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News Items – November 8, 2017



Megan Berthold is a member, and NASW’s 2009 social worker of the year:
Resilience in the Face of Evil
UConn Today (University of Connecticut)
UConn professor Megan Berthold was a clinical social worker in California, working with survivors of torture from many countries including those who survived the Cambodian genocide, when a judge in federal immigration court reached the limit of endurance. Berthold had psychologically evaluated a genocide survivor from Cambodia who was seeking asylum in the United States, and had prepared a detailed report on the torture and other traumas the person had suffered, as well as the psychological impact of those experiences. But when Berthold took the stand to testify as an expert witness, the judge said she didn’t want to hear any more about the trauma: she had read the report, and that was enough. But the judge did have a question for Berthold: How was she able to do her job without breaking?

College of Social Work receives $3 million grant — one of the largest in the college’s history
The Lantern (Ohio State University)
Ohio State’s College of Social Work recently received a $3 million grant aimed not only at helping those struggling with substance abuse, but also the families that have a loved one struggling with addiction. The grant — one of the largest ever given to the College of Social Work — was funded by the Administration for Children and Families’ Children’s Bureau at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to combat the prominent substance abuse epidemic in Ohio.

MU’s School of Social Work receives $1.8 million grant to support integrated behavioral studies
The Maneater (University of Missouri)
The Schools of Social Work at MU and UM-St. Louis received a $1.8 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. “The grant is a workforce training grant,” grant training director Suzanne Cary said. “So as a part of the grant we train both students and the existing workforce in integrated behavioral health settings.” The HRSA grant will be disbursed over the next four years and fund stipends for 120 master’s students spread across both campuses in the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training for Professionals Program.

Sam Hickman is executive director of NASW-WV:
Study Finds Too Many WV Kids Growing Up in Poverty
Public News Service
A high proportion of West Virginia children are living in stubbornly persistent poverty, according to a major new study. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s “Race for Results” report looked at a variety of health, education, family stability and income data by state. In West Virginia, it said, a quarter of the state’s children were living in poverty in 2015 – the same percentage as in 2010. Sam Hickman, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers, said research is finding that adverse childhood experiences – more common in poor homes – can limit a child for life. He said experts now can even predict some results of a hard childhood.

Jim Wayne is a member:
Conditions are dire within Kentucky’s child welfare system. It was re-accredited anyway.
Courier Journal
State Rep. Jim Wayne, a Louisville Democrat and licensed clinical social worker, said the accreditation gives a “false impression” given the extent of the state’s long-running problems with its child protection system, which some advocates have described as a crisis. “I can’t believe if you’ve got that LRC report showing all that information, how overworked the staff is, how they could be accredited by any national body,” Wayne said. “It makes you wonder if we don’t need to inform the accrediting body … so they see how deficient they are.”

Rachel Goldsmith is a member:
Why We Should Stop Glamorizing Make-Up Sex
Oftentimes, when a couple has angry or make-up sex, there’s a dynamic of power and control. Someone might use sex as a way to reconnect with their partner after they’ve done something controlling or abusive, explains Rachel Goldsmith, LCSW-R, associate vice president for the Domestic Violence Shelter Programs at Safe Horizon. “It can be a way to kind of minimize the behavior that existed prior to that make-up sex, or minimize what had happened,” she says. For example, in the TV show Big Little Lies, Celeste (played by Nicole Kidman) and Perry (played by Alexander Skarsgård) often had sex after he had physically hit her or lashed out at her as a way to bring her back into his good graces.

Aimee Copeland is a member:
Her wounds are healed by helping others: Flesh-eating bacteria survivor shares her story
Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, GA)
After losing a leg and both hands to a flesh-eating bacteria in 2012, Aimee Copeland ended up at a spinal cord brain injury center in Atlanta.… Today, Copeland works as a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist in Atlanta. Despite a doctor saying she would never walk again, she walks on a treadmill for three-quarters of a mile, 30 minutes a day. She recently launched the Aimee Copeland Foundation to provide outdoor recreation and mental health opportunities for people with disabilities. She’s also working on a memoir and hopes to be on a book tour around this time next year.

Kelly Moylan is a member:
Not All Forms Of Sex Addiction Treatment Are Created Equal
Kelly Moylan, LCSW, a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of codependency who consults with the Sexuality, Attachment and Trauma Project, told The Fix earlier this year that it was decided not to include the diagnosis in the latest edition of the DSM because “there is not agreement or research-based evidence to resolve the debate about the problem and its treatment.”

Mel Wilson is the manager of Social Justice and Human Rights:
“Witness to Human Torture”: On Both Sides of the Prison Walls, Social Workers Confront Solitary Confinement
Solitary Watch
“Our general stance is that solitary confinement, or use of restrictive housing, is in place in most correctional facilities, but…they should be constantly working on reforming it and developing safe alternatives,” said Mel Wilson, Director of the NASW Department of Social Justice and Human Rights. “We have not taken a position on solitary confinement being tantamount or equivalent to torture. That is not a position we’ve taken, but we do recognize that solitary confinement can be extremely harmful if there aren’t reforms.” In a NASW brief, “Solitary Confinement: A Clinical Social Work Perspective.” Wilson wrote that “There is no contradiction in working in a correctional facility (where restrictive housing policies exist) and also being a vocal advocate for fair and humane policies for managing inmates in such housing.”

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