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News Items – September 30, 2020

news items logo oneUConn partners with public schools to add social work students for support
Connecticut Mirror
Hartford Public Schools and the UConn School of Social Work announced Thursday that more social work students will intern in the school system, boosting students’ access to support and resources. Over 20 social work graduate students will be working throughout Hartford schools by early October, 16 hours a week for 28 weeks. These interns have concentrations focused on individuals, groups and families and will work with students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Deona Hooper is a member:
Former correction officer creates largest virtual gathering of social workers to address racism
Black Enterprise
Deona Hooper is the founder of SWHELPER, a news platform dedicated to social justice. Hooper says she got inspired to create the website after working in law enforcement and social services. “When I first started SWHELPER, I was writing and trying to get published with existing social work outlets which focused heavily on clinical practice and interventions,” said Hooper in an email interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE.

Mollie Volinsky is a member:
How Long It Takes to Get Over a Breakup Depends on This One Key Belief
Yahoo News
Mollie Volinsky, LCSW, a New York-based therapist, agrees. She tells us, “I find that breakups are similar to the grieving process. There is no right or wrong way to do it, and there is no formula based on time or type of relationship.” For example, you may have been living with your partner for 10 years but felt so disconnected during the last few years that once the breakup is official, you don’t feel as impacted.

Opinion: Three reasons to thoughtfully embed social workers into police departments
Courier Journal
Interestingly, embedding social workers in police departments is the focus of much debate in the contemporary social work practice landscape. Some social workers believe that the concept of policing, as currently instituted, is antithetical to social work values. Others view the involvement of social workers — in every context, including police — as necessary to strengthening communities.

  1. Diane Barth is a member:
    How to tell if the Covid-19 pandemic made you paranoid or just appropriately cautious
    NBC News
    Every day in my still-virtual psychotherapy office, clients question whether or not to go back into their workplace, meet friends for a drink at an outdoor café, or send children back to school or college — and their own reactions to those dilemmas. A shy young woman who has enjoyed sheltering at home during Covid-19 said, “I’m not sure if my anxiety about going back to work is just my regular discomfort about being in groups, reasonable anxiety about being with people inside, or pandemic paranoia.” A new client told me, “I’ve never had any difficulty with separation before.” She said, “But now I’m afraid of letting my children out of my sight.”

Maxine Thome is executive director of NASW-MI:
When school is safer than home during a pandemic
Michigan Live
Another piece to consider is the sense of belonging that students find in their peers, said Maxine Thome, National Association of Social Workers – Michigan Chapter executive director. For example, LGBTQ students may find friendship and love from gay and lesbian support groups at school, Thome said. “They don’t have access to that and that can be pretty devastating especially when they don’t have a supportive family,” Thome said.

Lauren Zingraff is a member:
Thousands of Older North Carolinians and People With Disabilities May Not Get to Vote in 2020
Cardinal & Pine
Leavitt’s challenges to vote this year would be significant in any given year, but potentially insurmountable in 2020 given how the novel coronavirus has virtually cut off residents of long-term-care homes, according to Lauren Zingraff, the executive director of the North Carolina-based advocacy group Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care. (Leavitt, who has been a longtime advocate for persons with disabilities, also serves on the group’s board.) “It’s been really easy to forget this population,” Zingraff said.

Andrea Polnaszek is a member:
Switched: A Body-Switch Film for the Modern Age
Volume One
When teens Cassandra Evans and Katie Sharp wake up to discover they’ve switched bodies, the pair have to learn how to navigate each other’s lives. That’s the Freaky Friday-esque plot of a new film that was written and produced by Chippewa Falls native Andrea PolnaszekSwitched – which comes out on DVD on Oct. 6. “It is very important to talk about real issues teens are facing,” Polnaszek said. “Being responsible on the internet is very important. Teens often struggle with self-image, and social media feeds into that by presenting ‘the best self’ rather than ‘the real self.’”

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