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News Items – July 13, 2016

tecalaMila Tecala was a Social Work Pioneer:
Mila Tecala, grief counselor, dies at age 73
Catholic Herald (Arlington, VA)
Mila Tecala, social worker, grief counselor and longtime diocesan volunteer and employee, died June 24. She was a parishioner of St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Clifton. Tecala was born in the Phillipines, and earned her master of social work from the University of Michigan in 1966. She worked as a clinical social worker in Michigan before moving to Washington, where she started a private practice as a therapist and consultant. Her practice, the Center for Loss and Grief, focuses on helping people rebuild their lives after experiencing the death of a loved one.

Jessica Winterheimer is a member:
Hospital talks newborn safety after Amber Alert
KMTV (Omaha, NE)
Jeff Farmer and Jessica Winterheimer work in security and social work at Methodist Women’s Hospital and say the situation can be intense when a child is taken into NE Department of Health and Human Service custody immediately after birth.  They say a court order for custody can be issued if a mother is doing drugs during pregnancy, or if Child Protective Services has a history with the mother. “Our primary concern here is the safety of the infant who is our patient, I think our team really looks at it from that standpoint, but we also have a lot of compassion and understanding for the mother and potential father of the baby involved,” Winterheimer, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, explained.

Laura Gomez-Horton is a member:
Special local support groups being held to help people deal with recent violence across the nation
Fox 7 Austin
Angry, sad, confused, fearful, just some of the many emotions people are feeling from the recent incidents of violence across the country.  Something many may not know how to cope with and a local non-profit is hoping to help.  The YWCA in Austin is holding special support groups Monday and Tuesday. “A lot of times we isolate ourselves when these sorts of issues happen, again we don’t know who to talk to, who’s safe to talk to about this” Laura Gomez-Horton is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and Clinical Director for the YWCA, she said with these types of events, we have to go through a grieving process. “There’s a lot of loss of innocence. There’s a lot of loss of change in our world view and I think with every event that occurs that there is a violent event where people feel traumatized by it, whether it was directly to them or they are watching it through TV or social media, every event affects us and the only way to start moving forward is to start talking about it,” she said.

Hollie Badger is a member:
Living in the Danger Zone: Parents struggle to protect children from violence
Boston Herald
“Kids have so much anxiety about leaving school and having to be home for the summer,” agreed Hollie Badger, a licensed clinical social worker with City Connects at the Paul A. Dever Elementary School in Dorchester. “We had students who left crying because they were upset they had to go home. They know they have safety at school, they have structure.”

Arden Greenspan-Goldberg is a member:
What is ‘second rape’ and what can we do about it?
Fusion
Arden Greenspan-Goldberg, a New York City-based licensed clinical social worker, has worked with survivors, like Norris, throughout her career. And, like Campbell, she’s seen firsthand how the systems seemingly meant to protect women often only exacerbate their trauma. “You haven’t done anything wrong, but you’re made to feel that because you’re part of that whole system [that you did something wrong],” she told me in a phone conversation. “The whole thing is jarring. Just going into the court, it’s the last place on earth that you think you would ever be, testifying and recounting the experience.”

Michelle Melendez is a member:
Can you take care of yourself if you’re taking care of others? New organization eases burden on caregivers for relatives
Hudson Reporter (NJ)
Patricia Kerr is a longtime Bayonne resident, but it wasn’t until recently that she met Michelle Melendez, founder of Caregivers Empowered, and joined the support group that meets twice a month in the public library. She helps caregivers like Kerr cope with the anxiety and depression that accompany long-term caregiving. Melendez, a licensed clinical social worker with 20 years of experience in mental health, said she started Caregivers Empowered in 2015 to provide free support for family caregivers. She says while taking care of her daughter and acting as a caregiver for her mother with Alzheimer’s disease, “there was no service for the disaffected.” Now, her organization provides free support. With the help of Mayor James Davis, she organized the meetings at the library. “I was willing to stand in that gap to provide these services,” she said.

Carla Damron is the executive director NASW-SC:
Bolster ‘re-homing’ solutions
Post and Courier (Charleston, SC)
Carla Damron, executive director of the S. C. chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, says that lack of protection heightens the risk of human trafficking. “Sadly, domestic trafficking is not uncommon in South Carolina — we have to raise awareness to keep kids safe,” she said. “A child advertised as being available for ‘re-homing’ would have great appeal to traffickers.”

Did You Know the Need for Social Workers Is on the Rise?
Social Justice Solutions
It might surprise you to know is that social work is one of the more stable and recession-proof careers there is, and the job outlook for social workers is on the upswing. According to the US Department of Labor, career opportunities in all areas of social work will rise at a faster than average rate of 12 percent through the next 8 years.… Check out the National Association of Social Workers, for more information on jobs in these and other areas of social work that you might find a perfect fit.

Charles E. Lewis, PhD, is a member:
Major Changes Await in Mental Health Legislation—But Will They Be Enough?
Congressional Research Institute for Social Work & Policy
An Energy and Commerce memo details the many problems Murphy and others have with SAMHSA’s oversight of mental health services, such as the lack of medical staff, questionable practices in the grant-screening process, and possible violations of federal lobbying bans. Critics of the legislation take issue with its easing of privacy protections such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and promoting Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) which some see as coercive and a curtailment of civil liberties. Despite these concerns, many major behavioral health care organizations are supporting the legislation with a few caveats. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and other organizations have signed onto a letter encouraging the bill’s sponsors to increase resources for health information technology. Three of the six social workers in the House, Reps. Barbara Lee, Karen Bass, and Kyrsten Sinema, have signed on as co-sponsors of H.R. 2646. Senator Debbie Stabenow is a co-signer on S. 2680.

The ‘IF Challenge’
Boston College
In Massachusetts, there are more than 3,600 homeless families living in shelters or motels, according to the Department of Housing and Community Development. In response, the Boston College School of Social Work and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley have announced the launch of the “IF Challenge,” a prize competition seeking innovative, cost-effective, and feasible ideas to help end family homelessness in the state. The competition is open to nonprofit 501c3 organizations, and the winning idea(s) will be eligible to receive up to $25,000 in funds from United Way and design and development support from BCSSW.

Social workers helping school district students
The Nevada Appeal
As a way to help students succeed in school, the Carson City School District has hired 12 social workers to improve students’ emotional and mental learning. The social workers are funded by a School Social Workers grant from the Nevada Department of Education under the Senate Bill 515. Carson City’s $40,000 grant will pay for three full-time and nine part-time licensed counselors in the schools. Their role will be to provide extra attention to troubled or struggling students with more one–on-one help both inside and outside of the classroom, said Project Manager Dave Caloiaro.

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