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News Items – June 17, 2015

Recent college graduate with tuition debt, horizontal[Video] The high economic and social costs of student loan debt
But for those who are saddled with massive student debt, even getting by can be a challenge, much less getting ahead. “You wind up disadvantaged just as you begin. It has reduced the ability of our educational system to be a force for upward mobility, and for an equitable chance at upward mobility,” said Melinda Lewis, associate professor of the practice at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare. “It is still true that you are better positioned if you go to college, but you are not as much better positioned if you have to go to college with debt.”… Students laboring under the burden of student debt are also following different career paths, with important social implications. The need to repay loans is steering some away from professions like social work and health care and toward higher-paying jobs in tech and financial services.

Marti Anderson is a member:
Clinton’s campaign will make substance abuse, mental health key issues
The Washington Post
Marti Anderson, an Iowa state representative who is a social worker, said the four participants on the Iowa hangout with O’Leary were asked to talk about their concerns and what they think can help. “I think the overarching discussion was that there needs to be more treatment,” Anderson said. “It was more of a listening post.” Anderson said the group talked about helping low-level drug offenders who are in prison. “We’ve been doing a war on drugs since I was a teenager, and frankly I’m an older woman now,” said Anderson, 64. “And it’s not working.”

Mary DeYoung, the producer and interviewer for this video, is a member:
[Video] #StopThisTraffic
Some things in this world should not exist. The sexual exploitation of children is one of those things. Stop This Traffic surfaces some of the stories and statistics of children exploited in West Michigan alone. We hope that this video will provoke you to an issue that is large at hand. We all can help stop the exploitation of children.

Keeping mental health patients stable and out of jail
Assertive Community Treatment teams were first developed in the 1970s as a way to help people with severe mental illness live on their own, outside of institutions. The teams are made up of experts, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and employment specialists, who are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. ACT teams are expensive. But early studies showed they saved money by keeping people out of the hospital. The Rochester FACT team is a new spin on the approach — trying to keep people like Harrison not just out of the hospital, but also out of jail.

[Video] Hear the 911 Call Made By Social Workers Investigating Duggars
Inside Edition
But we’re now hearing a 911 call made by social workers investigating the 19 Kids and Counting reality show family. “Springdale 911. What’s the address emergency?” asked the 911 operator. The caller said, “Address is, I’m sorry, Duggar‘s family home.” Arkansas Department of Human Services workers called 911 after they were refused entry to the Duggar home on May 27 — just eight days after the Josh Duggar sex abuse scandal surfaced. “Tell me exactly what happened,” said the 911 operator. “Well, we’re out here to — we have an investigation and I guess they’re not being cooperative and we have to see the child to make sure the child is alright, so just need police assistance or escort,” the caller said.

Social worker obtained state licenses despite criminal past
Milwaukee Journal
Deisler was convicted and spent a decade behind bars. He got out and became a licensed social worker and therapist in Wisconsin and two other states, specializing in treating addicts and sex offenders. After moving to Indiana, he launched several social service businesses and founded a national social worker training and accreditation organization.

Luis Zayas is a member:
Hope and Despair as Families Languish in Texas Immigration Centers
The New York Times
Mélida L.G., who is 30, was detained in July with her daughter Estrella, now 4.… Luis Zayas, a psychiatric specialist who evaluated her for her asylum claim, said Mélida was in “a severe state of depression.” Mr. Zayas, the dean of the social work school at the University of Texas at Austin, found that Estrella was buffeted by her mother’s moods, and her asthma had worsened. “When her mother is distressed, she is sad and becomes distressed,” Mr. Zayas said in an interview. “We really are depriving this girl of a normal childhood experience.”

‘Leelah’s Law’ would ban conversion therapy
Cincinnati Enquirer
Transgender teen Leelah Alcorn was forced into therapy intended to change her sexual orientation, but state lawmakers want to ban the practice from use on other children.… Bills to ban the practice are called “Leelah’s Law,” for the Kings Mills girl who committed suicide last year.… The counseling is not helpful for gay, lesbian and transgender children, who frequently are already struggling with feeling accepted, said Dorothy Martindale, membership associate with the Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, which has called for a ban on conversion therapy in Ohio. It is not clear how many people practice therapy to change sexual orientation in Ohio, Martindale said.

Vermont’s new law makes child safety priority
ABC News
Gov. Peter Shumlin said the measure makes it easier now for social workers, police, the courts and others involved in the care of children to communicate about specific cases. It also calls for more care in monitoring children who have been reunited with their families after the state gets involved. “It breaks down silos,” Shumlin said of the new law. “When we look back on the tragedies we faced and asked ‘what did we do wrong,’ one of the answers was very clear, we weren’t communicating enough about each case to give the resources that we have the ability to succeed.”

Carolyn Bradley is a member:
Why are lesbians drinking so much?
Asbury Park Press
Clinical social worker Carolyn Bradley, an associate professor of social work at Monmouth University, has 30 years’ experience in addiction recovery services. “I have worked with women who were dealing with coming to terms with being a lesbian,” she wrote in an email. “Many of these women had been married and some had children. As these women explored the lesbian community, for some, their consumption of alcohol increased.


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