Social Work in Action (November 2013)

The National Workgroup to Address the Needs of Children and Youth who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, or Two Spirited (LGBTQI2-S) held a meeting in September to discuss current projects and provide updates.

NASW Senior Policy Associate Evelyn Tomaszewski represented the association at the meeting. NASW is a member of the work group, which provides guidance for programming within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to develop policies, programs, materials, and other products to address the needs of youth who are LGBTQI2-S in SAMHSA’s Systems of Care.

The meeting included an update from the Family Acceptance Project, highlighting research interventions with LGBT youth and their families. The meeting also focused on two current projects: a quick guide that targets services providers to engage and increase practice competencies with LGBTQI2-S youth; and an outreach/social media campaign to raise the visibility of the work group and SAMHSA’s Systems of Care.

“As a work group member and collaborative partner, NASW ensures that social workers have a critical role in promoting equity, access and inclusion for LGBTQI2-S individuals and their families — be it as policymakers, advocates, and/or direct service providers — and build capacity in our own programs and communities with support from the range of services available through SAMHSA and other publicly funded programs,” Tomaszewski said.

NASW has endorsed interprofessional pain management competencies developed by the UC Davis Health System. The competencies are designed for prelicensure clinical education across health professions, and were developed with support from the Mayday Fund, a foundation dedicated to alleviating the incidence, degree and consequence of human physical pain.

NASW member Robin Kennedy, director of the social work division at California State University, Sacramento, participated on the advisory committee that developed the competencies.

For more information, visit the UC Davis Center for Advancing Pain Relief.

Two social workers contributed to a new National Institute of Nursing Research report called Building Momentum: The Science of End-of-Life and Palliative Care: A Review of Research Trends and Funding, 1997–2010 (PDF).

NASW member Judy Peres was a consultant on the Evaluation Advisory Committee for the report, and social worker Gary Stein was one of four expert reviewers.

Peres serves on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Approaching Death: Addressing Key End-of-Life Issues, and on the board of the Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network.

Stein is vice chairman of SWHPN and a professor at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University in New York.

Social worker Lynn Feinberg testified before the Commission on Long-Term Care in July. The commission, created by the fiscal cliff law passed in January 2013, was tasked with advising Congress on long-term care reform.

The commission gathered information from expert witnesses at four hearings between June and August. Feinberg, one of those witnesses, presented on the role of family caregivers in providing long-term services and supports (LTSS) to people with disabilities and older adults.

The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, of which NASW is a member, and the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities provided informal input to the commission.

The two coalitions sent recently revised Principles for Long-Term Services and Supports to the commission in June and met with commission staff director Larry Atkins in July. The LCAO–CCD principles address multiple themes, including the professional LTSS workforce.

In September, the commission presented its recommendations at a final public hearing and published its report to Congress. Five dissenting commissioners subsequently published their own recommendations.

Download the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations's Principles for Long-Term Services and Supports (PDF).