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News Items – December 7, 2016

young-johnson-kingDarlyne Bailey and Terry Mizrahi are members:
Restoring Faith in Our Democracy
Social Justice Solutions
Charles E. Lewis Jr., Ph.D – Social work is the profession that best promotes hope. We work to provide hope to distressed people throughout the world. Where there is disaster, trauma, and chaos, you will usually find a social worker lending a hand, saying the right things as we are trained to do, and always providing hope. Many Americans are grasping for hope following the election of Donald Trump, an event that was traumatic because many are doubtful that someone who 62 percent of Americans believe is unqualified and unfit to be President of the United States can lead the nation.… There is a small but determined group of social workers led by Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research dean Darlyne Bailey and Hunter College Silberman School professor Terry Mizrahi, who have been for a while shouting “macro matters” to whoever would listen. They are saying—along with a growing number of believers—that social workers are placing much more emphasis on helping people cope with an unjust society. Direct services are critical and should not be reduced, however we need to put more emphasis on fighting inequities and pursuing social and economic justice.

Miriam Nissenbaum is executive director of NASW-TX:
[Audio] Ken Paxton challenges expert recommendations on fixing Texas’ foster care system
Texas Standard
In a court filing, [Paxton] challenged all of the special masters’ recommendations. Miriam Nisenbaumexecutive director of the National Association of Social Workers, Texas Chapter, says the state’s reaction isn’t surprising but it’s disappointing.  “No one, I think, expects this to happen overnight but beginning to work on some of the points made by the special masters in a significant and meaningful way would be a good start,” she says. Nisenbaum says it’s good to see the governor, lieutenant governor, and house speaker all prioritize changes to the child welfare system, but it’s time for officials to act. “If Texas truly cares about the children in the foster care and the CPS system we must take concrete and visible action to help those children,” she says. “And delaying that does nothing to keep those children out of harm’s way.”

John Cowart is a member:
Someone to Talk to Upon Returning From War
The Atlantic
The Atlantic Magazine has published an extensive piece on “the American Workforce” which consists of a series of interviews with dozens of person concerning their job. One featured interview is with John Cowart, who was a social worker with Veteran Administration Medical Center in Asheville, North Carolina before retiring. He helped those who fought in conflicts dating back to the Spanish-American war, most notably arranging reunions and trips for veterans with PTSD to visit the national war museums in Washington D.C. The Atlantic columnist Adrienne Green spoke with Cowart about the challenges that many veterans face while reintegrating into civilian life, and how American attitudes towards veterans have changed since the hostile homecomings of those who served in Vietnam.

Lily Casura, the writer, is a member and NASW-TX “Student of the Year” for 2016:
What I Learned From 250 Hours of Hospice Care
The Rivard Report
November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and as part of my graduate education in social work, I’ve been privileged to do my field placement hours this past semester and next, providing support for hospice patients and their caregivers. The hospice organization I volunteer with, Optum Palliative & Hospice Care, is a local arm of a national organization, owned by one of America’s biggest insurers, UnitedHealth Group.

Crystal Hayes and Joshua Miller, two of the authors, are members:
Social Work At The Crossroads: How To Resist The Politics Of A Donald Trump Presidency
The Huffington Post
There are more than 650,000 social workers in the United States with training in mental health, crisis intervention, policy, research, organizing, and advocacy. Social workers perform the vast majority of mental health labor in the United States, but we also work in nonclinical settings in government and non-governmental agencies, schools, colleges and universities, advocacy agencies, etc. There are also 123,000 social workers who are members of NASW who work on setting the policy agenda for the profession as well as advocating for policies that defend and protect those who are most vulnerable and marginalized in our society. Social work can have a big powerful voice that helps people to see the world through a strengths-based model. It is a lens that allows for the possibilities of what the world can be when rooted in justice, equity, and peace. We don’t only see what is broken, we see what is possible beyond the pain and fear that many of our clients understandably carry.

Michelle “Chellie” Grossman is a member:
[Video] NC State students’ organization connects seniors with community resources
WRAL (Raleigh, NC)
Scott Waterhouse of Resources for Seniors and Chellie Grossman, social work student at NC State, discuss a project to expand information access of resources for seniors in the Research Triangle of North Carolina by translating resource materials into Spanish and Korean. The translated resource books will be available at various locations, and NASW-NC is sending copies out to all their aging resources.

Grant helps to provide services for at-risk families in Greene County
The News-Leader
[Missouri State University’s Dr. Mary Ann] Jennings noted that social workers are not the same as they are portrayed in the media. “[Childrens Division] staff work very hard to avoid removing children from their homes—if at all possible—because they understand the trauma removal inflicts on children and their families,” said Jennings. “Social workers in child welfare services often are referred to as ‘baby snatchers’ which is erroneous on all levels.” Jennings says there are three ways that could dispel this myth: asking families who have had positive experiences to provide testimonies, educating policy-makers and joining in on the National Association of Social Workers efforts to provide an accurate image of social workers.

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