Social Work in Action (May 2013)

NASW Senior Practice Associate Chris Herman presented at the annual American Society on Aging conference “Aging in America,” which was held in March. Herman represented NASW as a respondent to a panel presentation addressing the 2012 Institute of Medicine report “The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands?”

“This session was part of a track organized by the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging, to which NASW belongs, and ASA’s Mental Health and Aging Network,” Herman said.

Herman was joined on the response panel by NASW member Robyn Golden, representing the American Society on Aging, and social worker Kimberly Williams, representing the National Coalition for Mental Health and Aging. NASW member Maria Aranda, who served on the IOM committee that authored the report, was one of the presenters to whom Herman and others responded.

Herman also co-facilitated a social work peer networking session with Kathy Kuhn, of the Center for Aging and Disability Research and Education at Boston University.

“The Aging in America conference always features many social work presenters and draws a strong social work audience, and I was pleased to be able to meet so many social work colleagues during the peer networking session and throughout the conference,” Herman said. “Social work participation in ASA extends to the highest levels of leadership, including current president Louis Colbert and former presidents Cynthia Stuen and Robyn Golden, all of whom are also members of NASW.”

The 2014 Aging in America conference will take place March 11 to 15 in San Diego.

The interdisciplinary think tank Knowledge to Action (K2A) work group provided input to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the development of the document “Essentials for Childhood — Steps to Creating Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships.” Joan Levy Zlotnik, director of the NASW Foundation’s Social Work Policy Institute, has been a part of K2A since 2009, and contributed to the research provided to the CDC. The federal Office of Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN) in the Children’s Bureau of Health and Human Services nominated Zlotnik to participate. The think tank brought together the CDC Center for Injury Prevention and Control, OCAN, and three nonprofits — The National Alliance for Children’s Trust Funds, Parents Anonymous and Prevent Child Abuse America — to collaborate on the document. Each of the five groups that participated in the K2A work group nominated other experts, drawing from multiple disciplines and multiple roles. These experts included anthropologists, pediatricians, parent leaders, psychologists and those who develop positive community norms and community-based system change efforts.

Zlotnik also presented at a board-sponsored session at the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors in March, on behalf of the BPD Advocacy and Outreach Committee. Zlotnik’s presentation, “Promoting Social Work Advocacy at Federal and State Levels: Strategies for BSWs,” included information on the Social Work Reinvestment Act and the Congressional Social Work Caucus, and how BSW faculty and students can get involved in advocacy. Zlotnik co-chairs the Advocacy and Outreach Committee with NASW ANSWER Coalition convener Susan Kosche Vallem, who gave a supporting presentation.