LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - News coverage urged on important legislation

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To date, no articles have been written on the Washington state House Bill 1043 or the Senate companion, SB 5020. Since this affects many individuals who live and work in the state and in this region, I am wondering why there has been no news coverage on this important piece of legislation.

SB 5020 and HB 1043 are bills that aim to protect consumers by ensuring that persons using the title of social worker have graduated with a degree in social work from an educational program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. In my interaction with social service personnel in my various social work internships and in the community, I have become aware of an alarming number of people who call themselves social workers yet who do not have the educational background or expertise to understand and work effectively with consumers.

Many consumers who are in need of the services that a social worker provides are the most vulnerable of society. Individuals who call themselves social workers and have not had the educational background and training to legitimately garner the title often do not adhere to the values and principles that guide this profession and are not even aware of them.

I have witnessed the capacity of such individuals to traumatize consumers through their attitudes and practices.

SB 5020 and HB 1043 is an important step in protecting some of the most vulnerable of consumers in our society, by securing a title for those who do have the knowledge and expertise to practice social work effectively.

Please provide news coverage on legislation that will impact the people of this Valley.

Teresa Eaton
College Place

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