NASW News


Entries for 2013

Apr 10, 2013

The NASW Foundation announces the recipients of the 2012 Knee/Wittman and Sarnat Awards. The annual awards recognize outstanding achievements in individuals, groups or organizations that have made significant contributions to social work. The Knee/Wittman Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a professional social worker who has made exemplary contributions in health and mental health practice, while the Knee/Wittman Outstanding Achievement Award — which is not limited to social work — is presented to an individual or group that has made a significant impact on national mental health public policy, professional standards or...

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Apr 05, 2013

Deborah Waldrop understands the importance of discussing health care decisions before a crisis occurs, and she encourages social workers to take advantage of National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16 by helping their clients with advance care planning. “By providing information and promoting conversations, NHDD has the potential to facilitate powerful changes on how and where people die,” said Waldrop, professor and associate dean for faculty development at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. “I spent many years working as a hospital social worker and experienced too many situations in which people had not...

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Apr 04, 2013

Two social workers, a judge and a congressman are being recognized as the recipients of the NASW National Awards for 2012. The four annual awards are given to social workers, public citizens and public elected officials who have made significant contributions to society. “NASW is proud to honor the selfless service these individuals have given to some of the most vulnerable members of our society,” said NASW President Jeane Anastas. “Their work demonstrates the positive impact that social workers, citizens and public officials who support social work causes can make. They have made this world a better place.” &raq...

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Apr 03, 2013

The Herald-Sun, in Durham, N.C., recently published a guest column by NASW member Barbara Smith titled Early intervention in youth mental health. “Much too frequently in America, we bear witness to horrific shootings,” Smith wrote, adding that while it’s important to have stricter gun laws, the country also needs “a humane and effective mental health system that gives priority to young persons with emerging severe mental illness.” Smith, a clinical assistant professor at the School of Social Work and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has spent the last 20 years of ...

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Apr 02, 2013

News anchor Jennifer Livingston made headlines last year when she publicly responded to an email that attacked her because of her weight. The viewer who sent the message said obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make, and he hoped Livingston would reconsider her responsibility as a local public personality in La Crosse, Wis. Livingston’s on-air response to the bully sent a powerful message that inspired many, said NASW member Judith Matz, a social worker who helps clients who are bullied for their weight. “She was amazing in how she handled her response,” Matz said. “Her message went viral and it’s ...

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Apr 01, 2013

In March, which was Social Work Month, NASW honored Dr. Diana Pearce with a special Presidential Award for Leadership in Research, celebrating her work in understanding and alleviating poverty in the United States as it affects woman-headed households. In 1978, Dr. Pearce coined the term “the feminization of poverty,” which has since entered the mainstream of sociology and poverty studies nationally and internationally. Her original work addressed women on welfare, and as long as government cash assistance programs provide support that is below the “poverty line,” this aspect of the problem will endure. However, th...

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Mar 18, 2013

Virginia Vaitones, an oncology social worker at PenBay Medical Center in Rockport, Maine, became the president of the Association of Community Cancer Centers at its 39th Annual National Meeting in March. “I am honored to serve as president of the Association of Community Cancer Centers,” Vaitones said in a statement. “I am a strong believer in the interdisciplinary team that is needed in today’s cancer care programs to assist our patients and their caregivers (to) navigate the complexities of their care. I can think of no other organization that understands and supports the ideas and programs of the interdisciplinary ...

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Mar 17, 2013

Avoiding Malpractice: Tips for Social Workers to Manage Risk Client Relationships The bad news: Errors and omissions in practice are common. The good news: Many can easily be prevented. Here are a few risk-reduction tips: ADVISE clients of your policy regarding record retention and the circumstances under which the records will be released. BE CLEAR with your client about the circumstances under which a relationship will be terminated (i.e. certain amount of no shows, nonpayment, etc.) and your process for termination. DOCUMENT all no-shows, canceled appointments and terminated or incomplete sessions in your clients&...

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Mar 16, 2013

Profession needs to break down its silos I write in response to Ms. Des Montaignes’s letter (March 2013) regarding the current inadequacies of mental health services for patients and overwhelmed families. In addition to the many fine points she makes, I would add that many social workers who do not directly practice in the mental health field are remarkably undertrained to detect symptoms of anxiety, depression, or suicidal risk. I have devoted much of my career addressing these unfortunate splits in our field. Insurance coverage rewards medications and very short term interventions, when we well know that the combination of though...

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Mar 15, 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 wor...

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