Mandatory Anti-Racism Training for Social Workers

Mandatory Anti-Racism Training for Social Workers

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Donna M Harris-Richards, LICSW, CST started this petition to Senator Senator Mark Montigny and

Because I have observed ongoing microaggressions by my mental health social work colleagues, clinical trainers, and fellow therapists/clinicians, whether knowingly or unknowingly, against BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color), there is an urgent need for change; a law requiring quality, mandatory anti-racism training for all social workers in order to educate them for best practices in the field of social work and the improvement of mental health and behavioral health in our communities. Best social work practices (including both clinical and social justice work) aim to dismantle systemic racist structures, reduce and resolve minority stress and genetic weathering (the deterioration of the health of African-American individuals, particularly Black women, due to cumulative exposure to socioeconomic disadvantage) on local, state and national levels for the optimal health and well-being of all communities.

The mandatory training to maintain licensure should include a minimum of one initial 18 CE intensive course and a minimum of ongoing 6 CEs every two years to educate social work providers for best practices and treatment outcomes.

Too many of my social work colleagues continue to report they lack some or any quality education and, therefore, the competency needed in the clinical setting to address “race in the room“ in individual and family therapy sessions. In order to adequately treat mental health problems, often rooted in widespread social injustices negatively affecting the general population in multiple ways, including BIPOC and non-BIPOC individuals and families, quality trainings addressing these very issues is of utmost importance in expediting long overdue social change.

The intensive, foundational training needed to eradicate racism, thereby improving mental health on a macro level can only begin at the micro level, with social workers disciplined to effectively provide this treatment. Individual and family therapy is an integral part of that process. Social workers, as leaders in the field of clinical treatment and social change, need to be thoroughly prepared in order to be part of the solution and resolution, rather than remaining a part of the ongoing problem contributing to poorer outcomes.

This proposed quality, mandatory educational training law will provide necessary, ever-evolving, and effective language, along with needed skill sets for becoming allies, advocates and activists in the shoulder to shoulder “good trouble” fight in the war to dismantle the structures of racism. Social workers will only be more quickly successful in this critical area of work by developing themselves in becoming well-equipped to efficaciously carry forward the message that an injustice against one is an injustice against all. The need is urgent. We have no more time to waste with human lives being lost in our communities every day.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!