Dear Social Work Colleagues,
Hello! Welcome to Issue #129 of the Social Work E-News! Thank you for subscribing to receive this e-mail newsletter, which is brought to you by the publisher of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER magazine, SocialWorker.com, SocialWorkJobBank.com, and other social work publications.
August marks the observance of Children's Eye Health and Safety Month, National Immunization Awareness Month, National Pain Awareness Month, Child Support Awareness Month, World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7), and more.
Coming in September: Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Healthy Aging Month, National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (September 18), World Alzheimer's Day (September 21), and more. In addition, this September will mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
REMINDER! The Summer 2011 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER is available NOW! Highlights of the Summer issue include Facebook/social media ethics, making the workplace (or field placement) work for you, Peace Corps Master's International Program, understanding care coordination, Kickstarter, book reviews, and more!
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THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER®
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Tips for Making Home Visits in Child Welfare
by Natalie D. Pope, PhD, LCSW, and Jennifer B. Hadden, MSW
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from an article from the current (Summer 2011) issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER. Read the full article at:
When first starting out, making a home visit to see a client can be an intimidating and even frightening experience for social workers. Yet, in many areas of practice, the majority of client contact is “in the field,” which typically means seeing a client someplace other than your office. Certainly for social workers practicing in the field of public child welfare (e.g., child protective services, family preservation, foster care, adoption), visiting clients in their home is the norm, rather than the exception.
Many benefits exist to seeing clients in their homes, particularly when working in child welfare. First, as social workers, we give special attention to our clients’ environment and how this affects their functioning and well-being. Observing clients’ living situations (conditions of the home, safety concerns, status of neighborhood and community, and so forth) can provide valuable and relevant information for assessment and case planning. Second, working with clients in their homes enables the social worker to “meet the clients where they are” and to potentially reduce the power differential inherent in work with mandated clients. Third, interventions delivered in the home, rather than in an office, might be easier for clients to implement, since the home is where problems often occur. Finally, service barriers such as limited transportation and scheduling conflicts can be avoided with home-based services (Collins, Jordan, & Coleman, 2010).
Despite the benefits of seeing clients in their homes, there are some inherent challenges and things to keep in mind when interviewing parents and children in their home.
Building Rapport to Get in the Door
Upon first contact with a client, social workers are often met with some barriers. The worker’s ability to gain entry into the home is often indicative of resistance to or compliance with intervention. Here are some suggestions for a first meeting in a client’s home:
1. Knock with authority, but not in a threatening way. It should be audible, but not deafening. Sometimes you must knock a few times before the client will answer. Try to refrain from “peeking” in windows, unless you are concerned for the potential safety of children in the home after repeatedly unanswered knocks.
2. Introduce yourself using your first and last name, and agency representation. You may need to repeat your first name a few times to allow the client to identify you not only as an agency representative, but also a person. When possible, smile. You might say something like, “Our agency received a call from someone concerned about your children. I would like to discuss that concern with you.”
3. Prior to asking to be invited into a client’s home, it is sometimes necessary to allow the client to process the idea of agency intervention. You may have to ask more than once.
4. Once in the home, ask the client’s permission to be seated and follow his or her instruction on where to sit. You may ask to move at some point during the visit, once rapport has been established.
Read the rest of this article at:
Articles from the Summer 2011 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER include:
Tenth Anniversary of 9/11: Day of Service
Give an Hour(GAH) is joining with Points of Light and the HandsOn Network and partnering with the National Association of Social Workers, American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and other national and state associations to engage mental health professionals in recognizing the 10th Anniversary of the September 11 attacks. GAH asks mental health professionals to consider making a tribute by committing to:
Join Give an Hour or another pro-bono effort in the community to provide free mental health counseling to service personnel, veterans, and their loved ones.
Commit to giving a talk in the community to raise awareness about the mental health issues affecting those who serve and their families.
To sign up and join the 9/11 tribute movement, visit 911dayofservice.
To learn more about GAH's role in the 9/11 tribute movement, go to the GAH blog.
THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER BOOK CLUB Is Reading A STOLEN LIFE
By Linda May Grobman, ACSW, LSW, Publisher/Editor, THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER
THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER Book Club is back! Have you read our book selection yet? It is Jaycee Dugard's new book, A STOLEN LIFE: A MEMOIR. In this book, Dugard chronicles her experience of being kidnapped at age 11 and being held by her captors for 18 years before being found and returned home to her family. I just finished reading the book. There are several social work-related themes that our social work book club can discuss, including sexual abuse, mental illness, resilience, coping mechanisms, and flaws in the criminal justice system, to name a few.
The book A STOLEN LIFE was released last month. You can order it here:
University at Buffalo Social Work Researcher Adding to Shift to “Good Death”
University at Buffalo School of Social Work Professor Deborah P. Waldrop has seen people die. Too often, their lives have ended in pain and despair, spending their final days in an alienating institutional environment, just another patient in an impersonal progression that leads to what she calls "reciprocal suffering" for families who also watch their loved ones die.
There is another way. In the decades and multiple settings in which Waldrop has worked with terminal patients, she has seen a growing emphasis on factors that contribute to a "good death." People can make that life transition in a home that has sustained them for many years, surrounded by the people who have given their lives meaning. "Comfort" can be the defining goal of a death without pain and suffering.
Too often, Waldrop says, critically and chronically ill patients lack information about options for care that can lead to that "good death" scenario. Bridging that gap--identifying the factors or "trigger points" at which important conversations should happen--is what her
latest end-of-life research is all about.
She discusses her research in a video interview:
"People are without information, and providers and families often don't have the skills to ask difficult question such as: 'How much longer do you want to keep going back to the hospital?'" says Waldrop.
"There is an avoidance of death in our society that often sidesteps these questions. When asked, the majority of people, say they want to die at home surrounded by their family. Yet, actually 60 percent of chronically ill people die in hospitals and 20 percent die in nursing homes, so these wishes are often unfulfilled. There may be many reasons for this.
"We're not having these conversations. We're not addressing what people want. When you don't really talk about it, things like unwanted aggressive treatment or another emergency room visit happen by default."
Waldrop is a soft-spoken academic and researcher whose words accelerate and whose tone fills with intensity when she addresses the urgency of her work. If the idea of a good or more compassionate death is starting to enter the American mainstream, it's an uneven process, with stops and starts. Various professional organizations throughout the country are focused on improving options for care in advanced chronic illness and encouraging conversations about individual wishes at the end of life.
But there's an abyss that exists between what people say they want and what they end up doing, Waldrop says, a gap that brings physical, emotional, psychological and existential pain. And because more and more people are living longer, it's more common than ever. The difference between choosing palliative care and continuing along a traditional medical path with a cure as the goal is often profound.
The bulk of Waldrop's research consists of face-to-face interviews, almost 200, of patients and the people who have taken on the responsibility of caring for these terminal patients.
So far, the factors that affect the decision to ask for hospice care break down into two categories. There are clear physical factors. When does a person lose the ability to manage the activities of daily living?
"The loss of functional abilities is key," Waldrop says. "That requires more caregiving from families. When someone has pain or symptoms that are out of control, that's one of the trigger points to families that lead them to say they can't do this anymore. What is their life going to look like from now on? How am I going to manage?"
There is also a spiritual, existential, or psychosocial side. At what point do people realize they are dying? There is a point at which they recognize that death is approaching and they just want to be comfortable and surrounded by their family.
"What is it that brings people to the point at which they can consider different options?" Waldrop asks.
Once she identifies the trigger points that have determined when patients move from curative to palliative care, Waldrop will share these factors with patients facing terminal illnesses, their loved ones, and also with professionals whose job it is to talk with families about the end of life.
"This is my life's work,” she says of her research. “I spent 25 years as a social worker sitting with people who were making difficult decisions among bad options. Additional and better options such as hospice and palliative care in a variety of settings now exist, but access is uneven. And, it has to start with frank, honest conversations about what people want and what families can do.
"People don't have to pursue aggressive treatment as though there were no choices. The best approach for people is not always 'Give me all you got.' And these options have been slow to make it to the mainstream of medical specialties.
"This may be what people want most of all."
SHOWTIME® to Premiere REBIRTH on the 10th Anniversary of the
Events of September 11
The result of a filmmaking journey into living history, the story of REBIRTH, directed by Jim Whitaker, follows the transformation of five people, over the course of 10 years, whose lives were forever altered on September 11, 2001 – and simultaneously tracks, via unprecedented multi-camera time lapse photography, the evolution of the space where the Twin Towers once rose over lower Manhattan.
Whitaker seamlessly weaves these personal stories of hope and healing and reveals a universal truth, one which shows human beings will overcome and aspire to renewal, even when the very fabric of their lives has changed.
Oscilloscope will release REBIRTH in theatres in August 2011. SHOWTIME will broadcast REBIRTH on the 10th anniversary of the events of September 11th.
The film, as well as other original programming created by the REBIRTH team, will eventually be housed at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum located at Ground Zero. All proceeds from REBIRTH will go to the Project Rebirth Center to develop and provide new multi-media tools to aid the therapists, academics, first responders and others working with people dealing with grief.
The project’s founding sponsor is the Aon Foundation. The principal sponsors of the project are OppenheimerFunds and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.
“We are proud and honored to be associated with this film from my old friend Jim Whitaker who has emerged as an amazing filmmaker,” said David Nevins, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc. “His skillful telling of the personal journeys of a remarkable group of people touched by the tragic events of September 11 makes for an extremely powerful and moving film.”
"It's inspiring for all of us to be able to work with a film that has a unique perspective of how time and healing are connected. Jim and the team have captured something distinctive within the historical context of the events of September 11, yet its emotional truths are completely universal,” said Oscilloscope Laboratories’ David Fenkel.
“I am delighted and grateful to both David Nevins of SHOWTIME and David Fenkel of Oscilloscope and their teams for acquiring REBIRTH. It is especially gratifying to everyone who has worked so hard on the film for so many years that REBIRTH, which offers a very hopeful message, will be released theatrically and televised around the 10th anniversary of September 11th,” stated REBIRTH director and producer Whitaker. “All of us involved in REBIRTH are thrilled to be partnering with Showtime and Oscilloscope for the distribution of the film. Both companies have shown tremendous passion for the project, and their commitment to its optimistic message of healing and recovery will ensure that the film receives the best possible distribution,” said REBIRTH producer David Solomon.
Recent Headlines in the News
Annette Charles, Cha Cha from Grease, Dies at 63
The actress who played Cha Cha in the 1970s movie Grease, later earned a Master's in Social Work from NYU. She died last week.
College Students Distribute 135 Backpacks to Needy Children
Social work students at the University of Central Florida are preparing to distribute backpacks filled with school supplies this week.
Office Stress Expert: W. VA Social Workers Risking Burn-Out
An expert explains that social workers and other helping professionals risk burn-out, and knowing this can make it easier to address.
Journal of Social Service Research: Call for Papers
Pre-School Children with Chronic Illnesses
The Journal of Social Service Research seeks multidisciplinary research-related manuscripts for a special issue on preschool children (under the age of five) suffering from chronic, congenital, or terminal illness. Topic areas related to the stressors and challenges affecting parents and families will be considered for peer review. Manuscripts on relationships between illnesses and family interactional patterns as well as how culture, race, and ethnicity affect chronically ill children and their families are encouraged. All articles need to reflect research that is data-based OR extensive literature reviews that clearly outline previous research and make recommendations for future research. Deadline for submission is October 2011.
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.
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.
Go to http://www.socialworkchat.org to register and participate in the chats and other features of the site. (Note: The site has been experiencing some technical difficulties.)
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SUMMER 2011 ISSUE OF THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER IS NOW AVAILABLE!
The Summer 2011 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER is available now! It is 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” in the 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.
Individual articles from the Summer 2011 issue now online include:
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 SPRING ISSUE AVAILABLE!
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 Spring 2011 edition is available online now at:
Go to the journal Web site at http://www.socialworker.com/jswve to read this and other available issues. You can also sign up for a free subscription, and you will be notified by e-mail when each issue is available online.
CE credits for the Journal of Social Work Values & Ethics are offered in cooperation with CE-Credit.com. New pricing! The basic price per credit hour is $6.97. Buying course credits in multiple-credit packages can give you a significant savings. To see a complete listing of the 800+ courses that CE-Credit.com offers, go to: http://www.socialworker.com/cecredit.html
SHOP ON OUR WEB SITE
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.
IS IT ETHICAL? 101 SCENARIOS IN EVERYDAY SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE: A DISCUSSION WORKBOOK, by Thomas Horn
THE FIELD PLACEMENT SURVIVAL GUIDE: What You Need to Know to Get the Most From Your Social Work Practicum, 2nd Edition, 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 (6th Edition), by Gary M. Grobman.
HOW TO ORDER
All of our books are available through our secure online store at:
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IN THIS ISSUE
Words from Our Sponsors
Job Corner/Current Job Openings
News & Resources
On Our Web Site
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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)
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Linda Grobman, Editor
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