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News Items – April 19, 2017

Bill Supporting Child-Welfare Caseworkers Passes House Committee
Westworld (CO)
bill that aims to create a task force to provide support — including mental-health services — to Colorado’s child-welfare caseworkers crossed its first hurdle on Tuesday, April 11, when it passed out of the House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee by a vote of ten to three. During the nearly two-hour hearing, lawmakers heard from a variety of witnesses, all of whom came to testify in support of the bill. They included representatives from the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Social Workers Colorado chapter, the office of Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman and the Denver Department of Human Services.

VA social worker makes huge difference for this vet
Bradenton Herald
I am a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and I have had the privilege of knowing Iris Gale, senior medical social worker at the Bradenton VA clinic for over six years. She is a multi-talented, amazing woman. Iris is kind, caring and compassionate. Her unrelenting mission is always in the best interest of the veteran, and she has dedicated her professional life to this end. One of her strongest attributes is the caliber of her counseling. I have never hesitated to discuss any topic with her, regardless of its intimacy, confident that she will honor its privacy. The VA is extremely fortunate to have Iris as their employee.

NASW Empowers Students
Iowa Student Social Work Association
In February Governor Branstad proposed a bill (HSB-138) to the Iowa House of Representatives that would effectively remove licensure for social workers, along with several other professions, including speech and language pathologists and marriage and family therapists. Less than twelve hours after the bill had been proposed, the Iowa chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) had mobilized by sending out information updates and advocacy suggestions to their members and allies (i.e. the University of Iowa School of Social Work), and contacted the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and various Representatives. Because of the NASW’s effective communication, Representatives had received thousands of emails and phone calls each by the time the weekend rolled around a few days later. Town halls that had been scheduled in advance to address other issues found themselves flooded with social workers, students, and allies, who ranged from physicians, other health and human service workers, and clients who have been positively impacted by social work.

Erica Komisar, the writer, is a member:
Staying Home With Your Kids Doesn’t Make You Anti-Feminist
Time Magazine’s Motto
I was at a dinner party recently where a woman accused me of being anti-feminist. I was really taken aback; I’m a clinical social worker, psychoanalyst and parent guidance expert who has been in private practice for over 25 years. I’m a working mother. As someone who believes in the equality of women and men, I’ve always thought of myself as a feminist. When I asked why, she told me that criticizing daycare and advocating for women to stay with their children as long as possible before they turn 3, which I do in my new book, was anti-feminist. I don’t agree. I strongly believe that women and men should have equal opportunities and choices and receive equal pay for equal work. I’m thrilled that a woman can have a career and support herself; that she can choose not to marry or to have children; and that a man is not considered less masculine if he wants to stay home and care for the kids. I also believe that both women and men, whether they work or not, should put their children first in every way. Yes, I may be child-centric, but that doesn’t make me anti-equality.

Lynn Lyons is a member:
Developing resilience
Foster’s Daily Democrat
Just as a toddler learns how to react after a fall by the look on his parent’s face, teenagers learn how to navigate the world socially and emotionally by watching their parents’ day-to-day reactions to the ups and downs of life. If parents model flexibility in thinking, ability to tolerate uncertainty and acceptance of another person’s perspective, children are more apt to model these skills and be better able to recognize something isn’t working and adjust their behavior to improve their lives, said Lynn Lyons, a Concord-based clinical social worker and author of “Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Way to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children.”

Caitlin Ryan is a member:
Presenters: Families a frequently ignored resource in helping LGBTQ youth avoid suicide, depression
Deseret News
LGBT youth are especially prone to suicide risk because of alienation, self-doubt and a host of other factors, and need as much help as possible from family support systems to overcome those risks, presenters said Tuesday at a suicide prevention conference.… A lack of support for families who are trying to help their lesbian, gay or transgender child is one of several reasons why “we see so many LGBT youth end up out of homes,” said Dr. Caitlin Ryan, a clinical social worker specializing in LGBT mental health who oversees the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University.

L.A. County seeks to strengthen the safety net for its neediest residents with funding for the homeless, social workers and healthcare
The San Diego Union-Tribune
The total recommended budget for fiscal year 2017-2018, which begins July 1, is $30.02 billion, an increase of $137 million, or 0.5%, over last year’s budget. More than $600 million will go toward reducing and preventing homelessness, hiring new social workers, improving foster care, treating the county’s sickest patients and diverting individuals with mental illness from jail. “It is the business of county government, more than any other aspect of government, to be specifically concerned with the safety net,” said County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas by phone Monday afternoon. “These are ongoing commitments, and they are priorities that attach to the safety net.”

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