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News Items – March 18, 2022

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NASW staff mentions:

Bill prohibiting irreversible gender reassignment surgeries for minors passes House Judiciary Committee
State of Reform
Brandie Reiner, representing the National Association of Social Workers for Arizona, spoke in opposition to the bill, adding to Hernandez’s comments. “It is the overwhelming consensus of major medical and mental health associations that gender affirming care is life-saving, best practice care for transgender and gender expansive youth … When youth are accepted and affirmed, the rates of mental distress and suicide decrease,” Reiner said. “Access to gender affirming care for youth saves lives, reduces the likelihood of harm, and promotes healing.”

‘It really will have almost no impact at all’: WV lawmakers strip social worker raises from foster care bill
Mountain State Spotlight
Without the pay increase, Molly Arbogast, executive director of the West Virginia’s National Association of Social Workers chapter, said the bill would do little to help DHHR recruit and retain CPS workers. The legislation does not address ongoing issues like high caseloads and lack of mental health support for social workers, she said. “I don’t see anything in [the bill] to address the core problems that have been talked about this session and for years,” she said.

Kent State plans to offer social work degree, tackle worker shortage in rural communities
News5 Cleveland
“Right now, there are probably more than 3,000 social work positions open in Ohio. And a lot of those you’ll see in those rural areas,” explained Danielle Smith, the director of the Ohio chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). “They just don’t have the number of people living there, working there to stay in the communities. It’s also made worse by just lack of funding issues.”

Social Work Month:

March is National Social Work Month! – Michigan Medicine Headlines
Michigan Medicine Headlines
March is National Social Work Month — making it the ideal time to thank all of the incredible social workers who work at Michigan Medicine. This year’s Social Work Month theme is “The Time is Right for Social Work.” The National Association of Social Workers said this theme resonates because social workers are on the front-lines helping nation overcome a variety of current challenges — the COVID-19 pandemic, economic inequality, natural disasters and more. The need for more social workers is reflected in data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which noted that social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the U.S. There are expected to be more than 800,000 social workers in the U.S. by 2030, up 12 percent from 2020.

WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital celebrates 2022 Social Work Month in March
My Buckhannon
Social workers touch millions of lives each day and it is likely a social worker at some time will assist you, a family member, or a friend. They continue to work on the frontlines throughout the pandemic helping patients get the health care they need and helping family members overcome grief and loss.  For more information, visit the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) website at

Celebrate those who devote their lives to serving others during Social Work Month
Mountain Statesman
WVUMedicine Social Worker and current Taylor County resident Cindie Harper received a Gubernatorial Proclamation from Governor Jim Justice Proclaiming “March is Social Work Month.” This year’s theme for 2022 is “The Time is Right for Social Work”. The theme is to highlight how social workers have enriched our society for more than a century and how their services continue be needed today.

Lynn Hagan is a member:
[Video] ‘A world without social workers is one I don’t want to live in': Celebrating National Social Work Month
As hard as it may be, I want to take you back to September 11, 2001. What were you doing? Do you remember your environment? Maybe the smells that surrounded you? The words and phrases people were saying? More than likely, most of us remember hearing the muffled voices of slightly panicked news anchors, or seeing the horrific visuals fly across our television screens just as fast as the planes that hit the Twin Towers. “I remember asking my husband… what’s going to happen to us?” Lynn Hagan LCSW questioned.

Social workers are Cherokee Nation’s unsung heroes
March is Social Worker Appreciation Month, and I want to thank our Cherokee Nation staff who fulfill this crucial social work mission. These dedicated workers make up a large part of our 4,300 employees. They can be found in Indian Child Welfare, Humans Services, Behavioral Health, Housing, ONE FIRE, Health Services, Education and Sequoyah Schools, just to name a few of the departments that provide supportive services for our citizens.

Member mentions and other:

Ukrainian children are fleeing. World War II’s child evacuations inflicted terrible trauma.
The Washington Post
The child evacuees from Operation Pied Piper suffered negative effects from these separations, even though they were done with their parents’ permission and the best of intentions, both Jaffe and Smaller noted. That’s what makes recent accounts of migrant families being forcibly separated at the U.S.-Mexico border even more “cruel, inhumane and harmful,” the American Psychoanalytic Association said. Their concerns are echoed by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers.

Ashley Witherspoon is a member:
Art Wellness Exchange coming to Norton Museum of Art
During the 90-minute Art Wellness Exchange event, licensed clinical social worker and founder of Hand Made Dreams Ashley Witherspoon will gather a small group of participants near a work of art in the Norton galleries. “I think the last couple of years, people are really ready to get out and interact with others, and learn from one another. We’re able to reflect and share resources that have kind of kept us afloat during this time,” she said. The gathering is an opportunity for mental wellness and connection.

Heather Burkhardt is a member:
[Video] Aging in Place
Nearly 90% of adults aged 65 and over want to stay in their current home and community as they age. However, experts say that there are many barriers that are preventing aging residents from aging in place. ncIMPACT features innovative solutions that are helping older adults stay in their home and community.

AbdulAziz Syed is a member:
Muslim Mental Health Matters: Supporting teens’ mental health
Wisconsin Muslim Journal
“Step one is for us adults to take care of our own mental fitness,” mental health clinician AbdulAziz Syed said Sunday to 35 participants attending Muslim Mental Health Matters at the Madison Public Library. The program was sponsored by the Madison Public Library Foundation. Syed is a licensed clinical social worker and therapist from the Khalil Center, a psychological and spiritual community wellness center in Chicago dedicated to advancing the professional practice of psychology rooted in Islamic principles.

Judith Guberman is a member:
How to Be a Partner, Not a Parent, When Providing Care for a Spouse
“Maintaining a loving relationship with a partner can be both a joy and a challenge at any stage of life,” says Judith Guberman, 63, a licensed clinical social worker in New York City. “Add an injury or a cognitive decline, and that shift to a caretaker relationship can change the existing balance and require both old and new skills.” She says that one of the ways to maintain partnership and intimacy is to find and cultivate a new type of connection that promotes affection, appreciation and a mutual sense of healthy interdependence.

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