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News Items – April 25, 2018



Donald McDonald is a member:
AG Jeff Sessions Brings Back “Just say no” to Addiction Prevention
North Carolina Health News
Experts say the simple campaign doesn’t address the real risk factors that lead to substance abuse, such as genetics, family history, childhood trauma and social inequities. “If ‘Just say no’ had worked out, prisons would not be filled with people with substance use disorder and our morgues would not be full of people who died from overdoses,” said Donald McDonald, executive director of Addiction Professionals of NC. He said the age of first use is crucial.

Unconventional Career Considerations: Launching a career as a social worker isn’t always as simple as people assume at first
The Good Men Project
Launching a career as a social worker isn’t always as simple as people assume at first. The first thing to do is crystallize your understanding of the field. Social work is a rather extensive category that encompasses multiple professional specialties. Staff at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) released a basic overview briefly explaining the types of social work available to aspiring professionals. Social workers devoted to child and public welfare differ from those involved with advocacy and community organization. This isn’t to say that any given specialty is more important than another–only that you’ll have to decide which specialty speaks to you before committing.

Kansas welfare chief seeks more money for preventing abuse
Kansas’ top child welfare official on Monday proposed $24 million in additional spending over three years and said her agency needs to hire dozens of workers who are not licensed social workers to conduct investigations into reports of abuse and neglect. The measures outlined by Gina Meier-Hummel, secretary of the state Department for Children and Families, would be on top of the two-year, $16.5 million package she and Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer announced in January. Their first plan was designed to address ongoing problems in the state’s foster care system.

Becky Fast is the executive director of NASW-KS:
DCF to seek additional $24.3M over 3 years; plans to hire 200 unlicensed social workers
Lawrence Journal-World (KS)
But the proposal to hire unlicensed social workers met with immediate skepticism from the social work profession. “Lowering standards and requirements in investigations of neglect and abuse is dangerous and can mean the difference between life and death for children,” Becky Fast, executive director of the Kansas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, said in an email statement. “A far better safeguard would be to pay well-trained, professional social workers what they’re worth, building a system the public can trust. “Unless Kansas addresses its issues of low salaries, inadequate training and supervision and high caseloads then the end result will be more children placed in harm’s way,” she added.

Danielle Wozniak is a member:
Wurzweiler Conference Provides Strategies for Change
Yeshiva University News
“The political landscape in which social workers and mental health providers work has changed dramatically over the last 13 months, with substantial changes in policies toward the poor and ill, toward immigrants, toward children and the elderly,” said Dr. Danielle Wozniak, David and Dorothy Schachne Dean of Wurzweiler. “But what hasn’t changed is social work’s dedication and passion for helping our society’s vulnerable populations. This conference looks at how we can uphold our professional mission and values.”

Samantha Leigh Maietta is a member:
Adelphi University Creates Opportunity for Students with Autism
Long Island Report
“College is difficult to navigate for neurotypical individuals; for the first time in their lives they experience independence,” said Samantha Leigh Maietta, a licensed clinical social worker in Huntington, New York. “It is vital to set students up for success. If that means taking a year to learn executive functioning skills and build confidence in being independent, then so be it.”

Craig Sloane is a member:
For some gay men, ‘Sexuality and experimentation and drug use became intertwined’
Chicago Tribune
“The Perfect Storm: Gay Men, Crystal Meth and Sex” was the title of a 2014 presentation by Craig Sloane, a New York City-based clinical social worker, at an addiction conference in Seattle. In it, he outlined how crystal meth came to be seen as a “good fit” by gay men, and noted such shared life experiences as family disapproval and homophobia, and such touchstones of gay culture as ’70s disco, the AIDS crisis, marriage equality, the internet and dating apps. “I think it’s fairly embedded in the culture of the urban gay community,” said Sloane, who in his 2014 presentation reported that crystal meth had become the most widely used illicit drug among gay and bisexual men by the late 1990s and early 2000s.


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