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News Items – August 5, 2014

reichWork and Worth
Huffington Post
Robert Reich— [W]hat’s the worth to society of social workers who put in long and difficult hours dealing with patients suffering from mental illness or substance abuse? Probably higher than their average pay of $18.14 an hour, which translates into less than $38,000 a year.… But I can think of a better way for taxpayers to subsidize occupations with more social merit: Forgive the student debts of graduates who choose social work, child care, elder care, nursing, and teaching.

Social Work study pinpoints a veteran’s vulnerability
University of Southern California
More than 8,000 veterans commit suicide each year, or nearly 22 a day, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This rate, which has increased significantly in the past 10 years, has eluded explanation, though many point to a correlation between combat experience and mental health issues. Researchers at USC believe they can now identify when veterans may be more prone to suicide, a first step in more effective prevention efforts.

UB ‘Joining Forces’ collaboration aims to improve the lives of veterans, military families
Niagara Frontier Publications
A collaboration between the University at Buffalo’s School of Social Work and School of Nursing will serve local veterans and families by teaching social workers and nurses how they can better care for and respond to veterans’ needs. The program – “Joining Forces-UB” – brings to UB the national “Joining Forces” initiative launched by first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden in 2010. The purpose of the national program is to mobilize all sectors of society to give the country’s service members, veterans and their families the opportunities and support they deserve.

Cleo Ross Jones had been a member:
Cleo Ross Goodwin Jones, 94, dietitian during WWII who became a social worker at SC State Hospital
ColaDaily (Columbia, SC)
Cleo Ross Goodwin Jones, of Columbia, widow of George Wesley Jones, died July 27, 2014, at the age of 94.… During WWII, she worked as a dietitian at Roper Hospital, Moncrief Army Hospital and at Columbia College. In 1959, she worked at the South Carolina State Hospital as a social worker. She attended Tulane University in New Orleans and graduated in 1961 with a master’s degree in social work. She became coordinator of Volunteer Services at the SC Department of Mental Health, serving there until her retirement 30 years later.

Social workers should be paid and trained like doctors
The Conversation
Social workers deal with messy, complex and ambiguous situations where off-the-peg solutions are often irrelevant. Take a mother who wants to feed a hungry baby, but her fridge is empty because she can’t afford milk. How do you help her? Understanding the structural lack of opportunity that some people have and the context of the society in which we live is crucial to recognising how to best help. This kind of work requires very special people to do it.

Abria Bonner is a member:
VSU Alum, Abria Bonner, Uses Social Work Degree to Change Lives in NY
Valdosta Today
Two days after graduating from Valdosta State University, 24-year-old Abria J. Bonner boarded an airplane and flew to New York for an interview with The Doe Fund. She was offered a job with the organization the very next day. “The following Monday I began working in Harlem,” she shared, describing the life-changing moment as “unbelievable.” The Doe Fund, Bonner explained, is a nonprofit organization that seeks to break the cycle of homelessness, addiction, and recidivism. She works with the organization’s Scatter Site Return Housing Program as a clinical case manager and is part of a team that helps former chronically homeless individuals who also have substance abuse and/or mental health disorders.

Forum delves into debate over corporate transparency
Delaware Public Media
The Delaware chapters of advocacy groups Americans for Democratic Action and the National Association of Social Workers are hosting a public forum Wednesday night on corporate transparency. The groups are joining some state lawmakers in Delaware in urging the First State’s congressional delegation to support the Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act. If passed, the federal law would require states to collect more information from companies when they incorporate, including the primary owners of the businesses.

Caitlin Ryan is a member:
Left Behind: LGBT Homeless Youth Struggle to Survive on the Streets
NBC News
The homelessness has worsened, activists said, even though acceptance of the signature gay rights issue of the last decade—same-sex marriage—has risen. That shift, plus the emergence of gay celebrities and popular LGBT-themed televisions shows, has encouraged youth to come out earlier. Dr. Caitlin Ryan, director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, said her group has seen more youth first disclosing their sexual orientation between the ages of seven and 13.

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