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News Items – December 17, 2019

news items logo oneKaren Slovak is a member:
Social work researchers addressing gun violence in special journal issue
UB Now
Two UB social work researchers are part of a four-member team that has co-edited a special edition of the journal Health & Social Work dedicated to addressing the understudied area of gun violence. This issue’s focus and the contributions from the editing team and other researchers begin to fill a gap in the social work literature stifled by reasons that include a federal ban in place for more than 20 years that prohibits funding research related to gun violence.

Bipartisan, Bicameral Group of Lawmakers File Amicus Brief Supporting the Indian Child Welfare Act
United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
“Forty years ago, when the Indian Child Welfare Act became law, Congress declared national policy for Tribal children,” said Congressmember Karen Bass (D-Calif.). “Through the Indian Child Welfare Act, Congress recognizes tribes’ sovereign authority to make decisions about children who are tribal members. Eighteen national child welfare and child advocacy organizations — including the Child Welfare League of American, the National Association of Social Workers, and the North American Council on Adoptable Children — are united in their view that the Indian Child Welfare Act is the gold standard for child welfare policies and practices that should be afforded to all children. I’m proud to stand with my colleagues and families in support of the Indian Child Welfare Act.”

His siblings were killed by their adoptive mother. He was left in foster care to suffer a more common fate.
The Washington Post
It is common for children experiencing family separation to act out, said Will Francis, the executive director of the Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Labeling those children as having “behavior challenges” can set them on a path that is hard to escape, he said.… But Francis, who was a CPS caseworker before his role at the National Association of Social Workers, said the system is designed to focus primarily on situational permanency — the child’s immediate needs, such as food and shelter — and less on relational permanency, which provides a child with lasting bonds to others the child can trust, a focus that fails those like Dontay, who are in care for extended periods.

Ann Rivello is a member:
Kaiser mental health workers picket outside SF medical center
San Francisco Chronicle
“It’s really hard to do therapy that way,” said Ann Rivello, a licensed clinical social worker at Kaiser in Redwood City who picketed outside a Kaiser facility in San Francisco on Monday. “Our population keeps growing and growing and the demand for mental health care keeps growing. Over the years, access seems to get worse and worse.”

Erin Doerwald is a member:
Head games: For teens, realizing they have a mental health problem is the first challenge
Santa Fe New Mexican
“Mental health impacts everything we do, as teenagers and throughout our lifespan. It’s the lens through which we make our choices and navigate life,” agreed Erin Doerwald, a licensed clinical social worker and program director at The Sky Center of the New Mexico Suicide Intervention Project. “When that lens is foggy, we can’t see clearly or get ourselves going in the direction that will help us find our truest and most meaningful path.”

April Lang is a member:
Non-vegan Therapist? Possible Triggers When Working with Vegan Clients
April Lang, LCSW, SEP is a psychotherapist based in New York City and has been in private practice for over twenty years. Part of her practice is devoted to working with ethical vegans and animal advocates, as well as people who are suffering from the loss of their animal family members. She is also a writer, humane educator, and an animal advocate. “In December 2018, The Economist published an article called, The Year of the Vegan, stating that veganism is on the upswing around the world.… What does that have to do with therapy? In a nutshell, it means we can expect an increase in the number of vegan clients walking into our offices, many who will present with material that might be very triggering for us. But before I detail the potential clinical implications, it’s important to clarify what veganism is, and isn’t.”

Leora Lowenthal & Hester Hill Schnipper are members:
Oncology social workers offer advice on managing holidays with a life-threatening illness
Stringing the lights, storming the malls and all those parties! Imagine facing these holiday demands while you’re tired, sick, sad and worried: for people with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses, this time of year can often be far from merry. We spoke to Leora Lowenthal, LICSW-OSW-C, manager of the oncology social work program at BIDMC, and Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C, for advice on rethinking holiday traditions and celebrations to capture more peace in the face of a disheartening diagnosis.

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