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News Items – January 23, 2019

Sam Hickman is executive director of NASW-WV:
Bill would transition state’s foster care to managed care
Charleston Gazette-Mail
Sam Hickman, executive director of the West Virginia chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, said one of his concerns is that DHHR hasn’t put enough thought or planning into the managed care approach. The implications of what could happen to kids and families are “astounding,” he said. “The fundamental approach should be what is in the best interest of the child, and how do we engage and protect the foster family or the kinship family in the best way possible,” Hickman said. “Looking at it from a broad view, it’s difficult for me to say just assigning risk to a managed care organization provides us with assurances that what’s in the best interest of the child will actually occur.”

Becky Fast is executive director of NASW-KS:
Watch These Things As New Governor Tries To Fix Kansas Child Welfare
Becky Fast, head of the Kansas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, said Kansas’ number of social work graduates and licensed social workers grows every year. It’s just a matter of convincing them to work for an agency experiencing a very public crisis. “When I speak at colleges across the state, at least half the bachelor students raise their hands and want to work with children and families,” said Fast. “But they want to work in a system where they receive training, support and supervision.”

Deborah Gonzales is a member:
[Audio] Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents
Seven weeks after a massive earthquake struck Alaska, the seemingly endless aftershocks are keeping many residents filled with anxiety. There have been more than 7,800 aftershocks since the main earthquake struck Nov. 30 just north of Anchorage. Most were too small to feel, but 20 have had magnitudes of 4.5 or greater – including a magnitude 5.0 jolt last Sunday. Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened. Mental health providers say they still treat clients rattled by the aftershocks, which strike without warning or any apparent pattern. Deborah Gonzales, a licensed clinical social worker in Anchorage, says the temblors can be overwhelming for people, making them feel emotionally out of control.

Judi Szilak is a member:
Pioneer Center raising funds for McHenry expansion, faces concerns from some
Northwest Herald
During Wednesday’s meeting, some people expressed concerns that the emergency shelter only plans to allow clients to stay at the center for 30 to 60 days, with extended stays allowed under special circumstances. “I love the fact that they are doing this, but it’s too short-term,” said Judi Szilak, a community member and licensed clinical social worker.

Monica Alzate is a member:
The art of mindfulness
Baylor College of Medicine
The practice of mindfulness has been a hot topic recently, but what does mindfulness actually mean and how does one practice it? One Baylor College of Medicine expert discusses this. “Mindfulness is the art of paying attention with a purpose and without judgment,” said Dr. Monica Alzate, licensed clinical social worker and assistant professor of family and community medicine. “Essentially, the idea is to be in the moment and become aware.”

Wivianny DeHaas is a member:
Heart of Yoga Salisbury brings wellness downtown
Salisbury Post
For Wivianny DeHaas, the journey into yoga was “both business and personal.” As a licensed clinical social worker and therapist, she battled with severe compassion fatigue and burnout. “When people come to a therapist, usually they’re not sharing happy things,” DeHaas said. “And when you have empathy, you are there, you’re present with them. I had to find a way to balance that in my life. That’s what led me to yoga.” Now, DeHaas is sharing what she’s learned with the Salisbury-Rowan community through Heart of Yoga Salisbury studio downtown.

Karen Osterle, Deborah Gonzales, and Ruthie Kalai are members:
Should I See A Therapist? 10 Questions To Determine If Therapy Is Right For You
Your Tango
You may find yourself wondering if perhaps, to improve yourself, you should find a therapist. What is a therapist? Depending on the type of therapy you seek, these are professionals who are trained to handle treatment. So, if you’re wondering if therapy is right for you, consider these key questions to make that call. These will help you decide if therapy is the way to go. And these experts — therapists and social workers — recommended these questions to help make your decision process smooth. When should you go to therapy?

Lisa Ferentz is a member:
5 Behaviors That Seem ‘Normal’ But Could Be Signs Of Emotional Abuse
“That ‘kindness’ is designed to win over the trust and confidence of an unsuspecting victim, making them vulnerable to subsequent abuse,” said Lisa Ferentz, a licensed clinical social worker and educator specializing in trauma. Emotional abuse may include behaviors such as threatening, insulting, shaming, belittling, name-calling, gaslighting and stonewalling, which are done in an attempt to chip away at the victim’s independence and self-esteem so the abuser can gain control in the relationship.

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