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News Items – March 2, 2016

Young man reads and studies in a libraryJohn L. Jackson, the writer, is an associate member:
The 21st Century’s J.D.
Inside Higher Education
Many college seniors have long considered law school an all-purpose next chapter in their lives. Even if they don’t know exactly how they plan to use the degree, they commonly believe that once they figure out what they want to do for a living, the skills picked up along the way to acquiring a J.D. should come in handy. Yet that view is significantly changing, given growing student interest in issues of social justice, escalating private investments in social impact bonds, raging social activism across the country (including on college campuses) and increasing concerns about the intractability of massive social problems linked to intolerance and economic inequality. A master of social work, or M.S.W., degree is quickly becoming the 21st century’s law degree, especially for young people interested in making the world a better place.

Rob Edwards is on the board of NASW-MN, and Deborah Talen is the executive director of NASW-MN; their letter to the editor is published here:
Readers Write (Feb. 14): Choosing a college, defining social work, prison bloat, pension strains
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Most everyone can agree that it is in the best interest of our community to respond swiftly and effectively to protect vulnerable children from abuse and neglect. The Feb. 7 article “Abused kids wait days to get help” reveals the fundamental inadequacies of Minnesota’s child-protection system and points to the real need for more qualified professionals and more funding to address the challenge. However, it mistakenly uses the term “social workers” generically in reference to child-protection caseworkers.

Amy Lewis is a member:
Baldwin-Whitehall parents learn to spot signs of teen drug use
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Whitehall Elementary School social worker Amy Lewis, the mother of four school-age children, said while that school does not have drug problems, it is never too late for parents to establish solid lines of communication with their elementary-age youngsters. “Talk to your kids early about what they are learning, and what Officer Dave [Artman, the district’s school resource officer] is teaching them,” she said. “Make it part of the dinner conversation so they begin talking to you now.”

Robert Weiss is a member:
Why Terry Crews talking about his porn addiction helps more than ever
Rob Weiss is a licensed clinical social worker, certified sex addiction therapist, and senior vice president of national clinical development for Elements Behavioral Health, a treatment network that specializes in mental disorders. He weighs in on Crews’ videos: “Entitlement is certainly part of the equation with most male sex/porn addicts,” Weiss tells Mashable. “However, it is more of a justification for indulging the addiction than an underlying driver of the addiction. More typically, the driving force behind sex/porn addiction (or any other addiction, for that matter) is a desire to escape reality. “Thanks to the constantly increasing accessibility and affordability of online porn, the number of people self-reporting porn-related problems is increasing by the day.”

Jan Rosenstein is a member:
5 signs your child needs a stress intervention
Cherry Hill Courier-Post (NJ)
Jan Rosenstein, licensed clinical social worker in South Jersey, says, “I do see extreme cases of 10- and 11-year-olds who come in with school phobia. They’re honor students, and yet they can’t go into the school building. They can’t breathe, they’re hyperventilating, they’re having panic attacks. These are honors students who feel their only solution is to be perfect. I see this every day.”

John Lee is a member:
[Audio] Here’s How a Tennessee Bill Could Allow Counselors to Turn Away Gay Clients
However, John Lee, a Chattanooga Clinical Social Worker/Therapist, says if counselors are allowed to refer clients away based solely on the counselor’s religious objections, it could create obstacles for gays and lesbians seeking help. “Particularly in the South,” he says, “you have strong conservative Christian values that may not go hand in hand with the LGBT community, and so I think that type of population is already kind of at a loss of who they can seek out.”

[Video] Researchers Hope ‘Virtual Reality’ Can Curb Addiction Relapses
ABC News
A new program aims to help addicts by using virtual reality to train them to avoid relapsing. Researchers at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work have developed a virtual reality simulation designed to help people fighting addiction resist temptation and cravings. Patrick Bordnick, a Graduate College professor and director of the Virtual Reality Clinical Research Lab, said the VR tool could help clinicians across the country work with addicts as they try to avoid relapsing.

South Dakota Gov. vetoes dangerous bill attacking transgender children
Windy City Times
On March 1, Republican South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed HB 1008, a bill that would have restricted transgender students’ use of restrooms, locker rooms and other gender-specific facilities in public schools. LGBT groups, businesses and child-advocacy organizations as well as celebrities such as Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner had all called on Daugaard to veto the bill.… As Governor Daugaard contemplated his decision, HRC also worked with seven national child welfare, medical, and education groups — including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American School Counselor Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Social Workers, and the National Education Association — to release an open letter to all of the nation’s governors expressing their grave concerns and objections to this type of legislation.


Social Work Month:

Mayor declares March Social Work Month in Calhoun
Calhoun Times (GA)
In observance of National Social Work Month, Mayor Jimmy Palmer has declared March as Social Worker Month in the city of Calhoun, signing a proclamation in observance of the month on Wednesday. National Social Work Month is sponsored by the National Association of Social Workers, which is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with 132,000 members. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies.

NE Iowa social workers are observing March Social Work Month
Decorah News
Northeast Iowa CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) are celebrating “Social Work Month” during March. CASA programs across the state collaborate with the Department of Human Services and other key advocates in the child welfare system to ensure that children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect are placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible.

Renewed Minds means better mental health
DeSoto Times-Tribune
After working with the Mississippi Department of Human Services (DHS) for several years, social worker Marquita Thurman has decided to branch out into a private practice she calls “Renewed Minds.” Thurman is opening her practice this week at 190 W. South Street in Hernando and will have an Open House event on Saturday, March 5 from 3-to-5 p.m., which will include a ribbon cutting at 3:30 p.m. The timing of the opening is significant with March being identified nationally as Social Work Month. “Renewed Minds is an outpatient mental health facility where I specialize in adolescents, marriage and family counseling, family therapy and group therapy,” Thurman said. “Ever since I knew I wanted to be a social worker, I knew I wanted to be my own boss.”

Alzheimers Foundation of America Celebrates Social Work Month With Debut of New Webinar Series
Healthcare Industry Today
In honor of social work month, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is kicking off a new webinar series designed just for social workers. The webinars are free and social workers who attend and complete a short evaluation, following the webinar, will receive one continuing education contact hour. The first in the series, “Celebrating Social Workers As Partners In Care,” takes place March 16.


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