by Damon Boughamer
Public Radio Capitol News, serving Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Penna. (PRCN, 10 April 2007) – Pennsylvania's social workers filled the state Capitol Tuesday – pushing legislative priorities and a broader progressive agenda.
No one could accuse the social workers of having a timid agenda.
Dr. Nadine Bean, who heads Pennsylvania's chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, came to a news conference with nothing short of global changes on her mind.
"The U.S. has the dubious distinction of being one of only two countries in the world that never fully ratified the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights after World War Two," Bean noted.
But the group does list many Pennsylvania-specific goals for the next three years, including seeking mental health insurance parity and making the transition easier for out-of-state professionals who move here.
Freshman Representative Tim Seip – a Berks and Schuylkill county Democrat and the only licensed social worker in the state House – rallied his colleagues.
"You can be an effective advocate in other ways – although it wouldn't be so much of a bad thing if some of you would run and come to the House," Seip said.
Professionals lobbied lawmakers Tuesday. So did students who will soon seek careers in social work.