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September 30, 2016




I want to share with you that after 34 years at NASW-NYC, and 26 as executive director, I have decided to retire.


It has been a privilege to have had the opportunity to serve the members of the social work profession for all of this time.


Before I went for my masters degree, I had a good sense of the invaluable work that social workers do, but my appreciation for this has never stopped growing, and deepening. This is why being able to serve the profession and representing social work as critical to the broader community has been so important to me. 


It has also been an important responsibility. Support for social workers and understanding what they do equates to support for essential services to New Yorkers in need of help and assistance.


During this time, partnering with the Chapter 's elected leadership, we have been able to accomplish many vitally important things to strengthen the profession in New York City, including:

  1. Getting licensing passed into law, despite numerous barriers to this happening.
  2. Getting the State's social work loan forgiveness program adopted into law and continuously funded for over 10 years.
  3. Helping open up Undoing Racism training to the profession and making it clear why this is so essential in our very diverse City.
  4. Co-founding the Latino Social Work Task Force to address the shortage of Latino, bilingual, bicultural social workers, and why this is so important to serving New York's Latino community.
  5. Creating with others the Task Force of Social Workers of African Descent, the Asian American Social Work Task Force, and the Disaster Trauma Committee.
  6. Launching the equitable salaries campaign.
  7. Launching NASW-NYC's continuing education program, which immediately became the largest provider of CE in the state (as far as we know).
  8. Earlier on, going into federal court to stop the NYC school system from eliminating school social workers and creating the opportunity for many more to be hired.


Even with these accomplishments, the demand for NASW to do more has always been there.  That has always been a reality.  The need for NASW to be a strong and vital organization has never been greater, and the NYC Chapter leadership will be working on behalf of the profession well into the future. 


And I am glad to note that Chapter President, Candida Brooks Harrison, has a search committee in place and the announcement to find a new executive director will be going out within a day or two.


All of what has been done was made possible by your membership and those of thousands of others.  It is this collective that is NASW.


I am grateful to have been able to serve.


My last official day as executive director will be December 31, 2016.


You can contact me directly at





Robert S. Schachter, DSW, LMSW
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