Juvenile Justice caseworkers manage cases for "best case" outcomes and "case closed" status. When they are assigned a client, the case worker monitors and supports that youth from their first offense through juvenile court, detentions and residential or other out-of-home placements. The progress of a youth through the juvenile justice system is often long and arduous from intake, booking, and registration to court action, fines, detention, sentencing, probation, and residential placement. Frequently, these same youthful offenders are "cross-over" cases that have come to the attention of both child protective services and juvenile justice case workers.
Health care social workers who support medical professionals are reporting a dramatic increase in burnout in America's nursing community. They say that the rapidly escalating surge in COVID-19 infections across the U.S. has caused a shortage of nurses and other front-line staff in virus hot spots that can no longer keep up with the flood of unvaccinated patients and are losing workers to burnout.
Foster Care to Adoption
Of the 428,000 children in foster care in the U.S., over 30% cannot be returned to their families and are waiting to be adopted. 135,000 children are adopted each year and there are currently 1.5 million adopted children in the United States. 59% are from the child welfare (or foster) system. Children enter foster care through no fault of their own because they have been abused, neglected or abandoned. These children are in the temporary custody of the state while their birth parents are given the opportunity to complete services that will allow the children to be returned to them if it is in the children’s best interest. Unfortunately, 30% of them never make it.
Social workers Dre’ Johnson and Renee Brean are part of a pioneering new approach to policing in Rochester, New York. They belong to the city's “person in crisis” team – a unit of mental health and behavioral professionals who attend police calls where a person may be suffering a mental health episode.
The premise behind the "person in crisis" team is simple: it contends that for all their training and skills, police are not equipped to deal with the complexities that a mental health crisis requires. By sending mental health professionals along to 911 calls that may involve potential psychological breakdowns, officials hope that these situations can be dealt with more sensitively, and more safely.
The COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation, killing more than 184,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. The post pandemic response to this massacre has been confusion, doubt, and indecision on the part of the elderly and their caregivers about the use of long-term care facilities.
As social workers keep their heads down tirelessly toiling away on individual case work, we thought it might be helpful to share with them the "big picture" perspective of their profession published by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) as its 2021 Blueprint of Federal Social Policy Priorities. It articulates meaningful actions our society should take to address the COVID-19 crisis, promote mental and behavioral health, eliminate systemic racism, and ensure civil and human rights for all. In case you missed it, here is a summary of your profession's "big picture" wish list for 2021.
Recent discussions with social workers from six different disciplines around the country centered around the lasting effects this dreadful pandemic has had on their constituents. Everyone agreed that the novel coronavirus and associated diseases have caused unprecedented - disruption.
Your response to last week's blog on the social worker's role in juvenile justice was overwhelmingly positive but many of you thought that the issues might be better clarified in context. So, let's try to put juvenile justice in some historical perspective.
- During a single year, an estimated 2.1 million youth under the age of 18 are arrested in the United States.
- Though overall rates have been declining over the past years, approximately 1.7 million delinquency cases are disposed in juvenile courts annually.
- Youth are referred to the juvenile justice system for different types of offenses.
- The majority of youth processed through the juvenile court are adjudicated (i.e., declared by a judge to be) delinquent, for most offenses.
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.