Issue #58-Part 1, September 15, 2005


Dear Social Work Colleagues,

Welcome to Issue #58 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, and other social work publications.

Katrina. 9/11. These are terms that, when mentioned, have a significance far beyond their original meaning.

We have just observed the 4th anniversary of the events of 9/11/2001-the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and an airplane that crashed in Pennsylvania. That was a tragedy that changed our way of life in the U.S. and around the world. I encourage you to visit http://www.911digitalarchive.org/ (a site that preserves the history of these attacks). Also, Gift From Within has posted an insightful interview with Dr. Frank Ochberg at http://www.giftfromwithin.org/html/9-11.html regarding 9/11 anniversary reactions.

Now, we are also observing daily the unfolding of events as all those affected try to recover from Hurricane Katrina and the resulting catastrophic events. It is heartbreaking to watch the children who cannot find their parents, houses and buildings destroyed, a whole city under murky water, and other effects of this disaster. It is heartwarming to know that many social workers have joined the thousands who are involved in relief efforts. It will take quite some time to recover from all the devastating effects of this tragedy.

There is so much information that I want to get out to you this month that I am sending this month's Social Work E-News in two parts. Part I focuses on Hurricane Katrina. I will send Part II to you next week.

Until next time,
Linda Grobman, ACSW, LSW


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By Linda May Grobman, ACSW, LSW

The effects of Hurricane Katrina have been devastating. The amount of information about what happened, what to do, and how to help is overwhelming.

I have received 90+ e-mail messages relating to Katrina. I received a phone call last week from a woman looking for a family member-she is related to one of our writers and wanted to get in touch with her to see if she had heard from the missing relative. I saw an Atlanta hospital social worker on CNN, telling how she was able to reunite an evacuee with her family after about four or five hours of online searching and other good old-fashioned social work methods! I have been glued to the TV news channels, trying to glean what I can about what happened, what went wrong, what the needs are, and what can be done.

I have attempted to provide here some of what I have learned that is of interest to social workers and social work students.

1) Many colleges and universities, including those with schools of social work, have opened their doors to college students who have been displaced by Katrina. Many are reducing or waiving certain fees, allowing late admissions, and offering other special arrangements for students. Contact each college or university to see what they are offering.

2) Moveon.org has a matching service where people are opening their homes to families left homeless by Hurricane Katrina. See http://www.hurricanehousing.org

3) The Katrina PeopleFinder Project is looking for people to donate an hour to help organize the massive information that has been put online. All you need is an Internet connection and the ability to copy information into a form. Visit for information about this project and how you can help.

4) ContactLovedOnes.org is helping people find each other using voicemail technology. See http://www.contactlovedones.org for local access numbers and additional information.

5) Call your local Red Cross, and ask about becoming a disaster mental health volunteer. They require some courses, but, according to one report I received, are waiving some of the requirements because of the need for mental health workers. Please keep in mind that disaster work is NOT psychotherapy, and there are protocols that the Red Cross asks that you follow. See http://www.redcross.org or call your local Red Cross chapter.

6) Computers are needed at the State Library of Louisiana. The library is being inundated with evacuees who need to file assistance applications, search for loved ones, and so forth. The library needs computers with Pentium 3 chips running on Windows 2000 or XP. Equipment donations should be sent to the State Library of Louisiana, 701 N. 4th St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5232. For more information, contact Rebecca Hamilton at rhamilton@crt.state.la.us.

7) Grassroots, low-income, and people of color-led relief efforts can be found at http://www.sparkplugfoundation.org/katrinarelief.html

8) The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is offering Katrina-related resources at http://www.thetaskforce.org/katrinaaid

9) The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond (http://www/pisab.org) is a New Orleans-based organization that has trained hundreds of social workers in Undoing Racism. See the organization's Web site for information on helping it rebuild and continue this important work.

10) Katrina.com, until a couple of weeks ago, was the business Web site of a woman named Katrina who has a Web design business. She has now turned it into a site filled with information relating to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. See http://www.katrina.com

11) Some department stores and organizations are organizing clothing drives. Need to get some old clothes out of the house? Donate them to those who had to leave their own clothing behind.

12) Hurricane Katrina--Louisiana Disability Information Resource at http://www.katrina-la.net/ provides information to people with disabilities and their families who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina.

This is a very brief recap of some of the resources I have come across or been notified about. I hope this gives you a few ideas of what is possible. Please be aware that, unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous people who will try to take advantage of a situation such as this with scams. CharityNavigator has posted an article about protecting yourself from such schemes at http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm/bay/content.view/catid/68/cpid/313.htm



Many of our colleagues have been directly or indirectly affected by Hurricane Katrina, or are working with the survivors of the hurricane. In an effort to help people rebuild their lives, THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER is participating in KatrinaJobRelief.com (www.katrinajobrelief.com). This is a job board dedicated to serving those who have been displaced from their homes and jobs by helping them find new work opportunities. This service is 100% free to both job seekers and employers.

We are asking our readers to spread the word about KatrinaJobRelief.com. If you have a job opportunity available, please post it to the job board. If you know someone who has job openings, please encourage them to use the site.

We are also asking you to help us spread the word to those who have lost jobs as a result of the hurricane. If you know people who have lost a job or need temporary work because of the hurricane, please make them aware of this service.



On August 29, as Hurricane Katrina swirled through the southern U.S., the American Red Cross and the Department of Homeland Security were kicking off September as National Preparedness Month.

National Preparedness Month 2005 is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the American Red Cross. Homeland Security and the American Red Cross are working with a wide variety of organizations, including local, state, and federal government agencies and the private sector, to highlight the importance of public emergency preparedness throughout September.

The goal of National Preparedness Month is to increase public awareness about the importance of preparing for emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist threats, and to encourage individuals to take action. Preparedness information can be found at:




BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The hundreds of thousands of Gulf coast residents left homeless by Hurricane Katrina have not only lost their homes, possessions, and possibly loved ones; they also have lost their sense of security, says Hilary Weaver, associate professor of social work at the University at Buffalo.

Whether they evacuated before the devastating storm hit, or fled to shelters during or after, the victims are facing trauma on a massive scale, with everything they knew and trusted now gone, she says.

Also problematic for the victims, Weaver says, is the fact that "some of the most vulnerable people were affected by this, people who were low on resources, people who were marginally housed."

And some, particularly those who took refuge at the New Orleans convention center, "face an additional loss of trust because of the question of whether the federal government has responded quickly enough" to provide food, water, and transportation out of the city.

"If a reporter can get in to the convention center, why can't people with food and water for the victims?"

Even after their lives are eventually put back together, the victims will have "for years a lingering sense of a lack of security, lack of trust." Even a previously benign weather event such as a thunderstorm will be likely to bring "a total sense of panic," she says.

How well they recover emotionally from the tragedy will depend on the individual, Weaver says.

"Different people weather trauma differently. A person with a strong faith may be able to draw on that or a person with a close family that survived the hurricane."

What they need now, she says, are basic services & food, water, safety, and medicine.

They also need validation. "They need people to believe what has happened to them, to listen to them. There's almost a denial that this horrible devastation has happened to these people," says Weaver. "It's important for the rest of us to acknowledge what has happened."

Even for those who have been taken to shelters such as the Houston Astrodome, the trauma is not over. These people will find themselves further away from home and family, facing increased issues of the unknown. Some may suffer from survivor's guilt, especially if they have lost family and friends.

Even the more comfortable amenities could present a mixed blessing, because they will have better access to information and a fuller understanding of what has happened.

"We'll need to remember that it's not over for them," she says.


By Linda May Grobman, ACSW, LSW

Social work organizations have been responding to Hurricane Katrina over the last two weeks. I have compiled the following list to give you an idea of what various organizations are doing and how you can help.

1. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) issued a call for social workers to volunteer with the Red Cross. See http://www.socialworkers.org/pressroom/events/katrina05/default.asp?alert=yes

2. The NASW Foundation has developed a Social Work Disaster Assistance Fund to help social workers who have been affected by Katrina. See http://www.socialworkers.org/swdrf/letter.asp

3. The National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) has posted information about HIV and Katrina. http://www.nabsw.org/mserver/KatrinaandHIVServices.aspx?menuContext=819

4. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has compiled information regarding displaced students. See http://www.cswe.org/Katrina/

5. The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) has started the Katrina Kids Fund and has posted information on a variety of related resources. See http://www.cwla.org/katrina/

6. The North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW) has issued a response to Katrina. See http://www.nacsw.org/Katrina.html

7. The Alliance for Children and Families has created the Alliance Katrina Fund and has made information and resources available on its Web site. See http://www.alliance1.org and click on "Katrina Relief Efforts."

This is a sampling of organizational efforts. Please contact any organizations you are a member of to find out if they have similar efforts in which you can participate.




San Francisco AIDS Foundation seeks a person for clinical supervision and administration of the Client Advocates/Rental Subsidy coordinators and the Housing Subsidy program. Responsibilities include direct supervision of social services staff, program design, evaluation and management of the interface between the Client Services department and Client Information Systems database. Assists with gov't contract reporting, needs assessment and evaluation of Client Services programs. REQ: BA in social work, counseling, psychology, or related discipline & four years' experience in program administration with a social services agency. Exp. working with substance users & the multi-diagnosed. LCSW or MSW preferred. POSITION OPEN UNTIL FILLED. Send Resume/cover letter to: Human Resources, SFAF (ATTN: CSM.SWJB) PO Box 426182, SF, CA 94142-6182, or e-mail: jobs@sfaf.org (ATTN: CSM.SWJB) FAX: 415/487-3019. We actively seek applications from people living w/HIV/AIDS & other disabilities, women, gay men, lesbians, and people of color. EOE


Find your next job at http://www.socialworkjobbank.com, THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER's online job board and career center. Both new grads and experienced social work practitioners are included in our ever-growing candidate profile bank, which now includes thousands of confidential profiles/resumes of social work job seekers! We are proud of the fact that this site was chosen as one of 350 (out of 40,000+ employment sites) to be included in Weddle's Recruiter's and Job Seeker's Guide to Employment Web Sites 2004 and 2005.

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 for job posting options and SPECIAL offers.

All job seeker services are FREE-including searching current job openings, posting your confidential resume/profile, and requesting e-mail job alerts. Please let employers know that you saw their listings in the SOCIAL WORK E-NEWS and at SocialWorkJobBank.com.




Jane Addams Birthday

September 6 marked the 145th anniversary of the birth of Jane Addams, the "mother of social work"!


Obituary: Chauncey Alexander, Social Work Pioneer and Leader

Chauncey Alexander, former executive director of the National Association of Social Workers, died in California on August 30 at age 89.

As executive director of NASW from 1969 to 1982, Alexander helped to establish professional standards and develop legislation. During his tenure at NASW, he created ELAN (Education League Action Network) and PACE (Political Action for Candidate Election). He represented NASW to international, federal, state, and local groups.

Alexander taught at California State University-Long Beach after his retirement, and was instrumental in the development of social work licensing throughout the U.S.

Earlier in his career, he was executive director of the Los Angeles County Heart Association and the Southern California Society for Mental Hygiene.

A prolific writer, Alexander was recognized as an NASW Social Work Pioneer and received numerous awards.





Call for Submissions Continues: Remembering Who We Are

A group of social workers who gathered last winter at a workshop entitled "Consciously Creating Change" responded in free writing to an opening sentence, "I am a social worker…," and then read their responses aloud. What resulted was the inspiration for a collection of writings by social workers that celebrates the unique power and diversity of our profession, as well as our unique attitudes and ways of working that set us apart and keep us on the path.

Do you have an inspiring or heartwarming story to tell-a story of celebration or inspiration for other social workers that helps us remember who we are, what we do, what we have accomplished? The publisher of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER is seeking short writings by social workers for social workers, to be published electronically and/or in print. Published authors and those who've always wanted to write, but haven't yet, will be included. Social workers Karen Connell, Anne Hills, Hope Horowitz, and John Weaver are the creative editorial team behind this exciting new project.

We want to hear from you! Writings are sought from social workers in all settings and roles. This will be an ongoing project, with an initial deadline of October 10, 2005. Send your submission to remember@socialworker.com. For detailed submission guidelines, visit http://www.socialworker.com/home/menu/remember
Please put the word "Remember" in the subject line of your submission. Thank you!




THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER's Web site at http://www.socialworker.com includes the full text of many sample articles from past issues of the magazine. On our site, click on "About the Magazine" to find Tables of Contents of the current and back issues, and click on "Feature Articles" to find full-text articles.

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 "Discussion Forum" in the left menu) -- you do not have to be a registered user to participate, but registering allows you to use some additional features of the message board.

Be sure to check out the Social Work Bookshelf and continuing education offerings available at http://www.socialworker.com, or go directly to http://www.ceu4u.com/tnsw for continuing education offerings.



The Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics is a free, online, peer-reviewed journal published by the publisher of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER. It is published twice a year, in full text, online at http://www.socialworker.com/jswve

The third edition, Fall 2005, is available now! Go to the journal Web site at http://www.socialworker.com/jswve and sign up for a free subscription, and you will be notified by e-mail when each issue is available online.





The Fall issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER magazine will be available soon. Here are some highlights of this issue:

• ISM and IST: Effective Tools for Cultural Awareness
• Learning to Dance
• Surviving College and Moving Toward a Balanced Life: Strategies for Social Work Students
• International Social Work I: Poverty is a Grind (First of a 3-part series)
• My Professional Life as an EAP Social Worker
• Career Talk: Transferable Skill Extraordinaire: Suicide Intervention
• Electronic Connection: The Digital and Ethical Mindset of Social Work Students
…and more!

See our Web site at http://www.socialworker.com for more details about this issue.



THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER can be ordered directly from our online store at http://www.whitehatcommunications.com/store -- where you will also find the social work and nonprofit management books we publish.

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Linda Grobman, Editor


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