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News Items – September 2, 2014

dc-socialworker0828aD.C. adds a social worker to library system to work with homeless patrons
The Washington Post
Among the many roles for which public libraries are appreciated, there’s one that can be problematic: de facto day shelter for homeless people. Downtown’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library attracts many such patrons, and Jean Badalamenti understands why. “The city drops folks from three shelters off here every morning and picks them up in the evening. So they come here because of that,” said Badalamenti, a social worker who in May became the D.C. Public Library’s first health and human services coordinator.

Even normal-weight teens can have dangerous eating disorders, study finds
The experts emphasized that eating disorders are not parents’ fault. Instead, parents can play an important role in identifying the symptoms of an eating disorder, especially in its early stages, said Jessica Feldman, a licensed social worker and site director of The Renfrew Center in Radnor, Pa. Symptoms include significant changes in eating patterns, excessive exercising, a teen’s negative statements about their body image, an increase in depression or anxiety, and a loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities.

Foster Care and Human Trafficking – A Parent’s Perspective
ACF blog
As a foster parent, I was thrilled to see the plan contains an action to explore possibilities to partner with social work organizations to increase training for social workers on human trafficking. The Administration for Children and Families is the lead federal agency for the action and success requires a group effort. Like social workers, foster parents have an important role in protecting children from predators, so having information about human trafficking in our initial and ongoing trainings is helpful.

Finding an Identity Beyond the Workplace
The New York Times
“Retirement is clearly no longer the destination that it used to be,” said Dorian Mintzer, a retirement coach and co-author of “The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle: 10 Must-Have Conversations for Creating an Amazing New Life Together.” “Now, the likelihood is, you have 20, 30, maybe 40 more years ahead of you, and that’s a long time to not know what you want to do.”

Expansion of Mental Health Care Hits Obstacles
The New York Times
Tana Jo Wright is doing her part to treat new Medicaid recipients with mental health problems. It is just not as easy as she would like. A licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Wright opened her own practice last fall after working at a busy community clinic in the blighted West End of Louisville. In a tiny rented office with a vase of peacock feathers on her desk, she is seeing 15 clients, several of them new Medicaid recipients.

The following three part series on mental health from The Boston Globe features members Jill Nagorniak & Rhonda Bourne
Brave and afraid and heading down the longest road
Days of crisis, compassion, faith, and futility
Desperately guarding a spark of hope

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