Social workers are impacted by a broad range of policies and legislation at the federal level. We at CRISP will track bills and events on the Hill of interest to social workers in all policy domains. However we will be taking a particular interest in legislation and policy impacting the following domains:
Children’s Mental Health
We believe addressing the psychological, emotional and behavioral needs of children is critical to their development and the future of our society. Ideally, children will be nurtured in healthy families. However, when children are in vulnerable situations due to the lack of resources, the federal government must support their healthy development.
There have been increasingly pronounced disparities in the distribution of income and wealth in the United States and throughout the world. We believe the extreme unevenness of the distribution of economic resources is harmful to the overall economy, continue to squeeze the middle class, and drive more children and families into poverty. We support policies that reduce economic barriers to education, increase wages for workers, and promote more progressive tax policies.
The Affordable Care Act will provide health insurance for millions of Americans who are not insured. We support legislation and policies that ensure the full implementation of this important legislation and oppose legislation that seeks to curtail its implementation.
Social Security and Medicare
Social insurance has prevented millions of older Americans from falling into poverty and has helped them to live longer and more productive lives. Social Security and Medicare will be challenged to meet the needs of a growing number of older Americans. Some adjustment must be made to ensure their sustainability, however we believe it is critical to maintain the integrity of these programs.
The United States incarcerates more of its citizens per capita than any government in the world. Millions of Americans languish behind bars on a daily basis—far too many for drug possession and other nonviolent crimes. Criminal justice policies have left many individuals, families, and communities scarred, particularly those of color. Millions of children suffer because their parents have been incarcerated. We support policies that will significantly reduce the number of Americans incarcerated in jails and prisons.
Serious Mental Illness
CRISP supports legislation and policies that provide adequate resources for the treatment and care of people suffering with serious mental disorders that include but are not limited to schizophrenia, bi-polar disease, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition, thousands of veterans from recent wars have experienced traumatic brain injuries (TBI) which are often “invisible” disabilities but no less debilitating than the loss of limbs.
CRISP supports federal legislative initiatives that recognize the contributions of immigrants to our society, promote family unity, and provide for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the United States.