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News Items – February 6, 2015

concept of unity[Audio] What Minnesota will do to improve child protection services
MPR News
When Gov. Mark Dayton pulled together a task force of Minnesota’s best minds around child protection this fall, it came on the heels of a tragedy. Four-year-old Eric Dean was murdered by his stepmother despite repeated warnings to child protective services by people concerned about his welfare. In December, that task force approved preliminary recommendations to improve the system, which has come under heavy fire for failing to prevent the deaths of vulnerable children. The group wants to change laws, sharpen rules and improve training. It is expected to deliver final recommendations to Dayton by March, in time for the legislature to act on them.

Virginia Rondero Hernandez is a member:
Let’s double Fresno State’s enrollment of American Indian students, President Castro says
The Fresno Bee
Fresno State President Joseph Castro says he wants to double the number of American Indian students enrolled at the university by 2016, reversing the tide on a trend that’s shown a sharp decline in native students since 2010.… The university’s social work education department is making its own go at attracting native students. On Monday, department chair Virginia Rondero Hernandez announced the department is recruiting students with an interest in child welfare, with the hope that those who study to receive a bachelor’s or master’s degree will do field work or internships with tribal agencies.

Robert Herndon is a member:
San Marcos to add two mental health officers after spike in cases
The University Star
The San Marcos Police Department may soon see two new faces on the force. City council passed the first of two readings Jan. 20 for a $266,538 grant to be added to the 2014-2015 budget for two new mental health officers.… Robert Herndon, a clinical social worker for Cedar Creek Associates, has had a private practice in San Marcos since 1991 and believes the city can benefit greatly from the added officers. “It is urgent we get more mental health officers,” Herndon said. “This area is terribly underserved when it comes to mental health resources.”

[Video] Lawmakers Want To Stop The ‘Foster Care To Prostitution’ Pipeline
CBS Denver
“Just having that lack of steady parenting and being exposed to abuse, neglect (and) domestic violence; they already have, usually, very low social boundaries. They can be more trusting to strangers because they’ve had to be able to survive and go to different foster homes,” Becky Zal-Sanchez said. Zal-Sanchez says many of the children have run away so often case workers write them off. They can go missing for weeks without anyone looking.

Tova Feldmanstern is a member:
Many students struggle to afford enough food, hunger survey shows
Spartan Daily (San Jose State University)
In Dec. 2014, the Student Hunger Committee surveyed the food accessibility of San Jose State University students to gain a sense of how financial stability relates to food security. Nearly 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students responded anonymously to the 15 questions drafted by members of the committee.… “There’s stigma around this issue and the goal of the committee and the goal in our society, I think, is to change that,” Tova Feldmanstern, licensed clinical social worker and case manager in the campus counseling services department said.

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