March is Social Work Month, a time to “educate the public about the contributions of social workers and give social workers and their allies tools they can use to elevate the profession,” according to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). “Social workers stand up for millions of people every day. These include people who are experiencing devastating illnesses and mental health crises, our veterans, children, families and communities. Yet many people still misunderstand who social workers are and the invaluable contributions they bring to society…Social workers are trained to look at situations in a holistic way. They help people increase their ability to solve problems, to cope with stressors and to get needed resources. Social workers bring individuals together with other people and their communities to find solutions for problems that continue to plague our society, including hunger, lack of affordable housing, and equal rights for all. And social workers make organizations responsible to people through sound social policy.”
Every year, Social Work Month highlights resources and information that can lead to policy, laws and legislation that serve to increase social justice and advance the social work profession. It was established in 1963.
World Social Work Day is celebrated on the first day of Spring, March 21st.
Join the #MacroSW chat this Thursday, March 16, with host Pat Shelly from @UBSSW, as all kinds of social work organizations, practitioners, agencies, legislators, schools and students share ideas and actions that help celebrate our profession in all its aspects. We’re pleased to have Greg Wright of @NASW on the chat too!
What activities are you engaging in for #SWmonth 2017?
Who or what do you stand up for?
Why this choice?
How does Social Work Month help you and other social workers?
~Please share media – news, movies, books – that feature social workers~
Here is an annotated list of novels about social workers from 2015. Titles: All Our Names (2014); The Believers (2010); Fourth of July Creek (2014); The Interestings (2014); The Social Worker (2011); Unprotected (2012). And let’s add PUSH by Sapphire (1997).
Why do social workers need to know about the opioid epidemic?
Opioid dependence is an epidemic in the United States.
Many social workers are interested in addictions.
We will see opioid dependence regardless of where we practice social work.
It is important that all of us know more about this issue.
Join us on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 9 pm EST, 8 pm CST, and 6 pm PST as we look at the epidemic of overdose deaths in the U.S. caused by use of opioids. We’ll discuss current stats, contributing factors, and evidence-based treatment and prevention practices. The host is Pat Shelly from @UBSSW – she’ll be on the @OfficialMacroSW handle.
Our guest expert is Charles Syms, from the School of Social Work at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, using the @UBSSW handle.
Charles Syms, LCSW/ACSW, is a clinical associate professor who has been a faculty member in the University at Buffalo’s School of Social Work since 1998. A past National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) Minority Research Fellow, Professor Syms’s current teaching and research interests include the treatment of individuals with substance use disorders, particularly the impact of alcohol and other drugs on people with mental health problems and those involved with child welfare system. He works to extend this education into the on-line environment.
Professor Syms has over 35 years of professional social work practice. He received his MSW in 1979 from California State University – Sacramento. His experience includes work in child welfare, domestic violence, forensic mental health and substance use disorders. He has held numerous positions, including child protection worker, child protection clinical consultant, prison psychiatric social worker, supervisor on an in-patient chemical dependency unit, domestic violence specialist and group leader, child welfare program director, and a leadership role in coordinating two community-based, university/public school collaborative violence prevention projects. Additionally, Professor Syms shares his experience and expertise as a member of agency-based and professional advisory boards at the local, state and national levels.
Here are some questions we will discuss this week:
Just how widespread is the opioid epidemic?
Why is it worse in the United States than elsewhere?
What are the evidence-based practices that are effective in treating opioid dependence?
Are there preferred prevention models?
What implications for policy does Carl Hart’s talk, “Let’s quit abusing drug abusers,” offer?
What are social workers doing at the macro level regarding this epidemic?
About #MacroSW: #MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST).
Results are in; the winner of the US Presidential Election has been announced. The #MacroSW partners want to let everyone know that we will not assume we know how our colleagues / students / chat participants voted. #MacroSW chat will remain non-partisan in our role as the facilitator of these gloriously wide-ranging, informative, and stimulating chats. We plan on this chat being- as we hope all our chats are – trauma-informed.* We do expect people to be expressing feelings and opinions, with comments made in a safe and respectful way in line with the Code of Ethics and the history of macro social work.** Host Pat Shelly from @UBSSW will be using the @officialmacrosw handle to further align in a neutral position.
Votes will be in and counted; the political ads will disappear. How will you recover from this election season? Or do you want to talk about ANYTHING BUT the impact of the election?
Join us for this open mic:
What’s on your mind?
Regaining a sense of sanity after the 2016 U.S. elections.
Oh how those Thanksgiving and December holidays loom!!
Host: Pat Shelly @UBSSW University at Buffalo School of Social Work
We hope to have some fun, and offer ideas and resources for election season recovery! And – in case you are worried that your stress level will get too low – we might talk about how to prepare for the November/December holidays and the often fraught family time they engender. The open mic means you can introduce whatever else is on your mind. *6 Key Principles of a Trauma-Informed Approach:
Trustworthiness and Transparency;
Collaboration and mutuality;
Empowerment, voice and choice;
Cultural, Historical, and Gender Issues
** “Macro social work practice includes those activities performed in organizational, community, and policy arenas. Macro practice has a diverse history that reveals conflicting ideologies and multiple theoretical perspectives (emphasis added).Programmatic, organizational, community, and policy dimensions of macro practice underscore the social work profession’s emphasis on using a person-in-environment perspective. Thus, social workers, regardless of roles played, are expected to have sensitivity toward and engage in macro practice activities.”
These elections are having an impact on the nation’s mental health: Talking to Your Therapist About Election Anxiety : “‘I’ve been in private practice for 30 years, and I have never seen patients have such strong reactions to an election,’ said Sue Elias, a licensed clinical social worker in Manhattan.”
Join Kristin Battista-Frazee for this chat on action leading up to the November 8th elections. What’s happening your area? What is the social work profession doing to inform our constituencies (everyone, that is!) on issues, voting rights, and more?
(Here is the archive of all the tweets from this chat)
What does healthy aging and productivity look like in the 21st century? Baby boomers are retiring later, millennials are starting families and technology continuously offers new ways to delegate tasks.
“Increased automation and longevity demand new thinking by employers and employees regarding productivity. Young people are increasingly disconnected from education or work and the labor force faces significant retirements in the next decades. Throughout the lifespan, fuller engagement in education and paid and unpaid productive activities can generate a wealth of benefits, including better health and well-being, greater financial security, and a more vital society.”
The challenge of reshaping social expectations, institutions, policies, and programs so we can benefit from the older population and its growing social capital is more important than ever.
Join us on Thursday, October 6, 2016, at 9pm ET, 8pm CT and 6pm PT:
We’ll chat about how ways to increase ongoing engagement with and productivity by our older Americans.
Hosts: Pat Shelly, University at Buffalo School of Social Work @UBSSW Mikhail Bell, representing the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare @AASWSW
Questions for Discussion:
Why is increasing productive engagement in later life a Grand Challenge for Social Work?
What is productive aging?
How does productive engagement benefit society?
How can social work lead the way with this challenge?
What are some examples of productive engagement for later life? Any from your community?
Do you have new ideas or visions for a productive later life?
#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). Click here for a list of chat partners. For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out: http://macrosw.com.
Here’s a link to the trailer for “The Mask You Live In.” This documentary on the American “boy crisis” explains how to raise a healthier generation of men and features interviews with experts and academics. What does it mean to be a man? American society might be pushing a masculinity on our boys that destroys them.
The 91 minute film is available for viewing on Netflix.
(Note: The post that is reblogged below is by Laurel Hitchcock. Laurel is one of the nine #MacroSW partners who rotate as host of our weekly Twitter chats. Her blog post below is a good introduction to our July 14 chat, hosted by @ubssw and @officialmacrosw. We find it especially useful due to her use of a specific example – one of the standards on social work education – and the NASW interpretation of the ethical use of technology. This example underscores the importance of feedback to NASW on the draft for these standards.
The task force that wrote this draft of the standards includes the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Clinical Social Work Association (CSWA), and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). This is the first update on Technology Standards since 2005.
Please join us for the July 14th chat. Your comments and tweets will be included in the comments that our #MacroSW Chat group submits to NASW before the deadline on the 20th.)
I am so pleased that the draft Technology Standards for Social Work Practice have been released for public review. NASW, CSWE, CSWA, and ASWB developed a task force to collaboratively draft these technology standards, which you can access the draft standards here.
I am working with several groups to provide comments to the task force and, I also plan to submit my own comments. Once adopted, these standards will be considered a model for best practice in social work. Given the important legal and ethical role that practice standards have in the professional lives of social workers, I believe it is essential to offer constructive and timely feedback on this document. I want to encourage everyone in the social work community to review and submit their feedback. You do not need to be a member of any group to offer feedback. The timeline is short for submitting comments – the one-month comment period closes July 20th.
Here are some highlights about the document. The draft standards and their interpretations are 82 pages. If you do not want to read 82 pages, you may want to know that these standards cover the following:
Section 1: Provision of Information to the Public
Section 2: Designing and Delivering Services – Part A: Individuals, Families, and Groups and Part B: Communities, Organizations, Administration, and Policy
Section 3: Gathering, Managing, and Storing Information
Section 4: Communication with and about Clients
Section 5: Social Work Education (especially distance education)
Overall, I applaud the effort to revise standards that are over a decade old and no longer relevant to many forms of technology commonly used by social workers in their professional lives. It is a challenging task to write effective and informative standards that will help social workers navigate the use of technology in practice with the fast pace of change in digital and social technologies. A definite strength of the committee’s work is that the standards strongly reflect the NASW Code of Ethics, with multiple references to the Code throughout the standards.
However, these standards are also very specific, providing detailed directions on how social workers should use technology in an ethical and professional manner. For example, under Standard 5.10: Educator-Student Boundaries, the interpretation of the standard recommend that “to maintain appropriate boundaries with students, social work educators should avoid the use of personal technological devices and accounts for professional (educational) purposes.” As a social work educator, I agree that all educators should maintain appropriate ethical and professional boundaries with students and colleagues, but I should have the choice and autonomy in how I establish and maintain those boundaries. I’d like to see the evidence that using my personal smart phone to answer calls or texts from students violates an ethical boundary. In fact, I believe it makes me more accessible to my students. I started using text messaging with students many years ago, after working for a semester with a student who had a hearing disability. Texting was easier for the student to ask me questions, and allowed us to communicate outside of class without an interpreter. As a result of this experience, I developed guidelines for texting with students which I still follow today.
Further, many of the standards address the use of technology in practice settings without recognizing the parallel situations such as the “in-person” equivalent or the use of more commonplace technology. Considering Standard 5.10 as described above, this would suggest that social work educators should never give out their home phone to students or call students from their home phones. Further, this interpretation would suggest that educators not answer emails or access their institution’s learning management system from a home or personal computer or tablet. All of these options are impractical to me, and would result in an undue burden for the educator, especially adjunct educators who often use personal technology to communicate with students.
I would like to see these standards modified to offer practical, clear, and realistic guidelines that can be adopted and operationalized by both social workers and social service agencies across all practice settings. One of the groups I am working with to write group feedback has drafted this statement, which I believe provides an ideal general recommendation for how the draft standards can be re-framed:
The guidance provided by these technology standards should support aspirational goals related to technology use in our profession (including access, innovation, and consumer protection and voice), and encourage thoughtful and professional judgment related to technology use, while not directly specifying how one should carry out their use of technology in social work practice. To do so, limits innovation and will cause those who already practice outside the scope of these standards (or will in the near future as these standards become dated) to seek identity alignment outside of social work.
While you may agree or disagree with my interpretation of the draft standards, I urge you to read through the standards and give your feedback. This is your opportunity to join the conversation and give back to your professional community.
If you are interested in working with a group to provide feedback, here are two options:
Participate in the #MacroSW Twitter Chat on July 14th at 8:00 PM CST/ 9 PM EST when we will discuss the draft standards from a macro social work perspective. We will share the transcript with NASW.
Here are the details about how and when to submit your individual feedback:
TECHNOLOGY STANDARDS IN SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE – Draft released on 6/20/16
Description from NASW: The draft Technology Standards in Social Work Practice were developed jointly by the National Association of Social Workers, Association of Social Work Boards, Council on Social Work Education, and the Clinical Social Work Association to create a uniform set of practice guidelines for professional social workers who incorporate technology into their services. The draft standards were developed by a task force comprised of representatives from each of these social work organizations.
Request from NASW:
Your comments and feedback are requested to help make the technology standards a model best practice document for social workers. Please consider the following questions as you review the standards:
Are the standards easy to comprehend?
Are there any concepts that require clarification?
Are the standards applicable across social work practice levels and settings?
How relevant are the standards to current social work practice?
Submit your comments no later than July 20, 2016. Comments regarding the content of the draft standards are preferred rather than edits.
Here are two additional questions specific to the July 14th #MacroSW Twitter Chat:
What are ways you think macro-level social works should use technology?
What perspectives do social workers bring to the use of technology in the 21st century?
In the wake of the Orlando shooting (we will use #PulseOrlando as our hashtag for this chat), we feel heartache, sadness and anger. We may be left wondering why this happened and how we can prevent future tragedies. The details of the shooting and the stories of survival and loss after #PulseOrlando reveal some of the most complex social problems of our era: homophobia, racism, hate crimes and gun violence.
Join us on Thursday, June 23 at 9 pm EST / 8 pm CT / 6 pm PT for an open mic chat to share thoughts, further our understanding and explore solutions for building a safer and more tolerant body politic.
The Orlando shooting shows once again how LGBTQ people are more likely to be a target of a hate crime; the intersections of race, gender and sexuality; the consequences of easy access to guns; internet influence on domestic terrorism; and the vilification of Islam in the US. Trauma-informed care will be of utmost importance and advocacy in this election year, spearheaded by macro practitioners and many others, will shape our national response to these issues. Our coordinated approach as a profession is crucial.
Some questions to guide the discussion:
How has this event affected you and your community?
How has being trained as a social worker prepared you to address the aftermath of Orlando?
How do we best support those affected by trauma and violence in the aftermath of #PulseOrlando?
How can we ensure we don’t spread secondary trauma?
What is the role of social media in coping with events such as the Orlando shooting?
How are you / your community practicing self-care?
Resources: (another resource list – an Orlando Syllabus for Social Workers – is posted below )
Note: Many tweets about #PulseOrlando use “Latinx” instead of Latina/o. Why?
“The ‘x’ makes Latino, a masculine identifier, gender-neutral. It also moves beyond Latin@ – which has been used in the past to include both masculine and feminine identities – to encompass genders outside of that limiting man-woman binary.
Latinx, pronounced ‘La-teen-ex,’ includes the numerous people of Latin American descent whose gender identities fluctuate along different points of the spectrum, from agenderornonbinarytogender non-conforming, genderqueerandgenderfluid.” http://www.latina.com/lifestyle/our-issues/why-we-say-latinx-trans-gender-non-conforming-people-explain
AN ORLANDO SYLLABUS FOR SOCIAL WORKERS
This post was created by Karen Zgoda, Pat Shelly, and Sheri LaBree, MSW – one of Karen’s former students. It is cross-posted to reach as many people as possible.
Here is a Macro Social Work version of an #OrlandoSyllbus. It can help us understand the facts and the complex layers of meaning of the June 12, 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub. It includes some implications for social work practice.
Please note the #PulseOrlandoSyllabus, listed below, is extensive. It includes current articles, in addition to less recent publications.
Intro by Sheri LaBree:
Much has been written in the media regarding the massacre that took place in Orlando on June 11th. Politicians, pundits and other talking heads have discussed the motives of the attacker, the morals of those that were injured or killed, and of course, they have talked about gun control.
What do we know, nearly two weeks later? Very little. We know that 49 individuals were murdered, and dozens were injured.
The attack occurred at a “gay nightclub.” To me, this label is misleading. Pulse, the nightclub where this occurred, was a sanctuary for the LGBTQ community. It was a safe place. Or at least it was supposed to be.
These people were more than “just” gay. They were sisters, brothers, cousins, coworkers, friends. Like all of us, their lives cannot be neatly divided into labels. The murdered include a social worker, an accountant, a dancer, and an aspiring nurse, among others.
Was this massacre a hate crime against the LGBTQ community? Was it the work of an Islamic terrorist? We may never know. Here’s the question: does it matter? These are people who faced discrimination and obstacles that most of us will never encounter, based solely on their sexual identity. Their lives should be celebrated. They should not be labeled, because they deserve so much more.
The importance of LGBTQ identity is a subject far too big to discuss here. My message is that we should remember the people who were murdered as whole people, with full lives that are multi-faceted and complex.
ORLANDO SYLLABUS FOR SOCIAL WORKERS Compiled by Karen Zgoda and Pat Shelly
On Orlando and Beyond. (2016). Danna Bodenheimer. http://www.socialworker.com/feature-articles/real-world-clinical-sw/on-orlando-and-beyond/
Excerpt: There isn’t much for me to say about Orlando that hasn’t already been said. Most of the debates about the underlying causes of this massacre have happened somewhere in the media or on Facebook. That said, it seems irresponsible and avoidant to write about anything else this week – because, the fact is, even with everything that has already been articulated, we need to keep talking. And talking and talking and talking. And while I have no overarching goal in talking about what happened in Orlando, there are a few points that I would like to make that feel particularly relevant to us as clinical social workers.
*Deken, Sebastian. “What I want you to talk about when you talk about the Orlando shooting.” Upworthy, 13 June 2016. Upworthy. http://www.upworthy.com/what-i-want-you-to-talk-about-when-you-talk-about-the-orlando-shooting Excerpt: “Calls for reforming gun policy, and calls for love instead of terror are valid. But this attack did not occur randomly; it was not aimed at the general public. It was aimed at queer people.And addressing it as though the identities of the victims are of tertiary importance — identities for which real people bled to death — is more than dishonest. It’s a new kind of erasure, a quieter kind of violence. “
*Flores, Veronica Bayettl. “The Pulse Nightclub Shooting Robbed The Queer Latinx Community Of A Sanctuary.” Remezcla, 13 June 2016. http://remezcla.com/features/music/pulse-nightclub-sanctuary/ Excerpt “Islamophobic headlines that completely miss the mark on the ways LGBTQ Latinxs experience violence in this country, and distract from true solutions…yet few mainstream media sources turned their attention toward an escalating climate of violence in the United States against LGBTQ people – and transgender women of color in particular – that has nothing to do with Islamic extremism. “
*Kim, Richard. “Please Don’t Stop the Music.” The Nation, 12 June 2016. http://www.thenation.com/article/please-dont-stop-the-music/ Excerpt “Gay bars are therapy for people who can’t afford therapy; temples for people who lost their religion, or whose religion lost them; vacations for people who can’t go on vacation; homes for folk without families; sanctuaries against aggression.”
#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). Click here for a list of chat partners. For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out: http://macrosw.com
An edited version of the chat held April 14th can be found here.
New content in this post added after the chat:
Below the sources listed in this post, there are the additional resources that were tweeted during the chat.
On April 14 the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW) – @AASWSWorg and Pat Shelly – @UBSSW will co-host the #MacroSW Twitter Chat about smart decarceration, one of the Grand Challenges for Social Work.
Smart decarceration is a response to failed mass incarceration and rehabilitation policies, which have contributed to the United States holding 25% of the global prison population.
image: DUSTIN HOLMES | FLICKR
According to the White House, between 1988 and 2009, annual state corrections spending increased from $12 billion to $52 billion. Since 77% of prisoners are rearrested within five years of release, implementing effective reentry models can dramatically improve outcomes.
What are the Grand Challenges for Social Work?
Led by the AASWSW , the Grand Challenges for Social Work is a groundbreaking initiative to champion social progress powered by science. It is a call to action for social work researchers and practitioners to:
Harness social work’s science and knowledge base
Collaborate with individuals, community-based organizations, and professionals from all fields and disciplines
Partner to tackle some of our toughest social problems
We will address the following questions about smart decarceration:
What have been the effects of mass incarceration?
What are alternatives to mass incarceration?
What successful prison reentry models have you seen?
How do we move from mass incarceration to smart decarceration?
Please follow and use the hashtag #MacroSW on Thursday, April 14 at 9:00 p.m EDT.
Sources:(new ones from chat participants added below these original sources)
Here is a link to the Grand Challenge, Promote Smart Decarceration – at this link, click on the cover of the AASWSW Grand Challenges paper, “From Mass Incarceration to Smart Decarceration” to download a copy.
Links for the report’s authors:
Dr. Carrie Pettus-Davis bio Assistant Professor and Director, Concordance Institute for Advancing Social Justice, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis
Matthew W. Epperson bio
Assistant Professor, School of Social Service Administration, The University of Chicago
HIPAA compliant technology:
VSee – Word’s Largest VideoTelemedicine Platform for HIPAA compliant video visits. https://vsee.com/Dr. Joiner of Wayne State describes it: “VSee is a version of videoconferencing (we use it w/ our online students when holding synchronous meetings). VSee is a great tool to continue the conversation and 2 engage beyond the traditional classroom .”