|Social Work E-News
||Issue #112, March 9, 2010
Dear Social Work Colleagues,
HAPPY SOCIAL WORK MONTH! Welcome to Issue #112 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.
Last week, I attended the career fair at Temple University
It was great seeing social work students and faculty, as well as networking with community agencies. Welcome to our new subscribers who signed up for the E-News
at the career fair!
Next week, I will be at the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors (BPD) conference in Atlanta
). I hope to see you there. If you are at the conference, please stop by Booth #107 to say hello!
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In March, we are observing National Social Work Month, National Kidney Month, National Women’s History Month, National Nutrition Month, National Ethics Awareness Month, Youth Violence Prevention Week, International Women’s Day, and MS Awareness Day, among others.
Coming in April: Alcohol Awareness Month, National Autism Awareness Month, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, National Donate Life Month, National Minority Health Awareness Month, Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, World Health Day, and more.
Individual articles from this issue are also available on our Web site in Web format. Just go to http://www.socialworker.com
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Until next time,
Linda Grobman, ACSW, LSW
THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER®
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Is your life’s work developing others’ life-skills?
The Peace Corps
is recruiting people experienced in working with at-risk children to become part of a service legacy that dates back to 1961. Add a new dimension to your career in unforgettable locations, and discover innovative ways to apply your workplace, education, and leadership experiences. Youth Development Volunteers work directly with at-risk youth and families, while helping communities, schools, and agencies develop programs to support them. Local partners include orphanages, schools, NGOs, and youth centers in the community in which Volunteers are placed. You’ll take away the satisfaction of knowing your efforts will have a lasting influence abroad while making you stand out here at home. Plus: stipend, benefits package, language and technical training, student loan advantages, transition money, grad school opportunities, and more. Your Skills. Our Jobs.
Find out more at http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=learn.whatvol&cid=SSYO_TNSW
MILITARY & FAMILY LIFE CONSULTANT
MHN Government Services Military & Family Life Consultant (MFLC) Program is seeking independently licensed clinicians with schools experience to support military kids in on- and off-post schools.
MFLCs are independent contractors who provide informal support/coaching to active duty service members and their families. MFLCs in schools support military kids, school staff, and teachers.
Contract rate is $50/hour - 40 hour week - plus travel/lodging/meals, if travel required. Rotations are up to 90 days in length.
SOCIAL WORK MARKETING/INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR
The publisher of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER
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There are 1,067 jobs currently posted on SocialWorkJobBank.com. Check it out today.
Article Excerpt: Preparing for the Future: A Career in Gerontological Social Work
by Karen Graziano, LCSW
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from an article from the Winter 2010 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER. Read the full article at:
It may surprise you that the elderly are you and I. As C.S. Lewis has observed, “The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” It is one of the great equalizers. According to one of the most insightful raconteurs of our time, George Carlin, “There’s no present. There’s only the immediate future and the recent past.” Although it may be tempting to get lost in the moment, for the Boomers, the future is now. This segment of society, those over 60 years of age, is expanding exponentially, with the group over 85 years old, experiencing the most significant increase. Social workers will play an increasingly visible role in this compelling dimension.
The opportunities for gerontological social workers seem extensive. As we devote our talents to health and homeostasis of every system, let us remember a poignant one liner of George Burns, a most famous and clever centagenerian: “I look to the future because that’s where I’m going to spend the rest of my life.”
Offering a somewhat broader perspective, anthropologist Otto von Mering proclaims a worldwide mission: “Think globally, act locally. Think future, act now.” The need for intervention, moreover, transcends socioeconomic boundaries, incorporating the wealthy—historically, a rather unique group to the world of social work. A common occurrence across the board is isolation, a factor contributing to exaggerated vulnerability, especially financial exploitation.
Social service agencies are scrambling to meet the onslaught of demands unfolding over the coming years. They are faced with increasing obstacles. Healthcare spending is out of control. Statistics are astounding, and given the current state of the economy, the picture seems bleak. To further add to the mix, in the inimitable American way, elders seem to bear the burdens of society as youthfulness is worshiped and old age scorned. As Oscar Wilde captured in the Faustian protagonist of his novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, our elders seem to be characterized in that chilling portrait of society as the graphic “id,” relegated to scapegoats, marred and gnarled as time goes by. Not only is there a call to action in the fight against ageism and elder abuse, but strategic planning and invigorated policy is long overdue.
“Aging gracefully” has taken on new meaning. Inherent in this phrase was the implied message that one should “grin and bear it.” Now, the expectation is empowerment and action—a take charge attitude and assumption of responsibility for one’s own life. As seniors jog along the exercise trail of this developmental stage, both literally and figuratively, practicing mental gymnastics to retain alertness, there is a good chance a coach could bolster the team spirit. As life coaches, social workers enter during many detours along that well worn path.
The aging process is only one of many examples that bring change and challenge. Those who can readily adapt to change fare well; others may have difficulty coping. While I was still an intern in the field, a learned psychologist once taught me, “As one ages, whatever issues were operating before, just got worse.” This has, at times, borne out in practice. Since then, noteworthy advances have occurred. We are fortunate to be the recipients of the work of visionary change agents, such as Aaron Beck (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Martin Seligman (Positive Psychology), and D. Saleebey (Strength Based Perspective). Coping abilities seem to be specific to certain families, yet for the ill-equipped, skills can be learned and enhanced, a goal for many social workers to set. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a model most successful with our elders, so if possible, it would be advisable for social workers to seek training and supervision in this modality.
Aging, being a series of continual losses, can be keenly depleting. There is the loss of physical faculties such as vision, hearing, and mobility. Sometimes there is debilitating chronic pain. The neighborhood changes, finances erode, friends and maybe even their own children die. Elders become depressed, and the downward spiral of illness begins. When working with large groups of seniors, they may present as needy. On some level, they experience degrees of emptiness and loss and try to adjust for it, often ineffectively. Seniors can be perceived in an unflattering light. Somatization, eating, and sleeping problems and falls are common. With knowledge and skill, social workers, as part of the clients’ healthcare team, may foster fulfillment and ensure safety.
Read the rest of this article at:
Additional articles from the Winter 2010 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER include:
THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER Book Club Update
by Linda May Grobman, ACSW, LSW
I am looking for ideas for our next book club selection. Have you read a great book with relevance to social workers? Let me know at email@example.com
and I will consider it for a future book club selection.
In the February 2010 Social Work E-News, the biographical information for Zia Ullah Akhunzada was incorrect. It should have read as follows:
Zia Ullah Akhunzada received his master’s in social work from the University of Peshawar in Pakistan. He is a professional social worker for the Provincial Commission for Child Welfare and Development, N.W.F.P. Pakistan.
We apologize for the error.
National Social Work
Month—March 2010—Social Workers Inspire Community Action
This month is Social Work Month! This year’s theme, announced by the
National Association of Social Workers (NASW), is “Social Workers Inspire
Here are a few ideas
for Social Work Month:
Pat yourself and your colleagues on the back!
Write an article or letter to the editor about social workers, and
submit it to your local newspapers.
Make a presentation to non-social work staff in your agency to
educate them about your role as a social worker, how clients can benefit
from your services, and how they can refer clients to you.
Show pride in your profession of social work by wearing a social
work t-shirt or button
We asked our Facebook fans how they are celebrating Social Work Month. Here are some of their answers:
- Honoring the profession with attention to the
values and ethics that make us unique service providers
- Attending a social work conference
- Looking for a job
- Honoring my favorite social workers
- Continuing to work on my MSW degree
- Helping and restoring people to their social
- Molding the minds of less fortunate children
and assisting those who are in need
We also asked what they love about social work. They said:
- Empowering people
- It’s so versatile
- The ability to help so many people help
- The field and its opportunities are
- Helping people to stand on their own feet
- Being able to make a difference in someone
- It is never boring
What Do Clients Need to Know About Their Therapists?
by John A. Riolo, Ph.D.
In the age of Google, Facebook, and Twitter, it seems that privacy as we knew it is dead. One can find out almost anything about anyone with little effort and technical skill. For psychotherapists, that poses some very interesting questions and dilemmas.
How much should clients know about us? In the old days, when psychoanalytic oriented therapists dominated the field, the therapist was to present a blank face or mask to patients. If a client/patient were to question the therapist about anything personal, the therapist was to analyze the patient’s resistance rather than give any disclosure, lest it interfere with the appropriate transference. While many therapists still maintain that stance, others have moved away…some so far in the other direction that they maintain that it is an ethical obligation to reveal anything that may potentially affect treatment, including their own private medical information and any medications, both prescribed and over-the-counter. Each group sincerely believes in the efficacy of its position. So, is there a reasonable balance?
To answer that question, we need to examine several factors. What do patients have a right to know? What are therapists comfortable in sharing? What can be learned by patients/ clients whether we voluntarily disclosed it or not? And what should we keep confidential to the best of our ability?
Licensing boards and ethical standards generally grant patients the right to know such things as your credentials, limitations to your scope of practice, office policies, your participation in insurance panels, and your fees
. They also have a right to know your license status, including whether you are licensed to practice independently, whether there is any action against your license, and if supervised, who supervises you.
Most other things are really a matter of the therapist’s comfort level, the patient’s desire or need to know, and his or her ability to find out with or without your cooperation. Some therapists choose to share nothing personal, and others are comfortable mentioning their family, hobbies, and other interests. Some will disclose their sexual orientation and religious beliefs, whereas others choose to keep these things private. Some clients/patients will insist on knowing your sexual orientation or your religion before committing to see you. So it’s partly a matter of preference and partly consumer demand. As long as it is done in the patient’s interest and does not interfere with what the patient is seeking help to address, this is a therapist’s decision based on comfort and practicality.
Like it or not, patients can sometimes discover things on their own that we may not be comfortable sharing or discussing with them. In an excellent article titled The Google Factor
, Dr. Ofer Zur describes the various things your clients or anyone can find about you, whether you like it or not. This can include any public records about you, such as many court documents that are classified as public records, including marriage and divorce records, lawsuits, liens, and so forth. They can also find anything you wrote or that was written about you on the Internet, including alleged confidential discussion groups
and social networks. By using a combination of Google searches and/or by paying a relatively inexpensive fee, clients can employ special services that can retrieve financial information and tax information; credit reports, debts, liens, or bankruptcies; criminal records and small claims civil judgments; past and present lawsuits; marriages and divorces; allegations of domestic violence or molestation; ownership of property and businesses; and phone records with minimal effort.
Most of these searches are perfectly legal, but even those that are outside the law are accessible and available to be done without your knowledge. Most clients/patients who stay with the legal methods at least are simply curious or are doing due diligence in checking out who they will do business with. It has become almost a reflex for many of us. Before we buy anything, we Google or go to www.Yelp.com
to learn all we can first. The reality is that, comfortable or not, this is something we need to accept.
So, what’s left of our privacy? The sad reality for those who value privacy and confidentiality is that the answer is “not much” these days.
But one thing that is as private as it gets is still our medical records. Not absolute, but still protected. Should we ever be compelled
to reveal our medical history? Not without a fight, or a court order! Notice I said compelled. There could be times when revealing certain aspects of our medical history may actually help a client, if disclosed with discretion and with the purpose of aiding the helping process. It depends on the context of therapy (i.e., client, setting, therapy, relationships, and therapist). For more on context, see: http://www.zurinstitute.com/dualrelationships.html#context
. Or, if we have such an obvious and noticeable disability, refusing to discuss it would be the proverbial elephant in the room. But that is and should be our choice.
Yet, for a profession that claims to value privacy, I have come across some well-intentioned but, in my opinion, misguided colleagues both young and experienced who have suggested that we disclose to our patients any medical problem or medications that might potentially affect our treatment of patients. The rationale is that it is in the interest of full disclosure and informed consent. But this seems to be going to extremes.
First, it solves little. If, in fact, some condition or medication rendered us truly impaired, what good would it do to simply disclose our medications to a client/patient? Most experts in the field, including Zur, would say that if we are impaired, we must step down, regardless of how we present it to our clients. We can tell them as much or as little as the circumstances and the context of treatment dictate, but the key is we need to step down.
Second, if we must disclose pain or medication with clients as some suggest, should it be for something as temporary as a toothache, or only long-term chronic problems? There is a real danger that clients can misconstrue and assume we take pain medication regularly and are abusing medications, which is not the same as taking legitimate medications as prescribed. Such misunderstandings could be used against us in any number of ways.
Third, talking to patients/clients about our own pain must be done very judiciously and in the context of what’s good for the patient. We must guard against putting the patient in the position of feeling sorry for us and feeling the need to console or care for us. That could be an ethical conflict.
Lastly, what message would we give to patients, if we are so readily willing to disclose our most private information without cause? What will our patients think about our willingness to protect theirs?
In conclusion, we need to be keenly aware of what our clients have a right and a need to know about us. We need to reconcile what we are comfortable sharing with what they will be able to find out anyway. But if we value confidentiality, we need to set an example and protect our own as much as possible.
One way to deal with the curious client is to have a public profile on Facebook or MySpace, where we post innocuous materials that are light, humorous, and fun. It may not seem an ideal solution to those of us who value privacy, but it may be the best we can hope for in the age of the internet.
John A. Riolo, Ph.D., is a retired private practitioner who operates a number of educational Web sites and blogs on mental health issues.
Starting the Hospice Conversation
This professional education article was written as part of a project for the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. The HPPAE fellowship affords social work students the abiltiy to develop gerontological social work competencies and leadership skills. The HPPAE Master's Fellows in this group are: C. Messersmith, M. Krotec, T. Krzeszewski, J. Marasco, J. Osiecki, and L. Stern. To reach them for further information, please contact HPPAE Program Coordinator, Elizabeth Mulvaney at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-624-0036.
Hospice is a valuable resource that can be utilized by professional social workers working in a variety of fields. According to the Harris Survey on End-of-Life Care in 2002, 86% of people prefer to die at home. Yet, almost 70% of Americans die in hospitals or nursing homes. Hospice upholds the social work value of self-determination by allowing clients to die at home if they so choose. According to the Administration on Aging, the population of people ages 65 and older is expected to grow from 40 million in 2010 to 55 million in 2020, which will dramatically increase the number of people with a terminal illness.
Hospice embraces the core social work value of respect for the dignity and worth of individuals by helping terminally ill patients to maintain their dignity and quality of life through pain and symptom management. Spiritual, emotional, and bereavement support are also offered to patients and their families. Hospice helps patients to die with comfort and dignity, yet the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) reports that 83% of people do not know anything about hospice. As social workers, we have a duty to educate clients about this compassionate healthcare option.
As social workers, we must be prepared to discuss all available end of life care options with clients and their families. Healthcare decisions often cause family disagreements, and social workers must be prepared to provide education, and dispel myths, about hospice for families while helping to facilitate family discussions. We must also be prepared to work with physicians who may not be comfortable discussing all of the options available to patients when a terminal diagnosis is made.
Hospice is covered by the Medicare Hospice Benefit and is included in many private insurance plans, yet it is underutilized. Patients are eligible for the Medicare Hospice Benefit after they receive a terminal diagnosis with a prognosis of six months or less. However, according to the NHPCO, the average length of stay in hospice programs in 2008 was 21.3 days, and 35.4% of patients died within seven days. These facts suggest that referrals are being made too late. Social workers must recognize when clients may be able to benefit from hospice services, discuss these services with clients and their families, and make appropriate referrals.
Knowledge about hospice services can be useful to social workers who encounter clients, in any setting, who have a loved one who is terminally ill. Social workers can inform clients about the availability of hospice services and the bereavement support that is available after patients die. The illness and death of loved ones is a common experience that will be shared by clients in a variety of settings and, as professional social workers, we must be prepared to help clients cope with their grief and to navigate available resources.
Before we can educate our clients about hospice, we must educate ourselves. The Web sites of NHPCO and other hospice organizations listed below offer valuable information about hospice. Most hospices have speaker’s bureaus that are available to make educational presentations to professional and community organizations. Presentations can be scheduled easily by contacting your local hospice agencies. Please take the time to educate yourself about hospice so that you can better serve your clients.
Hospice Foundation of America
Medicare Hospice Benefits. http://www.medicare.gov/publications/Pubs/pdf/02154.pdf
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. http://www.nhpco.org/ templates/1/
Take Charge of Your Life. http://www.takechargeonline.org/
Children’s Bureau Express 10th Anniversary
Children's Bureau Express, the online digest of child welfare news sponsored by the Children's Bureau, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the March issue will take a look back at the last decade of news and happenings in child welfare. What's changed? Where is the field of child welfare headed? This special issue will include retrospective articles on technology, accountability, workforce issues, legislation, and more.
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.
Tonight! March 9, 2010—Case Consultation
March 14, 2010—Social Work Month Celebration
March 16, 2010—Best Books Discussion
March 21, 2010—Explore the New DSM
March 23, 2010—Creative Settings for Social Workers
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.
Father Martin's Ashley Announces Call for Nominations for the Father Joseph C. Martin Award for Professional Excellence
Father Martin’s Ashley, a non-profit alcoholism and drug addiction treatment center in Havre de Grace, MD
, has announced that nominations for the 2010 Father Joseph C. Martin, S.S. Award for Professional Excellence are now being accepted.
The Father Martin Award was first given in 2003 and was created to recognize professionals who exemplify Father Martin’s legacy of devotion to 12-step recovery and helping the chemically addicted and their families heal. There have been six award honorees to date: Ronald Hunsicker, DDiv; Robert Ackerman, Ph.D.; James O’Hair, CEAP; Gabriel Kajeckas, LCSW; Terence Gorski, MA; and Debra Reynolds, Dr. Ph. This year’s award will be presented at a special Awards Luncheon during the National Conference on Addictive Disorders (NCAD) sponsored by the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), and the Vendome Group to be held in Washington, DC
, this September.
An independent committee will review the nominations and select this year’s winner. For more information about, and nomination forms for, the Fr. Joseph C. Martin Award for Professional Excellence Award, go to: www.fathermartinsashley.org
and click on ”Referring Professionals,” or e-mail Ashley.Marketing@fmashley.com
to have the nomination forms sent to you.
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
Winter 2010 ISSUE OF THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER IS NOW AVAILABLE!
The Spring 2010 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER will be available soon. The Winter 2010 issue is still 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.
Individual articles from the Winter 2010 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 FALL 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 (with occasional special issues), in full text, online at: http://www.socialworker.com/jswve
The Spring 2010 edition will be available soon! The Fall 2009 edition is available online now at:
Articles in this edition include:
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
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