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News Items – May 13, 2015

ThinkstockPhotos-120846066Noa Saadi is a member:
For Gay Children, Bullying Begins Early, Happens Often: Study
The Health Cast
Since bullying can become an additional risk factor for depression and self-harm, schools play a major role in prevention, said Noa Saadi, a social worker at Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center in Santa Monica, California. “School climate and culture can have a significant impact on academic achievement and student behavior,” said Saadi. “Therefore, consistent efforts to create school environments that are safe for all students should be a priority as kids tend to thrive in environments that are nurturing and free of harassment and bullying.”

The author, Dierdre Ashley, is a member:
Grief takes people on a roller-coaster ride
Jackson Hole News & Guide
One of the many things I love about this community is the ability of people to come together and support one another during difficult times. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and my original plan was to discuss general mental health. However, the more I thought about the losses our community has experienced over the past several months the more I thought about a discussion about grief and loss. What is important to know about grief, and how can you support someone who has suffered a loss?

Study shows barriers to safe sex among Travis County Teens
News Radio KLBJ (Austin, TX)
New research by The University of Texas at Austin Child & Family Research Institute in collaboration with the Healthy Youth Partnership has found that the main barriers to safe sex practices among teens in Travis County include lack of access and misinformation about birth control, embarrassment when purchasing condoms and legal restrictions requiring teens to get parental consent to access reproductive services. The study also found that when asked about how to reduce the teen birth rate in Travis County, teens and parents recommended increased, open and honest communication about sex in their communities through comprehensive sex education, including discussion of contraception methods and information about available sexual and reproductive health resources for teens.

State of Ohio to consider foster care age extension
Kent Wired
Ohio Fostering Connections, an organization committed to helping youth in foster care, has strong support from citizens when it comes to the legislation of Ohio House Bill 50. According to the Ohio Fostering Connections website, the bill, sponsored by House Representatives Dorothy Pelanda and Cheryl Grossman, states that the age of foster care should be extended from age 18 to age 21. Mark Mecum, chair of Ohio Fostering Connections, said his organization started planning the bill when Congress passed a federal law allowing states to extend the foster care eligibility age in 2008.

An ode to social work
Luther College
“I want to help people,” was the most common phrase uttered three or four years ago on our first days of Introduction to Social Work or Fundamental Practices of Social Work 1 when students in my class were asked the question, “Why social work?” It was far too simple an answer for a deceivingly complicated question.

We need social workers now more than ever
The Hill (blog)
On an average day, a person can flip through various news outlets and be bombarded with stories of horrific crimes, complex public welfare issues, gruesome international wars, and countless other stories of human tragedy. What the media often fails to highlight is what can be done to prevent and resolve these issues. Who would willingly take on such complicated and tragic events, hoping to make a dent in what seems to be a never-ending caseload in the world’s social issues? The answer is simple: social workers. Those who are trained in the social work profession are not only compassionate and fearless in the pursuit of social justice, but they are unique in that they use creative forces to aid those in need. This out-of-the-box thinking is exactly what is needed to take on the challenges that communities around the nation face.

Social workers call upon Mass. Senate for DCF reform, aid in caseload crisis
Social workers from the Department of Children and Families took to the streets in Cambridge protesting their skyrocketing caseload numbers and demanding program reform, chanting, “caseloads, caseloads, they’re too high. Reduce them now so kids don’t die.”… The national standard set forth by the Child Welfare League of America and the National Association of Social Workers agreed upon a 15-case maximum for social workers. But some social workers in the area have as many as 47 children that they need to lay eyes on once a month at the absolute least.

Tanya Sharpe is a member:
Stress of Baltimore Unrest Is Likely to Stick Around
The two days that protest boiled over into violence just pile on to the problems and emotional stress many of its residents have grappled with for generations, health officials said. “It’s almost like a kettle they put on the fire,” said Tanya Sharpe, an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work who studies how African-Americans are affected by homicide and how to help them. “You can only expect that it will boil over eventually after people have experienced trauma after trauma after trauma.”

Baltimore has more than 16,000 vacant houses. Why can’t the homeless move in?
The Washington Post
“All of Baltimore’s social, economic and political issues are encapsulated by the vacant houses,” said Jeff Singer, an adjunct professor of social work at the University of Maryland. “They’re vacant because of economic and political forces.”

Sandy Butler is a member:
[Video] Democrats, Republicans want to work out welfare reform differences
WGME (Augusta, ME)
“I think parents really want to do the best for their children. And that’s hard. They really want to work. But finding jobs that are sustainable is difficult,” USM Professor of Social Work Sandy Butler said. Butler has conducted research on Maine families receiving welfare benefits for the last 20 years. She says there are far more people who want to find work than there are those content to stay on welfare in Maine.

Evelyn and Jasmine Scott are members:
MOTHER’S DAY: At NCCU, mother, daughter complete 3-generation journey
The Herald-Sun
When Jasmine and Evelyn Scott of Durham made their bittersweet, triumphal walk across the stage at McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium to receive their master’s degrees Friday, they carried life lessons whose matriarchal arc spanned three generations, and a love that shone from here to the hereafter. The first-ever mother-daughter combination to graduate together from N.C. Central University’s master’s of social work program — with honors, to boot — were commemorating Mother’s Day Weekend by dedicating their hard-won academic success to the values and virtues imparted by Virginia Keith Scott of Raleigh.

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