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News Items – December 16, 2014

protestscheDecisions Not to Indict in Deaths of Black Men Spark Activism on Campuses
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Meanwhile, dozens of faculty members and students at Columbia University’s School of Social Work last week signed a statement protesting the grand juries’ decisions not to indict police officers in the New York and Missouri cases. The statement urges people connected with the school to engage in “nonviolent social and political action” and to give people closest to such efforts “immediate and sustained meaningful support.” In the weeks following the grand jury’s decision in the Ferguson case, the schools of social work at both Smith College, in Massachusetts, and Portland State University, in Oregon, issued statements urging people at their institutions to engage in nonviolent social and political activities to bring about change. “As a school for social work with an explicit commitment to working against racism, we aim to expose the forces of structural oppression and injustice that result in violence and dehumanization across all relationships,” says the Smith College statement, which was signed by Marianne R. Yoshioka, the school’s dean, and members of a school panel focused on combating racism. The National Association of Social Workers last month issued a statement urging government agencies to take steps to prevent unnecessary police shootings, such as training police officers not to be biased and making body cameras standard police equipment.

Arizona Chapter President Timothy Shmaltz wrote this op-ed:
Are you poor? Vulnerable? Then watch your back
AZ Central
The election results are in and the new governor’s transition teams organized. The new Legislature and governor face huge budget deficits in the upcoming legislative session. It is deja vu all over again. Let’s hope our newly elected leaders show more compassion and better economic sense this legislative round than last time.

The author, Andrea Polnaszek, is a member:
Final two steps are to rest and re-engage
The Chippewa Herald (Chippewa Falls, WI)
The 5 R’s are my recipe for recognizing personal struggles, working through them and getting back on your way. The first is to realize, then reflect, next reconcile, rest, and finally re-engage.

Andrew Lapides is a member:
Need for caregivers explodes as boomers age
Daily Record (Morristown, NJ)
Few people know what unpaid caregivers go through more than Andy Lapides of The Morris Guild of Psychotherapy. A Morristown-based licensed clinical social worker, Lapides works in conjunction with Dr. Matthew Barnas, a psychiatrist, to deliver care to elderly people with mental illness, and their families, in their homes. “I can count on my hands the number of people in Morris County who do what I do,” he said. “The problem is government is very limited in providing care. So dealing with the problems of older people usually falls on the family.”

WV Medicaid to Provide More Behavioral Healthcare
Public News Service
Along with expanding Medicaid to the working poor, West Virginia will change billing rules to provide more behavioral health services though the program.  The Department of Health and Human Resources is preparing to accept Medicaid billing from independent, licensed, masters-level clinical social workers. The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy studied the availability of these services, and health-policy analyst Erin Snyder said the change should help ease a problem.

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