Issue #61, December 14, 2005


Dear Social Work Colleagues,

Welcome to Issue #61 of the Social Work E-News. This e-mail newsletter is brought to you by the publisher of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER magazine, SocialWorker.com, SocialWorkJobBank.com, and other social work publications.

This issue of the Social Work E-News features an editorial by Intae Yoon, assistant professor of social work at West Chester University, on the new bankruptcy law and related issues, including their affect on social work students and clients.

December 1 was World AIDS Day. This devastating illness continues to affect millions around the world. Read about some of the stories of people affected by HIV/AIDS.

If you are looking for a social work job, check out the listings on our Web site at http://www.socialworkjobbank.com & and be sure to let the employers know that you saw their listings there! If you are hiring social workers in your agency, please let our readership know about your job openings through a listing on SocialWorkJobBank, in the Social Work E-News, or in THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER.

If you like the Social Work E-News, you will want to check out THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER (the quarterly magazine)! See our Web site at http://www.socialworker.com for information and articles from the most recent issue. And if you haven't seen the new digital edition of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER magazine yet, now is the time to do so! See a preview of a recent issue in your browser at http://www.zinio.com/express?issue=105154918 or subscribe at http://www.zinio.com/offer?issn=1073-7871&of=PH1&bd=1&rf=swen and get two FREE issues.

Until next time,
Linda Grobman, ACSW, LSW


A Word From Our Sponsor
Job Corner/Current Job Openings
On Our Web Site
In Print
Newsletter Necessities




Do you need social work textbooks, office supplies, equipment, gift items? For your convenience, THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER offers an online shop where you can find social work-related books and other items quickly, easily, and securely. Visit http://shop.socialworker.com/shop today.




Social Injustice Targeting the Economically Disadvantaged and College Graduates
By Intae Yoon, MSW, Ph.D.

Since Oct. 17, 2005, a new bankruptcy policy has been implemented. Both the U.S. Senate and the House passed the new bill in April 2005. This was made possible by almost 10 years of lobbying activities by banks and credit card companies. As this new policy is expected to help greedy financial companies to squeeze the financially devastated and get the last ooze of pennies from the population, USA Today reports that the number of bankruptcy filings in September 2005 increased by 50 % compared to the same month in 2004. The 50% translates into more than 9,000 bankruptcy filings per day on average. For your information, more than 1.6 million personal bankruptcy files were made during the fiscal year of 2004-05. Are you surprised by the numbers?

I agree that there are some people who recklessly use their credit cards. However, according to Himmelstein, Warren, Thorne, and Woolhandler, approximately 50% of personal bankruptcies are caused by medical bills, not laziness or thoughtless behavior. It should be noted that more than 70% of those who filed bankruptcy because of medical reasons had health insurance when they were stricken by diseases and yet are still forced to claim financial insolvency. It is almost unbelievable that we are extremely vulnerable to personal bankruptcy in the wake of diseases in spite of the high insurance premiums that we pay. These facts alarm us that American society holds a false sense of security against medical and financial ordeals. Some of those who filed bankruptcy might have recovered from their diseases, but now they are about to suffer longer from their abject poverty than from their diseases. What makes things worse is that they are also stigmatized as lazy and financially irresponsible debtors by our government. To send a clear message to the irresponsible, the new bankruptcy law makes it more difficult to wipe out debt and requires individuals to pay the debts over 5 years.

The current administration and representatives in the Capitol did a very wonderful job to ensure the economically disadvantaged to pay more debts to banks and credit card companies. A Very Nice Job! Their perseverance finally worked! Now, a new law is expected to nurture financial responsibility.

Wait a minute! Nurturing financial responsibility? It is hypocrisy. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), there are more than 4,000 Americans making more than $200,000 per year and they do not pay any tax. Also, IRS estimates that $353 billion dollars were not collected in 2001 in the US. Who owes such an amount of tax to IRS? Guess who? The super-rich and big corporations! If IRS were to collect this money, it would balance our budget. The super-rich and big corporations use all tax evasion techniques to avoid the tax. It should be highlighted that all legal tax breaks or incentives are not included in the amount. Even though IRS estimates that 70% of tax reports are incorrect, it does not have enough resources to scrutinize the reports. Of course, the higher income means the more complicated tax report forms that can never thoroughly be combed. Who abuses the loophole? Do you think that two-page standardized EZ tax report form users are the abusers? Absolutely not! It is the super-rich and big multi-national corporations. In spite of this fact, IRS has been being downsized during the current administration. What is the message behind that? "If you make it complicated, it seems highly unlikely that you will be caught by IRS!"

Let's think about these two situations. This administration closes one of its eyes to the massive tax cheating performed by the super-rich and big corporations, while the other eye stares at "the financially irresponsible" to ensure that they have consequences. ARE WE BLIND TO THIS INJUSTICE?

Let me express another concern for our social work students. The way our financial system is structured is very gloomy for our students and students in other disciplines. According to Nellie Mae's 2002 report, each college graduate owes $18,900 on average when he or she receives his or her degree. When combined with credit card debt, the amount rises to $21,200. These numbers might not have tangible means to you. However, to clarify, if a person borrows $5,000 credit card loan at 17% interest rate and pays the minimum payment, it will take 40 years to pay off the loan. Even if students receive better interest rates, they still have to pay back their debt for a long time.

In the past, higher education was significantly supported by the federal government in the form of grants, which means that recipients of the grants did not have to pay back. However, the current policy of the federal government is to award more loans than grants. As it may be known to the public, it costs approximately $35,000 on average to graduate from a four-year public college. While disposable family income has been stagnant over decades, college tuition has sharply increased during the same period. Therefore, loans are becoming more important financial sources for college education. In other words, more debts are accumulating for college graduates.

In addition, college students are more exposed to the temptations of using credit cards in this mass consumption culture. Before deregulation policies regarding banking and credit card companies, students' access to credit cards was very limited. Currently, students are avalanched with credit card applications in their mailbox, on walls of their dorm hallways, and on their way between the dorms and their classrooms. As a result, having a couple of credit cards is a norm among college students. The combination of scarce government grants and aggressive credit card marketing puts college students into more economically challenging situations. Social work students are also part of this dire financial picture.

We all acknowledge that social work jobs are not the best paying jobs, and also, of course, not the least paying. I helped a research project in 1999 to find out why there is less representation of African-American males in human services. In short, relatively unsatisfying salary level appeared to be the main factor. Social work graduates with the BSW will get around $30,000 per year. It may not seem bad. But what about their disposable income after tax and payments to their loan lenders or credit card companies? Their income will be significantly lower than expected.

Of course, salary is not the reason why we decided to be social workers. But low disposable income levels aggravated by the lack of governmental support will negatively impact upon our graduates' morale and their performance in their work places. In addition, there would be less prospective social workers as a result of this gloomy picture.

As specified earlier, the average debt of college graduates is around $18,900. When credit cards are used to cover educational expenses, the number is easily over $20,000. Many college graduates, especially from low-income families, must carry the burden on their shoulders because of their college degrees. Is this another type of punishment for pursuing higher education?

The new bankruptcy law and dwindling federal grants for higher education put more financial burdens on the economically devastated and college graduates, while the current administration is implicitly creating more tax loopholes for the super-rich and multi-national corporations. This hypocrisy does not make any sense to me. IT IS UNFAIR!!!

Intae Yoon, MSW, Ph.D.
West Chester University


USAID's Telling Our Story Project Documents the Global HIV/AIDS Pandemic

December 1 was World AIDS Day. Every day, the American people, through their compassion and generosity, provide needed, lifesaving assistance to vulnerable populations in developing countries, particularly those affected by HIV/AIDS. This year's theme for World AIDS Day is Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise. The statistics indicate the significance of this promise. Today, more than 40 million people worldwide are living with HIV, the vast majority of those infections in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 3 million people died of AIDS in 2005, of which 750,000 were children. As a key partner in the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is implementing HIV/AIDS programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Europe. In 2005, 54 percent of Emergency Plan funding went to USAID. The agency's Telling Our Story project documents the fight against the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, bringing success and challenge to life through the voice and words of those on the frontlines of this deadly disease:


• In Tanzania - First Lady Rallies Support for AIDS Clinic (July 2005): In July 2005, First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna visited Pastoral Activities and Services for People with AIDS (PASADA) in Dar es Salaam Archdiocese in Tanzania. Operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, PASADA targets the urban poor, offering comprehensive care to people living with AIDS, regardless of their religious affiliation. Read more at http://www.usaid.gov/stories/tanzania/pc_tz_firstlady.html.

• In Zambia - A Village Responds to HIV/AIDS (September 2005): Life is complicated in Mwenda. As in much of rural Zambia, residents here live in wood or brick huts with thatched roofs. Most are subsistence farmers or fishermen, and all have seen the direct impact of HIV/AIDS on their community. Mwenda's residents say they have a responsibility to care for orphans left alone by the disease. Read more at http://www.usaid.gov/stories/zambia/fp_zm_mwenda.html.

• In South Africa - Takalani Sesame Educates Children About AIDS (February 2005): South Africans who were deprived access to basic education and healthcare under apartheid are now among the hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic. Takalani Sesame - South Africa's Sesame Street - took a bold step and created the first HIV-positive Muppet, Kami. Read more at http://www.usaid.gov/stories/southafrica/ss_southafrica_takalanisesame.html.

• In Malawi - Finding Solutions Together (August 2004): Building local capacity to respond to the HIV/AIDS crisis in Malawi is critical. USAID is helping to fill the gap between the funds available to address HIV/AIDS and the local capacity to effectively provide services by funding the Malawi Network of AIDS Service Organizations. Read more at http://www.usaid.gov/stories/malawi/cs_malawi_aids.html.


• In Guyana - A Mother Finds Support through USAID (August 2004): Brenda, a 25-year-old mother, attended her first antenatal visit for her second pregnancy. During the group counseling, the health counselor discussed HIV/AIDS transmission from a mother to her child and ways to reduce this transmission. Brenda, who was about 12 weeks pregnant, underwent individual pre-test counseling on HIV and agreed to take the HIV test. Read more at http://www.usaid.gov/stories/guyana/ss_guyana_hiv.html.

• In Honduras - Leading the Fight Against HIV (April 2005): Rosa González is a Honduran woman who works on HIV/AIDS prevention in Central America. After testing positive for HIV in 1996 - along with her husband and daughter - Rosa went public with her status so that people living with HIV/AIDS would become more visible. Read more at http://www.usaid.gov/stories/honduras/fp_honduras_hiv.html.

• In El Salvador - A Special HIV/AIDS Counselor (May 2005): In an effort to reduce HIV/AIDS transmissions in El Salvador's National Civilian Police, USAID is working with police officers, administrative personnel and their families to improve their understanding and awareness of the disease. Dr. Belisa Lucila De Sanchez is a visually impaired psychologist who runs the HIV/AIDS program and provides counseling services. Read more at http://www.usaid.gov/stories/elsalvador/fp_elsalvador_aidscounselor.html.


• In Thailand - HIV Care Bridges a Great Divide (October 2005): The parents of this Bangkok family of five tested positive for HIV last year. The illness compromised their livelihoods, while their young children, who had no access to public schools, had to fend for themselves. USAID is using a novel approach to reduce prejudice against HIV-infected people and alleviate poverty among HIV-affected households. USAID is also supporting home-based care to 400 HIV positive residents of Bangkok's slums. Read more at http://www.usaid.gov/stories/thailand/pc_thailand_bangkokfamily.html.

• In India - Social Hubs Help Teach About AIDS (June 2005): Every day, 6,000 long-distance truckers and their assistants travel along Indian Chennai-Bangalore highway, often stopping for up to two weeks to wait for their next assignment. Separated from their families for long periods of time, these drivers are highly, and uniquely, vulnerable to contracting HIV/AIDS. Read more at http://www.usaid.gov/stories/india/ss_in_truckdrivers1.html.


• In Russia - HIV Campaign Reaches Out to Youth (August 2005): Over the past decade, Russia has experienced one of the fastest growing HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world. USAID, in coordination with the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, supported the launch of a new HIV education and prevention campaign targeted at Russian youth. Read more at http://www.usaid.gov/stories/russia/cs_ru_designer.html.



The following are only a few of the available additional resources. The World AIDS Campaign site is a good starting point to find further information.

World AIDS Campaign: http://www.worldaidscampaign.info
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS : http://www.unaids.org
Stop AIDS Campaign: http://www.stopaidscampaign.org.uk/
AIDS Care Watch: http://www.aidscarewatch.org/
International Council of AIDS Service Organizations: http://www.icaso.org/
Open Society Institute Public Health Watch: http://www.soros.org/initiatives/health/focus/phw



Serrv International offers a site where you can "shop your values." According to the site at http://www.agreatergift.org, "We bring you fair trade handcrafts and foods from around the world. We strive to promote living wages, women's rights, and eco-friendly production through our partnerships with small-scale artisan and farmer groups. No child exploitation is used to make our products."




LCSW-Fairfield, CA
RehabPlus group is seeking a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to provide counseling services to a military community as the primary source of care for clients seeking personal counseling or who are involved in alleged/substantiated child/abuse cases. Provide case management, counseling, therapy, educational programs, command consultation, on-call services and some social work services. Master's or Doctorate Degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited school. Must possess and maintain a social worker license from a U.S. jurisdiction, allowing the social worker to work independently without clinical supervision. Minimum 2 (of last 3) years full-time post-master's degree experience in group work as a group facilitator or co-leader, and/or in professional clinical counseling service programs to men/women/children who are abusive/abused. Knowledgable in family violence treatment and child sexual abuse assessments. Apply: E-mail: scampbell@rehabplusgroup.com. Phone: 877-557-3422, ext. 114. Fax: 877-875-2500.


Find more jobs for new grads and experienced social work practitioners at http://www.socialworkjobbank.com, THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER's online job board and career center. We are proud of the fact that this site was chosen as one of 350 (out of 40,000+ employment sites) to be included in Weddle's Recruiter's and Job Seeker's Guide to Employment Web Sites 2004 and 2005.

If you or your agency are hiring social workers, don't forget to post your jobs on SocialWorkJobBank.com. Please check the SocialWorkJobBank "products/pricing" page for job posting options and SPECIAL offers.

All job seeker services are FREE-including searching current job openings, posting your confidential resume/profile, and receiving e-mail job alerts. Please let employers know that you saw their listings in the SOCIAL WORK E-NEWS and at SocialWorkJobBank.com.





Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work and Influencing State Policy are pleased to announce that the Call for Papers (CFP) for The Policy Conference 2006 in Washington, DC, June 16-19 (formerly in Charleston,SC) is available. The theme of the conference is: "Shifting the Tide: Challenges for Policy Practice." It will be held at the historic Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. Outstanding policy makers and analysts are being invited to speak. Many opportunities to communicate your latest research or present policy practice ideas are available.

Please go to: http://www.vcu.edu/slwweb/PolicyConf06.html for more detailed information. The CFP deadline is February 1, 2006. For more information, e-mail: swpolicyconf@vcu.edu or mlorithomas@msn.com for CFP questions.


BPD Summer 2006 Policy Fellow Award

BSW students who are currently enrolled or who have completed a policy course(s) are invited to apply for the Summer 2006 Policy Fellow Award sponsored by the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors (BPD) in collaboration with the Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research (IASWR).

This BSW Policy Fellow experience will provide the opportunity for an undergraduate social work student to spend the summer of 2006 in Washington, D.C. to gain experience in the areas of political advocacy, lobbying, and participating in policy change efforts at the national level.

The selected Fellow is expected to spend 8 to 10 weeks in Washington, D.C. under the capable supervision of the Executive Director of IASWR. It is anticipated that the Fellow will have office space at NASW Headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C.

The stipend amount awarded is $5,000, which can be used any way the Fellow deems necessary to assist in covering expenses. The Fellow is responsible for arranging his/her own housing.

Students applying should have an interest in addressing social work issues through policy change at the national level and have an understanding of the policy changing process. The student must be willing to perform administrative and research activities. Basic computer skills are expected, including the ability to do research on the Internet.

The applicant must submit a resume, a current transcript (unofficial copy), two letters of reference (only one from a social work faculty member), which specifically address the applicant's ability to work as an advocate on legislative policy.

In addition, the applicant must submit a statement of approximately 1,000 words that addresses the following questions:

a) Based on your area of interest and knowledge of the policy making process, how would you envision using your social work knowledge of policy to contribute to the passage of social work legislative issues? (child welfare, mental health, health care, etc. )
b) What are some of your professional goals that would compliment this policy fellow experience?
c) What experiences have you had that prepared you for this opportunity?

The recipient of the Fellow Award must also commit to attend the 2006 BPD conference in Los Angeles, California to present his/her Washington experience. (BPD will pay for air travel and one night's lodging for the student selected). The recipient will also be required to write an article on the experience for publication.

Deadline for receipt of the application material is February 10, 2006. Please submit statement of intent electronically as a Word document to susan.vallem@wartburg.edu. Letters of reference may also be submitted electronically. Additionally, please send 1 hard copy of the statement of intent and four (4) copies of the resume, letters of reference, and transcript to:

Dr. Susan Kosché Vallem, Chair
BPD Policy Fellow Selection Committee
Department of Social Work
Wartburg College
Box 1003
Waverly, IA 50677-0903

The Chair of the Selection Committee will e-mail or call each applicant within seven days after receiving the application to confirm that the application was received. If the applicant has not received a receipt confirmation within seven days, please notify Dr. Vallem by e-mailing her at susan.vallem@wartburg.edu, or calling her at 319-352-8250.

The winner of the 2006 Summer Policy Fellow Award will be announced by March 31, 2006.



Context Journal seeks students in health-related fields to serve as volunteer Managing Editors and Peer Reviewers to assist in identifying quality journal submissions. Context, published semi-annually, is the nation's first student-run, online, peer-reviewed journal that highlights the exceptional work of health students in the community and recognizes insightful, well-designed evaluations of student-initiated programs. Context is the journal of Health Students Taking Action Together, in partnership with the Student Health Alliance. For more information on these organizations, please visit their Web sites: http://www.hstatweb.org and http://www.phsc.org/sha.html.

Managing editors will work with the Editor-in-Chief, authors, and peer reviewers to publish a high-quality online journal committed to community engagement. Peer reviewers will provide constructive feedback on manuscripts and work with managing editors to establish a collegial spirit for the journal.

Qualifications: Context Journal seeks graduate-level students of any discipline, but especially those related to the health professions, who are enthusiastic about student-initiated community endeavors. Excellent communication, presentation, and writing skills are essential. Demonstrated commitment to teamwork and the health of communities is desired. Understanding of publishing process, experience editing or reviewing journals, newsletters, or essays is a plus. Publication and research record also a plus. Individuals with health policy and advocacy backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Send resume or curriculum vitae along with a one-page cover letter explaining your interest in becoming a managing editor or peer reviewer to: chiefeditor@contextjournal.org

More information regarding these positions can be found at: http://www.contextjournal.org




Have you seen THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER's new digital edition? Easy storage, immediate access, flipping pages, searching, zooming, linking, note taking, and other interactive features will add a whole new dimension to your reading experience! The digital edition is an exact electronic replica of the print magazine.
Ready to take a look? Here are three ways:

1. Try it! Go to http://www.zinio.com/express?issue=105154918 to see a preview (nothing to download).

2. Download a FREE sample of the Summer 2005 issue at: http://www.zinio.com/offer?issn=1073-7871D&of=ZF01&bd=1

3. Subscribe! As a special introductory offer to our Social Work E-News subscribers, you can subscribe for one year and get TWO FREE issues. So, you will get SIX issues for a low $9.99. You can take advantage of this offer and download your first issue today at http://www.zinio.com/offer?issn=1073-7871&of=PH1&bd=1&rf=swen

HOW IT WORKS: You will be provided a link to download your digital magazine. If you have not done so already, you will be prompted to download the FREE Zinio Reader software. Then, you will be ready to download the full magazine. Open it in Zinio Reader and start taking advantage of this new, interactive reading experience.

Get more details at http://www.socialworker.com/digitaledition




THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER's Web site at http://www.socialworker.com includes the full text of many articles from past issues of the magazine. On our site, click on "About the Magazine" to find Tables of Contents of the current and back issues, and click on "Feature Articles" to find full-text articles.

Our online discussion forum/message board is a place for open discussion of a variety of social work-related issues. Join in our discussion at http://www.socialworker.com (click on "Discussion Forum" in the left menu).

Be sure to check out the Social Work Bookshelf and continuing education offerings available at http://www.socialworker.com, or go directly to http://www.ceu4u.com/tnsw for continuing education offerings.




Subscribe to THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER magazine, or order one of our practical books on social work and nonprofit management. See http://www.whitehatcommunications.com/store to order securely online, or go to http://www.socialworker.com/digitaledition for information on subscribing to the digital edition.

Need books? Find ALL your social work textbooks, professional reading material, and office items at our online shop, in association with Amazon.com, at http://shop.socialworker.com/shop.php

Want some meaningful decorations for your office or other area? Browse our hand-picked selection of social issues posters at THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER's Poster Store at http://www.socialworker.com/home/menu/Poster_Store/ or search for your own. (In association with Posters.com.)

Social work specialty items: Visit http://www.cafepress.com/socialworker for our unique social work teddy bears, mugs, calendars, and other items.



The Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics is a free, online, peer-reviewed journal published by the publisher of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER. It is published twice a year, in full text, online at http://www.socialworker.com/jswve

The Fall 2005 edition is available now!

Go to the journal Web site at http://www.socialworker.com/jswve to read this issue. You can also sign up for a free subscription, and you will be notified by e-mail when each issue is available online.





The Winter issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER magazine is will be available soon in print and in digital format. Highlights include:

• Rural Social Work Ethics
• Elective Self-Amputation: A New Practice Area for Social Work
• International Social Work II: Who Sets the Rules, Rules (Part 2 of a 3-part series)
• A Black Woman's Journey Toward Healing From Childhood Sexual Abuse
• Weathering the Storm-articles on social workers and the 2005 hurricane season
• Quickly Bearing It All (teddy bear therapy)
• Giving Back: It's Never Too Early to Begin a Legacy
• Assuming a Stance of Uncertainty in Social Work With Teenagers
• Electronic Connection: Distance Learning: The Future Has Arrived!
…and more!

See our Web site at http://www.socialworker.com for more details about this issue.

The FALL issue is available NOW in our new digital format. Order a subscription at http://www.zinio.com/offer?issn=1073-7871&of=PH1&bd=1&rf=swen and download the Fall issue TODAY.



You have subscribed to receive this free newsletter.

To unsubscribe, follow the "unsubscribe" link in this newsletter. To change the address for your subscription, please unsubscribe your old e-mail address and then subscribe your new one.

To see previous issues of this newsletter, go to the public archive page, located at:



White Hat Communications (publisher of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER® magazine and THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER® ONLINE)
P.O. Box 5390
Harrisburg, PA 17110-0390
Linda Grobman, Editor


Advertising: To place a job listing, sponsor this newsletter, or place a banner ad on our Web site, e-mail linda.grobman@paonline.com for rates and further information.

News: Please send brief social work-related news items to linda.grobman@paonline.com for consideration.



Your subscription e-mail address will only be used to deliver this e-newsletter and to occasionally inform you of updates from its publisher. Your e-mail address will not be given to anyone else or used for any other purpose as a result of your subscription to this newsletter.


Copyright 2005 White Hat Communications. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this entire newsletter, with all information intact, by e-mail to social work colleagues, students, and others interested in social work, for personal use only. You may also print out this newsletter for personal use. All other uses of this material require permission from the publisher at: linda.grobman@paonline.com

THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER is a registered trademark of White Hat Communications.