Social Work in Action (April 2013)

NASW President Jeane Anastas held two speaking engagements in February.

On Feb. 18, Anastas was the special guest speaker at San Diego State University, where she presented on workforce trends and job opportunities in social work. Anastas also led an informal discussion of LGBTQIA issues in social work.

“We were extremely honored by her presence,” said Tera Stefani, director of membership and communication at the NASW California Chapter. “I have already received a great deal of positive feedback regarding the time she shared with us; the informal discussion of LGBTQIA issues, dinner, and especially her presentation on workforce trends in social work.”

Anastas also was a keynote speaker at the NASW New Mexico Chapter annual conference on Feb. 20. She presented “Social Work: A Women’s Workforce (Men are Social Workers Too).” The discussion focused on the societal, economic, and professional challenges continually faced by women in our nation and how they have changed due to the economic recession and changing political landscape.

Using professional social workers in pediatric primary care clinics proved to have positive outcomes for clients, according to a Feb. 5 article in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The article, highlighted on the NASW Practice and Professional Development blog cites positive outcomes for the Baltimore-based SEEK Project (Safe Environment for Every Kid).

The University of Maryland Medical Center is sponsoring the project, which integrates professional social workers into pediatric primary care clinics to conduct child-abuse identification and prevention efforts.

According to the article, a randomized research trial of the SEEK program compared outcomes for an intervention group — families who received social work services — and a control group of families who received services from a human services worker.

The article says compared with the control group, families in the intervention group experienced:

  • Fewer reports to child protective service agencies
  • Fewer episodes of severe or very severe physical assault
  • Fewer instances of nonadherence to medical care; and
  • Fewer delays in immunizations

This study adds to the growing body of research indicating the value of professional social work intervention with vulnerable populations. It also demonstrates the importance of integrating social work services into primary care, says the NASW blog posting.

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