In my foundational social work placement I was placed at a subsidized housing building for persons with mental health issues, which provided both meaningful learning and personal growth for me despite my initial disappointment at not being placed in an organization where I could gain experience working with children. This internship allowed me an opportunity to transcend from the theoretical to the practical as I made good use of all the attending skills I had developed through academic exercises in navigating the counseling, case management, and socialization needs of residents, while prioritizing ethical standards like client-centred care, confidentiality, etc. Near the end of the practicum I met with my placement supervisor to jointly review the necessary final evaluation form. The meeting began with her disclaimer that although ratings were from 1 to 5, with 1 being unacceptable, 5 being exceptional, 3 was a pass and the level that students were expected to be, so it would be unrealistic to expect higher as an intern….
The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man decided to explain the problem with social services. He argued, “How’s a person going to benefit from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a social worker?” He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about social workers- “Bleeding heart liberals.” To stress his point, he said to one of the guests, “You’re a social worker, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?”…
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#Abuse, #Child, #DomesticViolence, #Humanity, #MentalIllness, #Salary, #SocialJustice, #SocialWork, #Sociology, #Support, #Welfare
Yesterday I saw the We’re better than this campaign.
It is wonderful to see celebrities come out in protest of what counts amongst the worst travesties in Australian history. Australian celebrities are protesting against Australia’s treatment of refugee children. Hundreds of children are locked up in Australia, Naru, and Christmas Island. Australia is committing the institutional abuse of children and breaching their responsibilities in terms of the United Nations Conventions we are party to – those on refugees and the rights of children. Children should not be held in such conditions…but neither should their families….
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#AsylumSeekers, #BryanBrown, #Education, #Government, #Refugees, #SocialWork
Death Midwifery and Home Funerals
By Cassandra Yonder
This piece is an excerpt from the upcoming book: Journey’s End: Death, Dying, and the End of Life, written, compiled, and edited by Victoria Brewster, MSW and Julie Saeger Nierenberg, MA Ed with an anticipated release date of Spring 2015.
A social movement has arisen in response to the cultural alienation we feel from death and dying. As the sick and dying members of our families and communities are institutionalized, death itself is “medicalized,” and post-death care is undertaken by strangers outside our homes. Indeed, we have come to recognize ourselves as a death-denying society.
Just as the slow food movement brings communities back in touch with the production and distribution of their own food in a small, local, familiar market, and birth midwifery empowers women to reclaim the labour and delivery of their own babies, death midwifery reminds us how to be present for those who are at the end of life and how to care for our own dead.
One might even say that death midwifery is to palliative care as the slow food movement is to large-scale agriculture and as birth midwifery is to obstetrics….
A troubling new report released recently by the National Center on Family Homelessness at the American Institutes for Research documents the growing distress among the nation’s children. More children are sliding further into poverty and experiencing homelessness. Using data from the Department of Education and the Census Department—researchers led by Ellen Bassuk found that one in 30—or 2.5 million American children—were homeless at some point last year. That represents an eight percent increase nationally from 2012. They found child homelessness increased in 31 states and the District of Columbia and that the problem exists in every state, every city and every county in America. We know that outcomes for children experiencing homelessness are disastrous. We know that this growing problem does not get solved by the mothers of these children just doing the right thing. …
Originally recorded on Thursday, October 17, 2013
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During the holiday season consumerism somehow manages to turn the ideal of peace on earth and goodwill toward (wo)men into the need to give till it hurts. The lure of sale/discounted prices and the tradition of giving generously are easy to get caught up in. They make spending money you don’t have on gifts too quickly forgotten a “habit” that turns the holiday season into one filled with debt and stress. …
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#Finances, #FinancialResponsibility, #FinancialSocialWork, #SocialWork
Book Review- What to Do about Mama? By Barbara G. Mathews and Barbara Trainin Blank
What I like about this book is the different perspectives on caregiving as there are many contributors. This provides any individual or professional reading the book with different scenarios, which include common situations and feelings.
The authors also describe their own care giving experiences. For Barbara Matthews, she became a caregiver for her mother-in-law. Ten years after her father-in-law died, her mother-in-law came to live in her hometown. At first, the response was no, but as health problems began to appear, the move happened. A family meeting with all helped “seal the deal” for her to relocate and be closer to family to have assistance as needed….
Having worked in a Mental Health Clinic, in which, the wait list for services is typically 4-6 weeks long, there is a consistent expectation of timely discharge once therapeutic goals have been met, so I usually initiate counseling with clients by framing it as working towards discharge from the very ……
As I wrote in a blog post several weeks ago, there are about 25,000 people held in solitary confinement in supermax prison units called SHUs—security housing units—and another 80,000 inmates housed in isolation cells in regular prisons and jails. Many of these individuals are mentally ill. Some are juve ……