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News Items – February 16, 2023

NASW Opposes Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Exams
SW Helper
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) opposes the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) social work licensing exams after a review of ASWB data shows significant disparities in pass rates for prospective social workers of color, older adults, and those who speak English as a second language. NASW is prepared to oppose the Social Work Interstate Compact Legislation being developed by the Council of State Governments (CSG) if the bill is not substantially improved, including the removal of provisions which codify the ASWB exams. NASW is eager to work with CSG to develop multi-state social work practice legislation.

Anthony Estreet is executive director of NASW:
Cities like D.C. have funds to house the homeless. They need staff.
The Washington Post
In addition to housing assistance, caseworker services can cover everything from health-care access to job training to addiction treatment. Caseworkers or licensed social workers often become conduitsto the wider social welfare system for individuals on the street, too, said Anthony Estreet, chief executive of the National Association of Social Workers. When those caseworkers leave, it often leaves remaining staff members to shoulder more and more homeless clients.

Marc Herstand is executive director of NASW-WI:
After rejecting staffing requests, Wisconsin Republicans approve DSPS audit
Wisconsin Watch
Marc Herstand, executive director of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, told the committee in his 30 years following Wisconsin licensing issues, the department has always been chronically understaffed. But frustration among his members seemed to have peaked in the past two years despite efforts by the Evers administration to improve the agency. “(DSPS) has plenty of money to hire the staff like any other business would do in that kind of situation, but they’re not given the authority to do so,” Herstand said. “This makes no rational sense.”

Jennifer Shealy is a member of NASW-NC:
How to date mindfully in Asheville
Mountain Xpress
“I talk to a lot of people about getting to know themselves,” explains Jenny Shealy, a licensed clinical social worker. “People are constantly thinking of dating as what they are looking for, which is only one aspect of it. … The more you know yourself, the better your chances of finding someone who fits with yourself.”

Johanna Thomas is a member of NASW-AR:
National Gun Violence Survivors Week commemorates those affected by gun violence
Scot Scoop
Johanna Thomas, a licensed clinical social worker and avid volunteer with Moms Demand Action, describes the gun violence epidemic in America as a public health crisis because of its scale, unpredictability, and health consequences. “It’s critical to recognize that survivors of gun violence have been personally impacted in very devastating ways, but we as a nation are also experiencing collective trauma. Nowhere is safe anymore,” Thomas said. “Part of understanding is recognizing that this is a public health issue.”

Robert Fuqua is a member of NASW-WV:
[Video] Social worker reveals the best ways to help someone with a gambling addiction
For the first time ever, people in Massachusetts can legally bet on the big game. Many people will win their bets and many will lose, which can become a problem for some over time – in the form of a gambling addiction. Boston 25 News spoke with Robby Fuqua, a licensed independent clinical social worker and asked him how you treat someone with a gambling problem.

Marc McDowell is a member of NASW-FL:
How Mindfulness Can Help Caregivers Reduce Stress
Moffitt Cancer Center
Mindfulness has received a great deal of recent attention as a means of reducing stress and enhancing our well-being. But often the first question is: “What is mindfulness?” Most people don’t realize that we all have moments of mindfulness throughout our normal day. These moments often occur when we are completely present with some simple, concrete experience or activity. The simplicity of mindfulness is easily overlooked and easy to undervalue.

Veronica Sanchez is a member of NASW-NM:
Legislation To Expand New Mexico Teacher Loan Repayment Program Passes First Committee
Los Alamos Daily Post
“This legislation is a prime example of how we move the New Mexico social work workforce and education of our children and youth into the future and demonstrates our value as New Mexicans in helping our communities, our children, and educators prosper and evolve to their highest potential.  Together, social workers and teachers make a tremendous team in support of families and communities,” said Veronica Sanchez, a licensed clinical social worker who has provided services to New Mexicans over the last 18 years.

Talia Filippelli and Courtney Glashow are members of NASW-NJ; Steven Bielarski is a member of NASW-NYC:
How to Beat the Winter Blues: Advice from Local Therapists
The Hoboken Girl
If the cold winter months bring on lower moods and tiredness, you are certainly not alone. When the temperatures drop and the sun sets before the workday is over, many people tend to feel a little blue — especially now that the holiday season is completely over and the onslaught of constant festivities has come to an abrupt halt. This time of year, we end up at home more often, and socialize a bit less, so it’s only natural that our spirits are not as lifted as they may be during the warmer seasons. This, of course, isn’t unique to Hoboken, but we spoke to some local therapists about how to take care of our mental health during the winter, and they filled us in on tips and tricks to combat the winter blues.

Michael Cruse is a member of NASW-CA:
Navigating the loss of a spouse
Santa Barbara News-Press
Today is the day for heart-shaped candies, chocolates, stuffed animals and bouquets of roses. It is a day meant to celebrate loving someone and being loved. However, for those grieving a lost loved one, holidays such as Valentine’s Day may bring up difficult emotions and memories of a romantic partner who has passed away. “It is always important to experience sorrow, pain or difficulty and allow that sensation to move through you and surround yourself with people you love,” Michael Cruse, a licensed clinical social worker and bereavement service manager for Hospice of Santa Barbara, told the News-Press. 

Valentina Muggia is a member of NASW-OR:
Intensive teamwork necessary for each case of homelessness in Oregon City
Oregon City News
As OCPD’s in-house licensed clinical social worker, Muggia is uniquely qualified to order that a patient be transported involuntary to a hospital for mental health treatment. When arriving on the scene, Muggia says she first tries to deescalate situations with police by trying to determine what the patient might need, even if it’s bite to eat, since oftentimes homeless patients are extra agitated from missing meals. “I always try to give them a choice, even if it’s a choice between going to the hospital in an ambulance or a patrol car,” Muggia said.

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