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COVID-19 Resources & Updates for Social Workers

Friday, April 3, 2020  
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Social workers are in a unique position to promote disease prevention efforts (including disseminating accurate information from trusted sources) and to help address anxiety and other concerns that are arising as a result of the Coronavirus public health crisis.

To that end, NASW has compiled resources to support social workers in this role. As the situation continues to rapidly evolve, we will continue to monitor developments and work to protect social workers and the clients we serve.


NASW National:

  • Click here to access NASW National's COVID-19 resources which includes information on how to support clients, help people in special populations, prepare your practice and practice self-care during this time.



Self-care Tips & Resources:


COVID-19 Resources:

Materials to Share:

Texas Department of State Health Services Resources:



NASW/TX Joint Letters:



NASW/TX Events:



NASW/TX Non-Clinical Social Worker Forum 

Wednesday, April 2

Click here to view this members-only webinar and PowerPoint presentation.


NASW/TX Clinical Social Worker Forum 

Wednesday, April 1

Click here to view this members-only webinar and PowerPoint presentation.

NASW/TX Webinar, "COVID-19 Response & Updates" 

Tuesday, March 24

Click here to view this members-only webinar and PowerPoint presentation.



NASW National Events:



NASW/Texas Coronavirus News, Updates & Other Events:


4-1-20: Careers in Macro Practice Panel Webinar - Presented by the Macro Social Work Student Network -  Are you a student with questions about careers in macro social work? April 10th from 3-4:30PM Register here. (NEW 4-1-20)


3-31-20: WEBINAR - Congress and COVID-19: What passed and what comes next. Register here

  • A full recording and slides will be sent to all registrants, so register even if you can’t be on during the live presentation.

  • Learn about the historic $2.3 trillion relief and recovery legislation enacted by Congress, and how it responds to the massive public health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


3-30-20: Announcing LBJ In the Arena a weekly virtual event series exploring the impact of COVID-19 on our communities: 

  • April 1, 2020: LBJ In the Arena: On the Frontline: Restarting Our Cities
  • April 8, 2020: LBJ In the Arena: FEMA: Leading in the COVID-19 Crisis
  • April 15, 2020: LBJ In the Arena: Managing the Fiscal Meltdown


3-26-20: NASW/TX Board of Directors offers support and guidance during the COVID-19 epidemic. Read now.


3-26-20: Presidents of National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) issue joint statement of solidarity. Read now.


3-26-20Free Practice Resources to Enable Quick Telehealth Adoption During COVID-19 Social Distancing Measures: Lists a number of free valuable resources, including recordings of webinars that are very helpful to providers who are new to telehealth.


3-25-20: The CSWE Commission on Accreditation and the CSWE Department of Accreditation have revised their statement to programs in light of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. Please see the revised statement here

It covers these areas: Student safety, reduction in field hours, Remote field activity, candidacy or reaffirmation materials that are due in spring or summer 2020, program site visits, and assessment.


3-25-20: Urge Congress to ensure that Medicare reimburse for mental and behavioral health services provided by audio-only telehealth. Learn how you can help.


3-21-20: NASW/TX knows our members have a lot of questions about COVID-19’s impact on social workers and our clients. We will be holding a members-only webinar on Tuesday, March 24, 12-1pm to update everyone on what we know and what we have been advocating for regarding telehealth, COVID-19 relief legislation, mental health supports, and more. Meeting will include Q&A. Space is limited. Check your email for registration details!


3-20-20: NASW/TX Executive Director Asks Private Insurance Plans to Align with Governor’s Emergency Telehealth Order 


“NASW/TX is incredibly appreciative of the Governor’s Order that state run and regulated plans reimburse for all telehealth services at the same rate as in person, and allow providers to conduct visits over the telephone.  However, Texas’ regulatory oversight does not extend to self-funded and non-marketplace plans, and these make up the majority of the private insurance coverage in Texas.  We encourage these plans to follow the Governor’s Order and allow mental health providers to conduct their visits over the telehealth platform of their choice at the same rate as in-person visits.  This is necessary for the safety of both providers and clients alike, as the Governor’s most recent directives to all Texans include discouraging any non-essential travel out of a person’s home.  We hope these plans step up and do what is safest for everyone in our community.” - Will Francis, LMSW Executive Director, National Association of Social Workers Texas Chapter


3-20-20Informed Consent for Telehealth

Licensed Clinical Social Workers can provide telehealth services See 22 TAC 781.223 without any special training or certification.


Rules on informed consent are here:  TAC 781.201(a)(6) and 781.203(9).  For new clients an LCSW would need to secure written informed consent per 22 TAC 681.41(e).  An acceptable workaround for securing written informed consent for new clients who do not have access to a computer and cannot physically come into the clinic due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the LCSW could simply cover the required informed consent components over the phone with the client.  The client can then simply text or email their assent from his or her phone.  The text or email could then be printed out (or photocopied if in text format) by the provider and included in the file.  When including such a printout or copy in the patient file, the provider should notate on the copy a brief statement that the assent relates to the required informed consent, and then sign or initial and date the document.  


3-20-20: Letter to  Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader McCarthy requesting that audio-only services via telephone also be reimbursable by Medicare during this crisis. 


"Millions of Medicare patients who are quarantined and/or physically distancing do not have cellphones with video chat capability, and/or do not know how to use this capability. They may also not have internet service or broadband speed. This is especially true for those residing in rural areas or who are lower income. At a time when older adults, particularly those with chronic conditions are vulnerable to COVID-19 and isolated in their homes, they need to be able to pick up a phone and connect easily with mental health providers."  Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW Chief Executive Officer, NASW and Arthur C. Evans, Jr., PhD Chief Executive Officer American Psychological Association (APA) Read the full letter here.

3-19-20: NASW/TX condemns recent inflammatory public remarks made by Texas Senator John Cornyn regarding the background and origin of COVID-19. Senator Cornyn’s remarks were inaccurate, unnecessary, and perpetuate racist stereotypes against the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in Texas. We must stand together as Texans in times likes this and social workers support the AAPI community. 


3-19-20A new webpage is now available from the Children’s Bureau to help child welfare professionals and families respond to COVID-19.

The Children’s Bureau urges child welfare agencies and community partners to develop a process to stay informed on updates related to the coronavirus—or COVID-19—in order to meet the needs of children and families during this time.


3-18-20Here are two NASW Student Loan Forgiveness Webinars:

Powered by Savi Choose 3/24 2T 6 pm or 3/26 at 2 pm both EST

Explore student debt repayment, including income-driven repayment (IDR) plans, and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Savi experts will walk you through the COVID-19 Student Loan Aid Tool, which automates applying for IDR plans & Savi’s Student Loan Tool, which helps you analyze repayment and forgiveness programs to determine the best solution for you and helps you enroll in appropriate programs that could lower your monthly payments.


3-18-20: The Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) are co-hosting a FREE webinar on student loan repayment options during the coronavirus pandemic. Fri 3/20, 2pm. Join here: webinar is for borrowers who have an interest in learning more about student loan repayment options as well as those working with student loan borrowers.


3-18-20: FREE NASW webinar, Key Developments in Telehealth Webinar, Monday, March 23,12-1pm... Join us to hear an update on guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on enhanced telehealth (including teletherapy) options for Medicare beneficiaries during the current #COVID19 public health emergency. The webinar will provide a detailed overview of CMS’ guidance, implications for licensed clinical social work practice; implications for commercial insurer telehealth reimbursement, and suggested resources on telehealth and teletherapy. There will also be time for Q and A. Register now!


3-18-20: The Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners is an independent licensing board administratively attached to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). The Board, as an independent entity, maintains a management structure and decision-making authority separate from HHSC. This message is an official communication from the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners.


The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Federal Department of Health and Human Services released a notification stating their office will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the HIPAA Rules against covered health care providers in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. Please read the entire OCR Notification of Enforcement Discretion here.


3-18-20: Alliance for Health Policy is offering a free mini-series on Twitter @AllHealthPolicy. Register here.


Session 1 - Flattening the Curve
3/18 | 11-11:30am CT

Session 2 - At the Front Line: Public Health and Health System Challenges
3/19 | 11-11:30am CT

Session 3 - Leading through Crisis: Perspectives from Utah Gov. Michael O. Leavitt
3/20 | 11-11:30am CT


3-18-20: Optum (part of United Healthcare) is offering an Emotional-Support Help Line for anyone who may experiencing anxiety or stress following the recent developments around COIVD-19. This free service can be reached at 866-342-6892, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is open to all.


3-17-20: Check out our NEW podcast episode, "Self-Care for Social Workers During the Coronavirus Pandemic" via NASW's Social Work Talks! Our guest, NASW member Dr. Kristen Lee Ed.D. LICSW, is an expert on preventing & treating burnout. Listen now.

3-12-20: NASW/TX postpones all Chapter events, banquets, meetings and in-person group get-togethers for 30 days to adhere to guidance from the NASW National Office on social distancing. The memo stated, "According to public health officials, the United States is at a make-or-break moment that will depend on one of the most basic public health tools—social distancing. Basically, social distancing is a blanket term in public health that describes certain types of actions that can slow the spread of an infectious disease. What it means in practice is limiting your interactions with large groups of people."


3-12-20: A special message from NASW President Kathryn Conley Wehrmann regarding the Coronavirus pandemic.

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