It is undeniable that most of us prefer not to look too closely at what goes on in nursing homes across the country. In fact, unless we have a need of nursing home services for ourselves or for our elderly loved ones, we hardly notice them at all. This, of course, is a natural aversion to sickness, aging, and death. However, after COVID-19 ravaged the elderly population in nursing homes, infecting 654,000 residents and killing 132,000 elderly Americans, social workers began to take a closer look at how nursing homes are run and how we can improve the service they seek to provide.
The COVID-19 doomsday pandemic introduced an entirely new class of celebrity to the American zeitgeist, the public health official. From Anthony Fauci, the wise old sage of caution and mutual concern, to Robert Redfield, the reluctant dour villain caught between the evil genie and an army of helpless victims, to Rochelle Walensky, the newcomer fairy godmother who wished us well and told us it would all end happily, to Vivek Murthy, the good scout who counseled us not to fear the final dangerous crossing. All public health officials - all newly minted celebrities.
With the popularity of CSI shows, the word "forensic" has wormed its way into our everyday conversations. No one, however, seems to know what it means. "Forensic social work", therefore, is an even deeper mystery. We decided to ask a real "forensic social worker" exactly what forensic social workers do. Here's what she told us.
In 2020, 2 million women were veterans of the armed forces. Since they accounted for only 10 percent of the total veteran population, they tended to be understudied, if not ignored. The Department of Veterans Affairs predicts, however, that by 2040 women will make up more than 18% of the veteran population and will definitely garner more concern and attention.
The COVID-19 inoculation program rolled out by federal and state governments has been nothing short of life saving for the entire country. In the U.S. at least, we are on the way to beating back the deadliest viral pandemic in history. Hospitalizations and deaths are both dwindling. But social workers tell us that the COVID-19 virus has inflicted long-lasting social and psychic effects on our society.
Social work is filled with disconcerting moral challenges. In child protective services, practitioners are called on to investigate reports of abuse or neglect of children. Once they have investigated the allegations and considered all relevant facts, these social workers have to make daunting decisions about whether to remove the alleged victim from their homes and find alternative housing arrangements. These decisions affect the parents, the children, and the family at large. Rest assured, social workers are aware that, even as they are trying to prevent the child from suffering abuse or neglect, someone is about to suffer. The cases these professionals are called upon to handle are rarely black and white.
"Social workers are my collective heroes. They sit at the juncture between those with too much power and those with not enough. "
- Gloria Steinem -
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.