CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 795 is expected to be considered on the floor on June 23, 2010, under a motion to suspend the rules, which requires two-thirds majority vote. Rep. Ed Towns (D-NY) introduced H.R. 795 on February 3, 2009, and the bill was referred to the Education and Labor Committee.
H.R. 795 directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish the Social Work Reinvestment Commission, which will provide independent counsel to Congress on policy issues related to recruiting, retaining, research, and reinvestment in the profession of social work.
The Commission will study and report to Congress on the following issues: (1) the professional capacity of social work workforce to serve and respond to the increasing biopsychosocial needs of individuals, groups, and communities and (2) the workforce challenges of social workers. The commission will submit its report to the Secretary of HHS and Congress no later than 18 months after its first meeting.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that employment of social workers is expected to increase faster than average, which demonstrates a need for social workers particularly in the area of aging where, according a University of Michigan study, approximately one in seven adults over the age of 70 have some form of dementia. Social work salaries are among the lowest for professionals in general and for those with Master’s level educations in particular.
The bill authorizes to be appropriated such sum as may be necessary to carry out the activities of the commission.