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Public Policy Committee

The NASWAZ Public Policy Committee is the organization's advocacy voice for all Arizona social workers and the vulnerable people they serve. The goal of the Public Policy Committee is to educate, inform and engage the NASWAZ membership about issues related to candidate election, public policy issues and the legislative process. Specific objectives include:

   1. To set the annual legislative agenda and identify other public policy
   2. To educate members on issues.
   3. To advocate for issues and provide legislative presence.
   4. To maintain an email alert system.
   5. To coordinate with other human service advocacy organizations.
   6. To provide training on legislative advocacy.

Additionally, a sub-committee of the Public Policy Committee plans and implements the annual Social Work Day at the Legislature. Other than the major planning for this event, most of the meetings for the Public Policy Committee are done by email. New members do not need to have previous experience with legislative advocacy; the best qualification for members of this committee is a passion for the laws and policies that protect the rights and improve the lives of vulnerable people.


During the 2017 Legislative Session, these priorities include:

The health and mental health of all Arizonans, including access to quality and affordable care;

Child welfare, including support for foster care families and children involved with the Department of Child Safety;

Promoting social justice and equal rights for all; and 

A state budget that supports health and human services, especially for the most vulnerable among us. 


During the first week of the 2017 session, NASWAZ sent letters to the Legislature and the Governor. Click here for details.

The Chapter continues to monitor legislative developments at the Arizona legislature. In January, we sent a letter to the Governor and Legislature highlighting our priorities. A sampling of the bills that we are following include:

HB2091 - TANF; SNAP; finger imaging; repeal (support)

SB1026 - behavioral health examiners; continuation (support)

HB2086 - municipalities; identification cards; prohibition (oppose)

HB2239 - incompetent, nonrestorable defendants; involuntary commitment (support)

HB2372 - public benefits; fee waivers; requirements (support)

SB1196 - Arizona department of housing; continuation. (support)

SB1359 - DES; DCS; director; qualifications (support)

NASWAZ asks the Governor and the Arizona Legislature to support families by:

-Invest in solutions for the Department of Child Safety including increases in the salary and benefits of the professional social services staff in both the Department and the community child welfare partner agencies to improve recruitment, retention and morale of staff.  The dignity, difficulty and demands of child welfare work must be recognized to improve outcomes for children and families.       

-Provide prevention and treatment services including substance abuse services to stop growth in foster care.      -Support restoration of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) lifetime benefits to 24 months and make program improvement as necessary for families.      

-Ensure adequacy of funding of education, including P-20 education and colleges and university that are fundamental cornerstones for the path out of poverty and economic viability for the state.       

-Support policies that increase recruitment, retention, and provide adequate pay for Arizona’s education workforce.     -Reject tax cuts that undermine Arizona’s difficulty in meeting mandatory responsibilities in education and health and human services.    

-Support policies that increase voter protections in Arizona. 


"Save Our Schools:" NASWAZ signed on as a supporter of the Save Our Schools effort. Find out more about the effort here:


2017 Social Work Day at the Legislature Planning efforts have resulted in choosing three dates for February 2017.

Dates are now posted and registration is open for Social Work Day at the Legislature 2017: Feb. 8th, Feb. 16th, and Feb. 28th. 

Social work professionals, students, and faculty are encouraged to sign up for one of the three dates

Check our "Community Calendar" for current meetings and reach out to our Public Policy Chair, at if you are interested in helping plan our efforts in 2017!

 To view our current Social Work Day at the Legislature packet for Feb. 8, and Feb. 16, and Feb. 28, 2017, click here.

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