WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) welcomes the release today of the Social Work Interstate Compact Model Bill, which will expand opportunities for social workers to provide services in multiple states. The Department of Defense in 2021, as part of an initiative to promote license portability for military spouses, recognized the social work profession as an component of health care and community services and funded an initiative to establish model legislation for multistate social work licensing. “Our nation is contending with a shortage of mental health providers and an interstate compact will allow for practice mobility and remove barriers preventing social workers from providing care in multiple states, especially in areas that are underserved, geographically isolated, or lack specialty care,” NASW CEO Anthony Estreet, PhD, MBA, MSW, LCSW-C, said. “The compact will also improve the tedious, time-consuming and expensive process of social workers having to gain licensure in each state where they want to practice.” Seven states must enact the Model Social Work Compact Bill before the Compact Commission is established. The Commission will serve as an administrative body overseeing the Interstate Compact for Social Workers. The Council of State Governments (CSG) oversaw the development of the legislation. “NASW has been at the table, working tirelessly for over two years, to ensure that the interstate compact design and bill provisions meet the needs of social workers today and into the future," said Sarah Butts, the NASW's director of public policy. "NASW negotiated the best compact model bill possible at this time,” Estreet said. “We will soon have a compact and much improved practice mobility for social workers."
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.