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And the 2012 NASW Media Award Winners are…

Thanks to the more than 750 social workers and others voted on nominees for the 2012 National Association of Social Workers Media Awards.

These  awards honor media professionals who help raise awareness about social work and social work issues.

And the winners are:


“From Place to Place,” a documentary produced by social worker Matt Anderson, MSW, and directed by Paige Williams. The film examines the experiences of foster children in Montana who aged out of the system. These young adults must grapple with reconnecting with their birth families, finding work, and avoiding crime. The film will also be featured at the NASW Hope Conference Film Festival in July.

Movie poster.


Feature Film

“Change of Plans,” a made-for-television family movie that aired Jan. 8, 2011, on Fox. Actress Phylicia Rashad portrayed Dorothy, a social worker who helps a reluctant couple adopt children who lost their parents in an accident. John Kent Harrison, an award-winning director, co-wrote and directed the film.

Phylicia Rashad in “Change of Plans.” Photo courtesy of Fox TV.


TV News Program

“Talk Therapy TV,” a New York City public access television show created by NASW member Jacob Berelowitz. Berelowitz uses the show to educate the public about mental illness and guests include top professionals in the field.

Jacob Berelowitz. Photo courtesy of Talk TV.


TV Program/Entertainment

“Grey’s Anatomy” Not Responsible episode, which aired Feb. 24, 2011 on ABC. Character Dr. Phil Stark (actor Peter MacNichol) spoke positively in support of social workers. “They are earning peanuts. They’re doing this thankless work and then they get painted for being homewreckers. For simply stepping in when children are being harmed,” Stark said. The episode was written byDebora Cahn and directed by Debbie Allen.

Dr. Phil Stark (actor Peter MacNichol) in Grey’s Anatomy.


Fostering Families Today and Adoption Today for publishing favorable stories on fostering and adoption throughout 2011. The publications, which have a combined circulation of about 21,000, offer personal stories and advice on fostering and adoptions. Social workers are often portrayed positively in stories and also author some articles.

Newspaper Article:

“A Day of Pride for Once Homeless FIU Grad,” a Miami Herald article by reporter Adam Beasley. The article profiled Aaron Alvin Sr., a former drug addict who beat addiction and went on to get a master’s degree in social work and help others in similar circumstances.

Aaron Alvin Sr. Photo courtesy of the Miami Herald.


Huffington Post columnist Ilaina Edison wrote about the need for more social workers to serve America’s increasingly aging population. Edison called social workers the “unsung heroes” of the nation’s healthcare system. She mentioned the work of NASW member Sherri Zabko, who helped an elderly homeless woman find housing.

Ilaina Edison


National Public Radio host Steve Inskeep in Washington, D.C. honored social worker and Congressional aide Gabe Zimmerman, MSW, who was killed in the January 2011 Tucson shootings. Zimmerman was remembered for having a knack for working with angry or difficult people.

Steve Inskeep

Single Topic Blog:

The Nation’s “This Week in Poverty” blog by Greg Kaufmann regularly covers poverty issues, including unemployment, children in poor households and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.

Greg Kaufmann



Social Work Podcast ( hosted by social worker Jonathan Singer, an assistant professor at Temple University, features interviews with notable social workers and other officials. Topics in 2011 included loneliness, military social work, runaways, coming out as an LGBT person and evidence-based practice.

Jonathan Singer


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