Social Work in the Public Eye
NASW member Betsy Baier is part of an article in Utah’s
The Moab Sun News about Grand County Hospice in Moab.
Baier is a licensed clinical social worker who has decades of
professional experience working in the areas of grief and bereavement, the
article says, and she has been at Grand County Hospice for about a year.
“Hospice care allows people to die with support, with
compassion, and comfort,” she says in the article. “All of the needs are being
attended to, of both patient and family. Peace and comfort are of the utmost
Baier says everyone has difficulty when faced with the reality
of losing someone, and hospice care is a way for families to have support.
“It can be an isolating experience, but it doesn’t have to
be,” she says. “We do what we can, and refer people if they need more support.”
Grand County Hospice cares for patients who are in the last
phases of their lives, the article says, and has relied on volunteers from the
start. The facility was looking to recruit new volunteers in January.
Carla Naumburg says she learned from trying to cure her
daughter’s nightmares that her most powerful parenting tool is herself, her
Naumburg, a clinical social worker, wrote an opinion piece for
The Washington Post about discovering that instead of actively looking for
resolutions to her daughter’s “night monsters,” what her daughter wanted and
said she needed was simply her mother’s presence to make the monsters to go
“I was reminded of my long-standing tendency to want to fix
all of my daughters’ problems,” Naumburg wrote. “For every struggle my girls
face in life, from potty training to social challenges at school, I want to
find an answer.”
She writes that like every parent, she doesn’t want to see her
children in pain and there is a natural tendency to try to fix the problem and
move on. But Naumburg says the more she jumps in and tries to solve every
problem, the more she is telling her children they need to be fixed, and she’s
also telling herself that her worth as a mother depends on her ability to fix
“Neither could be farther from the truth,” she says. “What
they really need to learn, and what I have lived time and again and still need
to learn, is that there is no fixing in this life. There is only us, and the
moments when we can remember that our children just need us to be with them
until the night monsters go away.”
Technology allows more access to instant gratification, which
can cause a stressful new reality when it comes to dating, according to an
article on Mic.com.
With the advent of texting — being able to know when a person
has read a text and seeing through “typing awareness indicators” when someone
is texting back — technology has made the overthinking that can accompany
dating even worse.
When it comes to analyzing a potential date’s response or lack
thereof, NASW member Kim Schneiderman says in the article that the
absence of vital visual and aural cues can amplify insecurities.
“If you’re feeling really confident about a relationship you
have with another person, you will assume the best,” she said. “If you’re
feeling insecure about the relationship you’re more likely to think, ‘They
didn’t like me’ or ‘They’re avoiding me.’”
The overthinking and self-doubt that can escalate from an
unanswered text is unhealthy and can cause emotional and physical effects, such
as negative thought patterns and inflammation in the body, the article says.
But keep in mind that there are endless reasons someone might not respond to a
message, or respond ambiguously.
Without knowing, it’s too easy to meditate on every possible
explanation, and the article advises to get a grip.
“People aren’t fully expressing themselves [online], and the
more you give someone an opportunity to fully express themselves, the more you
can understand what they really mean,” Schneiderman says. “When you don’t
know, your mind tries to fill in the space.”
Friendships have a tendency to happen naturally when people
are young and involved with school and extracurricular activities, according to
an article in The Boston Globe. But after about age 30, it becomes more
difficult. Being faced with adult responsibilities — such as raising young
children — can make it hard to find friends, and it isn’t uncommon, NASW member Nicole Zangara says in the article.
Zangara is a licensed social worker and author of the book
“Surviving Female Friendships: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” She also blogs
about female friendship at survivingfemalefriendships.blogspot.com.
“There’s this notion that women should have friendships like
the characters on “Sex and the City.” It’s not that easy and simple. You have
to work on developing a friendship,” Zangara says in the article. “Maintaining
friendships is equally challenging. You have your work sphere, your family
sphere, and friendships — keeping all of those in order is really hard.”
Friendships can often take a back burner in adulthood when
there are other things to tend to that need immediate attention, the article
says. But women really need the emotional support of friendship, says Zangara,
because those relationships protect women from depression and anxiety and help
them feel energized and happier.
Some suggestions in the article for finding new friends
include joining groups that share a common interest — such as a biking or book
club — and to be patient with the process. Sometimes a friendship will click
and sometimes it won’t, but the article says the key is not to get discouraged
An article in The Texas Tribune says that GOP lawmakers have
tried for years to make drug testing mandatory for some Texans who receive
welfare benefits. Several bills related to drug testing for welfare applicants
were filed in the last three legislative sessions in Texas, the article says.
NASW member Will Francis is the government relations
director for the NASW-Texas Chapter, and is quoted in the article as saying
that families already going through a hard time may be subject to a procedure
that makes life harder for them.
“Our concerns are that the legislation doesn’t so much address
the issue as punish families that are already going through a crisis of their own,”
In 2013, legislation was approved for drug testing for some
first-time applicants for unemployment benefits, although launching the process
has been delayed. Those who support having those on welfare tested for drug use
argue that taxpayer dollars should not be used to support a drug habit.
Democrats, however, say that drug testing of this nature may be
Under the legislation, if welfare applicants fail a drug test,
they are ineligible for financial assistance for six months. A second positive
drug test would make them ineligible for a full year unless they attend a
substance abuse treatment program. A third positive result would make them
permanently ineligible for welfare benefits.
From March 2015 NASW News. © 2015 National
Association of Social Workers. All Rights Reserved. NASW News
articles may be copied for personal use, but proper notice of
copyright and credit to the NASW News must appear on all copies
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