Social Work E-News
  Issue #127, June 14, 2011
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Editor's Eye
Dear Social Work Colleagues,
Hello! Welcome to Issue #127 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.
June marks the observance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month; Men's Health Month; Home Safety Month; Children's Awareness Month; Professional Wellness Month; National Cancer Survivors Day (June 5); World Refugee Day (June 20); and National HIV Testing Day (June 27); among others.
Coming in July: Bereaved Parents Awareness Month, National Child-Centered Divorce Month, and more.
Congrats to all 2011 social work graduates on the undergraduate and graduate levels! I wish you all the best as you enter this exciting new phase of your social work career! Thank you to everyone who sent me your graduation photos. Several of these will be featured in the Summer issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER.
In the meantime, 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, clincal 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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Linda Grobman, ACSW, LSW
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Words From Our Sponsors
If you are a social worker with 2 years or more experience and you work in the United States, you are invited to participate in an online survey that will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. The survey is being conducted by Edna M. Sullivan for her doctoral dissertation titled: A Correlational Study Of Perceived Transformational Leadership Styles and Job Satisfaction Among Social Workers.
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Job Corner
Associate Director for PROS Program - Brooklyn

Licensed Social Worker (LMSW required, LCSW preferred) or Licensed Psychologist with a minimum of three years of professional mental health experience (depending on program size and complexity), including at least one year in an administrative or supervisory capacity. Experience or trainings in Wellness Self-Management, Family Psycho-Education, and Motivational Interviewing is preferred. E-mail to


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A New MSW Graduate? 14 Ways to Stand Out in the Crowd
by Natasha Nalls, MSW, LCSW, ACSW, CAP
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:
A job is easy. A career takes time. As a social worker, you want a career. I graduated with my MSW in 2007. I'm still at the very beginning of my career. Here are some things you can do to launch, maximize, and promote your social work career TODAY.

***WARNING: Only the ambitious graduate need read on!***

1. Join, participate, and assume leadership in a professional organization.

NASW is the largest national professional social work organization. Each state has a chapter, and each chapter is divided into local units. Join your local unit! Chair a sub-committee, volunteer to be a liaison for your agency, or assume a position on the unit’s executive committee. NASW participation keeps you steeped in professional social work issues. Also, there are tons of opportunities for “free training.” For example, by volunteering at the local level, you gain invaluable experience developing your leadership skills by leading advocacy projects, managing relationships, and planning professional events.

2. Network and have social work friends.

Attend professional socials, forge professional relationships with social workers, and have social worker friends. Doing so allows you to “pace” yourself with peers, and gives you broader perspective of the field.

3. Start any long-term processes immediately.

Even registering for licensure in some states may be a multi-tiered process. You may need letters from your university confirming your coursework or field placement. You may also need transcripts and letters from your employer. Also, positions with state or federal agencies may require extended application processes.

4. Find a mentor.

I have a mentor. She has by far been my greatest asset. I met her at an NASW event. Last week, I happened to be at her house. By happenstance, while I was over hanging out, she got a call for some short-term work. She couldn’t take the job. She’s too busy. She recommended me. I was hired and was fast tracked into the position. Let me emphasize: Having a good mentor will open professional doors for you.

5. Maintain affiliation with your school or a local school of social work.
Social work schools tend to lead the local social work community, and there is therefore an inherent symbiotic relationship. Agency heads often teach as adjuncts. Schools also sometimes spearhead professional conferences and forums. Maintain contact with professors and staff, especially those with whom you share similar professional interests.

6. Consider licensure.
It’s not for everyone, but depending on your long-term career plans and interests, licensure may be a long-term asset. If you plan to have a clinical social work career, it would behoove you to become licensed as soon as possible. After you are licensed, there is no requirement for ongoing clinical supervision (although you’ll have continuing education requirements). In addition, licensure allows you to clinically supervise others, which might make you an asset to your agency or allow you to generate income by supervising others privately. P.S. I advise you to take the licensing exam within two years of graduation.
Read the rest of this article at:
Articles from the Spring 2011 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER include:
and more!

LGBT Pride Month
President Obama has issued a proclamation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month this June. (See In the proclamation, Obama outlines various advances that have been made in the area of LGBT rights.
There is still much work to be done in this area, and as social workers, we encounter many LGBT issues, both as clinicians and advocates. According to the NASW Code of Ethics, “Social workers should not practice, condone, facilitate, or collaborate with any form of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, or mental or physical disability.” Also, social workers “should act to prevent and eliminate domination of, exploitation of, and discrimination against any person, group, or class on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, or mental or physical disability.”
A social worker friend of mine told me recently that she encountered someone who spoke publicly against gay people. Once she introduced this person (a religious leader) to a gay person in his community and facilitated a conversation between the two, he made a decision not to publicly speak against homosexuality in the future. This was not done in her official capacity as a social worker, but it is an example of the way one person can make a huge difference.
Below are some links to Web sites, pages, and articles on various LGBTQ issues to broaden your knowledge and perhaps help your clients or others in your community:
Gay-Straight Alliance Network
Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
ACLU LGBT Rights Page
National Coalition of LGBT Health
Mental Health America—Bullying and Gay Youth
It Gets Better Project
(See article on It Gets Better project in THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER at
Twice Hidden: Older Gay and Lesbian Couples, Friends, and Intimacy
article in Generations, Summer 2001
Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues—Social Work Speaks Abstract
LGBT Social Workers on LGBT Pride Month
NASW GLBT Issues Page
Articles in THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER magazine:
Camp Aranutiq
Coming Out in Field Placement
Challenging Heterosexism: Six Suggestions for Social Work Practice

American Basic Economic Security Much Different From “Poverty Line,” UB Researcher Says

A University at Buffalo School of Social Work professor is helping redefine the United States' definition of being poor with research that shows the dramatic difference between achieving
"basic economic security" and the federal government's "poverty line."

Yunju Nam, PhD, assistant professor at the UB School of Social Work, is one of three lead authors for research that concluded with the Basic Economic Security Table or BEST Index, a report prepared jointly by Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), the Center for Social Development (CSD) at Washington University in St. Louis, and the UB School of Social Work.

The BEST report concludes that single workers need more than $30,000 a year for economic security. Single parents with two children need nearly twice the income ($57,756) to cover basic expenses and save for emergencies and retirement, and dual-income households with two children require $67,920.

These figures are well above—sometimes several times—traditional measurements like the poverty line and minimum wage designed to show what workers require for a basic standard of living. The 2010 national poverty level is $10,830 for a single-person family and $18,310 for a family of three.

The report, released April 1, has attracted widespread attention in the mainstream media, including substantial articles or treatments in the New York Times, CBS MoneyWatch, the Today Show, the Atlantic, the Huffington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Many of the articles have concentrated on how low-wage jobs, which are often reported by the U.S. Department of Labor as evidence of employment growth or possibilities, fail to pay enough to meet these basic needs.

The BEST Index is different from the federal poverty measure in that it takes into account actual spending for necessary items (e.g., food, housing, transportation and child care) for a family to meet its basic needs. In contrast, the federal poverty measure is calculated based solely on food cost. Accordingly, BEST captures changing economic needs in a rapidly changing contemporary economy, the researchers say.

The BEST Index also differs from other "economic well-being" indexes in that it aims to capture what is needed for household stability and development rather than focusing on subsistence, Nam explains. Therefore, the BEST Index includes saving components such as emergency savings, retirement savings, education savings, and home ownership savings that are essential for long-term economic security and household development, she points out.

"Meeting basic monthly living expenses alone leaves a family short of genuine financial stability," says Nam. "Workers must develop assets to attain both short-term and lifelong economic security. However, past policy and scholarly discussion on economic well-being measures focused solely on consumption needs. The BEST therefore provide a new perspective on economic needs by showing how much workers need to meet both consumption and saving needs for economic security."

According to the BEST, the amount of savings needed for a family's long-term security is moderate if a family saves regularly for long-term. Emergency savings are a small part of BEST budgets (3-4 percent). Retirement savings of $73 per month per worker or $56 per couple greatly increases the chances of maintaining basic economic security in retirement.

"The problem is many families do not make enough income to meet their basic consumptions and saving needs, especially among single-parent families," according to Yung Soo Lee, one of the lead authors of the BEST at the CSD. "In addition, low saving rates in the United States indicate that even families with enough income do not save enough for their long-term economic security and development."

To solve problems of low income and low saving rate, Nam says policy intervention is essential.

"I believe that the BEST Index is the first step for the policy paradigm change, a shift from focus on consumption to emphasis on long-term economic security and development," she says. "By showing how much a family needs for [its] basic consumption and asset accumulation for long-term development, the BEST sets a new and higher standard for social and economic policy in the United States."

The index is intended for use by policymakers, researchers and policy advocates concerned with national policy needs and with changes in workers' and families' needs over time. The savings components incorporated in the BEST suggest the importance of asset building for household development and stability.

Upliftment of the Burmese Refugee Community by Students from IIT Delhi
submitted by Parth Sharma
June 20 is World Refugee Day. The Golden land of Burma has always been famous for its rich culture and heritage, but today its virtuousness is under attack. Burma has been entrenched in political and armed conflict between the repressive ruling military regime, political opponents, and ethnic groups, resulting in the displacement of more than 3.5 million people. India, being a neighboring country, hosts a large and growing number of Burmese refugees. In New Delhi, a nearly 10,000-strong community continues to exist in the obscure margins of our lives without anyone taking much notice. Even with Burma attracting international attention and the President of the United States acknowledging the plight of the Burmese community settled in West Delhi, there are very few Delhites, let alone Indians, who know of their existence.
This large number does not afford them any legal protection, leaving them vulnerable to harassment, discrimination, and deportation. India is not a signatory of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, which is the cornerstone of UNHCR's work around the world. Hence, the present situation is that the government takes no responsibility as such for these refugees, and the onus is on UNHCR to provide for their sustenance. As a result, the Indian community is almost apathetic to the cause of these refugees, be it matters of protection, health, education, administration, legal, or general social factors. While protection and permanent solutions are long in coming for the Burmese community in Delhi, the wait is made more urgent by untenable living conditions, a lack of adequate and acceptable livelihoods, poor health, an inability for the children to receive an education, and the impossibility of integrating with the local community.
The need of the hour is to help these Burmese refugees feel like respectable human beings in a foreign land, to make them feel at peace, free from the unnecessary hostility and discrimination, and provide them with some opportunity for decent sustenance. Here is where a student group from IIT Delhi believes that they could help make a difference. The 23 member strong student group, SIFE IIT Delhi, aims to play a proactive role in helping the development and economic sustainability of a group of people so far neglected. The group has been working with the community since November 2010, with the support of charter organizations such as UNHCR. As members learned more about the community, they came to understand how each day is a challenge for these refugees. Their continuous struggle to survive in this home away from home made these students dedicate themselves to this cause. Under the banner of Project Aarambh, these students are making a fresh attempt for the cause of overall development of the Burmese refugees.
Their project looks to economically empower these people through sustainable income generation. There are a number of centers within the community that manufacture handicrafts that boast of Burmese skill and culture. However, such centers are far from realizing their true potential, as there is a lack of awareness about the current market scenario in India and the hindrance they face in terms of the language barrier and societal exclusion. These students from IIT Delhi have been working with such women-based small handicraft entrepreneurial units in the refugee community, promoting their traditional arts, marketing their goods such as handbags, laptop bags, purses, woolens, coats, and shawls, and organizing corporate stalls to facilitate their sales. Furthermore, they are facilitating professional support for improved skills, operations, and scalability and have collaborated with DASTKAR, a national organization, for the same.
They have also established a platform for the community called Placement Cell, to create an avenue to help people in the Burmese community who are in need of a job. The cell works as a 2-way forum, an interface between the people and the factories and shops that have job vacancies. The objective is to ensure just, sustainable, fair pay work for the refugees while ensuring regularity and consistency for the employers. Their initiatives in this end have included interventions with nearby workshops seeking fair employment opportunities, matching job requirements with skills and conducting training sessions and workshops for the refugees, enabling them to blend into the new work culture.
Besides all this, their efforts have included initiatives for holistic development. These students realize that it is of paramount importance to help the refugees integrate and communicate with the Indian society at large and to sensitize the Indian society by making them aware of the plethora of problems faced by the Burmese community and the main reason as to why they seek asylum here. Their engagements have included college outreach programs such as in St. Stephen’s College and community initiatives such as Health Camps.
These young students from IIT Delhi have a long-term vision with respect to their engagement with the Burmese refugee community. They are aware of the political, social, and cultural dilemmas in helping a foreign refugee community, and their efforts are only meant to make the lives of these refugees a little more humane and meaningful. They feel that these refugees carry in their hearts the Burma they fled and the hope to return. It is their culture that these students want the world to see. It is their spirit that they salute. It is their story that they want the world to hear.
SIFE (Student in Free Enterprise is an international nonprofit organization that aims to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities and become socially responsible business leaders. SIFE IIT Delhi ( is the student chapter of SIFE in the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Established in July 2010, it is comprised of a team of 23 students working under faculty supervision.
News & Resources
Baby Boomers Increase the Need for Social Workers
According to this article in the Chicago Tribune, the U.S. will need 70,000 social workers specializing in gerontology by the year 2020.
Military Spouses Get Help With Professional Licenses
A U.S. Defense Department organization is working to make things easier for military spouses who work in licensed professions, such as social work, when they move from one state to another.
African American Men Who Feel In Control Are Less Likely to Experience Depressive Symptoms
This article reports on a study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan on the concept of “perceived mastery” in African American men ages 35-54.
The Sun Makes Payout to Social Worker Over Baby P Stories
The Sun newspaper agrees to publish apology and pay compensation to a social worker for false allegations it published about her role in the Baby P case.
One-Stop Clinic Ups Mental Health, Social Work Visits for Veterans
Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who visit an integrated care clinic are more likely to receive mental health and social work evaluation than those who go to a standard care clinic.
Violence, Suicides Prompt Call for Social Workers in Schools
School violence, dropouts, and suicides are on the rise in Vietnam.
National HIV Testing Day
Informaton about National HIV Testing Day on June 27.
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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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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 (click on the “Forum” link).
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:
The Spring 2011 edition is available online now at:
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 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:
You can also download our catalog in PDF format at:

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