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News Items – September 12, 2014

cbschicagoReginald Richardson is a member:
[Video] Experts Say Abusive Relationships Complex, Not Easy To Break Off
Licensed clinical social worker Reginald Richardson says statistics show, “If you’re hit once, you’ll be hit twice.” The Rice’s have appeared together, never alluding to previous abuse. But Richardson says the threat for her, and other victims, is there, unless the abuser gets help. “I think what has to happen is that the batter has to be treated for the anger issues and the things that might be operating in his past that violence become a way in which they can relate,” she said.

Need for authenticity drives gender transitions in later life
Washington University in St. Louis
As we age, all of us begin to think about what makes us tick and what kind of legacy we want to leave. For some, this manifests itself in the purchase of a motorcycle, a boat or an exotic vacation.  But for others, the issues of age and transition are a bit more contemplative. Vanessa Fabbre, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, considers these issues in her paper “Gender Transitions in Later Life: The Significance of Time in Queer Aging,” recently published in the 2014 print issue of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work.

Great Sex and No Worries: The Myth of Drug Use
As social worker and member of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Jennifer Storm told Curve, “I look around my community and I see women in their 40s, 50s and 60s still going to the bars and still getting drunk. That ‘functional alcoholism’ myth just validates people never getting sober. How can we live our lives honestly if we are drunk or drugged all the time? How can we know who we really are?” It’s easy to label such escapism as “just an excuse” for engaging in illegal or self-destructive behavior. However, a growing body of research shows that “sexual minorities are particularly at risk for drug use due to multiple life stressors” (Padilla, Crisp, and Rew, “Parental Acceptance and Illegal Drug Use among Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Adolescents: Results from a National Survey.” Social Work. July 2010). Among those stressors is the fact that LGBT individuals are subjected to harassment significantly more often than their straight counterparts, in school, on the job, and at home.

Marjorie Hammock is a member and a pioneer:
Social workers’ association endorses state Sen. Vincent Sheheen in gubernatorial race (Columbia, SC)
South Carolina’s chapter of the National Association of Social Workers is endorsing state Sen. Vincent Sheheen in the race to be the South Carolina’s next governor. The group made the announcement Tuesday afternoon.  “As social workers, it’s our job to protect children, families, and South Carolina’s most vulnerable citizens. For South Carolina to be a place of just, equitable communities we need an honest governor who supports and respects our work. That’s why we back Vincent Sheheen,” said Marjorie Hammock, a social worker and member of the association.

The author, Fern Zagor, is a member:
A lesson learned from Robin Williams
The last few months have been filled with news of turmoil that is both global and local. We have experienced the horrendous murders of Americans and others by Islamic terrorists, the apparent police-involved deaths of Eric Garner right here in Staten Island and of two young men in Missouri, fighting and unrest throughout the world, and other almost daily upheavals. Although these events have impacted our minds and consciences in many disturbing ways, we must not forget another personal tragedy of just a few weeks ago: the suicide of Robin Williams.

Protecting kids should be court’s priority
Times-Standard (Eureka, CA)
How does one fix such a twisted, deeply flawed system? Shelloner would like to see Humboldt County employ ombudsmen for health care, county social services, and law enforcement, as well as a study undertaken to determine outcomes for families based on court orders over a three year period. She believes that family law judges should not rotate through the criminal courts. They should have detailed training in social work, family systems, child development and more. “Family law court judges are the last people who should be making decisions in custody cases,” she said. “There is no special expertise required of them. They have no background in psychology, social work, domestic violence, or abuser psychological profiles.”

Erin Ahearn is a member:
[Audio] Homeless Find Health Care And Housing Help At Safe Harbor
NPR Vermont
For homeless Vermonters, getting quality health care is a big challenge. Close to 1,000 people come through the doors of the Safe Harbor Health Center in Burlington each year for medical treatment, dental care and counseling services. Plus, they can work on finding housing. Safe Harbor is the only federally-funded health center in Vermont that serves the state’s homeless population. The clinic supplies a lot of what people may need when they walk out the door — everything from wound treatment to dry socks, says social worker Erin Ahearn. “Whereas you and I would stop at a drugstore on our way home, folks don’t, so we’re really sensitive to that,”  Ahearn said.

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