Legislation authored by Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) to make sure that when social workers are declared “essential workers” during any state of emergency, that they are also prioritized to receive personal protective equipment (PPE), just as all other essential workers are.
Specifically, Jones’s Senate Bill 549 will guarantee that social workers, once declared essential workers during a state of emergency, will be given priority to receive PPE necessary to do their jobs. During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, most social workers were not given priority to receive PPE and as a result, they have often had to work from home online or in-person in unsafe conditions.
“In-person visits and meetings with their clients – including the elderly, foster children and those with intellectual disabilities – are a vital part of a social worker’s job,” stated Senator Brian Jones. “We need to make sure our social workers are given priority for PPE so they can work out ‘in the field’ safely for both them and their clients.”
The Service Employees International Union California (SEIU California) and the National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter (NASW-CA) are co-sponsoring SB 549.
SB 549 goes next to the Senate Human Services Committee for hearing.