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News Items – August 9, 2016

Jim Akin is executive director of NASW-FL:
DCF under fire again over gender identity proposal
But many child welfare professionals say the protections are needed for LGBT children in care who are often victims of bullying and pressure to conform. “You’re dealing with children who really need a lot of help. Some of them are being kicked out of their homes because they are gay, lesbian or transgender,” said Jim Akin, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers. “All the rules are doing is trying to add a little more protection and make a safe environment for these children.”

Carla Damron is executive director of NASW-SC:
Concerns on the rise after incidents at assisted-living facilities
Charleston Post Courier
Carla Damron, the director of the South Carolina chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, agreed that staffing can play a huge factor. She said it’s important to remember that many of the state’s assisted-living facilities are located in someone’s home and only have a handful of clients. “But in larger facilities, it can be problematic if you’re running a facility where you’re dealing with a lot of folks who have memory loss issues,” she said.

Michael Sullivan is a member:
Man sentenced to 110 years for rape, assault against pregnant woman
Billings Gazette
Michael Sullivan, a clinical social worker who performed a psycho-sexual evaluation, said Williams did not appear to learn from experience and showed a tendency to lash out at people. He said there was a high chance Williams would commit more crimes if released.

Sara Goldsby is a member and vice president of NASW-SC:
Director Toomey Retiring from Addiction Services Agency
ABC Columbia
The director of the state Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services is retiring after 5 years at its helm. Gov. Nikki Haley announced Bob Toomey’s retirement Tuesday.… Sara Goldsby, a consultant for the agency, will serve as acting director.

Social Work Helper Launches Mobile App to Help Users Find Local Resources
Social Work Helper has finally announced the launch of its mobile app which is compatible on both Android and iOS devices. The Social Work Helper mobile app was created to help people in crisis locate resources in their local area quicker. Whether it’s a natural disaster or a family emergency, people need to know how to locate food banks, senior services, domestic violence shelters, crisis helplines, support groups, affordable daycare, low cost prescriptions, mental health treatment and more when a crisis happens in their lives. Deona Hooper, MSW, Founder and Editor and Chief of Social Work Helper, explained why the app was created.

James Lubben is a member:
Centenarians say friends are key to growing old
Aging Edge
Professor James Lubben, founding director of Boston College’s Institute on Aging, points to data showing that people who lack a social network of friends or family are more likely to neglect good health practices and to experience psychological distress, cognitive impairment, the common cold, and even death. Isolation is “on a par with smoking” for the elderly, he noted. Seniors become particularly vulnerable to isolation as they decline physically, but isolation then makes them more vulnerable to worsening health. Social health should “be as important as mental health and as physical health,” said Mr. Lubben, also a professor of social work at Boston College.

Kristin Miller is a member:
Psychiatric patients strain local ERs
The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA)
To address the crises situations that mental health patients face, the county has increased its use of outreach teams. The two types of team work similarly but, but interact with patients at different points. CREST teams (Community Response Evaluation and Support Team) are called upon by law enforcement to counsel a person having a mental health emergency. If the person is already at a hospital, a different team is deployed known as REACH (Regional Emergency Assessment at Community Hospitals).  “Our focus really is trying to help people not need hospital intervention as much as possible,” said Kristin Miller, a licensed clinical social worker who supervises the teams in the Coachella Valley.

Jesse Sandler is a member:
New Website Helps People in Recovery Find Sober Roommates
Westside Today (Los Angeles, CA)
Co-created by UCLA alum and addiction therapist Jesse Sandler, LCSW, allows members to create profiles, search for sober roommates that match their selected criteria, and message with them. And, because of the importance of privacy and anonymity, puts members in control of what personal information they share and when they share it: members use screen names, and all communication between members goes through’s messaging system. And they can do it all for free.

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