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News Items – December 26, 2018

Patrice Carroll is a member:
Latham produces video for special needs community
“When you first receive the diagnosis of Prader-Willi syndrome, you may be told that there are things your child will never do,” begins Patrice Carroll, LCSW, Director of PWS Services at Latham. Ms. Carroll works with children and adults with PWS, and she is internationally known for her Prader-Willi expertise. Ms. Carroll tells parents, “Don’t accept the limits that other people place on your child.”

Helen Kolodziej is a member:
Cancer Resource Centre in Munster Offers Support for Pink, Gray, a Rainbow of Ribbons
Keeping active and having a positive attitude goes a long way, says Helen Kolodziej, MSW, LCSW, facilitator of the Lung Cancer Support Group. “Making the choice to attend a support group is a proactive step to take in the cancer journey,” she says. “Receiving a diagnosis can be overwhelming and frightening. Our lung cancer support group provides a comfortable environment where one can discuss how lung cancer has affected them. Meaningful interactions with others are both empowering and uplifting and also good for the soul.”

Becky Fast is executive director of NASW-KS:
Advocates: Black Kids Are More Likely To Land In Foster Care, Just One Thing That Needs Fixing
Strengthen Families Rebuild Hope recommended Kansas better support struggling families with improvements to safety net programs such as food stamps and cash welfare. “Families are on this tightrope,” said Becky Fast, a coalition member who heads the National Association of Social Workers’ Kansas chapter. “When you don’t have food assistance, cash assistance, that our state used to provide, that often knocks them off.”

Samantha Howell is executive director of NASW-NYS:
[Video] Push to Ban Conversion Therapy in New York
Spectrum News
Conversion therapy: it’s the practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological or religious interventions. A new film called “Boy Erased” is based on the true story of a 19-year-old whose Baptist family put him in a conversion therapy center to “cure” his homosexuality.… Joining us to talk more about this are Samantha Howell, Executive Director of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and joining us from New York City is Mathew Shurka, co-founder of the Born Perfect Campaign. He was consulted on the film.

Jennifer Stucka-Benally is a member:
Presentation outlines LGBTQ youth challenges
Telluride Daily Planet
Between 1 and 3 percent of people are not cisgender, according to the presenters, who shared information about the existence of LGBTQ people throughout history and gender variance in the natural world. Rather than just accepting gender differences, “Humans love to categorize people, but it’s not necessary and it’s difficult,” said Jennifer Stucka-Benally, a licensed clinical social worker. While findings from scientific research and surveys help in understanding gender identity, the presentation explained the importance of community members educating themselves on the consequences of discrimination and oppression of people who identify as transgender.

Catherine MacLaren is a member:
After The Loss Of A Loved One, Your Holiday Traditions Change But Hope Endures
Holidays in particular can compound grief over the death of a loved one. “In our society, it’s supposed to be ‘the most wonderful time of the year,’ ” says Catharine MacLaren, a clinical social worker who directs a private mental health practice in Maine. “There is an expectation on some level, whether it’s self-imposed or other-imposed, that we’re joyous and excited and spending time with people.” Those expectations can amplify the grief. And not everyone processes grief linearly through the five emotional stages neatly outlined in the Kübler-Ross model. In reality, MacLaren says, coping behaviors that may work for some may not work for others. In other words, there’s no “right” or “normal” way to move on from trauma.

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