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News Items – October 1, 2019

Lawsuit: W.Va.’s child foster care system is failing children
The Register-Herald
The lawsuit also states that DHHR doesn’t employ enough child welfare workers, that it fails to “adequately” screen their applicants for criminal backgrounds or drug use, and experiences high turn-over. Plaintiffs say that a 2013 audit recommended exit interviews to reduce turn-over, but DHHR ignored that recommendation. In January 2019, 213 positions were vacant, amounting to a 45 percent vacancy rate among caseworkers, according to the lawsuit.

Sydneigh Beatty is a member:
East Bladen grad chosen for HBCU ambassador program
Bladen Journal
Sydneigh N. Beatty, daughter of Riegelwood’s LaToya Beatty and a 2014 graduate of East Bladen High School, has been honored with selection as an ambassador in the HBCU Center for Excellence in Behavioral Health’s Inaugural Behavioral Health Ambassador Cohort. Beatty, granddaughter of Sheila and Mervin Beatty, is a student in the Joint Master of Social Work Program between North Carolina A&T State University and UNC Greensboro.

Laura Jacobs is a member:
Mattel’s new ‘gender-neutral dolls’ can’t possibly encompass every queer experience—but they’re a start
Well and Good
Certainly even Mattel’s Creatable World dolls still fall short of comprehensive representation, but the toy offers powerful visibility, says Laura A. Jacobs, LCSW-R, a trans and gender-queer identified therapist specializing in LGBTQ issues. “There infinite ways in which gender could be expressed,” Jacobs tells Well+Good. Creating a real-life world in which we recognize the diversity of gender expression significantly benefits from a world of play fueled by a parallel mission. “There are a lot of youth who are exploring gender and this gives them yet another model, so to speak, to feel validated. To feel like they can be who they feel themselves to be inside. Whereas beforehand, when we just had very heteronormative Barbies and Kens, a lot of people really felt like they were left out of that.”

This 23-Year-Old’s Newborn Was Taken by the Government. Here’s How She Got Her Back.
The Chronicle of Social Change
“Having a social worker on interdisciplinary legal offices is a great asset for the client/parent because they have someone on their side who can understand their needs and help to provide additional resources and referrals,” said Olanike Oyeyemi, associate director of the National Association of Social Workers’ New York City chapter. “However, from my experience as a social worker and a director in the child welfare system, sometimes working with the social worker on the legal team becomes complicated,” such as when they advise clients not to accept a service plan dictated by ACS or the agency, until they are court ordered to.

NJ advocates want real people, not politicians, to draw political map
New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio
“Like it or not, the truth is that perhaps more than ever, there’s a sense of distrust in our systems, in our political infrastructure,” said Jennifer Thompson, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers state chapter. “And to change that, to protect our democracy, we must come together and both envision and build a system that includes the public.”

Milton Kaufman is a member:
After getting degree at 73, retired teacher enriches lives through counseling
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
[Milton] Kaufman uses positive reinforcement and a deep understanding of his clients’ misfortunes which have, in some cases, led to serious downward spirals. It’s just another day on the job for the Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who recently opened his practice at 229 Fanshaw F in his home. The services he offers include counseling for adults, couples, children and adolescents in individual and group settings. “I bring a diverse range of experience, education and training,” Kaufman said. ” I have an office in Hackensack, New Jersey as well as here in Boca and I am licensed to practice in both.”

Paul Hoang is a member:
Vietnamese elderly continue to struggle with language and culture in health care
The Orange County Register
Not sharing a language with their caregiver can isolate people, said Paul Hoang, a licensed clinical social worker. He said one elderly patient he encountered was showing signs of depression because her assisted living residence didn’t have Vietnamese-speaking staff. There were no activities held in her language; there was no transportation available so she couldn’t travel to events in her Vietnamese community. “The facility doesn’t understand the challenges of the seniors, from what she’s reported,” Hoang said. “The facility should be more proactive in reaching out and connecting to those seniors.”

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