Social Work E-News
  Issue #115, June 8, 2010
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Social Work Chat tonight, June 8:
Editor's Eye
Dear Social Work Colleagues,
Hello! Welcome to Issue #115 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,,, and other social work publications.
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June marks the observance of Men’s Health Month, Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, Home Safety Month, National Scoliosis Awareness Month, National Scleroderma Awareness Month, National Aphasia Awareness Month, Vision Research Month, National Men’s Health Week, National Headache Awareness Week, National Cancer Survivors Day, and National HIV Testing Day, among others.
Coming in July: Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, National Black Family Month, UV Safety Month, and more.
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Job Corner
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR--ZUMBRO VALLEY MENTAL HEALTH CENTER Rochester, MN   Zumbro Valley Mental Health Center, a non-profit and progressive organization providing mental and chemical health services in Olmsted, Fillmore, and surrounding counties, is currently seeking an Executive Director to oversee the operations of the organization.  Reporting to the Board of Directors, the qualified individual will: provide leadership to the senior management team; plan, organize, and coordinate the overall direction and operations of the organization; develop and maintain positive working relationships with external community partners, agencies, individuals, and other stakeholders; and be responsible for executing the plans, policies, and objectives of the board.  Experience and demonstrated leadership in developing a creative vision and implementing non-traditional business solutions such as multi-organizational partnerships is preferred.  A master’s degree in behavioral health science, management, business, or related field and a minimum of 5 years of supervisory, budgeting, and management experience in a Human Services organization is required.  Knowledge of community mental and chemical health resources in Southeastern MN preferred.  
We offer a competitive wage and comprehensive benefits package including health, life, disability, 401K, and paid time off.  Equal Employment Opportunity.  Applications will be accepted through June 30, 2010.  Please send résumé and cover letter to: or Zumbro Valley Mental Health Center Attn: Human Resources 343 Wood Lake Drive SE Rochester, MN  55904   Visit our website at        
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Article Excerpt:  Presenting a Patient or Client to the Medical Team
by Judith P. Bradley, CSW
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from an article from the Spring 2010 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER. Read the full article at:
Aside from clinical training and experience, the one skill a clinician must develop is that of communication. That sounds simple enough—talking and hearing. These abilities are not enough. Let’s look at the ability to LISTEN with purpose and SPEAK with intent. These skills will serve you and the recipient of your services well. The cornerstone of human service is the exchange of information, whether hard data or the interchange of clinical thought. I will address one area of the clinical process, and that is the presentation of a client to colleagues.
Your information must be relevant and presented in an organized and succinct manner. You must have a template, either in an agency approved written format or your own “cheat sheet.” In some cases, with years of experience, the format can be in your head. I do not recommend it. If you overlook pertinent information, it may get lost in the process. Train yourself from the beginning to be thorough. Over-confidence at any stage in your career can lead to a poor outcome. I recommend that you begin to study and learn your contact forms and use them wisely. Take your own ancillary notes if you must, but the information incorporated into your agency notes must be accurate and appropriate. This will be your guide for presentation.

The presentation itself can feel daunting. It does not have to be. Once you have your pertinent written data, you must then use the skill of speaking with intent. If you are “all over the place,” the clinical picture of your client will be lost in words. Over time, I learned to use the following format when speaking:

Objective assessment of client at initial presentation (what I see)
Client’s assessment of self and presenting problem (what I hear)
Pertinent bio/psycho/social data (information I collect)
Collateral information, if taken (from whom and in what context)
Clinical impression, if appropriate in agency (what I determine thus far)
Initial disposition of client, including colleagues consulted (what I did)

The content of the above likely does not include exact information you need to present, unless you are in the behavioral health setting. Nonetheless, there will be necessary data you must impart to serve your client. You may use the above as a guide to organize and train your own mind to consistent gathering of information.

Now let us look at presentations I have heard in real clinical settings. The clients are real but, of course, with no identifying information.
Read the rest of this article at:
Additional articles from the Spring 2010 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER include:
…and more!
Gay and Gray: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Aging
by Lisa Krinsky, MSW, LICSW
(Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from the book DAYS IN THE LIVES OF GERONTOLOGICAL SOCIAL WORKERS, edited by Linda May Grobman and Dara Bergel Bourassa. You can find out more about this book, see a Table of Contents, and order the book from our online store at
I am the Director of the LGBT Aging Project in Boston, an organization whose mission is to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender elders have equal access to the life-prolonging benefits, protections, services, and institutions that their heterosexual neighbors take for granted. Until our formation, there was no organized effort in Massachusetts to understand and address the needs of this invisible, isolated, understudied, and unquestionably disenfranchised population. Typically, LGBT elder activists replicate mainstream services and provide them directly to elders. While this is important work, the LGBT Aging Project has a different approach: we are a catalyst for conversation, consensus building, and change within the vast aging services infrastructure that already exists. We offer education and technical assistance to fair minded mainstream providers who are willing to serve all clients competently, equally, and sensitively—but in this case, simply don’t know how. We offer a framework for elders, their families, and caregivers who are willing to advocate for themselves.
Like many small nonprofit organizations, we are an overwhelmingly volunteer-based organization. I am the only full-time staff person, and we have recently hired a part-time outreach/education coordinator through a grant we received. I also have a great social work intern who has experience in elder care and is focusing on macro practice in gerontology. I report to our Steering Committee, which oversees the LGBT Aging Project.
So what do I do? Much of my time, I am conducting educational trainings for elder care providers, consulting with mainstream elder care organizations, giving presentations to community groups, advocating with state legislators on behalf of LGBT elders, planning events and programs, writing grants, and working with a caregiver support program. I spend a lot of time multitasking and working independently. This is really exciting, innovative work. There is no one else in the state of Massachusetts doing this kind of work, and very few others across the country.
So, a typical day in a job that has no typical days....
8 a.m.-9:30 a.m.: I get to the office about 8 a.m. The LGBT Aging Project rents office space from a mainstream elder care agency, so I have the benefit of being with other people (rather than working from home, or in an office all alone). It’s nice to have this sense of connection, rather than complete isolation. I also spend a lot of time out of the office, consulting with a variety of mainstream elder care agencies throughout the state that are working on becoming inclusive of the issues around LGBT aging. This means I also spend a lot of time in my car.
As with many jobs, a lot of my communication with our 250 members and constituents is through e-mail, so that can be time consuming. But there are two very exciting e-mails awaiting me this morning.
First, our Public Policy Committee is working with local legislators to refile the MassHealth Equality bill, and 42 of 200 state representatives and senators have signed on as sponsors. This bill proposes that Massachusetts’ Medicaid program will grant to all married same-sex couples the same responsibilities, rights, benefits, and protections guaranteed to opposite sex married couples recognized by federal law. This is particularly important here in Massachusetts, because we are currently the only state with same sex marriage. Federal law does not recognize these marriages, and Medicaid is funded through state and federal matching funds. For elders, this is a crucial matter, as they face long-term care issues and consider how to pay for a spouse’s long-term care without impoverishing the community spouse. Medicaid has regulations regarding income and home ownership in place to prevent the community spouse from impoverishment and homelessness. We believe that Massachusetts has an obligation to extend these benefits and obligations to all married couples, regardless of the state and federal split.
We have refiled this bill, since it didn’t make it through the legislative system in the last session. This has been a great way for me to learn about the legislative process.
I e-mail the Public Policy Committee that we’ll have to schedule time to visit legislators at the State House to talk with them further about our bill. I also contact an LGBT senior couple to join us. Real people help legislators “see” real issues. These two women, in their late 60s, have been together for almost 20 years and married for three years. These issues are a very worrisome reality for them.
The second exciting e-mail is from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The task force is hosting the second meeting of its National Roundtable on LGBT Aging in DC in a few weeks. About 30 of us have been invited to participate in this work group to craft a national agenda on LGBT aging. I attended the first Roundtable meeting last June and RSVP that I’ll be there again. It’s great to work with other professionals who are dedicated to the issues around LGBT aging. The downside of being a leader in an innovative field is that I have few colleagues who actually do the same kind of work I do, so it’s encouraging to build a network with people in Chicago, California, DC, Wisconsin, and elsewhere throughout the country. Many of these people are also members of the American Society on Aging (ASA) and its affiliate group LGAIN (Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network), which issues newsletters on a regular basis and keeps us up to date on what our peers are doing.
9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: I spend the next two and a half hours working on a new grant proposal. Most of our funding comes from grants. We have a very small budget (less than $150,000/year), and each grant is extremely important to maintaining and hopefully expanding our efforts. This grant proposal is for general operating expenses, so I will focus on a broad overview of our mission and our efforts. Some grants have been more program specific—we have a caregiver grant that supports our LGBT Caregiver Support Group and the LGBT Bereavement Group we hope to start soon. I am a good writer, and the only daunting parts of writing a grant proposal are finding quiet time without distractions (phone calls, e-mails, piles of other work) to concentrate on writing. Sometimes I’ll do that at home, or take my laptop to the library.
Part of preparing a grant proposal includes the financial budget information, so I am on the phone with our accountant to prepare the details of our budget for this grant proposal. She e-mails me a draft of the budget, and we review it before including it in the grant proposal.
As a small nonprofit, we don’t handle the “business” end of our work. We work with an organization whose mission is to support small nonprofits by acting as their fiscal sponsor. We operate under the fiscal sponsor’s 501(c)(3), which certifies federal tax-exempt, nonprofit status, and our organization is provided with the accounting, financial management, legal, and contract writing and signatures, human resources services, and benefits. I am officially an employee of the fiscal sponsor and receive salary and benefits through that organization. We pay the fiscal sponsor a small percentage of our operating budget for its services. This has been a great resource for the LGBT Aging Project, as my background is in clinical social work, and I don’t have the skills for that kind of accounting and financial management.
12:15 p.m.: I jump into my car and head off to a local hospital for a presentation. I leave myself enough time to find parking and the location of my presentation. My social work intern is joining me to observe this presentation, and we chat about her project on our way there. Official supervision is at the end of the week.
1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.: I am presenting “LGBT Aging 101: What You Need To Know About Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders” for the geriatric medical team at this large teaching hospital in Boston. There are about 30 people present—staff physicians, nurses, social workers, and the interns working with them. This team provides hospital- and community-based care for the elders of Boston. I use my standard PowerPoint presentation and have distributed handouts so they can follow along. I give them an overview of our mission, and then educate them about general LGBT information before focusing on elder-specific issues—legal, financial, social, historical. One of the participants tells me, “I treat everyone the same,” and this leads to a terrific conversation about what has been unique in LGBT elders’ experiences. Having experienced institutional homophobia by medical, educational, faith, legal, housing, and employment providers, many LGBT elders learned to be invisible to avoid discrimination. That lack of trust in systems whose intentions are to be helpful means that how providers approach their clients can have a powerful impact. We focus on interviewing techniques, how to ask questions, and ways to talk about LGBT issues with elders. Some participants share their experiences working with LGBT elders and their families and learn from each other as well as from me. Evaluation forms indicate they found the presentation interesting and valuable to their work. That feels good.
Read about the rest of Lisa’s day at the LGBT Aging Project in Chapter 37 of DAYS IN THE LIVES OF GERONTOLOGICAL SOCIAL WORKERS.
Presidential Proclamation--LGBT Pride Month
As Americans, it is our birthright that all people are created equal and deserve the same rights, privileges, and opportunities.  Since our earliest days of independence, our Nation has striven to fulfill that promise.  An important chapter in our great, unfinished story is the movement for fairness and equality on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.  This month, as we recognize the immeasurable contributions of LGBT Americans, we renew our commitment to the struggle for equal rights for LGBT Americans and to ending prejudice and injustice wherever it exists.
LGBT Americans have enriched and strengthened the fabric of our national life.  From business leaders and professors to athletes and first responders, LGBT individuals have achieved success and prominence in every discipline.  They are our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters, and our friends and neighbors.  Across my Administration, openly LGBT employees are serving at every level.  Thanks to those who came before us--the brave men and women who marched, stood up to injustice, and brought change through acts of compassion or defiance--we have made enormous progress and continue to strive for a more perfect union.
My Administration has advanced our journey by signing into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which strengthens Federal protections against crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.  We renewed the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides life saving medical services and support to Americans living with HIV/AIDS, and finally eliminated the HIV entry ban.  I also signed a Presidential Memorandum directing hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds to give LGBT patients the compassion and security they deserve in their time of need, including the ability to choose someone other than an immediate family member to visit them and make medical decisions.
In other areas, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a series of proposals to ensure core housing programs are open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.  HUD also announced the first ever national study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the rental and sale of housing.  Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services has created a National Resource Center for LGBT Elders.
Much work remains to fulfill our Nation’s promise of equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.  That is why we must give committed gay couples the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple, and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.  We must protect the rights of LGBT families by securing their adoption rights, ending employment discrimination against LGBT Americans, and ensuring Federal employees receive equal benefits.  We must create safer schools so all our children may learn in a supportive environment.  I am also committed to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" so patriotic LGBT Americans can serve openly in our military, and I am working with the Congress and our military leadership to accomplish that goal.
As we honor the LGBT Americans who have given so much to our Nation, let us remember that if one of us is unable to realize full equality, we all fall short of our founding principles.  Our Nation draws its strength from our diversity, with each of us contributing to the greater whole.  By affirming these rights and values, each American benefits from the further advancement of liberty and justice for all.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2010 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.  I call upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
June is Aphasia Awareness Month
According to the National Aphasia Association, aphasia is “an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person's ability to process language, but does not affect intelligence. Aphasia impairs the ability to speak and understand others, and most people with aphasia experience difficulty reading and writing.”  It is often acquired as the result of a stroke or other brain injury.  More than 100,000 Americans acquire aphasia each year.  There are many different types of aphasia, affecting people of all ages, races, genders, and nationalities.
For more information about aphasia, see the National Aphasia Association Web site at  Here you will find an aphasia quiz, aphasia facts, communications “do”s and “don’t”s, a guide for family and friends, and more.
News & Resources–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, 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
TONIGHT’S CHAT: “Best Books” in social work--June 8, 9 p.m. Eastern Time
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 to register and participate in the chats and other features of the site.
ASWB Completes Social Work Practice Analysis
The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) has completed its most recent analysis of social work practice in North America, and will be using new social work licensure examinations based on this study in early 2011. In addition to reorganized content for all five licensure examinations used across the United States and in two Canadian provinces, the association has published—for the first time—the knowledge statements that describe specific competencies that will be addressed in the examinations.
Beginning in January 2011, social work licensing examination candidates will be taking tests that have fewer major content areas, and will be able to prepare for those tests by accessing the full range of literally hundreds of the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) statements that can be the focus of individual test questions on the examinations. The availability of the entire set of KSAs will assist boards, educational programs, and others in “demystifying” the entire examination process. Content outlines and KSA lists are contained in the practice analysis final report, which can be downloaded in its entirety at
Practice analyses are a crucial component in the development of valid licensure examinations. The ASWB practice analysis encompassed all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and all ten Canadian provinces, and sought to identify knowledge necessary to safe social work entry-level practice. The results of the analysis serve as the basis for the development of licensure examinations that reflect current social work practice.
The Association of Social Work Boards is the association of state and provincial social work regulatory bodies. Its mission is to assist its members through the development of uniform assessments and other services that strengthen protection of the public. Membership includes 49 states, the US Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, and ten Canadian provinces.
CSWE Commemorates the Accomplishments of Congressman Ciro Rodriguez, Barbara White, and Alberta Ellett

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) honors Congressman Ciro Rodriguez (Texas, 23rd Congressional District), Barbara White (University of Texas at Austin), and Alberta “Bert” Ellett (University of Georgia), respectively, for their outstanding contributions to social work education with this year’s Presidential, Significant Lifetime Achievement in Social Work Education, and Distinguished Recent Contributions in Social Work Education Awards.
“The leadership that these individuals have demonstrated in their immediate social work education communities is an inspiration,” said CSWE Executive Director Julia M. Watkins. “They have helped guide the profession in directions that will have a lasting, positive impact on higher education and future generations of social workers.”
The awardees for the Significant Lifetime Achievement in Social Work Education and Distinguished Recent Contributions in Social Work Education Awards were selected from a pool of peer-generated nominations throughout the United States. Presidential Award recipients are appointed by the CSWE president.
Ira C. Colby, CSWE’s current president, presented Congressman Rodriguez with the Presidential Award at CSWE’s Spring Governance Meeting on March 25 in recognition of his tireless advocacy on behalf of individuals at a disadvantage. A former social worker, Congressman Rodriguez has demonstrated his commitment to education and its link to policy by supporting loan forgiveness, health care reform, and behavioral health initiatives. Most recently, he introduced the Veterans Health Professionals Education Assistance Act of 2009, which contains an array of educational benefits for social work within the veterans’ affairs system. The Act also would expand two existing programs administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—loan repayment for professionals from underserved backgrounds and the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program.
Barbara White and Bert Ellett will be presented with their awards at the opening ceremony of CSWE’s 2010 Annual Program Meeting on October 14 in Portland, OR.
Barbara White is being recognized for her entrepreneurship over the course of her distinguished career. Appointed University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work dean in 1993, White was president of CSWE from 1998–2001 and previously held the same position with the National Association of Social Workers. She has also served on the International Association of Schools of Social Work’s Board of Directors and was previously director of Florida State University’s MSW program. An enthusiastic public speaker, White holds the Centennial Professorship in Leadership and is an accomplished scholar in the areas of cultural diversity, women, and domestic violence.
Renowned in the child welfare field, Bert Ellett has excelled at research, grantsmanship, teaching, and service in this social work specialty area. Ellett was the principal investigator of a recent statewide study in Georgia investigating child welfare staff retention and turnover, which led to development of an employee selection protocol and a U.S. Children’s Bureau grant in child welfare. She has been the principal investigator of the Title IV-E Child Welfare Education Program since 2001 and is currently co-editor of the Journal of Public Child Welfare. She chairs the Child Welfare Track at the CSWE Annual Program Meeting.
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is a nonprofit national association representing more than 3,000 individual members, as well as graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social work education. Founded in 1952, this partnership of educational and professional institutions, social welfare agencies, and private citizens is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education.
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On Our Web Site
The Summer issue is coming soon!  The Spring 2010 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER is available now.  The Spring 2010 issue is available to download in PDF format at:
THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER’s Web site at 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.
Individual articles from the Spring 2010 issue now online include:
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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:
The Spring 2010 edition is available online now at:
This is a special edition on social work research ethics.  It is also the first edition in a new PDF format.
Go to the journal Web site at 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.
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In Print
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.
All of our books are available through our new secure online store at:
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