Federal Legislation
February 23, 2011

S. 41—“National Office for Social Work Research Act”

Action Requested:
No action is requested at this time. HSLDA will continue to monitor this bill and will send out an e-lert if the bill comes up for a hearing.

Summary:
If S. 41 becomes law, it would create a national office within the Office of the Director of National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct, support, and disseminate targeted research concerning social work methods and outcomes related to problems of significant social concerns.

Status:

1/25/2011Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Sponsor: Senator Daniel Inouye (HI)

Bill Summary and Status S. 41

HSLDA’s Position:
Oppose.

Talking Points:
S. 41 would authorize a national social worker office and apportion $20 million for the office’s use each year until 2015.

These federal funds will go towards:

  • Social work research “focusing on individual, family, group, community or organizational levels of intervention and analysis”;
  • Providing a “liaison with national and international patient, health, and behavorial health and social service organizations concerned with social work research”;
  • And; making “grants to public or private nonprofit entities for social work research.”

In recent years, there has been an unprecedented rise in the number of homeschool families investigated by social workers, many for false allegations anonymously phoned in from a disgruntled relative or neighbor. Unfortunately, there are inadequate safeguards in place to protect innocent families from this traumatic, and many times unnecessary, intrusion into their home. We are very wary of a national office for social workers when there are not enough constitutional protections in place for innocent families.

Additionally, HSLDA believes that Child Protective Services should operate at the state level. There is no constitutional authority for this office. States, not the federal government, should handle this issue.