Proposed Solutions

The New Road | Proposal 3: Title Protections for Social Workers

Explore critical details about the reasoning behind each proposal and the intended effect to increase transparency and effectiveness of NH's Child Protection System.

Read the long term Cost Analysis statement associated with leaving NH's Child Protection System "as is."


3. Title Protections for Social Workers

Social work is a distinct profession with a code of ethics, a history of advocacy for justice for those who are marginalized, and an educational background in psychology and the treatment of psychological disorders, including trauma in children and families.  This makes social workers ideal candidates to do child protection work, which is why many child protection service workers opt to identify themselves as ‘social workers’, even though most are not. Many social workers are also licensed at the Masters level in the state, which gives them extra incentive to perform their job duties at a high standard, lest they be reported to the licensing board.  Other states have title protections for social work that prohibit those without one of these degrees from identifying themselves as part of the profession. 


Currently in NH, anyone in a helping profession can identify themselves with the title of social worker, which is hugely misleading to the public.  Just like it is illegal to present yourself as a doctor, journalist, or police officer if you are not one, we propose that NH pass title protections so that only those who have a BSW, MSW, or PhD in Social Work from an accredited program are able to identify themselves to the public as being part of the social work profession.  We believe that adding this extra level of integrity and professionalism will also help attract those who are social workers to child protection work in NH, in addition to raising salaries and requiring that all workers be qualified at the Masters level.

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