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News Items – November 7, 2011

Occupy Boston: Social Workers Staff Camp, Help Defuse Situations
Huffington Post
“We have people living here who have lost their homes, lost their jobs,” said Dawn Belkin Martinez, an associate professor of social work at Simmons College who has been donating her time at Occupy Boston since the first tents were set up across the street from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in late September. “The stress and anxiety they are under is intense.”

State audit: Welfare systems fail to protect abused, neglected kids
California Watch
“I don’t think it’s surprising,” said Jacquelyn McCroskey, a child welfare professor at USC’s School of Social Work. “I was very happy that they called attention to the licensing because it has been neglected and it really is an essential building block for keeping safe.”

In the rush of justice, a judge pauses to grant a dying wish
Minneapolis Star Tribune
The hospice social worker, Cheryl, explained the situation in a rush: A man was heading home to die and wanted to get married. The call came around 3:30 pm on a sultry Minnesota day. The hospice social worker, Cheryl, explained the situation in a rush.

When a cancer diagnosis is followed by divorce proceedings
Wicked Local
While some breast cancer advocacy groups dispute those findings, no one disputes the fact cancer can upset the dynamics of a relationship, for both the patient and the spouse. “Especially with men, it’s very difficult, a very new role for them,” says Melinda Taranto-Garnis, an oncology social worker at Winchester Hospital. “Men in our culture are fixers, and there is no fix for this. They often feel out of control. It puts enormous stress on a family.”

Unemployment’s emotional toll
Chicago Tribune
What next? In addition to the immediate concerns regarding finances, there are the possibly more daunting emotional matters. How do you cope and move on? We asked Phillip L. Elbaum, a licensed clinical social worker in Deerfield and assistant professor of psychiatry at Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine; Jeff Hitz, Ready to Work coordinator at Oakton Community College; Lynn Seinfeld, director of the business institute at Oakton; and George Maltezos, behavioral health program director and co-founder of the Old Irving Park Community Clinic in Chicago, which provides free health care to those without insurance.

At long last, we can finally celebrate: Our troops are coming home
Idaho Press-Tribune
This warms my heart more than anything else I’ve heard this year. These are reasons to celebrate in our homes, our parks and our stadiums. • Delmar Stone is the executive director for the Idaho Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Are State’s Social Workers Exempt?
The state of Washington maintains 44 field offices in its Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and employs a large body of social workers. Their primary task is to identify the needs of children and their family and arrange for services to keep them safe and well. The state maintained the workers were exempt, but the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) wasn’t so sure.

Overhaul to foster-care system wins approval
The Seattle Times
A years-long effort to overhaul the state’s foster-care system, making home placements more stable for children and keeping caseloads manageable for social workers, will be completed in just over two years.

For convicted felons in, or entering, the Wisconsin job market, a proposed
Appleton Post Crescent
Employers looking to save money could misuse the bill and fire an employee with a felony history who has accumulated a higher salary through years of work, and replace him or her with a new person at a lower salary, said Marc Herstand, executive director of Wisconsin’s Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers

Expanding private-prison industry benefits from weak oversight structure
The American Independent
“The issue of transparency is really big,” said Mel Wilson, assistant director of Officer Workforce Studies at the National Association of Social Workers. “If you look closely at the criminal justice system, each state has a lot of latitude in structuring what level of oversight it has.”

My Turn: Misleading claims on Social Security
Concord Monitor
Social Security does face a long-term funding problem beginning in 2036. Most experts agree it can be addressed without much difficulty. It is unconscionable for the Post to contribute to the alarm felt by many that Social Security will not be there for them. Montgomery has a right to her opinion, but it should be on the opinion page and not allowed to masquerade as news or factual reporting.

Lights. Camera.Therapy! National TV Debut Tonight (blog)
By Julie Hanks, LCSW I let a camera crew film two therapy sessions for the TV series “Secretly Pregnant” airing tonight at 10:00 PM ET/8:00 PM MT on Discovery Fit & Health. While I have a lot of TV experience I’ve never been this nervous about it.

‘I live to serve and serve to live,’ exec says
Jackson Clarion Ledger
That’s what I believe in,” said Lawson, a licensed clinical social worker. The Raymond native has spent her entire career at the corporation, known among locals as 4Cs. Nearly 30 years ago, Lawson, then a social work major at Mississippi College, was hired as an intern.

Victim of eugenics: Scarred for life, as were thousands
Charlotte Observer
The case history, written up by a social worker, summarizes what family members said about Janice. They said they couldn’t keep watch over her all the time. They said she had gone off in a truck with a man, and possibly had sex. Janice says today that she doesn’t know where those stories came from. She says she never went off in a truck with anyone. She says she’s never been with a man.

Staffing low for serious problems
Springfield News-Leader
From an office just inside McGregor Elementary, the last remaining Caring Communities social worker sorted through a stack of requests for help from the week. There were requests for laundry vouchers, bus passes, food; there were families living without utilities, and a mom who lost her husband and her house and was trying to find an affordable place to live.

Does the Religious Right Really Care about Children?
Huffington Post (blog)
The report–a collaboration among Family Equality Council, Center for American Progress and the Movement Advancement Project, in partnership with the National Association of Social Workers and others–is an unprecedented effort to bring attention to the plight of children who are falling through the cracks for reasons that are easily avoidable: not because of intractable problems like famine, disease and war, but because of ignorance, political inertia, and the irresponsible effort by some to punish children just because of who their parents are.

All Children Matter
Center For American Progress
The three organizations released the report in partnership with COLAGE, The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and the National Association of Social Workers; it includes a foreword by the Child Welfare League of America. In her introductory remarks, CAP Senior Vice President for External Affairs Winnie Stachelberg said, “This report profiles and documents the demographics and experiences of the 2 million children with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents, the many ways that state and federal laws hurt and exclude them, and the common-sense policy solutions that can make things better.”

2 Million Kids Raised By Gay Couples Are at Risk, Says Study
ABC News
The study was conducted by a coalition of advocacy groups, including the Family Equality Council, the Movement Advancement Project, the Center for American Progress, the National Association of Social Workers, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and COLAGE, with a foreword by the Child Welfare League of America.

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