Dear Social Work Colleagues,
Welcome to Issue #108 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.
November is American Diabetes Month, National Adoption Month, National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, National Epilepsy Awareness Month, National Family Caregivers Month, and National Hospice Palliative Care Month, among others. November 19 is the Great American Smokeout, and the 21st is National Survivors of Suicide Day.
Coming in December: World AIDS Day (December 1) and National Handwashing Awareness Week (December 6-12).
I just returned last week from the Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education in San Antonio,
. It was great to see so many friends and colleagues. At this conference, I introduced our new social work note cards!
They were a big hit with the conference attendees. There were several people “tweeting” the conference on Twitter, and although I wasn’t able to attend sessions (I was staffing THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER’s exhibit), I was told that there were excellent sessions on social work technology, job search, and more. As usual, there were receptions where some very important informal networking was happening. Our two columnists, TJ and Karen, were there and spent some time meeting our readers at our exhibit booth.
Book club update:
“The New Social Worker Book Club” has an official group on Facebook. You can join the group at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?&gid=98840583520
– the club has now grown to 700 members. Our second book selection is Still Alice,
by Lisa Genova. I hope you will read it with me!
This novel, told from the point of view of a 50-year-old Harvard psychology professor who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease, has taken the literary world by storm. We are discussing this book online at http://www.socialworkchat.org TOMORROW NIGHT, November 17, at 9 p.m. EST. Please join us!
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Tell a friend, student, or colleague to visit us at http://www.socialworker.com
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Until next time,
Linda Grobman, ACSW, LSW
THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER®
NEED BOOKS OR GIFTS?
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And now for something really different…social work notecards!
The front of the card says: “Social Work! An Awesome Profession.” The inside of the card is blank, so you can write your own note. Congratulate a new grad, thank a field instructor, send a gift to your favorite social worker! Available in packages of 10 cards (including envelopes) for $10.
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Is your life’s work developing others’ life-skills?
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There are 1,064 jobs currently posted on SocialWorkJobBank.com. Check it out today.
Article Excerpt: Yoga: A Healing Art in a Psychotherapy Context
by Teresa Bennett-Pasquale, MSW, LSW
(Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from the Fall 2009 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER. Read the full article at:
A thick wooden door sits slightly ajar. Visible through the opening is a candlelit room filled with American-Flag-blue yoga mats and coordinating navy yoga blocks. Each mat has a traditional Mexican yoga blanket softly resting on top of it. The doors swing open a little wider, and out pours a mix of Vietnam Veterans, Iraq Veterans, and Veterans’ spouses.
A few dedicated participants collect outside the door asking the yoga teacher a few final questions on home yoga practice and appropriate posturing for certain moves. Some talk among themselves as they take their time leaving the office, making comments like, “I feel so much more relaxed after this. I was skeptical at first, but I think I’m gonna stick with it,” and, “I feel like I’m friendlier to people when I leave here, like I make an effort with people more,” and almost always someone says, “I really was worked up when I got here today. I didn’t think anything could calm me down, but this really did it for me.”
Bringing yoga into my outpatient facility has become the bridge between the predominantly cerebral work that we, as social workers and clinicians, do with our clients and the bodily, sensorial experience of emotional pain and trauma, which is considerably harder to tap into through verbal dialogue alone. The dramatic and professionally profound experience of watching the impact of yoga on my veteran clients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is just one of the many reasons I am a passionate advocate for yoga as a complimentary treatment for PTSD (along with traditional “talk therapy”).
The professional interest springing from this holistic arena of practice and the biological foundation for the mind/body connection, as well as my own love of yoga, is what compelled me to test it with my population. The visible result in my own outpatient facility with the introduction of yoga has made me a dedicated proponent of this treatment method.
Trauma in the Body and the Mind
I was fortunate enough to hear Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, long-standing expert in the field of traumatology, speak recently at a three-day conference at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, MA on the “Frontiers of Trauma Treatment.” Much of his data was focused on the neurobiology of trauma and how the brain functions in and around the experience of trauma in such a way that often it is difficult if not impossible for a traumatized person to access his or her emotions through language. Studies have shown that the language center of the brain actually shuts down when trauma is triggered. He pinpointed the body as a potential gateway to treating emotional pain and trauma when it cannot be accessed through dialogue (van der Kolk, 2006).
In other words, often, to access emotional pain through the brain, you must in some way access or attend to the body. In some ways, we feel that in our own bodies all the time—we feel anxious and our stomach hurts or our chest tightens; we feel stressed and our neck and shoulders become stiff and ache; we feel sad and our throat closes or we have chest pains. The body’s somatic experiencing of the world is a constant undercurrent in our lives. Babette Rothschild illustrates this connection between body and mind in her book, The Body Remembers, in which she spends 173 pages illustrating and illuminating on the subject. Rothschild states, “The body remembers traumatic events through the encoding in the brain of sensations, movements, and emotions that are associated with trauma. Healing PTSD necessitates attention to what is happening in the body as well as the interpretations being made in the mind” (p. 173).
Every day, we are feeling our bodies speaking to us in their own ways—speaking emotions in pain, tension, nausea. The sensory experience of trauma not only creates a somatic or sensory imprint—it literally changes the brain functioning in a person around the traumatic experience. Not only is the sensory experience of the trauma vivid, but the person’s capacity to regulate the sensorial memory of the trauma and verbalize it becomes diminished or even incapacitated (van der Kolk, 2006).
Read the rest of this article at:
THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER Book Club: Second Book Selection—STILL ALICE
Online Chat: November 17, 9 p.m. EST
by Linda May Grobman, ACSW, LSW
I have just finished reading THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER Book Club’s second book selection, the novel STILL ALICE,
by Lisa Genova. In this novel, the brilliant Harvard psychology and linguistics professor Dr. Alice Howland notices small lapses in her memory. This occurs just before her 50th
birthday. The book takes the reader through Alice
’s diagnosis with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease, and through Alice
’s point of view, illustrates the many issues that early-onset Alzheimer’s patients and their families face. Neuroscientist and first-time novelist Lisa Genova tells the story with great care and detail.
I recommend this book highly to any social worker who wants to learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease. The book is written in such a way that it really gives the reader an inside glimpse into what an Alzheimer’s patient might be thinking and feeling.
Visit the book club group page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?&gid=98840583520
) for more details. We will discuss this book online at http://www.socialworkchat.org on November 17, 2009, at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
Also, in conjunction with the online chat, Temple University Harrisburg (PA) will host a book club event at its Strawberry Square
location, with refreshments and information presentation by Linda Grobman of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER. See the group page on Facebook for more details.
Epilepsy Foundation Uses Social Media to Raise Awareness During National Epilepsy Awareness Month
The Epilepsy Foundation joins the social networking phenomenon to raise awareness and educate people about epilepsy. Talk About It!, this year’s National Epilepsy Awareness Month theme, will empower people with epilepsy to dispel myths and encourage the public to better understand the condition.
During November, the Epilepsy Foundation is using social networking Web sites like Facebook, Twitter, and the Foundation’s own eCommunities to educate people about epilepsy and demonstrate the power of personal stories. Parents, friends, family and caregivers are encouraged to talk about epilepsy by “tweeting” about what epilepsy means to them, updating their status on Facebook with a message about epilepsy, or creating a 60-second video sharing their personal story of epilepsy.
“I want to share my feelings on being considered different because I have epilepsy. I enjoy being called different, not because I have epilepsy, but because I AM different in many other ways,” said Sara-Elizabeth Clark, a 14-year-old epilepsy advocate. “That’s what makes me who I am.” Epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder in the United States
and affects nearly 3 million Americans (and 50 million people world-wide). Despite its prevalence, the condition is often overlooked and misunderstood.
“We’re encouraging everyone affected by seizures to share some aspect of their story during National Epilepsy Awareness Month,” said Eric R. Hargis, president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation. “Talking about epilepsy will empower those impacted by the condition to speak out without shame.”
The Web site TalkAboutIt.org is a collaboration between Greg Grunberg (star of NBC’s Heroes and the father of a child with epilepsy) and the Epilepsy Foundation. The site is devoted to educating the public about seizures and epilepsy on behalf of those who are coping with the condition.
In 1969, November was declared National Epilepsy Awareness Month as a part of a nationwide epilepsy public education campaign. Since that date, the observance has been recognized in most years by a White House message from the President. In 2003, the U.S. Congress passed a formal resolution declaring November as National Epilepsy Awareness Month.
For more about the Epilepsy Foundation or National Epilepsy Awareness Month activities, visit www.EpilepsyFoundation.org or call 800-331-1000.
UC Social Work/Police Partnership
“They say all of
the homicide investigations are horrible, but that the cases involving a
child are the hardest.” –
Monica Middleton, a UC master’s student in Social Work, describing
conversations with Cincinnati Police homicide investigators.
partnership between the University of Cincinnati School
of Social Work
and the Cincinnati Police Homicide Unit is
building support and understanding in situations where families are rocked by
the emotions and circumstances surrounding a sudden death such as a homicide,
and police must stay focused on the investigations. The Victims Assistance
Liaison Unit (VALU), an idea first proposed by Cincinnati Police Chief Thomas
H. Streicher, Jr., is providing support services for the families as UC
social work students act to help families in ways the police investigators on
the cases cannot.
Supported by grants
from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office of State Victims Assistance Act
funds, the VALU staff is represented by coordinator and UC alumna Cheryl Cook,
the victims’ assistance practitioner, along with two UC Social Work master’s
students, Monica Middleton of Hebron,
, and Karen Rumsey of
Western Hills. Middleton and Rumsey have worked with the program since last
January, earning field placement credit hours while gaining experience in
their profession. The grant pays for the position of the advocacy
practitioner, phones, and computers in the VALU office that is located in the
Cincinnati Police Homicide Unit.
Sergeant Gary Conner, Homicide Unit, says these victims’ advocacy programs
are rare nationally and indispensable here in Cincinnati
. That’s why Cincinnati Police
first approached Susan Carlson – field service professor and director of
field education for the UC School of Social Work – about writing the grant to
launch the partnership and select and guide the UC students who would take
part in it.
“We needed a liaison between the police officer and the survivors,” Conner
says. “In many situations, the officer cannot discuss the case with the
family, and when the family needs services such as funeral planning, the
officer can’t provide that information. The students and the VALU Program
coordinator assist with those programs and also invite these families to come
together twice a month to share their stories with one another,” Conner says.
The students are
working with police on cases affecting families who have lost a loved one to
homicide, suicide, an accident under investigation, or the death of a child
under the age of seven, which is required to be followed up by police.
The VALU Program
provides short-term counseling, individual and group therapy services,
assistance with funeral planning and referrals for housing or shelter, as
well as direction on seeking assistance from government-funded victims of
crime compensation programs.
“We work as liaisons
with the families,” says Rumsey. “We found that we can take some of the load
off the detectives by advocating for the families, providing them with
information about support services, informing them about the grieving process,
and working between police and the families to address family concerns about
the procedure of the investigation.”
“Some (members) of
these families have suffered physical problems and have ended up in the
hospital, requiring assistance from our staff to work with their employer to
get time off from work,” Cook says. “We’ve assisted them in getting more time
to pay their utility bills or worked with them to get resources to pay their
bills, because the loved one who died was the sole provider.”
“There have been a
number of situations in which the families needed case management support,
such as a letter of recommendation, to relocate them to a new apartment
because they’ve been threatened by people in the neighborhood,” Middleton
says. She adds that because of their circumstances, these families also find
it hard to find support groups where they feel they can fit in.
Carlson can certainly
empathize with the situations of the families and the significance of the
VALU Program. She says she remembers well the shock and devastation of
hearing from police seven years ago the news of the death of her son,
19-year-old Ben Carlson-Berne, who died in a hiking accident.
“In the (VALU Program)
support group, almost everyone is the mother of a child,” Carlson says. “For
parents, the death of a child is unthinkable. But then, to lose your child by
murder, you begin to question your faith in society and justice and God. You
question the circumstances of the murder. You want to know why, and who did
this to your child.
“With this program,
someone is now helping these families with these issues, while the detectives
can focus on doing what they were trained to do – gathering evidence and
building and solving a case,” Carlson says.
The UC social work
students in the VALU program found what an impact they had on the families
when they developed sympathy cards that they sent to families, including
around the Mother’s Day holiday, reminding them that people were thinking of
them and waiting to offer support.
That acknowledgement is
what prompted Shawn Willis of Avondale to get in touch with the program
following the shooting death of her seven-year-old-son, Earl Robinson, last
January, by an 11-year-old who was playing with a gun.
“It was rough. At the
time it happened, I couldn’t understand anything and I was so angry,” says
Willis. “After they sent me that card, I called right away and asked Monica
and Cheryl to come to my house.” A later group session opened better
relations between Willis and Cincinnati Police, and she says she continues to
receive individual counseling as well as attend group sessions with other
mothers who are coping with the deaths of children.
“I was amazed at how
the sympathy cards touched the families,” Conner says. “Some of the families
called me and said that they didn’t think the police really cared, and then
they would say how much that card meant to them. Those cards were developed
by the UC students to initiate contact and also open channels to assist the
families with support services.”
Conner noted that the
“amazing” UC student dedication to the program also comes from their own
pockets, paying for refreshments provided at the family support meetings that
they coordinate twice a month.
working with survivors of homicide victims are very humbling,” says Rumsey.
“What’s unique about our program is that we’re able to go to their homes
instead of making them come to the homicide unit and reliving the trauma.
“This is the best
thing that I’ve ever done for my personal growth and my field experience,”
Sergeant Conner adds
that the students are already planning support for a time that can renew
grief for families that have suffered a loss – the holidays. “A lot of the
victims that we work with have small children, and the students are planning
a holiday program with family members that includes a giving tree. They’re
asking the officers to donate a small gift for a child just to make sure that
child has a present for the holidays,” Conner says.
“They’re always working
outside that box and this holiday program in the planning is one example,”
November is National Adoption Month
There are 130,000 children and youth waiting to be adopted. National Adoption Month urges Americans to "Answer the Call" to adopt children and youth from foster care.
The ongoing national adoption recruitment campaign theme of "You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent" continues in the Ad Council's latest public service announcements
(PSAs). This award-winning campaign is a partnership of the Children’s Bureau, the Ad Council, and Adopt
. This year’s ads target the African American community and finding homes for African American children in care. Once again, the ads feature humorous everyday scenarios illustrating that parents need not be perfect to offer the stability and commitment that a “forever family” provides to a waiting child.
Visit the 2009 National Adoption Month
Web site (www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/nam
) at Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau, to find answers to your questions and to access adoption information and resources, including:
View the Adopt
national photolisting of children and youth waiting for homes: www.adoptuskids.org
The National Resource Center
for Adoption (NRCA) offers resources, training, and technical assistance to States, Tribes, and adoption agencies on a variety of adoption topics: www.nrcadoption.org
The Senior List® eldercare directory reaches milestone
The Senior List® (www.theseniorlist.com) has reached a major milestone in its growing database of eldercare providers. Recently, the 70,000th eldercare provider was added to the site’s database, making it one of the fastest growing eldercare resources in the country.
“To me, the biggest value for consumers will be realized when they can turn to a resource like The Senior List, and read meaningful testimonials from their peers. This will be our primary focus as we move into 2010,” says Chris Clark, co-founder and CEO.
The Senior List is a consumer-opinion Web site focused on linking families to quality senior services online. The directory listings range from assisted living facilities and nursing homes, to elder law attorneys and everything in-between.
The Senior List is a free resource that allows families to review, rate, or add senior service providers to the eldercare directory. Businesses can add their info to the database at no charge, and consumers are strongly encouraged to share their opinions in an effort to help a neighbor in need. You can find The Senior List online at www.theseniorlist.com
SocialWorkChat.org–A Service of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER and NASW
Connect with other social workers online! THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER magazine and the National Association of Social Workers have teamed up with the Social Work Forum to bring you SocialWorkChat.org, an online community of social workers offering twice-weekly online real-time chats on a variety of topics. The chats are held on Sunday and Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. Susan Mankita is the manager of SocialWorkChat.org.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 (tomorrow night!)
book club discussion
Sunday, November 22, 2009—Growing This Community
Sunday, December 20, 2009—Becoming a Field Instructor
Tuesday, December 22, 2009—Alternative Treatments
Registration is free! Chats are at 9 p.m. Eastern Time and will last about an hour. Check regularly for chat topics or sign up for e-mail reminders.
15% Discount Available on Continuing Education
YOU DESERVE CREDIT! Now you can get it. Keep up with your profession (and get credit for it) with THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER.
THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER has partnered with CEU4U (http://www.ceu4u.com/tnsw
) to provide online testing, so you can receive continuing education credit for reading your favorite magazine. Take THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER courses or ANY courses at http://www.ceu4u.com/tnsw
and automatically receive a 15% discount.
Continuing education credit is available for the Winter 2006-Fall 2008 issues of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER (2 hours/credit per issue).
JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WORK VALUES & ETHICS CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAM
The Journal of Social Work Values & Ethics, a free, online, peer-reviewed journal published by the publisher of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER, now offers continuing education credit. Beginning with the Spring 2007 issue of the journal, you are able to read selected articles and then take an online exam and receive continuing education credit. See http://www.socialworker.com/jswve/content/view/57/52/
for complete details of this program.
CE credits for the Journal of Social Work Values & Ethics are offered in cooperation with CE-Credit.com. To see a complete listing of the 600+ courses that CE-Credit.com offers, go to: http://www.socialworker.com/cecredit.html
Fall 2009 ISSUE OF THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER IS NOW AVAILABLE!
The Fall 2009 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER is now available to download in PDF format at:
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. The current issue is featured on the site’s main page. Past issues can be found under “Magazine Issues” on the top right column of the page. For selected full-text articles from issues prior to Spring 2006, click on “Feature Articles Archive” on the left side of the page. The magazine is also available for FREE download in PDF format.
Current articles from the Fall 2009 issue now online include:
• Student Role Model: Joan Edwards
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 the “Forum” link).
JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WORK VALUES AND ETHICS FALL ISSUE AVAILABLE NOW!
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 (with occasional special issues), in full text, online at: http://www.socialworker.com/jswve
The Fall 2009 edition is available online now at:
Articles in this edition include:
* Browse our hand-picked selection of social issues posters at THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER’s Poster Store or search for your own. (In association with AllPosters.com.)
* Social work specialty items: Visit http://www.cafepress.com/socialworker for our unique social work teddy bears, mugs, calendars, custom postage stamps, and other items.
White Hat Communications, publisher of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER magazine and the Social Work E-News, has published several books about social work. These books make great gifts (for graduation or other occasions) for yourself, or for your friends, students, and colleagues in social work!
Briefly, those currently in print are:
DAYS IN THE LIVES OF SOCIAL WORKERS: 54 Professionals Tell Real-Life Stories From Social Work Practice (3rd Edition), edited by Linda May Grobman
MORE DAYS IN THE LIVES OF SOCIAL WORKERS:35 Real-Life Stories of Advocacy, Outreach, and Other Intriguing Roles in Social Work Practice, edited by Linda May Grobman
DAYS IN THE LIVES OF GERONTOLOGICAL SOCIAL WORKERS: 44 Professionals Tell Stories From Real-Life Social Work Practice With Older Adults, edited by Linda May Grobman and Dara Bergel Bourassa.
THE SOCIAL WORK GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICANT’S HANDBOOK: The Complete Guide to Selecting and Applying to MSW Programs (2nd Edition), by Jesus Reyes
THE FIELD PLACEMENT SURVIVAL GUIDE: What You Need to Know to Get the Most From Your Social Work Practicum, edited by Linda May Grobman
We also publish books on nonprofit management. Want to start your own agency? Check out THE NONPROFIT HANDBOOK: Everything You Need to Know to Start and Run Your Nonprofit Organization (5th Edition), by Gary M. Grobman.
HOW TO ORDER
All of our books are available through our new secure online store at:
You can also download our catalog in PDF format at:
IN THIS ISSUE
Words from Our Sponsors
Job Corner/Current Job Openings
News & Resources
On Our Web Site
VISIT OUR ONLINE STORE
All of our books are available through our new online store
Use Coupon Code GIFT10 for a 10% discount on gift/novelty order of $15.00 or more! (Coupon expires 11/30/09.)
You can also download our catalog in PDF format.
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ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER
THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER® SOCIAL WORK E-NEWS is published by:
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 for rates and further information.
News: Please send brief social work-related news items to Linda for consideration.
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