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News Items – September 6, 2012

House Call: Living Will vs. Health Care Power of Attorney
The two main types of advance directives recognized by North Carolina law are a living will (advance directive for a natural death) and a health care power of attorney. A living will is a document that tells an individual’s family, physician and other healthcare providers whether or not they want certain types of “life-prolonging measures” or medical treatments.

Killing of Carina Saunders raises awareness of human trafficking cases in Oklahoma
McCrery moved back to Tulsa and went back to working the streets. In 2004, with the aid of friend, she finally quit the business. She went back to school and now is nearing completion of a master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of Oklahoma. She works at a shelter for women and children.

How to find the right mental health practitioner
The Laurens County Advertiser
“In addition to finding someone with the appropriate training, experience and competence to treat your particular issues, look for someone with the ability to establish rapport, develop trust, good listening skills and a genuine interest in your well being,” says Dr. Amos Martinez, adjunct professor at Argosy University, Denver and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. “The personal characteristics of a therapist are good predictors of a positive therapeutic outcome.”

In fight against violence, N.Y. hospitals follow Rochester’s lead
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
The nationally recognized Rochester Youth Violence Partnership works with youths 18 and younger brought to Strong or Rochester General Hospital emergency rooms after being stabbed or shot. Social workers and psychiatrists screen the victims to identify at the hospital to identify risk factors from school to home that make them more prone to be victimized again or become violent themselves.

Norfolk court trims jail, hastens aid for mentally ill
The Virginian-Pilot
Last year, district court judges established a separate mental health docket. The twice-monthly sessions bring together a spectrum of social workers with a single judge to focus on setting up health plans for the mentally ill defendants.

Gay couples have happier kids
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Child Welfare League of America, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Medical Association, and the American Psychological Association all agree that same-sex couples are just as fit to parent as their heterosexual counterparts.

Adolescents in Foster Care Require Guidelines for Safe Social Media Use, MU Expert Says
Dale Fitch, an assistant professor in the MU School of Social Work, says agencies usually advocate restricting how youths in the foster system use social media in order to avoid potential liabilities that could result in lawsuits. However, like other teens who ignore adults’ instructions concerning information disclosure online, teens in foster care turn to the Internet to express their identities and share their stories. Social media is a positive tool that helps adolescents in foster care connect with society, but the lack of guidelines leaves them at risk for cyber-bullying, unintentional disclosure of identifying information and personal harm, Fitch said.

Detained immigrants losing kids
These stories exemplify what happens almost daily when federal immigration enforcement collides with our state’s child welfare system. Because Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Child Protective Services lack procedures for handling such cases, the parents are penalized for not filing time-sensitive forms, or attending custody court dates, which often results in the loss of custody of their child.

Guest View: Mentoring foster children is a win-win
By Colby Swettberg, Ed.M, LCSW: Around this time of year, thousands of young adults who’ve just turned 18 are getting started with their first year of college. They’ll spend the next four (or five or six) years transitioning from late adolescence into early adulthood until they’re ready to live on their own. But turning 18 means something else entirely for many older adolescents who have grown up in foster care. It means they have been fast-tracked to independent living, without many of the supports that youth typically receive from their families of origin and without much of an adjustment period.

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