Category Archives: #MacroSW

Voter Engagement: A social work mandate

By Christina Cerruti, MSW student

“Voting is an act of power and form of empowerment,” Tanya Rhodes Smith, MSW, Director of the Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work at the University of Connecticut, told a group of more than 75 social workers during a Voter Engagement Teach-in held on Capitol Hill  in June.

3 people holding sign in front of the Capitol

Photo: NASW

 

Smith was one of four panelists who shared their views on why voting matters at all levels of social work practice.  The teach-in was a pre-conference event during the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) 2018 National Conference   held June 20th – 23rd.

 

 

A scholarship from the University at Buffalo School of Social Work  (UBSSW) allowed me to attend the annual 3½ day event, which featured keynote speakers, panel presentations, plenary and breakout sessions, and many opportunities to network and learn from the more than 2,000 social workers.

 

Cerruti stands under welcome banner to #NASW18

Christina Cerruti at #NASW18. Photo: from author

This year’s theme, “Shaping Tomorrow Together,” highlighted the critical role of unity in addressing many current social and political issues in the U.S. Although a number of different issues and topics within the field of social work were discussed, the importance of voting and voter engagement were recurring themes throughout the conference.

feet in red white blus sneakers form in word VOTE chalked on asphalt

Photo courtesy Theresa Thompson through Creative Commons License CC BY 2.0

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On Social Work and Other Underappreciated Professions that Serve the Common Good

by Elizabeth Bowen, PhD, LCSW

 

logo for 2018 Socia WRok Month shows 3 abstract people with linked arms above the text: Social Workers: leadrs, advocates, champions. Color are dark blue, turquoise and yellow.

Social Work Month 2018 logo – NASW

The murders of social worker Christine Loeber and her colleagues Jennifer Golick and Jennifer Gonzales by a former client at The Pathway Home for veterans in northern California hit me hard. This news was followed by the less widely publicized but equally tragic murder of Anthony Houston, a supervisor of a transitional living program run by the social service organization Thresholds in Chicago. I didn’t know any of these individuals personally; my grief is not that of mourning a personal loss. But I think like for many social workers and social service professionals, this news hit a nerve. I can’t help but think: Could it have been me, or one of my colleagues, my friends, my students, my mentors?

The short answer to that question is yes. This is not to exaggerate concerns about violent behavior from the people with whom social workers work.  My grief in these tragedies is not only for the victims, but also for the individuals accused of committing these crimes—and for the many people who might share diagnostic labels or service needs with the alleged perpetrators and do not engage in violence, but will be unfairly stereotyped as such. Social workers work with a lot of different people in a lot of different settings, and occupational violence is a rarity for most of us. When clients do act out physically or verbally, it does not usually endanger our lives, and as social workers we also recognize that many people who perpetrate violence have experienced their own horrific trauma and abuse.

Social workers, however, are constantly in situations that are at best uncomfortable—and at worst, fatal, as The Pathway Home and Thresholds tragedies indicate. I am a professor now but in my practitioner days I did a lot of home visits with people in supportive housing. I never faced violence directly in my job but I did find myself in difficult situations, like going on a home visit to see a client we had not heard from in several days and finding him unresponsive in his bed. Not every day was like this–there were also plenty of good days, uneventful days, and even great days that left me feeling like I had the best job in the world. I also acknowledge that if some days were hard for me, they were infinitely harder for the clients themselves and their loved ones. I cared deeply about my job but it was ultimately only my job and not my life.

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Indigenous Communities, Human Rights and Environmental (In)Justice

By Meschelle Linjean

 

Social workers are charged with advancing human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. We advocate for the rights of vulnerable populations and against any policies, practices, and attitudes that jeopardize anyone’s life, liberty, and security of person. Grave social, economic, and environmental injustices take place in the name of corporate development and greed.

 

This blog post looks at the ways extractive industry development (e.g., oil and gas extraction, mining, logging) in Indigenous homelands in the Americas often result in displacement, poisoning and desecration of the land and water, and contributes to high rates of sexual assault, sex trafficking, and murder.  The beneficiaries are wealthy outsiders, corporations and shareholders. Deep ecology, ecofeminism, empowerment theory, and trauma-informed perspectives are all insightful lenses through which these outrages may be viewed, but this post’s perspective will use the frameworks of human rights, oppression and empowerment.

 

Historical trauma, gender-based violence

Historical trauma, devastating assimilation policies, and continuing oppression have rendered Indigenous communities in the U.S. extremely vulnerable to human rights violations, and disproportionately high rates of poverty and violence. Four out of five Indigenous persons have suffered a violent crime in their lifetime; four out of five perpetrators of this violence are non-Indigenous (Nagle and Steinem, 2016).  American Indian and Alaska Native women suffer sexual violence at the highest rate of any racial group, per capita, in the U.S. (Brewer, 2017).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pioneering the Grand Challenges on Social Media as Macro Practice: #MacroSW at #APM17

I’m pleased to be part of this presentation!
Pat Shelly

On October 20, 2017,  four of the #MacroSW partners will be in Dallas at the Council of Social Work Education’s 2017 Annual Program Meeting to present about how our online community is supporting the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare’s Social Work Grand Challenges.   

Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017

Time: 2:00 PM

Room Assignment: Sheraton Dallas Hotel City View 2, Main Hotel, 4th floor

The presenters include:

This presentation, titled Pioneering the Grand Challenges on Social Media as Macro Practice, will inform…

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