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News Items – March 1, 2017

Steve Karp is executive director of NASW-CT; Mark Gaynor, Rose-Ann Wanczyk, and Elizabeth Prete are members:
Across Greater New Haven, anxiety has increased since the election
New Haven Register (CT)
Stephen Karp, executive director of the Connecticut chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, said, “What we’re hearing from some of our members is that their clients are afraid,” especially those who work with immigrants and religious groups such as Muslims and Jews. “They’re afraid their families are going to be broken up, that [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] is going to show up and take their parents away.” Karp said members also report clients’ anxiety based on an increase in anti-Semitic incidents. “It sounds almost like an overreaction, but I don’t think it is,” he said. “They’re working with clients that are very vulnerable; they’re afraid of being attacked. … It’s a very ugly environment.”

Rebecca Abide, the writer, is a member:
A plea for equitable school funding in NC
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Our legislators are currently considering removing the smaller class size cap, and allowing local counties to decide how to spend scarce resources on education essentials like teaching assistants, art and PE teachers, counselors, and social workers. But wouldn’t it be great if North Carolina funded both smaller class sizes and the other necessary school positions so that poor children and poor communities aren’t forced between a rock and hard place? These positions are too important to ensure that only some of North Carolina’s children can access a well-supported, well-rounded education.

Marty Boldin is a member:
Sununu adds to addiction counsel
Eagle Tribune (North Andover, MA)
Governor Chris Sununu announced Thursday that he hired a second adviser to counsel his decisions on how to best combat the opiate epidemic plaguing the Granite State. Marty Boldin, who most recently led the Recovery Task Force on the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, has been named Sununu’s policy adviser on prevention, treatment and recovery. This new appointment means Sununu will have two advisers to assist him in making crucial decisions about one of the state’s most pressing issues. Boldin will work directly with James Vara, Sununu’s adviser on addiction and behavioral health.

Nancy Guardia, the writer, is a member:
Mandated Reporters: Protection Does Not Weaken Accountability
The Chronicle of Social Change
Sixty percent of all reports of abuse or neglect are made by a child’s teacher, therapist, doctor or another child care provider. These are the trusted adults in a child’s life. If they are silenced, who will be that child’s voice? It is unreasonable to conclude that people with advanced education, training, credentials and extensive experience, would compromise their ethical judgment in favor of “less accountability.” Rather, they do not want to be sued for doing what the law requires – taking reasonable steps to prevent harm to a child.

Merrill Powers, the writer, is a member:
Changing society’s stigma around addiction and the word ‘addict’
Auburn Journal (CA)
What is an addiction, or any compulsive behavior? Whether it involves alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, overeating, self-starvation, or the compulsive use of porn, video games, gambling or risky sex, addiction is a serious brain disorder. It is not a moral failing. Because of the stigma around addiction, people who need help avoid it. Society needs to change the stigma around the word “addict.”

David Bond is a member:
Teen Suicide Rates Dropped After Same-Sex Marriage Was Legalized, Study Finds
Broadly
David W. Bond is a licensed clinical social worker and vice president of programs at The Trevor Project. He says the passage of any equality measure, whether it’s statewide or country-wide, can be an indication of the growing acceptance of the LGBTQ community. “It’s really that growing acceptance, which combats rejection, that’s going to lead to reduced risk for negative mental health outcomes like suicide attempts,” he says. “When jurisdictions pass marriage equality or transgender equality measures, whether it’s sports or bathrooms rulings, it does have an impact,” Bond continues. “Everybody’s paying attention to it and everybody’s following it. We feel rejection together, but we also rally together when there’s a triumph, whether it’s a ban on conversion therapy, appropriate gender access to restrooms for transgender people or marriage equality.”

Christopher Salas-Wright is a member:
Trump’s joint address guests include relatives of people killed by undocumented immigrants
US92
The research concludes that immigrants are not more likely than U.S.-born individuals to take part in crime, Christopher P. Salas-Wright, an assistant professor at Boston University’s School of Social Work, told Politifact in 2016. “Again and again, we see evidence that they are not,” Salas-Wright said. “In fact, it’s the opposite.” A 2016 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology actually suggests that communities that recorded significant increases in immigration had a sharper reduction in crime compared to areas that had less immigration. The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, called the research on immigrants and crime “fairly one-sided,” noting that “with few exceptions, immigrants are less crime prone than natives or have no effect on crime rates.”

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