Letters to the Editor (July 2009)

Remembering Kahn

News of Professor Alfred J. Kahn’s death [May News] triggered memories of his unique set of skills.

I first met Professor Kahn in the mid-1970s when he co-directed (with Dr. Sheila B. Kamerman) the “Cross National Studies of Social Service Systems.” It was my great good fortune to be the Federal Project Officer for that DHEW (Social and Rehabilitation Service)-funded three-year project.

In meetings of both the Advisory Committee and the Principal Investigators from Canada, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Israel, Poland, United Kingdom and Yugoslavia, Professor Kahn displayed an uncanny knack for keeping members on target, ensuring that everyone had an opportunity to contribute and calling forth the best ideas from group members.

A day after the first meeting, I received the minutes written in publishable form. This was, I discovered, no fluke. Throughout the project, each meeting’s minutes arrived at my desk a day or two after the meeting. Professor Kahn excelled not only at a host of big ticket items, but the smaller stuff as well. What a remarkable man!

James V. Dolson
Springfield, Va.


Second Chances

I guess if you wait long enough even the Republicans discover how costly it has been to put people “away” vs. providing supportive services to avoid desperation leading to return to prison.

For more than 30 years, the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry in Cleveland has run a Community Re-entry Program which serves as a model for many areas of our country. For more than 30 years they have lowered the recidivist rate for those they serve by more than half the national average. For 30 years they have had to scratch and scramble for financial support from politicians terrified of being caterogized “soft on crime.”

Social workers have the skill and the committment to enable repeaters to examine why they keep fouling up. By so doing, we create an underpinning helping to change the thinking about what they are and are not capable of accomplishing.

Roy H. Schlachter
Richmond Heights, Ohio


More BSW news

I’m writing out of frustration. Every time I receive my NASW News, I hope that there will be something for me to enjoy, but sadly every time the focus of the entire paper seems to be directed toward MSWs or higher.

I find this the case with almost everything the NASW does lately and sadly it is making me question my membership. I’m very proud of being a social worker and worked hard to get my degree and the years of experience that I have, yet reading the NASW Newsand other NASW information, it seems that if I don’t have a masters or higher that I don’t count.

Perhaps your paper, and NASW in general, could look at the thousands of us who are doing just as much to promote social work and help people with a bachelor’s degree.

Kendra Knight, LBSW
Tonganoxie, Kan.