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News Items – February 15, 2017

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Janlee Wong is executive director of NASW-CA; Marilyn Flynn is a member:
An 8-year-old boy’s death has social workers wondering, ‘Could I face criminal charges?’
LA Times
“This case is creating a lot of apprehension,” said Janlee Wong, executive director of the California chapter of the National Assn. of Social Workers. “People considering whether to choose to go into the field of child protective social work are now considering, ‘Could I face criminal charges if something goes wrong?’ ”… Marilyn Flynn, dean of USC’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, said the county department had been “deeply troubled” for years, plagued by outdated systems, high caseloads and frequent turnover of leadership. “This affected the quality of supervision, the ability of the workers to make consistent decisions and demoralized employees,” Flynn said.

Ron Bunce is executive director of NASW-NYS:
Senate Democrats Call for Real Action on Raise the Age, Don’t Want Half-Measures
Long Island News
Ron Bunce, Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers-NYS, said, “We are hopeful that change is imminent with respect to Raising the Age of criminal responsibility. It is long past the time for New York State to join with the other 48 states in the nation that recognize and support the research that demonstrates youth are not the same developmentally as adults and therefore should not be treated as such. We will continue to work with the Raise the Age NY Campaign to advocate for developmentally appropriate reforms.”

Sherry Amatenstein, the writer, is a member:
Inside the debate therapists like me are having over Donald Trump’s mental health
Vox
“Why can’t therapists do something about a psychopath getting his dirty little fingers on the nuclear codes?” a patient asked me.… It’s been three months since that conversation. Donald Trump is now in the White House. And what I haven’t told this patient, or any of my patients, is this: The other day I added my name to a petition signed by thousands of mental health professionals calling on Trump to be removed from office due to his apparent mental illness.

NASW-TX is cited:
Cyberbullying Bill Would Grant Power To Strip Online Anonymity Before Legal Proceedings Begin
Techdirt
The Texas legislature’s proposed cyberbullying bill is gathering more opposition. As we covered here last month, the “for the children” bill was meeting resistance from groups actually concerned about the welfare of the state’s children. According to the Texas branch of the National Association of Social Workers, the bill would put more students in harm’s way by trimming back counseling and other resources in favor of dumping the problem in the lap of law enforcement. Not only that, but the bill would expand the jurisdiction of school disciplinary procedures to cover actions taken by students off-campus.

John Wilkinson is a member:
Montana bill would mandate suicide prevention training for health care providers
Bozeman Daily Chronicle
John Wilkinson represents a collaboration between the Montana chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and the Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors’ Association, both of which support the bill. Wilkinson said at a hearing on Jan. 9 that whatever can be done, should be done. “I don’t know if the training will provide, and I don’t think that there’s any silver bullet out there. But, if there are more tools out there, and they are the most the most effective and perhaps can lead to more evidence that can result in some reduction, so much the better,” Wilkinson said.

Frederic Reamer is a member:
Technology Takes Therapy out of the Office and onto Electronic Platform
Rhode Island College
Traditionally, service delivery between a professional counselor and his or her client was a person-to-person live interaction in the counselor’s office. We live in a world now where most of the population communicates via email, text messaging, smartphone apps, videos, Facebook and Skype. Thus, counseling practices have evolved to treat clients using these technologies. The new catchword in therapeutic circles is electronic counseling or e-counseling. “Not everyone is comfortable with this reality, but technology is here. You can’t un-ring the bell,” said RIC Professor of Social Work Frederic Reamer. “As faculty, our job is to educate future clinical social workers about the kind of technology they will be encountering in the field.”… He is also currently chairing an ambitious effort to develop model social work practice standards surrounding the use of technology. This effort features unprecedented collaboration among four prominent national social work organizations: the National Association of Social Workers, the Association of Social Work Boards, the Council on Social Work Education and the Clinical Social Work Association.

Micaela Scully is a member:
[Video] The impact of eating disorders on the LGBTQ community
Trumbull Times (CT)
Micaela Scully, a licensed clinical social worker at Silver Hill Hospital of New Canaan discusses eating disorders in the LGBTQ community. Scully discusses how acceptance or rejection by a loved one can impact eating disorders and much more.

John Sivley is a member:
Keeping Kids Out of Court in Kentucky
WMKY
John Sivley, a licensed clinical social worker and member of the Juvenile Justice Oversight Council, said sending a young child into a punitive justice system can be traumatic. “Involvement in the legal system actually has negative impacts on a child’s behavior,” Sivley said, “and behavioral problems actually increase, particularly if there’s any kind of detention or incarceration.”

Why Obamacare repeal would be devastating to people with HIV
Vox
Gina Brown was pregnant and single when she was diagnosed with HIV in 1994. “I thought I was going to die,” she says. She promptly quit her job at a nursing home out of fear she’d infect her elderly patients. More than 20 years later, Brown, now 51, is working as a social worker in New Orleans. The discovery of antiretroviral treatments turned her HIV diagnosis from a death sentence into a chronic illness, and Brown now worries more about her heartburn than the virus. But getting health care has been a constant struggle. She’s gone through periods of having no insurance and periods of expensive health coverage, where she had to choose between food, gas, or paying for her premiums. With the arrival of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, those worries melted away.

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