Social Work E-News
  Issue #125, April 12, 2011
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Editor's Eye
Dear Social Work Colleagues,
Hello! Welcome to Issue #125 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.
April marks the observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Autism Awareness Month, Alcohol Awareness Month, Minority Health Month, and Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Month, among others. Child Welfare Information Gateway has some great resources for Child Abuse Prevention Month at
Coming in May: Arthritis Awareness Month, Mental Health Month, and more.
I am happy to tell you that the Spring 2011 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER is available NOW! Highlights of the Spring issue include the riddle of good leadership, knowing when to report or not report, clincial work outside of sessions, what to do if you fail the social work exam, tips for new graduates and job searchers, how to use technology appropriately when doing school assignments, book reviews, and more!
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Until next time,
Linda Grobman, ACSW, LSW
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Article Excerpt: Can Clinical Work Continue Outside of Session?
by Meredith Hemphill Ruden, LMSW
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from an article from the current (Spring 2011) issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER. Read the full article at:
Can clinical work continue outside of the therapeutic session? Can understanding into pervasive and complex psychosocial issues that contribute to a client’s distress deepen without the social worker’s careful listening, affirmations, and guidance? This article explores what happens between sessions, highlighting the therapeutic value of a break from therapeutic exchange for both client and social worker. Drawing from the case study of a man whose partner has advanced cancer, it illustrates the transformative effect of actively engaging the client in discussion of life outside of therapy, as it relates to his presenting problem, and makes recommendations for engagement with other clients.
Social work literature emphasizes the role of the therapeutic relationship in effective treatment (Goldstein & Noonan, 1999; Hepworth, 2005). It says that a relationship based on trust, good will, and respect creates a therapeutic environment that is conducive to client commitment and goal achievement. The social work graduate student is taught specific ways to create this environment within the 40 minutes to one hour that she meets with a client each week.  Outside of that time frame, it is hoped that the client’s internalization of therapeutic process is sufficient to maintain a strong social worker/client relationship.

However, the break between sessions can have a more valuable therapeutic function. It does not just preserve therapeutic discourse but can add to it by opening a line of communication with the client’s everyday experience. Interactions, relationships, and experiences are tested within the context of therapeutic discoveries and suggestions. In this way, the physical, psychic, and emotional break from therapy can allow for therapeutic revelations, healing, and restoration. When the client returns to therapy, he may be newly invested in therapy and prepared to take on new risks and challenges that aim to benefit his well-being. When the social worker returns to therapy, she may be more attentive, alert, and creative in her interactions with the client as she experiences the restorative power of this break, as well.

Although I believe in the power of reflective thought and psychic regeneration, I did not always draw from this appreciation as a new MSW. One session would culminate in some greater insight into the issues and life events impinging on the client’s well-being, and the next would begin with review: do you remember what we discovered last time? Needless to say, clients would frequently not remember, and I felt compelled to remind them. Often, clients would be side-tracked. A whole week’s worth of experiences, thoughts, and feelings had occurred outside the walls of therapy, and these were pushed to the side by my one, seemingly innocuous, question.
Read the rest of this article at:
Articles from the Spring 2011 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER include:
and more!
National Association of Social Workers Releases Report: “Supervision: The Safety Net for Frontline Child Welfare Practice”
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and we are reminded that a child in the U.S. Dies every day from child abuse and neglect. In many instances, these horrific deaths could be prevented.

Every day, public child welfare employees, many of whom are professional social workers, witness some of the most difficult challenges facing families. They are charged with investigating, and intervening, when children are exposed to drugs, sexual abuse, and countless other forms of family violence and neglect.

No two cases are the same, and no two workers are exactly alike. Yet, policy makers and the public demand immediate and uniform corrective action when the unthinkable occurs, and supervisors are accountable.

To better understand the complex and crucial role supervisors play in the child welfare system, the NASW Social Work Policy Institute (SWPI) has published its final report from the November 2010 national symposium, “Supervision: The Safety Net for Frontline Child Welfare Practice.”

According to NASW, child welfare supervisors are expected to be:
  • highly skilled practitioners who can implement ethical and culturally competent practices that result in improved outcomes for children and families
  • mentors to frontline workers, many of whom do not have formal social work training
  • actively involved in their communities
  • skilled at transmitting agency policies and evaluating performance
  • exemplary leaders who help others cope with the stress and trauma of the work
However, real world child welfare practice indicates that it is very difficult to be effective in each of these roles simultaneously, and it is nearly impossible to find all these attributes in one individual.

Experts from all areas of the child welfare system—federal, state, and local leaders; public agencies; as well as private nonprofits—conclude in this report that the lack of program research, consistent tools, adequate workplace supports, and best practice models, coupled with repetitive experiences of trauma, service, and resource gaps, and inconsistent hiring qualifications all contribute to troubling outcomes for children and overburdened foster care systems.

We have reached an important crossroads in our country,” says Joan Levy Zlotnik, PhD, ACSW, director of the NASW Social Work Policy Institute. “As a society, we have increasingly high expectations of the system, but we do not invest in the very innovations needed to keep up with service demand.”

Recent child death cases in New York, Florida, Oklahoma, and Ohio have made it clear that new commitments to ensure better training and high quality supervision in child welfare are worth larger national discussions.

The full report, “The Safety Net for Frontline Child Welfare Practice,” can be found at

To watch video presentations from the November 18, 2010, symposium, please click here.

Nearly all American adults with untreated alcohol use disorders don’t think they need treatment

A new report based on a national survey shows that only 1.2 percent of the nation’s more than 7.4 million adults aged 21 to 64 with an untreated alcohol abuse disorder think they could benefit from treatment. The report released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in conjunction with National Alcohol Screening Day, April 7, highlights the need to raise awareness about adult problem drinking, how to identify when someone has a problem, how to confront a problem drinker, and how to get help.
The report focuses on those who met the diagnostic criteria for either alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence as defined by the American Psychiatric Association’s Fourth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). Alcohol abuse includes drinking-related behavior that may cause people to physically endanger themselves or others; get into trouble with the law; experience difficulties in relationships or jobs; and fail to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
Alcohol dependence is a more serious disorder than alcohol abuse. The hallmarks of this disorder are addiction to alcohol; inability to cut down or stop drinking; and repeated interpersonal, school, or work related problems that can be directly attributed to the use of alcohol. Alcohol dependence can have serious consequences, affecting an individual's health and personal life, as well as affecting society at large. Among the nearly six million Americans aged 21 to 64 with untreated alcohol dependence, only 7.8 percent or 506,000 of them recognized that they needed treatment.
"SAMHSA’s spotlight provides striking evidence that millions of Americans are in serious denial regarding problem drinking," said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. "Individuals, friends, and family members clearly need help and support in confronting and doing something about the problem. Without help, alcoholism can be fatal. As a nation, we need to ask ourselves why we stand by and allow so many people to self destruct before intervening. National Alcohol Screening Day provides one day to have the conversation we should be willing to have every day until screening for alcohol problems becomes the norm—just like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes."
SAMHSA Spotlight: Most Adults with Alcohol Problems Do Not Recognize Their Need for Treatment was developed as part of SAMHSA's strategic initiative on Data, Outcomes, and Quality. It is based on data from SAMHSA’s 2006-2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports. NSDUH is a scientifically conducted annual survey of approximately 67,500 people throughout the country, aged 12 and older. Because of its statistical power, it is the nation’s premier source of statistical information on the scope and nature of many substance abuse behavioral health issues affecting the nation. A copy of this SAMHSA spotlight report is accessible at:
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has a Web site called Rethinking Drinking at that has online tools to help people better gauge whether they or someone they care about may have an alcohol problem.
News & Resources
Happy Social Workers
A recent article in the Edmonton Journal reported on a study to find out what makes social workers happy. The research, conducted by University of Calgary social work professor John Graham and his Ph.D. students, consisted of a survey of registered social workers in Alberta. Of the 700 respondents, the researchers looked more closely at the 13 “happiest” social workers to find out what made them happy.
According to the article in the Edmonton Journal, “They found that the happiest social workers reported higher levels of fulfillment in areas such as flexible work schedules, better work-life balance, and a stronger sense of engagement because of behind-the-scenes support they receive to do their jobs well.
*******************************************–A Service of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER and NASW
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Go to to register and participate in the chats and other features of the site. NOTE: has been experiencing technical difficulties. We will report here when the site is up and running again. Thank you.
Dorland Health Silver Crown Awards
Linda Grobman, ACSW, LSW, publisher and editor of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER, was recognized in the social work category in the Dorland Health Silver Crown Awards for 2011. These awards recognize top professionals in senior care. Also recognized in the social work category were Corinne Kennedy, LISW-S, CASWCM, of Wellpoint; Louise Kenny, MSW, LCSW, of Avow Hospice, Inc.; and Brenda F. Oakley, MSW, CCM, LCSW, of Park Ridge Home Health.
The Silver Crown Awards were featured in the March 2011 issue of CASE IN POINT magazine.
Dorland Health is currently accepting nominations for its People Awards, which include social workers among the nearly 40 award categories. For information, see

Wretches and Jabberers”—Film Debuts During Autism Awareness Month

WRETCHES & JABBERERS is a new film that features the stories of two men with autism. Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonette embark on a global journey to change perceptions and attitudes about autism. The film will be shown in select AMC theaters throughout April, Autism Awareness Month, and a portion of the ticket sales will be donated to the Autism Society.

AMC’s decision to showcase WRETCHES & JABBERERS in some of its most popular mainstream movie theaters echoes the movie’s powerful message of inclusion and AMC’s commitment to improving the lives of all affected by autism,” said Lee Grossman, president and CEO of the Autism Society. “It is a powerful statement by a caring corporation to extend the mission of the movie, which is to challenge public attitudes about autism.”

AMC has been a staunch advocate of autism awareness since 2008 through its partnership with the Autism Society on the AMC Sensory Friendly Films program ( The auditoriums dedicated to the program show new releases without the pre-show advertisements or movie trailers. The house lights in the auditoriums are turned up, the sound turned down, and guests are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout, or sing as they please. The showings of WRETCHES & JABBERERS will have the same auditorium and programming configurations as movies seen in the AMC Sensory Friendly Films program.

For information about the film and screenings, see:

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On Our Web Site
The Spring 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 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 Spring 2011 issue now online include:
and more!
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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 (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 (5th Edition), by Gary M. Grobman.
All of our books are available through our new secure online store at:
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News & Resources
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