compact.  I would welcome any assistance from folks who support the idea of the Compact moving forward with changes to the definition of an LSW.  Instructions for giving public comment are in the attached memo.  In the meantime, I’ll be participating in lots of national discussions in the months ahead and acting as your voice here in Maine where I can.

In addition to the SW Compact updates, I want to share that NASW Maine is aware of a concern from members here in Maine and across the country with the website CareDash (BetterHelp) and their practice of creating online profiles for social workers based on public NPI database information.  These profiles have been created on the CareDash website without the consent of the social worker and contain outdated and misleading information to members of the public who may be searching for social work services.  I searched for myself on the CareDash website and indeed found a profile created on my behalf.  Sure enough, very little in this public profile was current (not to mention the fact I haven’t been in private practice for almost 10 years now…), and some of the information posted on my “profiled” was never true to begin with.  I reached out to CareDash to remove my profile and was told their policy is to not remove profiles, rather they “encourage” social workers to create logins with CareDash to take “ownership” of the profile to keep it updated.  This has been reported across the country, and NASW National is taking action on our behalf!  From National’s legal team:  NASW’s National Office has sent complaint letters to CareDash and BetterHelp demanding that the practice be halted immediately. If necessary, NASW will provide guidance for affected members to file formal complaints with appropriate state and federal consumer protection agencies and review options for other legal remedies.

Chris McLaughlin NASW-ME Executive Director Portrait