January 15, 2021
Social Work SmartBrief
Top Story
Stress from the pandemic and current events may prevent some people from letting their minds relax and getting quality sleep, which is an important piece of maintaining mental health, experts say. Licensed clinical social worker Karen Hoffman recommends limiting screen time before bed and engaging in activities such as reading or watching an uplifting movie.
Full Story: WYMT-TV (Hazard, Ky.) (1/12),  Today (1/12) 
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Breaking News
Social worker Fatima Smith used her art background to create clothing for people of color after struggling to find clothes with empowering messages for her child. She partnered with her father to form Color & Culture, and a portion of the organization's proceeds benefit local causes.
Full Story: Richmond Magazine (Va.) (1/12) 
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A report from Utah Gov. Spencer Cox's administration shows that caseworkers at the state's Department of Human Services are working additional jobs, while others require government assistance, to meet their financial needs. Cox's budget proposal includes wage increases for state employees, and the administration has acknowledged that Utah's wage for social service workers is challenging recruitment and retention efforts.
Full Story: KSTU-TV (Salt Lake City) (1/13) 
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Social worker's gifts provide connection in isolation
(Tom Cooper/Getty Images)
Corinna Dewar's health conditions have kept her at home over the past year, but that hasn't stopped her from connecting with people in the community and giving back to others. Dewar, a former social worker, mailed holiday-themed care packages with sanitizing products this past holiday season and enlisted her husband to distribute some locally, and in previous seasons she would drop off homemade cookies to neighbors.
Full Story: The Associated Press (1/14) 
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Government & Policy
Final weekly figures released by the CMS show around 8.3 million people signed up for coverage through the federal exchange during the 2021 open enrollment period, almost the same as the enrollment numbers a year before, despite the transition of New Jersey and Pennsylvania into state-based exchanges. Data showed plan selections climbed 7% from 2020, despite a drop in new consumers.
Full Story: Healthcare Finance (1/13) 
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The US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit has ruled against the establishment of a supervised drug-injection site in Philadelphia, holding that the proposed project would run afoul of the Controlled Substances Act and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act. Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote that "Congress has made it a crime to open a property to others to use drugs," but Judge Jane Roth dissented, writing that the decision could result in "excessively broad criminal liability."
Full Story: Jurist (1/13),  The Philadelphia Inquirer (tiered subscription model) (1/12) 
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Career Insights
How to help your team all year, not just January
The new year doesn't wipe away ongoing challenges, so leaders must continue to be resilient, compassionate, consistent and encouraging to help employees be inspired and motivated, writes Julie Winkle Giulioni. "Leaders who train their eyes to find and celebrate the positive inspire the same in those around them," she writes.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (1/14) 
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Stress doesn't have to be inevitable for hard-driving career-minded people, particularly if you build calm into your routines, exercise regularly and sleep enough, writes Larry Cornett. "It is not a weakness to admit that you need personal time to take your stress levels down a notch," he writes.
Full Story: Substack/Invincible Career (1/13) 
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NASW Updates
NASW's Social Work Talks podcast talked with NASW member and author George Anderson about what is emotional intelligence and why it is important social workers hone this skill. Learn more.
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NASW has added automatic renewal to your options for paying your membership dues. You now can set your NASW membership to renew automatically each year on your renewal date--and it's easy to do. Automatic renewal of your membership dues is convenient, reliable, and secure. You'll be able to make changes anytime, including to update your credit card information, change your selected contributions and subscriptions, or unenroll. 3 Ways to Enroll in Automatic Renewal:
  • ONLINE. Log in to your NASW member account by visiting this link. Click the Auto Renewal tab.
  • PHONE. Call Member Services at 800.742.4089 M-F 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. ET.
  • MAIL. Check the "Auto Renew" box on your annual Membership Renewal print invoice.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.
Melinda Gates,
philanthropist, advocate for women and girls
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