Issue #101, April 14, 2009



Don’t Miss—Chat TONIGHT April 14, 9 p.m. Eastern Time at http://www.socialworkchat.org





Dear Social Work Colleagues,


Welcome to Issue #101 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.


April marks the observance of Alcohol Awareness Month, National Autism Awareness Month, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, STD Awareness Month, National Cancer Control Month, and National Donate Life Month, among others!  Also, special weeks and days this month include National Public Health Week (April 6-12), Careers in Aging Week (April 12-18), National Minority Cancer Awareness Week (April 19-25), World Health Day (April 7), Sexual Assault Awareness Month Day of Action (April 8), and Earth Day (April 22).


As of last week, the Spring issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER is now available on our Web site!  Go to http://www.socialworker.com to read the articles from this issue in Web format. You can also download this issue (and others) of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER magazine in PDF format FREE at http://www.socialworker.com/home/component/remository/Download/TheNewSocialWorkerMagazine/TheNewSocialWorkerVol.16No.2(Spring2009)/


You can now go to http://www.socialworker.com/home/menu/Subscribe/ and subscribe (free) to receive an e-mail reminder and table of contents of each issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER magazine when it is available.


In the Spring 2009 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER, we are introducing our new technology columnist, Karen Zgoda, who writes the “SW 2.0” column.  See her first column, a review of CaringBridge.org, at: http://www.socialworker.com/home/Feature_Articles/Technology/CaringBridge%3A_A_Valuable_Tool_for_Social_Workers_and_Those_With_Critical_Illness/


You can read THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER’s blog at: http://blog.socialworker.com – T.J., Karen, and I are posting on the blog.  Please be sure to leave your comments.  You can also subscribe to receive new blog posts by e-mail or in a feed reader.


And…THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER is now on Twitter, too! Go to http://www.twitter.com/newsocialworker to read our latest updates and follow us, so you don’t miss out on anything!


The Social Work E-News has just surpassed 26,000 subscribers this week, and thousands of social workers (and people interested in social work) visit our Web sites. If you like our Web sites, The New Social Worker, and the Social Work E-News, please help us spread the word!  Tell a friend, student, or colleague to visit us at http://www.socialworker.com, where they can download a PDF copy of the magazine, become our fan on Facebook, participate in discussions, and lots more.


Until next time,

Linda Grobman, ACSW, LSW











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Students Face Client Suicide: A Painful Reality

by Mollie Charter, MSW



I’ve been told there are two kinds of therapists: therapists who have had a client suicide and therapists who have not had a client suicide, yet. I was a student the first time I heard this saying, and I thought it was a gruesome statement that had no relevance to me. After all, I would never have a client suicide, I told myself, and furthermore, thinking about it was....I didn’t want to think about it at all.


Since then, I’ve wondered about my hesitance to contemplate such an important topic and why it seemed comparatively easier to think about other issues that often face our clients, like coping with trauma or struggling with physical and mental illness. I’ve also wondered about my denial in assuming I would never have to cope with client suicide. Social workers and social work students face some of the hardest realities, and suicide is a very real and possible one. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death in the United States (2004).

I’ve come up with a few “maybes” to help explain my own reaction to the possibility of client suicide. Maybe it was too difficult for me to acknowledge that becoming a clinical social worker, a profession I loved from the start, had some serious drawbacks. Maybe it challenged my self concept as “helper” to accept that I could be helpless to prevent clients from taking their own lives. I’ve discovered a new “maybe” that seems to make sense: maybe I was not the only one comforted by refusing to think about client suicide. A collective quiet, both in the classroom and in agencies, makes it possible to maintain the safe stance of “it will never happen to me”—a stance that becomes dangerous, if it ever does.

Could It Happen to Me?

For those who would like to maintain the “it will never happen to me” stance, I am the bearer of bad news. In a 2004 study, roughly one third of mental health social workers reported having had a client who committed suicide (Jacobson, Ting, Sanders, & Harrington, 2004). Even if you are among the lucky two-thirds, there is a strong possibility that a colleague, friend, or former classmate will face losing a client to suicide. Further, social workers who do not work in mental health often interact with clients who exhibit psychosocial problems that are among the strongest predictors of suicide, such as substance abuse or unemployment (Feldman & Freedenthal, 2006). Suicide is an issue that will likely affect all of us at some point in our careers, and some of us sooner than later.

While no research is available pertaining to social work students, studies have documented that eleven percent of psychology interns and roughly six percent of mental health counselors in training have reported losing a client to suicide (Kleespies, Penk, & Forsyth, 1993; McAdams & Foster, 2000). Statistics can feel meaningless, so try thinking about it like this: if your class has ten people, one of you has a relatively strong chance of facing this issue before you don your graduation cap, before you’ve mastered listening empathically, and while you still feel like you’re swimming upstream in the challenges of school work and field placements. Unfortunately, you will probably feel drastically unprepared to face what is happening.


Read the rest of this article at:



or download the Spring 2009 issue (which includes this article) at:






Careers in Aging Week

April 12-18 is Careers in Aging Week, a national event sponsored by the Gerontological Society of America and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.  At the Careers in Aging Web site (http://www.careersinaging.com), you can find many full-text articles about working in the field of aging/gerontology.






In recognition of Careers in Aging Week, the following excerpt is provided:


The Blessings of Meals on Wheels


by Kay A. Long, BSW, RSW


“Good morning, Meals on Wheels, Kay speaking.” Thus starts my day, five days a week, every other week, in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. I am part of an army of people throughout North America (maybe even the world) who feed people who can no longer prepare their own meals as a result of illness, disability, or age (in some cases all three). And, as we all know, a steady diet of canned soup, potato chips, and cookies is not conducive to healing and/or good health. Our bodies require a balanced, varied diet to promote physical, mental, and emotional well being. That’s where Meals on Wheels comes in. We provide a nutritious, hot meal, five days per week, for those who need our help, either on a short- or long-term basis. Meals on Wheels is a wonderful example of people helping people, and I believe passionately in our mission. In fact, I am such a strong supporter of this service that I came out of retirement for the third time to become a job-share coordinator for this nonprofit organization. At my age, a half-time position is perfect. It provides exercise for both mind and body, and I am able to help others—an important objective for all social workers.

You have to be inspired or crazy to go back to work at 68. Perhaps I’m a little of both, but as a board member and a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels, I saw firsthand the need for the service. So, when the newest job-share coordinator quit suddenly after only six months, I said I’d take the job. Most of the clients fit the category of the frail elderly, and many are living alone in their own homes. The majority of our volunteers are also senior citizens. Several have said that they support the service so it will be there when they need it. Our office is located in a seniors’ lodge, so I have daily interaction with seniors who have made the choice to be where lodging and meals are provided. There is always a variety of cheerful “good mornings” from people who are still mobile, often with various types of walkers. At my age, I am honored to be surrounded by those who are older and less active than I am; it also makes me feel like a “kid.”

My “on duty” days start at 8:00 a.m., when I unlock the door to our small office and switch on the lights. The first task of the day is to retrieve any messages from our voice mail. If clients have been hospitalized or invited out for lunch the night before, they call and leave a message that they will not need a meal for the next day. Most Mondays there will be at least one message from a client who has lost track of the days of the week and has called on Saturday, wondering why his or her meal is late. (We deliver meals Monday through Friday only.)

After all changes are made, I am ready to make the final count of clients to be served that day, process the billing on the computer, and ensure that the client cards in the route books match the roster for the day. The route books contain client cards with names, addresses, special dietary needs and delivery instructions (i.e., front door, back door, leave meal with neighbor, and so forth) for the volunteers who deliver the meals. Three days per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), there are seven color-coded routes. On Tuesday and Thursday, there are five routes. On a weekly basis, five days a week (even during holidays), we process, coordinate, and deliver approximately 350 meals. To further complicate the process of route preparation, not all clients receive meals five days a week. Meal delivery days are scheduled according to the client’s individual lifestyle and budget. Some of our clients get meals only three days a week, and their weekly scheduling varies in all possible combinations.

At 9:30 a.m., it is time to go to the kitchen and prepare the work area. Two young women who are employed through Lethbridge Family Services’ DaCapo Program carry out the actual process of placing the hot meal with accompanying soup, bun, crackers, and dessert in the styrofoam meal boxes. DaCapo is a program that trains the mentally and physically challenged people in our community, with the help of their job coach, to learn the basics of employment skills. Working with this team is one of the best parts of the job.

By 10:00 a.m., we are ready to roll. As the kitchen staff dishes up the meals, the DaCapo staff places the packaged food items into the styrofoam containers and I begin bundling the containers into the route groups. The first meals to be handled and sorted are the specials: diabetics, no gravy, no sauces, ground meat, or ground meat and vegetables. The meal boxes are strapped together in bundles of three to five boxes and color-coded with clip-on ribbons. As a bundle is completed, I load it onto a flat-bed dolly. On days when we serve large numbers of meals, we also use a large kitchen cart. If all goes well, we complete the job by 10:45 a.m. and take the meals down in the elevator to the volunteers who are waiting to deliver the meals to each individual client.

On a good day, everything goes according to plan. We have the correct number of meals, all the volunteer drivers and couriers show up, and all the clients are at home, waiting to get their meals. My best guess is that a good day happens about 50% of the time. If one of the above doesn’t happen according to plan, it is my responsibility to make it right. This means that there are days when we have to go back to the kitchen to get an extra meal, or I have to deliver a route, or act as a courier, or I have to get on the phone and call until I find out if a client is in the hospital, at home in distress, or just forgot it was a meal day and left home. Part of our service is a safety check for our clients and we, at times, have been the first alert that a client is in trouble.

Once the meals are gone, I begin to prepare for the next day. Before I go home at 4:00 p.m., I have completed the meal count, the client list, and the volunteers’ route assignments for tomorrow (all subject to change, of course).

This job is never dull, and we often operate in crisis mode. It is the personification of old Murphy’s Law: “If anything can go wrong, it will.” Along with the primary duty of getting the meals out each day, there is the daily bookkeeping, monthly collections, computer work, client applications and terminations, and phone and receptionist duties. Most important, we handle all exceptions to the rule as they arise and, trust me, they do. During any given month, there is interaction with approximately 100 clients who use the service, and at least that many volunteers.

For a social worker who has always described herself as a people person, it doesn’t get much better. I am blessed to have my December days of employment be the best I have experienced in more than 40 years of a working career.


This article is an excerpt from the book 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, published by White Hat Communications in 2007.  If you are interested in social work careers in aging and would like more information about this book, please see:  http://www.socialworker.com/home/Publications/Social_Work_Books/Days_in_the_Lives_of_Gerontological_Social_Workers/




Fewer Children Victims of Abuse and Neglect in 2007
Annual child maltreatment report released

The number of children who were maltreated declined between fiscal years 2006 and 2007, according to “Child Maltreatment 2007,” an annual report whose release by HHS’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF) marks the beginning of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. According to the report, an estimated 794,000 children were determined to be victims of maltreatment in 2007, down from 904,000 victims in 2006.

“While it is too early to say whether this year’s decrease reflects a trend, we are encouraged by these numbers,” said Curtis L. Coy, HHS acting assistant secretary for children and families.  “We know preventing child abuse requires coordination between federal, state, and local agencies, and we will continue to work together to protect all children from maltreatment.”

Data gathered through the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, which collects information on a voluntary basis from states, show that child protective services agencies received an estimated 3.2 million referrals of possible maltreatment for the year.  Of the 794,000 substantiated reports, the majority (59 percent) involved neglect.  The estimated number of children who died as a result of maltreatment rose by approximately 200 to 1760, a 15.5 percent increase over last year.

The rate of children who were found to be victims has been decreasing for a number of years. Between 2003 and 2006, the rate fluctuated between 12.2 and 12.0 per 1,000 children compared to 10.6 per 1,000 children for 2007.  Data for 2008 and 2009 will be closely monitored to determine if state changes in policy, programs, and procedures continue to result in similar trends.

To kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month, HHS’ Administration for Children and Families sponsored the 17th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect from March 30 – April 4 in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference, whose theme was “Focusing on the Future: Strengthening Families and Communities,” was an opportunity for professionals from around the country to learn more about the latest in evidence-based practice, innovations in prevention, and program models that work.

The full report, “Child Maltreatment 2007,” is available at:  http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm07/index.htm

Additional information on how to prevent child abuse is available at the Child Welfare Information Gateway: http://www.childwelfare.gov.











Case Manager sought to provide direct and supportive services to families in Union County New Jersey. Salary range $35K to 40K.  Fax resume and cover letter to (908) 353-5460.






Seeking dynamic, motivated, dependable, and experienced LCSW to help grow beautiful state of the art dual diagnosis treatment center in Malibu, CA. Must have family systems expertise!!! Must be willing to work 10 hours per day. Must have a desire to raise the industry standard of care and make a lasting change!! The team is driven and compelled to excellence!!

Seeking that special person!!!
E-mail deeamige@aol.com or phone 818-879-9110.


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 (for the third consecutive time) in Weddle’s Recruiter’s and Job Seeker’s Guide to Employment Web Sites 2007/2008.  Post your confidential resume at http://jobs.socialworkjobbank.com/c/resumes/resumes.cfm?site_id=122


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 at http://jobs.socialworkjobbank.com/r/jobs/post/index.cfm?site_id=122 for job posting options and SPECIAL offers.


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. 


There are 1,073 jobs currently posted on SocialWorkJobBank.com.  Check it out today.








World premiere of the Hallmark Hall of Fame film, "The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler"


Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) is April 21, 2009.  The world premiere of the Hallmark Hall of Fame film, "The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler," which tells the story of the Polish-born heroine and social worker who rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II, will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, at the Liberty Theatre, 113 S. Main St., Fort Scott, Kansas.  The Kansas screening is by invitation only.  The film will air nationwide on CBS Sunday, April 19, at 9 Eastern Time/8 Central Time.  Sendler’s heroic story was largely unknown until four Kansas high school students brought it to the forefront in their National History Day project in 1999, in which they created the play, “Life in a Jar.”  Sendler died May 12, 2008 at age 98.  Read more about her at http://www.irenasendler.org/.  For more about the film, see: http://www.cbs.com/specials/courageous_heart/







Public Health Week & Public Health Social Workers

April 6-12 was National Public Health Week.  Boston University and the Group for Public Health Social Work Initiatives (GPSI) recently launched the Campaign for Public Health Social Work (PHSW). The Campaign for Public Health Social Work raises awareness of the importance of public health and the many contributions that public health social workers play each day in creating a healthy America.  

To kick off the week, the Boston University School of Social Work released the Web site publichealthsocialwork.org.  The site contains information on the role of public health social work, its history, and the latest interdisciplinary research. Profiles of public health social workers are posted on the site.





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. 


Registration is free! Chats 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. 





SocialWorkJobBank.com Offers Ways to Find Social Work Jobs—New Resume System Launched


Have you been to SocialWorkJobBank.com lately?  Well, now is the time to visit and learn about THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER’s online job board for professional social workers.  This site is available to all social workers searching for employment opportunities.


We recognize that searching for employment opportunities within our specialized niche can be time-consuming and frustrating.  In providing this career center for our users, we are streamlining the process by focusing on our specific profession and offering jobs targeted to you.


We have just launched our new and improved résumé posting system.  Now you have a choice of building your résumé online or uploading your résumé in PDF or Word format.  If you previously posted a résumé on SocialWorkJobBank.com (before March 22, 2009), you will need to log in to your account and update your résumé.


The SocialWorkJobBank.com Career Center is the perfect place to begin searching for your next employment opportunity.  To access the career center to search through job listings, post your resume, and create job alerts, go to http://www.socialworkjobbank.com


SocialWorkJobBank.com Offers for Employers


We have some great offers for employers.  On our Products/Pricing page at http://jobs.socialworkjobbank.com/r/jobs/post/index.cfm?site_id=122 you can find all of our rates, packages, and special offers.  These include a Buy One Get One Free April Special for 30-day job postings.




15% Discount Now Available on THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER® Continuing Education Program


YOU DESERVE CREDIT! Now you can get it. Keep up with your profession (and get credit for it) with THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER.


We have 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).


All of these issues can be downloaded free of charge in PDF format at: http://www.socialworker.com/home/component/remository/Download/TheNewSocialWorkerMagazine/




Go to http://www.socialworker.com/home/menu/Continuing_Education_Program/ for complete details on THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER’s 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












The Spring 2009 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER is now available to download in PDF format at: http://www.socialworker.com/home/component/remository/Download/TheNewSocialWorkerMagazine/TheNewSocialWorkerVol.16No.2(Spring2009)/


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. The last several 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 Spring 2009 issue now online include:

• Student Role Model: Ashley Bunnell
The Day Self-Determination Died: The Challenges of Implementing Self-Determination in Day-to-Day Life
Students Face Client Suicide: A Painful Reality
A Different Kind of Teacher
An MSW Student’s Life 
Different Strokes: Art and Photo Therapy Promote Healing
The Need to Inject the Social in Addressing Mechanistic Clinical Misconceptions Found in Long-Term Care Environments
Coming Home as a Social Worker: A Recent Graduate's Experience in Professionally Helping Within Her Community
Building Your Private Practice
SW 2.0: CaringBridge
An Accidental Job Search
Social Work Students Learn About Harm Reduction in Switzerland


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).


Be sure to check out http://www.ceu4u.com/tnsw for online continuing education offerings, including courses based on reading THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER magazine. Receive a 15% discount on all courses you take at: http://www.ceu4u.com/tnsw






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 Winter 2008-2009 edition, a special issue on disabilities, is available online now.


Included in this edition are the following articles:




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.


Get continuing education credit for reading selected articles from the Journal of Social Work Values & Ethics. See http://www.socialworker.com/jswve/content/view/57/52/ for details.








*  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 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 Grobman.



All of our books are available through our new secure online ordering system at:



You can also download our catalog in PDF format at:









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Linda Grobman, Editor







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