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News items – March 8, 2017



Mark Smith is a member:
Are special interests controlling the Iowa GOP agenda?
The Des Moines Register
“First of all, clearly we’ve seen the influence of dark money and corporate interests over the interests of everyday Iowans, and the list of bills could probably take the rest of the morning to show that,” House Minority Leader Mark Smith, D-Marshalltown, said Friday. Democrats point to the collective bargaining rewrite, workers’ compensation, voter identification, education savings accounts and a host of other highly partisan initiatives.

ENMU Social Work Students Attend Legislative Day
Greyhound Gazette (Eastern New Mexico University)
Students from the ENMU Social Work Program recently traveled to Albuquerque to attend the bi-annual Student Legislative Advocacy Day, also known as SLAD organized by the New Mexico Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-NM). NASW-NM members, and students from various New Mexico universities including 15 students from ENMU learned about legislative issues impacting the social work profession.  The aim of SLAD is to educate students about the legislative process and to meet and discuss important issues with their legislators.

Barry Sanders, the writer, is a member:
Guest Opinion: Unfortunately, it’s no surprise when people relapse; here’s why
Taunton Daily Gazette
Stigma also negatively impacts treatment. Persons with substance use disorder and other mental illnesses are subjected to prejudices, fear and mistrust. Social stigma and hostility makes seeking treatment less likely, contributes to isolation and increases depression and anxiety. Legal issues serve as obstacles to education, employment and safe housing. We often wonder why so many people in treatment for substance use disorder relapse. Considering the wide ranging impacts of substance use, the lack of integrated treatment and the impact of stigma, relapse should not be a surprise.

Stephen Karp is executive director of NASW-CT:
Stonington man’s mental health bill to get legislative hearing
The Day (New London, CT)
But Stephen Karp, director of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, said the legislation is unnecessary, and plans to submit testimony on behalf of his group opposing the measure. His group represents 2,600 licensed social workers, about 1,000 of whom are mental health counselors. Most counselors already voluntarily provide patients with the information the bill would require, he said. “This is really common practice in the initial session to provide information on treatment methods, fees and the parameters of treatment,” he said. “This would duplicate what’s already happening. It would be an unnecessary step and additional piece of paper.” He added that there is already a mechanism for patients to make complaints about a therapist to the state Department of Public Health.

Stephen Karp is executive director of NASW-CT:
Connecticut LGBTQ advocates lobby for passage of bill banning conversion therapy for youths
New Haven Register
“It’s really bunk therapy. There’s really no scientific basis for it,” said Steve Karp, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers’ Connecticut chapter, which supports the bill. “It’s very clear that this is not a therapy meant to assist people or help people, but rather this is a politically based therapy that is harmful.” “You don’t hear people advertising this,” Karp said, largely because it is so widely criticized. “People who are doing it are probably doing it quietly. But we do think it’s something that’s definitely happening. We need to be proactive.”

Elijah Nealy, the writer, is a member:
In Defense of Gender Revolution
The Advocate
As a clinician, pastor, parent, and transgender man, the message of this film and our responsibility is clear. Vanessa and JR Ford, whose family is featured in the film, put it this way “Do you want a happy child?” Increasingly for the parents of transgender and gender creative children the answer is a resounding “Yes!” and this film will be a catalyst for change among many. Thank you, Katie Couric and National Geographic, for opening hearts and minds.

Maribeth Lichty is a member:
[Video] Dad’s safety plan for kids goes viral
WZVN (Fort Myers, FL)
“Not knowing how to bridge the gap between teenagers and parents, in general, is hard enough, but especially over subjects where kids feel torn between loyalty to peers, peer pressure and a connection with their parents,” said licensed clinical social worker, Maribeth Lichty. Lichty says the “X Plan” creates a no questions asked, judgement-free zone, and an opportunity for children and parents to gain trust and communication. “If the parent doesn’t pressure and simply says, ‘Thanks for getting a hold of me, I’m really glad you trusted me enough to use this and let me come help you.’ I think it would be phenomenal.”

Jason Quintal is a member:
Special Report: Why do some people love pets and not others?

“I think animals provide a way of us experiencing unconditional love. They’re always there. They’re home when we get there, they’re always excited to see us,” said Dr. Jason Quintal, Ph.D. and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Quintal said one reason many of us love our pets so much is because the relationship is less complicated. “We don’t have the same expectations of our animals that we do of people in our lives,” Quintal said. “People are demanding; animals needs are much less.”

Kate MacShane is a member:
Racial justice group gaining a foothold in Frederick
Kate MacShane is a clinical social worker with offices in downtown Frederick. She named her prior job as a teacher in D.C. public schools, as well as the master’s in social work she received from Smith College in Massachusetts, as experiences that deepened her personal commitment to racial equality. But she was hesitant to describe herself as a community activist. This is my first foray into activism beyond therapy work,” she said.

Tim Dallacqua is a member:
LGBT Center offers courses on awareness and acceptance
LGBTQ Center Co-Founder Tim Dallacqua, a clinical social worker, explained, “Training people and teaching people about the community because the population at large is very xenophobic, they don’t know about it. They have all kinds of projections of what it is and what it isn’t. And, it gives them an opportunity of understanding these people and what they’ve been through and where they are now, and what they’re looking for in their lives which is just like what everybody else looks for; a family, progression, kids, and successful lives.”

Social Work Month:

Social workers, stand up!
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
NASW will commemorate Social Work Month with a “Social Workers Stand Up!” campaign. NASW states that social workers stand up for millions of people every day. These include people who are experiencing devastating illnesses and mental health crises, our veterans, children, families and communities. Yet, many people still misunderstand who social workers are and the invaluable contributions they bring to society. The campaign goal is to educate the public about the contributions of social workers and give social workers tools they can use to elevate the profession. More information is available at

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