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News Items – December 15, 2016

Danielle Smith is the executive director of NASW-OH:
High staff turnover, burnout puts child welfare system in crisis
Dayton Daily News
Nationally, the median annual pay for social workers was $58,560 in May of last year. Those in child, family or school settings earned less, or $42,350, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But even those numbers are somewhat misleading. Those leaving universities with social work degrees — and often carrying large amounts of student debt — typically earn much more modest salaries as beginners in the field, said Danielle Smith, executive director of the Ohio chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. “It’s probably the worst profession for requiring a higher advanced degree with low-end salaries, said Smith. Data collected by the organization shows the average master’s-educated social worker’s pay in Ohio for all practice areas is between $37,000 and $38,000 a year.

How Family Caregivers Can Ease the Financial Burden
US News & World Report
Talk to your utility company. While it might not be the first place you’d consider tapping as a caregiver, Jill Johnson-Young suggests remembering that your utility company may be able to help you if, say, you’re running any special equipment necessary for a loved one to live at home. Since the early 1990s, Johnson-Young has been a licensed clinical social worker in Riverside, California, and runs a support group for dementia caregivers. She also has firsthand experience taking care of ill loved ones. Her first and second wives died, respectively, of pulmonary fibrosis in 2010, and Lewy body dementia in 2013. She also helped her mother care for her father for 10 years.

Lilli-Ann Buffin is a member:
Aging Holocaust survivors reliving horror
The Columbus Dispatch
After the war, many survivors fought in the Israeli army, were trapped in the former Soviet Union or made their way to America. It was a time of making sure basic needs were met, such as food, safety and shelter. “The thinking of the day was you just didn’t talk about it,” said Lilli-Ann Buffin, a clinical social worker at Jewish Family Services. “You got on with your life.” Many have suffered all their lives with nightmares, but as they age they might experience more trouble sleeping and also have symptoms of depression and even suicidal thoughts as a result of their early trauma, Buffin said.

“Raise the Wage” effort undeterred by governor-elect’s concerns
Brattleboro Reformer
[Vermont Interfaith Action] made a name for itself over the past year by launching a “Building a Moral Economy” campaign that spurred the state Legislature to call for more specific budget projections on the real cost of delivering public services in hopes of stimulating discussion on spending priorities. The group, viewing the minimum-wage campaign as the next step, began its effort with Rights and Democracy and, in alphabetical order, Burlington “Fight for $15,” Community of Vermont Elders, Green Mountain Self-Advocates, Hunger Free Vermont, National Association of Social Workers Vermont Chapter, Peace & Justice Center, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Service Employees International Union Local 200 United, Vermont Legal Aid, Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Vermont Workers’ Center, Voices for Vermont’s Children and Working Vermont Labor Coalition.

Support for American Indian Children
Karen Nichols, Priscilla Day, and Bree Bussey in the University of Minnesota Duluth Department of Social Work have a lot of work ahead of them. The long days to come don’t phase them though. In fact, Karen Nichols says, “We are so thrilled to be doing this important work.” In mid-October 2016, they received a significant federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to create a better delivery system for the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a federal law that seeks to keep American Indian children with American Indian families. “We were one of only three agencies in the country to receive this grant,” say Priscilla Day, professor and head of the social work department, and an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe from the Leech Lake Reservation.

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