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News Items – December 30, 2014

Tara Hughes is a member:
Trafficking issue hits close to home
Democrat & Chronicle
Community members, social workers, mental health providers, substance abuse treatment providers and educators can play an integral role in identifying human trafficking and assisting survivors in accessing services. According to Tara Hughes, a licensed clinical social worker with a psychotherapy privilege at the International Institute of Buffalo, common indicators of human trafficking in minors are: coming home late; going missing for a period of time; unaccounted-for monies or belongings such as clothing, shoes or cellphones; associating with adults who aren’t known; and psychological grooming that may take place over the Internet.

Patrick Tyrell is the NASW-NM chapter executive:
Tourism boss’ switch to CYFD secretary divides lawmakers
KRQE (Albuquerque, NM)
Child advocates described leading the agency as an incredible challenge, further complicated by New Mexico’s consistent ranking near the bottom when it comes to child well-being and poverty. Patrick Tyrrell, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers’ New Mexico chapter, said it’s important for the next leader to have a grasp of the issues that face struggling families. “Given the gravity of the task and the complexity of working with families, one really needs to have that understanding,” he said.

Katherine Briar-Lawson is a member; Reinaldo Cardona is the NASW-NYS chapter executive:
Professional Education – Social Work Educators Address Emerging Issues
New York Nonprofit Press
As the need for social workers in New York State continues to rise, higher education programs are trying to prepare their students with the proper tools and practices to meet the changing demand. A holistic response to racial disparities, the growth of the aging population and social workers pay top the agenda for the coming semester in New York social worker education. In the wake of the Ferguson and Staten Island indictment decisions, Dr. Katharine Briar-Lawson, Dean of the SUNY-Albany School of Social Welfare, said it was an opportunity for the state to address racial disparities at their core. “Our state could be a leader in the nation in how to address racial disparities and disproportionalities throughout the curriculum, policy and innovations in our nonprofit sector and government,” she said. Briar-Lawson said the “tragedies are the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to dealing with disparities.

The author, Richard P. Barth, is a member:
Addressing the impact of violence
The Baltimore Sun
Andrea McDaniels’ excellent series on the trauma associated with violence and The Sun’s editorial both mention Promise Heights, the cradle to college effort to help children, parents, schools and communities address the aftermath of early trauma (“Advocates aim to save Baltimore children from impact of violence,” Dec. 13). This effort is now focused in Upton/Druid Heights and led by the University of Maryland School of Social Work. But the work must be everyone’s. A federal Promise Neighborhood planning grant awarded in 2012 ends in one week, and although we have used those funds to make significant progress and start many services, the support has been much broader.

Melissa Knight is a member:
Break with tradition: Build a resolution that can keeping going in 2015
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
Making a New Year’s resolution to spend 90 minutes a day at the gym five days a week or giving up sugar cold turkey generally aren’t sustainable straight out of the gate. “When you go to the extreme, you set yourself up for failure,” said clinical social worker Melissa Knight, who has a holistic mental health and wellness practice in Tupelo. “Most people try to shoot for the moon with no internal understanding.”

Family struggles don’t keep social work major from graduation
Beauregard Daily News
NATCHITOCHES — Raven Jackson’s path to graduation has had plenty of twists, turns and obstacles, but on Friday it came to a happy ending. Jackson, a social work major from Shreveport, was one of more than 620 students to receive degrees at Northwestern State University Fall Commencement Exercises.

Holly Matto is a member:
Can Alzheimer’s be treated with the arts? Researchers aim to determine the answer.
The Washington Post
Holly C. Matto, a professor of social work at GMU who is conducting the experiment at Birmingham Green, said people with cognitive impairment often feel overwhelmed by their inability to process and integrate information from their surroundings. Using the arts, particularly nonverbal arts such as painting and music, can help restore a sense of organizing their world. “Those nonverbal ways of communicating are not impaired,” she said. Her 18-month study, supported in part by a $25,000 grant from the NEA, involves taking groups of 10 randomly assigned people and engaging them in twice-weekly sessions using music, imagery and movement. (There is also a control group.)

Ellen Parker is a member:
Searching for environmental causes of cancer
The Boston Globe
During her nine-year tenure as an oncology social worker at Tufts Medical Center and as the longtime head of the Social Work Oncology Group of New England, Ellen Parker said it became increasingly difficult to accept that so many women with breast cancer died from the disease. As more of her friends were diagnosed, she knew she had to act. “I grew up in New York City, and my mother had one older friend with breast cancer,” said Parker, a psychotherapist who has a private practice in Newton, where she lives. “In Massachusetts, there were so many women diagnosed with breast cancer, so young, that it seemed crazy to me.”


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