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News Items – March 10, 2022

news items logo oneThe time is right for social work, now more than ever before
Tallahassee Democrat
Around 720,000 social workers across the nation entered the profession to serve vulnerable and marginalized populations to improve the world in which they live. Social workers do this in a unique way by using their skills to collaborate with individuals, families and communities to help achieve positive change. Realizing the value of partnerships, social workers commonly participate in interprofessional teams that include professionals from the medical, nursing, pharmacy, legal and law enforcement fields, to name a few. 

Social Work Month in March highlights the important role of social workers
Daily Herald
Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois (LCFS), a community-based social service organization, is helping celebrate this year’s Social Work Month in March. This year’s theme is “The Time is Right for Social Work,” which underscores the contributions social workers have made to this nation for more than a century and how the services they provide are needed more than ever as our nation addresses economic inequality, systemic racism, the need for improved health and mental health care, Covid-19 and other issues. 

Danyale Sturdivant is a member:
Albany nonprofit Living Autism Out Loud focuses on serving people of color
Albany Times Union
Whenever Danyale Sturdivant has a tough day, she channels the sound of her mother’s voice in her head. The quote that repeats over and over contains the words she translates into the energy to keep going. “My mother would say, ‘You can get down, but don’t stay down because you’ve got work to do,’ ” Sturdivant said. And as a single working mother of a child on the autism spectrum, she’s embracing the work to be done to improve the quality of life for her son, and to help other families of color navigate what can be an unexpected, difficult path forward. 

Advocates pitch savings accounts for pandemic orphans
Lansing City Pulse
“What we know is that investing early on in kids is where success often lies, whether that is done as a trust fund or child savings account,” said Duane Breijak, the executive director of the Michigan chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Breijak said the idea of state-funded savings accounts would be an interesting strategy to provide relief for kids orphaned by the pandemic since financial support for them is a huge burden to take on. “Whether there’s a pandemic or not, how do we best support a child when they lose a parent or caregiver? And where does that financial burden lie?” he said. 

Policymakers seek more proactive approach to mental health for foster kids carrying trauma
Kyle Hillman, president of Illinois’ chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, does not believe that overmedication would be an issue if neurodiversity in children is identified early. “One of the best ways that we can prevent some of that from happening is just to address it early. If we can deal with depression before it manifests into something that materializes into attempted suicides or cutting or some of the more violent elements of it, we can avoid some of those outcomes … I don’t want to see suicide rates go up. I don’t want to see kids cutting themselves go up,” said Hillman. 

Transgender Teens and Their Families Prepare to Flee Texas
Mother Jones
“Caring for your child and doing what is best for your child should never be defined as child abuse,” Alison Mohr Boleware, the government relations director at the Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, added during the same call. On Wednesday, the US Department of Health and Human Services released a guidance saying that, despite the order in Texas, doctors are not required to disclose private patient information regarding gender-affirming care.  

Melissa Donahue is a member:
‘Buddy’s Law’ dies in the House on deadline day
According to licensed clinical social worker with Baptist Hospital, Melissa Donahue, “Buddy’s Law” would have definitely helped slow the cycle of violence and helped catch issues in homes. “Something like a law being put in place, like Buddy’s law, I think that would be a great tool for families, maybe some problems are uncovered, that the family comes out of it with resources of how to deal with that behavior with the child,” Donahue said. Donahue said she would recommend that lawmakers reconsider their choice to kill the bill because it has the potential to help children grow up and contribute to society. 

A bill that punishes women for using drugs while pregnant advances despite opposition
Casper Star-Telegram
Wyoming is one of eight states without a law on the books to address the issue of pregnant women using drugs, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, but the advocacy group and others don’t see Oakley’s bill as the right vehicle to address the issue. Opponents of the bill have argued throughout the budget session that enacting the law would make women less likely to seek treatment for their addiction. “We are strongly against this,” said Elizabeth Dole-Izzo, executive director for the Wyoming chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. “Treatment works, punishment does not.” 

Brooke Bralove is a member:
How to Separate or Divorce Amicably, According to a Therapist
Back when you uttered “I do,” you never imagined that this is how your love story would end. However—some months, years, or decades down the line—your marriage has broken down and it’s time to go your separate ways. While the pain is raw right now, know that you are not alone and, although dim, there is light at the end of the tunnel. ”Marriage is hard,” Brooke Bralove, LCSW-C, tells Brides. “The main reasons I see couples divorce are poor communication, infidelity, financial differences, resentment and anger, and overall falling out of love with your partner.” 

Rachael Frederick is a member:
COVID-19 has impacted mental health, well-being
Central Wisconsin News
A study published in the journal BMJ on Feb. 17, 2022, found that within a year of being infected with COVID-19, people were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with new psychiatric disorders than people who did not get infected. “I would say everyone is experiencing adjustment disorder to a degree,” said Rachael Frederick, MSW, LCSW, Aspirus Health clinical therapist. “On top of that we’ve seen more anxiety, depression and even forms of PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] from those who have recovered or lost a loved one to COVID-19.” 

March celebrates, thanks tireless effort of island’s social workers
The Office of the Governor declared March 2022 as Social Work Month last Friday. The theme is Coping through Crisis Restoring Resiliency and Renewing Hope, which embodies social workers who rose to meet the pressing challenges of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic even as the nation grapples with systemic racism, financial inequality global warming, among other crises. During the declaration signing, Lieutenant Governor Joshua Tenorio thanked all social workers for their continued work despite the many challenges imposed by the COVID pandemic. He implored participants to join the Guam Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, which has been a part of Guahan’s community for over 20 years. It compromises 80 active members who are students, retirees, and professionals.  

Ola Scott-Little is a member:
Baldwin County schools social worker says students have questions following loss of two students
Following the death of two students in Baldwin County schools, social workers helped their students and staff work through the tragedies. “Children bring up questions like, ‘Am I gonna die?’ or ,’Why did they die?’ and you have to start to explain what happened,” Ola Scott-Little, Baldwin County School’s social worker says. Little has worked in the district for the past 21 years and she acts as an advocate between the schools, homes and their community. ”We have a variety of issues the children are dealing with. So, that varies from grief, loss, attendance, child abuse, neglect. Anything dealing with a child, we get it here at this school,” she says.  

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