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.
Drug and alcohol use remains a severe problem among school age children, with the National Institute on Drug Abuse showing that 5.4% of 8th graders, 9.8% of 10th graders, and 14.3% of 12th graders use illicit substances, and nearly 1.3 million teens have a substance use disorder. Unfortunately, recovery treatment is often unsuccessful when teens return to their schools and are surrounded by the same peers and the same opportunities to use. Data shows that nearly 70% of students who attend recovery and return to their school will relapse in 6 months or less.
"Social workers are my collective heroes. They sit at the juncture between those with too much power and those with not enough. "
- Gloria Steinem -
Not long ago, addiction recovery meant signing in to a “rehab”, attending daily meetings with your peers, intensive face-to-face therapy sessions with an addiction therapist, and reading the Big Book to guide you along the 12-Step path. The recovery process could take months or even years before the addict or alcoholic was declared ready to go it alone. Then, the pandemic.
As tele-health becomes more prevalent in the delivery of behavioral health services during this ongoing pandemic, tomorrow’s new normal will be much more virtual than yesterdays. Even after the pandemic, services will be a combination of tele-health and in-person.
Behavioral health clinicians, now operating screen-to-screen rather than face-to-face, realized they needed guidance on engagement, assessment, intervention, and the legal and ethical considerations necessary when setting up and implementing tele-behavioral health. However, they did not foresee the hidden dangers of "Zoom Fatigue".
Both OJJDP-sponsored surveys gather information from residential placement facilities that hold juveniles who are charged or adjudicated for an offense. The article describes the work that OJJDP and NIJ are performing to improve data collection on juveniles in residential placement and the facilities in which they are held.
Case workers in Workforce Development say that unemployment in America is a result of dislocation, not motivation. Labor statistics focus on the unemployment rate and the cost of unemployment insurance to the taxpayer, but case workers focus on the causes of unemployment and the massive effort to rearrange and retrain the American labor force.
We are taught as children that we can trust our parents, our teachers, our religious leaders, the police, the mayor, and the President of the United States. It is their duty to care for us, to mean us well, and to do only good. We can trust them; until we can’t.
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.
Everyone knows how the pandemic walloped the elderly in 2020. Nursing homes became the epicenter of COVID-19 deaths. No, Mr. Sinatra, it was not “a very good year” for the elderly.