We would like to kick off Social Work Month by thanking the more than 700,000 social workers nationwide for the amazing work they accomplish. These "Unsung Heroes" are truly woven into the fabric of our society. This year's theme for Social Work Month is "Social Workers are Essential" to highlight the invaluable contributions social workers make in our society, especially as this nation addresses the coronavirus pandemic.
A recent article in Social Work Today highlights a true triumph of empathy. In Innovations: New Foster Care Initiative Spotlights Parent Advocates, Debra McCall describes the parents’ pain when social workers have to remove children from their families.
“It is never easy. We enter parents’ lives at the worst possible moment—when the children they love have been removed from their homes. At that point, parents are experiencing shame, anger, and confusion. They are frightened and frustrated by the “intrusion” of the child welfare system into their lives. And they fear losing their children permanently, perhaps because that’s what happened to a neighbor or a friend.” (Social Work Today, Vol. 21 No. 1 P.3)
This FAMCare Fundamentals focuses on the Demographics Form. This short video walks you through the demographics form in FAMCare. The demographics form can include other summary tables and be your one stop area for collecting various pieces of information making it faster for caseworkers to detail records.
The nation's health care system is once again faced with overwhelming need pressing against limited resources. Medical professionals, including health care social workers, are forced to make hard choices that test the ethical boundaries of medical arbitrage. The scenarios below are all real-life situations communicated to GVT by health care social workers in the past month.
Paperwork is a dirty word in social services. Social work is not about keeping records, it’s about “hands-on” interpersonal contact with abused children, single parents, the neglected elderly, the abandoned homeless, and other vulnerable populations. As you might suspect, as social work became a more integral part of our society’s fabric, our social workers have been swamped by a virtual paperwork tsunami.
We recently talked to a child and family services case worker in Phoenix, Arizona who, contrary to popular opinion, shed a positive light on all this confounded paperwork.
During this national crisis, child welfare agencies are struggling to balance their mission to protect children from abuse and neglect with their duty to protect their workforce. The vast majority of children involved in child welfare cases live at home. Parents are often ordered to participate in certain programs (or requested to do so voluntarily), while caseworkers make regular visits to check on the situation in the home.
The VA has tested 913,624 veterans and reported 83,527 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began back in March. 4, 223 veterans have died from COVID. Sadly, 66 VA employees have died trying to save their lives.
High Risk Group
Nearly 50% of veterans are 65 or older, which puts them at greater risk of severe illness or death due to COVID-19. Additionally, many veterans are at a higher risk of respiratory illness due to the environments and toxins they were exposed to while on active duty, which also places them in a higher risk group for coronavirus.
With the third virulent spike of the COVID-19 pandemic descending on the world, social workers are taking a pro-active, creative look at how they can be of service to the most vulnerable. They sit in a unique position during a public health crisis, one that’s often overlooked. From offering emotional and mental health support to educating the larger community, their role entails navigating what is often a complex and evolving situation.
Adults 65 and older account for 16% of the US population but 80% of COVID-19 deaths. Even as most states begin to gradually reopen society to restart a stalled economy, the message to the elderly is “NOT YOU”. You best - “STAY HOME” – “ISOLATE” - “QUARANTINE” while the rest of society risks illness trying to get on with life.
Social workers who work with the elderly are concerned. They say that during times of crisis, mental health cannot be overlooked. Loneliness and social isolation for older adults have a deep, emotional impact, sometimes leading to social disorders such as depression and anxiety. Social isolation has also been linked to increases in emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and nursing home placements.
Social workers tell us that primary care providers are inundated with patients seeking help with psychic symptoms that require the attention of a psychiatric specialist. Family physicians and emergency room doctors often do not feel qualified to deal with this new mental health crisis and need the help of social workers to execute a referral process while helping patients feel more comfortable going to a new and unfamiliar physician.