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News Items – January 16, 2019

Will Francis is with NASW-TX:
Baby’s death leads to foster mother’s arrest and more scrutiny for Texas care system
San Antonio News-Express
A year ago, state officials cited Parker after finding foster children had been left at the home without adult supervision, according to the state health commission. It’s unclear what steps, if any, were taken to fix the issue then. “It sounds like she needed additional supports, both in training resources and respite care in handling the kids. Why wasn’t that provided?” said Will Francis, with the Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Francis also questioned why a single foster mother was looking after five children, including a baby — “a lot for one person to supervise,” he said. The state limit is six per home.

Lisa Ferentz is a member:
5 Behaviors That Seem ‘Normal’ But Could Be Signs Of Emotional Abuse
Unlike physical abuseemotional abuse can be subtle and can often go undetected by victims, as well as their friends and family. In the early stages of dating, an emotional abuser often acts in ways that appear caring, loving and attentive — at least on the surface. This is part of the perpetrator’s “grooming process” — or a time where they use charm and flattery to make you believe they’re kind and trustworthy. “That ‘kindness’ is designed to win over the trust and confidence of an unsuspecting victim, making them vulnerable to subsequent abuse,” said Lisa Ferentz, a licensed clinical social worker and educator specializing in trauma.

Phyllis Babineaux is a member:
Start the year right with a new attitude
The Daily Iberian (New Iberia, LA)
The holidays are not joyous for some people. Depression can hide its face and suddenly appear lashing out at the ones you love most — but there is hope. “There is much cause for hope in the promotion of good mental health for our community in 2019,” said Catherine Wattigny, president and cofounder of the Iberia Mental Health Initiative. “The interconnected medical, educational, civic, individual overcomers and governmental entities of Iberia Parish are working toward a better life for people of all ages that suffer or support someone with mental illiness.”…  With a focus on caregivers to give them encouragement for the tasks at hand, Phyllis Babineaux, a licensed clinical social worker, will be the facilitator for these group meetings.

Kelly Breeding is a member:
Bringing Healing to the Healers: How ART Treats PTSD
EMS World
“Most people are dealing with complex levels of trauma. Anxiety, depression, substance abuse and risky behaviors are all comorbid conditions people are unable to tie together until they’ve gone through therapy,” says Kelly Breeding, a licensed clinical social worker and executive director with ART International Training and Research, Inc., a nonprofit based in Tampa, Fla. dedicated to making ART more widely available to anyone dealing with trauma (about half of ART clients consists of first responders and military veterans while the rest are civilians). “I don’t think any human being on this planet was born with the ability to process severe trauma, in my opinion, everybody needs assistance with that.”

Anemone Schlotterbeck is a member:
Despite Outsized Risks, Transgender Texans Aren’t Protected By The State’s Hate Crime Law
For Anemone Schlotterbeck, a clinical social worker at the Austin nonprofit OutYouth, that risk of violence – especially sexual violence – is real for clients she counsels, many of whom are trans. But, she says, instances of hate crimes are, in her experience, outliers. Trans people typically face more subtle, less violent, mistreatment every day. She says it’s a daily “drip drip” of discrimination and points to last session’s so-called bathroom bill, which would have restricted transgender bathroom use. That sort of legislative push sends a bad message to trans youth, she says, who often feel targeted from an early age, when they’re still forming their identities.

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