Membership questions?  call or email:

 NASW Member Services 800-742-4089 M – F, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm ET

NASW, MS Chapter joins with our sister Chapters & National Office in the call to come together to support human relationships:  

NASW Florida Statement on Orlando Mass Shooting

The National Association of Social Workers – Florida Chapter (NASW-FL) is devastated by the attack on the Orlando night club.  This senseless act impacts the lives of all Americans.The blame for this tragic act will encompass terrorism, guns, mental health, hatred and isolation.

Teachings of dignity and worth of a person in our homes, schools, religious organizations and in laws passed by state legislatures, city and county commissions and school boards are critical for healthy people and healthy communities.

As professional social workers we are guided by the NASW Code of Ethics that tells us we must treat each person in a caring and respectful fashion mindful of individual differences. We agree not to practice, condone, facilitate or collaborate with any form of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status or mental physical disability.

You may ask where do we go from here, what do we do next? Moving forward NASW FL encourages communities to come together. Our ethical standards offer this path, to recognize the central importance of human relationships. We should seek to strengthen relationships among people in a purposeful effort to promote, restore, maintain, and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, organizations, communities and our country.

Jim Akin, ACSW
Executive Director
National Association of Social Workers – Florida Chapter


                                                      Looking for 4 Ethics and 3 Cultural Diversity CE Credits this summer?

Searching for Ethics and Cultural education sessions that are relevant to Social Workers in Mississippi??

    Join us Friday, August 5, 2016, at the UMMC Conference Center, Jackson Medical Mall, Jackson, MS, 

                                           "Today's Ethical and Cultural Issues for Mississippi Social Workers"
                   Click  resources/Aug%202016%20Reg%20Brochure.docx for the registration brochure.

                                                                    Preregistration due July 29, 2016.



The NASW, Mississippi Chapter provides the following information to our members on the implementation of the national NASW Modernization Plan.    


On July 1, our MS Chapter staff, Janice Sandefur and Shay Love, will become staff of the national office.  Janice will remain as Executive Director under the Chapter Services Division of the national office with limited supervision by the NASW MS Chapter Board of Directors.  Shay will remain under the supervision of Janice.   Staff benefits and payroll as well as a 4.9% Administrative Fee will now be coming out of our Dues Revenue prior to the monthly payment we receive from national at our chapter office. While this is called a “fee”, it is actually an alteration in the dues split between the national and chapter offices.  This split percentage is written into the National NASW Bylaws but as this is termed a “fee” Bylaws are not applied.  Some chapters have concerns with this interpretation, and we have attached the modification to the National Bylaws (voted on by the National Board at their last meeting on April 28, 2016) for your review.  You will be able to see how the national Bylaws were changed through the red and blue markings.  


As a chapter, we will following the “Members First” model of the Modernization Plan, focusing on member services/benefits, professional development, and policy/advocacy as required.  We will focus on having a local presence with a re-design of the chapter structure from Regions to Units, based on the Program Unit Catchment Areas by county.  We will be holding elections shortly using that model.   


Additionally, our MS Chapter Board was asked to review and vote on a new Chapter Charter, which would take the place of our NASW, MS Chapter Bylaws.  Charters allow us to function as a sub-unit of the national office, but less independently than we have with Bylaws.  Our Board of Directors will not have the same level of control over our funds, and will become a more programmatic oversight board.  Budgets and monthly reports will be submitted to national, who will ultimately have the final say on what is spent in the chapter.  All chapters are being asked to accept this Charter and resend their Bylaws, although some Boards have voted No Confidence in the Modernization Plan and its implementation July 1, the retention of chapter Bylaws, and the meeting of Delegate Assembly to determine the outcome of Modernization.  Delegate Assembly (DA) is Governing Body of NASW, and all these changes were decided only at the national Board meeting in April. 

We want you to be aware that chapter and national staff have been involved in the past nine months on various teams working out the details of the Modernization Plan implementation, and this implementation will be over a 2 ½ year period.   Chapter staff have participated as requested, though many have had and vocalized reservations about this plan’s severe negative fiscal impact on chapters.   Chapter elected leadership have had no involvement in this process. 

This is YOUR MEMBERSHIP ASSOCIATION.  These actions to nationalize will be in place July 1, 2016.  It is important to provide your feedback to the chapter office at on the above information and the attachments.  

Hank Rainer, LCSW, BCD                       Janice Sandefur ACSW, LCSW

President                                                  Executive Director 

ADDITIONAL NOTE:  At our June meeting of our NASW MS Board & Leadership, the Board voted for next year's budget.  This time the budget was based on the additional expenditures required by Modernization, and the Board voted, under protest, to accept a deficit budget of $32,039.  This will require 27% of our reserve income to manage.  


The REDLINE CHANGES for the National Bylaws can be accessed by clicking link 


 The DRAFT Charter can be accessed resources/Draft%20Charter%20MS%20(1).docx

 NASW MS Chapter was present at the rally at the Governor Mansion to advocate for repeal of HB 1523.  Social Workers want "NO HATE IN MY STATE"!

Pictured are Hank Rainer, Chapter President, Karen Selestak, Dave Sandefur, Janice Sandefur, Chapter ED, and Mary Ann Everett.


NASW says anti-LGBT laws must be vetoed, repealed

People in Chapel Hill, N.C. protest against the state's Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act. Photo courtesy of TV Guide.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is both dismayed and disappointed by the legislative actions taken by Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee to deny equal treatment of LGBT individuals and families.  The following is a brief summary of each law:

Mississippi Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act (HB 1523)

The stated purpose of the law is to protect from discrimination claims anyone who believes that marriage is between one man and one woman, that sexual relations are reserved solely for marriage, and that the terms male and female pertain only to a person’s genetics and anatomy at birth. The law allows individuals (including those working in publicly funded courts and services), businesses, and religious organizations to use religion to discriminate against LGBT persons and their families.  Examples range from the right to refuse marriage certificates refusing to employ a person and/or rent or sell a person property.  Also, medical professionals can refuse to provide health care if a patient seeks treatment, counseling and surgery related to “sex reassignment or gender identity transitioning[1].

Tennessee LGBT Anti-Counseling Legislation (SB-1556)

The Tennessee anti-LGBT law declares that no person providing counseling or therapy services (in private practice) shall be required to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the counselor or therapist. Furthermore, the bill provides immunity from liability for counselors and therapists who refuse to counsel a client when doing so is in conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the counselor or therapist.

North Carolina Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act ( HB DRH40005-TC-1B)

The North Carolina Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which was passed by the North Carolina legislature, requires schools and public agencies to have gender-segregated bathrooms and to prevent people from using a bathroom that doesn’t correspond to their biological sex.  Further, the law states individuals cannot bring any civil action based upon the state’s employment or public accommodation nondiscrimination protections.  It states that cities and counties are prohibited from writing non-discrimination ordinances that protect LGBT people or veterans.  This trend in legal discrimination is growing, with  13 other states  considering similar legislation.

NASW Position

NASW believes that these laws, passed under the guise of “religious freedom” or to “protect children,” must be vetoed or repealed.  Taken separately or collectively, all three laws are objectionable and are an affront to the progress we have made toward protecting the civil and human rights of all Americans.

While NASW respects diversity of many types, various freedoms and rights are subject to reasonable limitations and religious expression does not automatically trump other legitimate interests.[2]   NASW has joined allied mental health provider groups to voice concern that such laws violate their professions’ policies and the NASW Code of Ethics. NASW believes that discrimination and prejudice dir­ected against any group is damaging to the so­cial, emotional, and economic well-being of the affected group and of society as a whole.

[1] CNN News  April 16, 2016.  Retrieved from:

[2] NASW  Legal Issue of the Month.  Provider Refusal and Conscious Clause Controversies.

For more information on this issue contact NASW Senior Policy Associate Evelyn Tomaszewski at

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P. O. Box 5599, Pearl, MS, 39288 | 601.936.0557

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