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News Items – March 22, 2018



Becky Fast is executive director of NASW-KS:
Parents, advocates tackle issues with Kansas’ foster care system
The Topeka Capital-Journal
“The system’s been sorely underfunded for years,” said Becky Fast, executive director of Kansas’ chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. “This is a lack of support for the workforce which then impacts children.”

Donald McDonald is a member:
[Video] Donald McDonald shares story of recovery (Raleigh, NC)
In a video interview, Donald McDonald shares his story of drug-addiction recovery and hope.

Marti Anderson is a member:
School districts could share social workers under new legislation
Radio Iowa
Representative Marti Anderson, a Democrat from Des Moines, is a licensed social worker who served as president for the National Association of Social Workers chapter in Iowa. “I have seen the wonderful work that school social workers do,” Anderson said, “and I urge the body to adopt this and make that good service available to more of our children.”

More of Marti Anderson:
Iowa representative reunites with the daughter she gave up for adoption nearly 50 years ago
Des Moines Register
State Rep. Marti Anderson had been waiting for this particular phone call for 47 years. Long before she would represent the city of Des Moines in the state Legislature, Anderson released her daughter for adoption, unsure whether she would ever hear from her again. But on a Saturday morning this year, Anderson’s phone rang. “I was having breakfast with my dad and my husband and I got a phone call out of the blue,” Anderson said. “And this woman said, ‘This is Shellie Wardlaw, and I think you’re my mother.'”

Sophie Hansen is the political director of NASW-MA:
LETTER: March marks Social Work Month
Wicked Local Cambridge
To the editor: Each March, the Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Social Workers celebrates Social Work Month. Given the current political and cultural climate, this year’s theme, highlighting the fact that social workers are leaders, advocates and champions in our communities, could not be more fitting.

Rebecca Gerwitz is executive director of NASW-MA:
Welfare cap, disability services are focus of final Massachusetts state budget hearing
“Enacted as a theoretical method to deter women from having more children, thousands of otherwise eligible children have suffered,” said Rebekah Gewirtz and Sophie Hansen, executive director and political director of the National Association of Social Workers’ Massachusetts chapter, in prepared testimony. Lifting the cap would cost the state approximately $13 million and help an estimated 8,700 children.

Miriam Nisenbaum is executive director of NASW-TX:
Texas Schools Lack Sufficient Number Of Mental Health Professionals, Experts Say
Houston Public Media
Miriam Nisenbaum, the executive director of the Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, said there are only around 700 school social workers in the state because Texas doesn’t require schools to have them. “Because we’re not more clearly defined in the Texas education code we have more latitude,” Nisenbaum said. “Most social workers in the schools in Texas do work hand in glove with the school counselors, but they have more of an ability to get off campus and look at the other systems that the child is involved to see how they can be of help.”

Rebecca Gonzalez is the director of legislative affairs for NASW-CA:
National Walkout Day Protesters Converge on NRA Headquarters
Oakland Post
Protesters of all backgrounds converged on the Sacramento headquarters of the National Rifle Association, as a culminating event to cap off regional demonstrations against gun violence. The protests were in response to the recent school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that took the lives of 17 individuals. The rally was organized by Women’s March’s Sacrament youth program. Event speakers included Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, who represents the 7th Assembly District, Dr. Mariama Smith Gray from California State University, Easy Bay, and Rebecca Gonzales of the National Association of Social Workers.

NASW-PR is mentioned:
6 Months After Maria, Puerto Ricans Face a New Threat—Education Reform
The Nation
When reporters asked her if Puerto Rican social workers employed by the school system were not already doing the job of imparting values, she replied that they, like most individuals in the department of education, lacked the necessary leadership and managerial skills. The Puerto Rican chapter of the National Association of Social Workers has suggested this indicates her lack of knowledge about the unique role and presence of social workers in the local system.

Must Social Workers Fight for Social Reform?
Of the six ethical principles listed in the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics, the most striking is that “social workers challenge social injustice.” In its extended form, it enjoins social workers to “pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people.” Although such a commitment may seem obvious, this notoriously amorphous profession has, since its origins, struggled to reconcile professionalization with activism and the concern for individual welfare with the desire to upend oppressive social structures.

Terri Lynn Flebotte, the writer, is a member:
Guest view: State’s budget created hardships for mental-health workers, patients
Montana Standard
Mental health support in our schools, homes, and communities is more necessary than ever. But the state budget cuts to mental health and substance use disorder services for Medicaid recipients will hamstring those of us who are social workers, case managers, addiction treatment specialists, and medical professionals. These cuts and rule changes will prevent Montanans from accessing resources to live stable, healthy, and productive lives.


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