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News Items – May 20, 2015

ThinkstockPhotos-82635862The People’s Manifesto on Police Body-Cameras
The Atlantic Monthly
On Friday, 34 civil rights groups—including the ACLU, NAACP, and Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights—announced principles that they hope will guide national and local policy on body cameras. The principles are listed at the end of this post. Broadly, they say that city and state rules about body cams must be public: developed with the public and then available to the public. The principles also set up a balance between public interest and individual privacy. At a minimum, “footage that captures police use of force should be made available to the public and press upon request,” they say, but they also specify that “departments must consider individual privacy concerns before making footage available to broad audiences.” The National Association of Social Workers is among the groups promoting these principles.

Jim Jones is a member:
Removing mental health stigmas
The Jackson Sun (TN)
Unless someone has experienced mental health issues, they are not likely to understand them, said Jim Jones, licensed clinical social worker at Pathways. “There’s a tendency to think everybody can do the same things we can,” Jones said. “We tell them they need to just get over it, but it doesn’t work like that.” Jones said more than 25 million Americans suffer from major depression each year, and there are more than 30,000 suicides. He said many people with depression go untreated because they convince themselves that everyone is that way. “Depression is not merely feeling sad,” Jones said. “Depression is debilitating.”

The simple way one Tennessee program turns foster kids into higher-earning adults
The Washington Post
Life turned around when [Michael] McKernan met William Childress, 36, a specialist who guides former foster kids transitioning to adulthood. Childress asked if he’d like to join YVLifeSet, a program in Tennessee and six other states for young adults who outgrow foster custody. McKernan, who by then lived with his grandmother, gladly accepted. Maybe this man, a former Peace Corps volunteer in China, could help him make a resume on Microsoft Word. Childress nudged him like a father, sending friendly text messages like: How’s your day going? He encouraged McKernan to strive beyond the first job available to a kid without a high school degree and a driver’s license.

Should Texas Limit Teens’ Resources For Abortion?
San Antonio Current
Government Relations Director for the National Association of Social Workers, Will Francis says, “Public policies must support a woman’s authority over her sexual life and reproductive capacity. When safety or personal issues require a judicial bypass, a teenager should have the right to petition the court without any needless restrictions or barriers.”

Stephanie Begun is a member:
Sexists More Likely to Be Anti-Abortion, Study Finds, Confirming Something Many Of Us Have Long Suspected
In a new study published in the journal Aflia: Journal of Women and Social Work, PhD candidate Stephanie Begun examined the link between anti-abortion views and sexist attitudes. Begun used data from a previous survey of over 600 undergraduates from six different universities and looked for both anti-abortion attitudes and either benevolent or hostile sexism. Benevolent sexism involves things such as praising women for stereotypically female roles, like being caregivers, whereas hostile sexism involves more blatantly anti-women views. Neither is compatible with the idea that women should be allowed to live their lives free of gendered expectations and gender stereotypes.

Ashley Biden, Daughter of the Vice President, to Speak at Rutgers’ School of Social Work Convocation
Rutgers Today
What inspired you to become a social worker and who inspires you today? “I grew up meeting and interacting with people of all different races, religions and socioeconomic backgrounds and was involved from a young age in grassroots campaigning – knocking on doors, attending rallies and advocating for my beliefs.”

Tanya Sharpe is a member:
Stress of Baltimore unrest may linger with residents
Baltimore Sun
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.”

Tricia Bent-Goodley is a member:
Domestic violence policy for sheriff’s deputies is in question
The Washington Post
Tricia Bent-Goodley, a professor of social work at Howard University, said domestic violence calls are some of the most dangerous for law enforcement. “Not only do you have that heightened sense of awareness for your own safety and the security of those around you, but you have to have the sensitivity of the victim,” said Bent-Goodley, who also sits on the county’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team and has studied the work of the sheriff’s office. Deputies don’t just answer calls; they’re specially trained in how to deal with survivors and victims of domestic violence, Bent-Goodley said. The recent shootings shouldn’t be an indictment of the work the sheriff’s office has done to protect domestic violence victims in Prince George’s, Bent-Goodley said.

LePage proposes drug testing for every TANF applicant
Bangor Daily News
“We believe that the use of illegal substances is a root cause of poverty, but we also believe that the best way to treat addiction is not with a game of ‘gotcha,’” said Susan Lamb, executive director of the Maine chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. “People with addiction are often parents of children, and those children, living below the poverty level, are entitled to food on the table and a roof over their heads, no matter what their parents’ addiction issues are.”


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