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News Items – December 5, 2011

Social workers to be first responders to mental health crises
Starting next year people who call 911 about mental health issues may be put on the phone with a social worker instead of having a police officer show up at their door. Portland police Chief Mike Reese said sending a police officer into a situation like that can be enough to set someone off, especially if they’re in the midst of a mental health crisis.

Social Justice, Occupy Wall Street and the 99 percent
The Corsair
According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) website, “Social workers also apply social-justice principles to structural problems.

4-year-old boy’s murder reveals flaws in child welfare system
Chicago Sun-Times
Calica is a social worker and has been executive director of the Juvenile Protective Association since 1978. He will have his hands full when he walks through the door. Kendall Marlowe, a spokesman for DCFS, said it is “fair” for DCFS to be strongly criticized over how the Valdez case was handled.

219-pound boy shows growing problem of extreme obesity
According to social worker reports, the boy had been diagnosed as morbidly obese and lost weight during his two-week hospitalization. The boy’s weight continued to decrease for a short period of time but he then began gaining again at “a rapid pace,” according to court documents.

Card game draws out your attitudes about money
Washington Post
I had the chance to see the cards being played during a continuing professional education course that Solomon conducted last month at the University of Maryland’s School of Social Work in Baltimore. The class was part of the school’s Financial Social Work Initiative, which provides education and tools to social workers who help people achieve economic stability.

In Macomb County, credibility of counselor used as expert witness
Detroit Free Press
Social workers are able to diagnose and treat mental disorders, said Sherri Morgan, associate counsel for the National Association of Social Workers.

Rock County Crisis Intervention in transition
Janesville Gazette
Of course, a social worker would need to assess the situation immediately. On the other hand, maybe it would be someone who has lost medical insurance and needs help finding an alternative, affordable source of medication. That can be a frustrating situation, of course, but not imminently dangerous. It’s also one that could be handled by someone whose training is less than that of a social worker.

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