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News Items – February 24, 2016

Serena Rice is a member; Walter Kalman is executive director of NASW-NJ:
How Christie’s legacy can be about compassion for N.J.’s neediest | Opinion
By Serena Rice and Walter X. Kalman
Gov. Chris Christie recently declared a standard for judging the state’s legacy in caring for the most vulnerable: “The true measure of greatness is found in the strength of our compassion.” But compassion is only half of this equation. Investment is equally essential to properly serve the most vulnerable in our state. The governor suggests he understands the necessity of funding as well, because he followed his declaration about compassion by describing specific fiscal investments in addiction and mental health services.

[Audio] Bill Would Keep Maine Social Workers’ Addresses, Phone Numbers Private
MPBN News (Maine)
Social workers can be subject to unpredictable and emotionally charged situations on the job. Lawmakers are considering a measure that supporters say would protect the safety of social workers by shielding public access to their home addresses and phone numbers. In advancing his bill to protect more than 5,500 licensed social workers, Democratic Rep. Adam Goode of Bangor says the evidence shows that the profession can be dangerous. “This has led to some social workers becoming permanently injured or losing their lives,” he says. Goode cites case reports compiled by the National Association of Social Workers that he says point to a need to protect those professionals from people seeking revenge for some perceived wrong.

Larry E. Davis is a member:
Larry E. Davis tackles race in Why Are They Angry At Us?
Pittsburgh CityPaper
America is taking a hard look at race relations. The Black Lives Matter movement, founded in response to the Florida shooting death of Trayvon Martin and subsequent acquittal of his assailant, George Zimmerman, has expanded to address racially charged incidents from Ferguson, Mo., to Baltimore, Chicago, New York City and beyond. These deaths, all involving unarmed black Americans, are forcing the country to confront racial issues that many find difficult to discuss. In his new book, Why Are They Angry With Us?: Essays on Race (Lyceum Books, $34.95), Larry E. Davis seeks to help us talk more openly about race. Davis, the dean and founding director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center of Race and Social Problems, hails from Saginaw, Mich.

Carmen Weisner is executive director of NASW-LA:
Louisiana’s child protection system understaffed, overburdened after years of cuts, child advocates say
The New Orleans Advocate
But some child welfare experts said although Lee’s alleged decision to abandon her obligation to foster children was dangerous and ill-advised, it exposed larger problems at the department: Morale is low, turnover is high, and, due to budget cuts, fewer workers are handling higher case loads as the number of children entering foster care climbs. “It shines a light on a need,” said Carmen Weisner, executive director of the Louisiana chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, who served as assistant secretary of the state’s precursor agency to the Department of Children and Family Services under former Gov. Mike Foster.

Advocacy Groups Work to Defeat Transgender Legislation in States
Nonprofit Quarterly
Seven national health, education, and child advocacy groups joined HRC to call on governors across the U.S. “to reject the alarming and discriminatory bills being promoted in state legislatures targeting transgender children and their fundamental rights.” The call coincides with the annual winter meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington this past weekend. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American School Counselor Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Social Workers, and the National Education Association all signed on to an open letter to the governors.

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