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News Items – August 15, 2018

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Social work students help refugees in Europe
Penn Today (University of Pennsylvania)
After an intense, trauma-focused semester of classroom learning, doctoral students from the University of Pennsylvania traveled to Greece as part of a pilot international immersion. During their weeklong trip in late June to Athens, 11 doctorate of social work (DSW) students from the School of Social Policy & Practice learned about geopolitical factors contributing to the refugee crisis in Europe, and how local nonprofit, non-governmental organizations, like the Melissa Network for Migrant Women, are responding. The Melissa Network provides trauma-informed services to female refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, and other regions, assisting them with rebuilding their lives by teaching them about their rights, how to speak Greek, job searching, resume building, and violence against women. Since its inception in 2016, the agency has been following a “sanctuary model,” but they didn’t have a name for it. Now, they do, along with ongoing long-distance support from Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice.

Allan Wachendorfer is the Director of Public Policy for NASW-MI:
[Audio] Here’s the truth: you can vote in Michigan after serving time in prison
Michigan Public Radio
Allan Wachendorfer says there are a lot of people who are confused about the issue, like Eric. Wachendorfer is with the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. He’s also a formerly incarcerated person, and founding member of the prison reform advocacy group Nation Outside. Wachendorfer says some states do in fact permanently revoke voting rights of people who have served time, especially for violent felonies. In other states, you can only regain your right to vote after serving time for a felony if the governor or a judge restores it. “But that’s not true in Michigan,” says Wachendorfer. “We have the ability to vote. Once you are done serving your time from incarceration, you can re-register and your rights are restored automatically. In fact, people who are in jail who have not been sentenced yet, they also can vote absentee.”

Texas social workers act against the separation of immigrant families
The Texas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has formed partnerships with legal and civil rights organizations to provide a range of support services for migrant families. NASW is a member of IFSW. Social workers are responding to the concerns of immigrant families being separated and stripped of their rights by providing holistic assessment services, networking with foster care and child protective agencies, and collaborating with Refugee and Immigration organizations that identifies families that are fleeing for violence, poverty and other traumatic conditions. In addition to proving professional assistance with trauma and separation, the service includes advocating within the court and legal structures that immigrants should not be, incarcerated, criminalized or punished for attempting to escape from untenable conditions.

Jamie Bogenshutz is a member:
Senator John Brooks Co-Sponsors Series Of Narcan Trainings
Jamie Bogenshutz, R, LCSW, CASAC, BCETS, Executive Director of the YES Community Counseling Center, said, “No one can deny that we are living in very turbulent times as we watch more of our neighbors and families experience first-hand the dire consequences of the opiate epidemic. Conducting NARCAN trainings in collaboration with Senator Brooks allows YES to disseminate valuable information and a life-saving resource to those in our community who may be at the greatest risk for overdose.”

Mary Jo Monahan is a member:
ASWB supports federal legislation to protect state licensing boards from antitrust damages
Directors Talk
The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) supports “Occupational Licensing Board Antitrust Damages Relief and Reform Act of 2018 (H.R. 6515)” introduced by Representative Mike Conaway (R-TX) to help ensure that state regulatory boards, board members, and staff members of regulatory boards are not personally at risk for legal damages resulting from their public service. “State regulatory boards fulfill an important mission of protecting the public,” said ASWB chief executive officer Mary Jo Monahan, MSW, LCSW. “This legislation is necessary to ensure that current and future board members and staff are not deterred from serving because they are concerned about their personal liability when performing public service. On behalf of our member regulatory boards, ASWB is a supporter of this bill and we commend Rep. Conaway for recognizing the need to protect those whose service protects the public from harm.”

Toni Coleman is a member:
7 Topics To Avoid In The First Year Of A Relationship
Every couple is different, so what might feel like an early-on topic for some might be a long-way-down-the-road conversation for another. “The amount of time they spend together and how fast the relationship progresses does impact what stage they are in,” Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, a psychotherapist, relationship coach, and divorce mediator tells Romper by email. “What a couple discusses really should be connected to how fast their relationship has moved through the basic stages, and how ready they both feel for deeper commitment, otherwise they risk oversharing with someone they will not end up making a commitment to — and this can lead to blow back and regret.”

Erin Snell is a member:
Treatment options expand for orthorexia eating disorder
Las Vegas Review-Journal
The disordered eating can start as an innocent desire to be healthier, said Erin Snell, a licensed clinical social worker in Northern Nevada who formerly directed business development for the Center for Hope of the Sierras, a Reno-based eating disorder treatment center. When it progresses into orthorexia, though, the balance of a healthy lifestyle disappears.

Linda Caravello is a member:
Green Valley Connect: Nothing wrong with asking for help
Green Valley News (AZ)
“A primary care physician or nurse practitioner will often refer a patient to a behavioral heath counselor when it appears that a mental issue is contributing to the person’s ill heath,” says Linda Caravello, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist at Posada Life Community Services. “When pain, discomfort, fear and hopelessness become severe, many people just come in by themselves, but please don’t wait that long.”

Robin Berenstain is a member:
Hawaii Democratic governor race revives false missile alert
News 95.5
Robin Berenstain, 68, a clinical social worker at a military base on Oahu, remembers believing the missile alert that screeched on her phone. She said she called her family to tell them she loved them. “I live in Kaneohe and overlook the bay, and opened my sliding glass door as wide as I could to be sure I’d go out on the first blast,” Berenstain said. “I had no desire to live in a post-apocalyptic world.” She said it was “shocking” that it took so long to set the record straight. “I work with families on the Marine base, and many of them were terrified for 38 minutes, and that’s just unacceptable,” Berenstain said. “I’m pretty sure I’m voting for Hanabusa.”

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