October 21, 2020
Last week, the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners (TSBSWE) accepted language from Gov. Abbott removing protections against discrimination for disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity & gender expression from the Social Work Code of Conduct.
CTD and our partner organizations are stunned that a body charged with behavioral health regulations would fail to consider that individuals with mental health diagnoses, a major part of the social work clientele, are themselves people with disabilities. Read our full response in our joint letter with the National Association of Social Workers - Texas Chapter.
Contact the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council
Consider a quick call or email every day through Oct. 27
The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council houses the TSBSWE, and they have the power to make this right. Contact the Council today (here's who's on it)—and follow up as often as you can until their next public hearing on Oct. 27!
By phone: (512) 305-7700 or 1-800-821-3205 (24-hour, toll-free complaint system)
By email: General@bhec.texas.gov
Sample language: As a (person with a disability/family member of a person with a disability/friend of a person with a disability), I am deeply disappointed that your Council would accept changes to the Social Work Code of Conduct in Texas, removing protections for disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. The Code of Conduct was developed through the rules making process, with ample input from the public. Any changes to the Code should also require public comment. I am asking you to:
repeal this action at your October 27 meeting,
post any proposed changes in the Texas Register for public comment,
formally approve a Statement of Principle opposing discrimination in any area of the Council's purview.
Testify at the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council hearing
Tuesday, October 27, the Council is holding a virtual hearing and is taking public comment.
The meeting information has not been posted yet, but you can sign up for updates here (scroll down): https://www.bhec.texas.gov/index.html. Or, follow NASW - TX on Facebook and Twitter for updates.