Oregon Needs Social Workers Like Ashley Pelton in the State Senate

article on behalf of NASW OR Social Workers Political Action Committee (SWPAC)

Woman with brown hair wearing a vest

Ashley Pelton, LMSW

Divisive politics has weakened and divided rural communities, but rural issues are not Left and Right issues.

Water insecurity in Sodaville, unsafe sidewalks in Brownsville, empty storefronts in Sweet Home, land planning issues in Blue River/Vida, and inadequate evacuation routes in Oakridge, Ashley Pelton is focused on what matters to all residents of Senate District  6.

Why elect Ashley Pelton?

Ashley Pelton is a social worker who lives with her husband and son in the unincorporated Cottage Grove area. The daughter of a retired law enforcement officer and war veteran, she learned firsthand the challenges of connecting people to mental health resources.

Ashley is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) with experience listening to people and translating their needs into equitable legislation and policy.

Oregon needs more social workers in Salem

Social workers are the number-one providers of behavioral health in Oregon. The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty; especially currently and historically underserved communities. At a time when Oregon is experiencing a behavioral health workforce crisis, we need lawmakers who bring real-world experience and expertise in behavioral health.

You can learn more about Ashley and her race by visiting her website https://www.ashleypelton.com/

Donate to Ashley Pelton’s Campaign

Please consider supporting Ashley by donating here! Oregon offers a unique Political Tax Credit to all taxpayers making under $75,000 per individual, or under $150,000 for joint-filing couples. The credit is simple– qualifying Oregon taxpayers can give up to $50 per year (or $100 for joint-filing couples) to a state political party, and receive the full amount as a credit subtracted from your Oregon state taxes when you file. Learn more here.

National Association of Social Workers, Oregon Chapter (NASW OR) | Social Workers Political Action Committee (SWPAC)

SWPAC of NASW OR advocates for social work leaders, like Ashley, to be elevated to positions of electoral office and promotes the mission and vision of the National Association of Social Workers, Oregon Chapter, and the profession’s code of ethics on a broad range of social issues.


Telehealth During the Pandemic

NASW is advocating to ensure access to clinical social work services during the pandemic. This includes enabling people to receive these services via video conference from their home.

The Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) on March 17 issued guidance that outlines how telehealth (including teletherapy) can be provided and reimbursed to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find out more about Telehealth Guidelines

Zero-Tolerance and Immigrant Detention in the United States

The forcible separation of more than 2000 children from their parents has been justified by the Trump administration as a “zero-tolerance” policy against a “crisis” of unauthorized entrants at the US-Mexico border.  In fact, there is no border … [Continue reading]

Keeping Families Together

by Taryn Yates, LMSW: a former board member of the Idaho Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and the grants manager and planner for the the Idaho Children's Trust Fund/Prevent Child Abuse Idaho. If you are looking … [Continue reading]

Recommendations for humane treatment of immigrants

Northwest Conference on Social Work

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 19, 2018 NASW Oregon Supports Oregon’s congressional delegation condemnation of “zero tolerance” policy Recommendations for humane treatment of immigrants Salem, Ore. – The Oregon Chapter of the … [Continue reading]

NASW Supports Gov. Kate Brown’s Plan to Hire 75 Social Workers at DHS

Delmar Stone & Gov. Kate Brown

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Feb. 28, 2018 Gov. Brown Proclaims March 2018 Social Work Month   Salem, Ore. – Gov. Kate Brown has announced a bold plan to improve the lives of Oregon’s foster children. Gov. Brown has called on the … [Continue reading]

George Fox University lands national accreditation for Master of Social Work program

George Fox Social Work

October 17th, 2017 The university is one of only 14 Christian schools nationwide and one of three in Oregon to offer a nationally accredited MSW program NEWBERG. Ore. – The Council on Social Work Education has granted George Fox … [Continue reading]

Social Work = Success
for Wilson High School

Maureen Brennan

Tucked away in the idyllic Hillsdale neighborhood of SW Portland, Wilson High School might not seem like a struggling community. But in an urban school in … [Continue reading]

NASW asks Oregonian to correct article that demeans Social Work Profession

The National Association of Social Workers is disappointed the Oregonian has tarnished the image of the social work profession by incorrectly using the social work title in a recent article on child welfare. We have asked the daily newspaper, which is based in Portland, OR, to correct the article. The March 28 article, “Children left in unsafe homes by Oregon social workers nearly half the time, report says,” is based on an internal report from the Oregon Department of Human Services. That report said caseworkers leave children in danger because they routinely miss or disregard threats to children’s safety. However, the Oregonian article identified these caseworkers as “social workers.” Oregon law stipulates only people who have degrees in social work can carry that title. Often, few caseworkers in state agencies are in fact social workers. NASW called the newspaper and talked to Molly Young, who reported the article, and her editor Therese Bottomly. They refused to issue a correction, saying they used the term social workers because the public generally uses the term to refer to people who work in child welfare agencies. We disagreed. The NASW Oregon Chapter has followed up on the issue by sending this letter to the newspaper from long-term member Gretchen Thiel, MSW: Hello, Molly: As a retired social worker in Oregon, with years of practice in both public child welfare and in social work education, I was saddened to see in your article of March 28th the attribution of these failures in Oregon’s child welfare system to social workers. The internal analysis of Oregon DHS child welfare cases referred to in your article inaccurately identified child welfare staff as “social workers”. In fact, the actual report referred to their staff as “caseworkers” which is more accurate (although some caseworkers may also be social workers). Gretchen Thiel, MSW Gretchen Thiel, MSW I think it is important for the public (as well as the press) to know the difference. Oregon’s SB177, passed in 2009 and enacted in 2011, reformed social work regulation in Oregon and provided for title protection of the title “social worker.” As of 2011, any person who uses the title “social worker” must possess a degree in social work from a school or program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). They must also be licensed by the State of Oregon (or be a school social worker employed in a school with the title “school social worker”). Licenses include RBSW (Registered Bachelor of Social Work), LMSW (Licensed Master’s of Social Work), CSWA (Clinical Social Work Associate), or LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). Social work practice consists of the professional application of social work values, principles, and techniques to helping people, communities, and society solve social problems. It requires knowledge of human development and behavior; of social, economic, and cultural institutions; and of the interaction of all these factors. While the caseworkers in Oregon’s DHS child welfare offices are usually well-trained to do the difficult work they do, unless they have social work degrees they are not social workers. Studies indicate that social work degrees are the most appropriate degrees for child welfare practice (Child Welfare League of America, 2002) and have been directly linked to better outcomes for children and families and retention of staff. The National Association of Social Workers has set standards for the practice of social work in child welfare (2013) which includes public child welfare programs as well as community programs which serve vulnerable children and their families. As a retired social worker who worked in public child welfare in Oregon, I know the dedication and the challenges of the caseworkers employed by Oregon’s DHS. They do a very difficult and stressful job, usually with few resources of support. However, it is important that the public not be misled to believe that a “caseworker” is synonymous to “social worker” as there is a big difference, both in educational preparation and in accountability to licensing boards. My hope is that you will correct this inaccurate depiction of social workers as being responsible for these failures in the child welfare system and accurately report the difference between a “caseworker” and a “social worker”. Thank you. Gretchen Thiel, MSW Ashland, OR NASW urges social workers to continue to contact the newspaper to register their complaint. Therese Bottomly, the director of news, can be reached a tbottomly@oregonian.com.

The National Association of Social Workers is disappointed the Oregonian  has tarnished the image of the social work profession by incorrectly using the social work title in a recent article on child welfare. We have asked the daily … [Continue reading]

Lisa Stine: Championing a Healthy Workplace for Oregon

Lisa Stine

Anti-bullying campaigns are becoming more common place in schools across America, and for good reason- nearly 1 in 4 students say they have been bullied, from … [Continue reading]