December 30, 2019
Social Work SmartBrief
Editor's Note
A note to our readers
Happy holidays! This is SmartBrief's last publication for 2019. To close out the year, we have selected the most-read stories that have caught readers' attention and informed their workday. Hope you enjoy this special edition, and we look forward to keeping you smart in 2020!
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Top Story
Social workers who are new to the field may find it challenging to figure out where to start with clients after getting initial formalities out of the way, says licensed clinical social worker Danna Bodenheimer. Among her five recommendations, Bodenheimer reminds social workers to build the relationship and to remember that sometimes it's most critical to listen rather than talk.
Full Story: The New Social Worker online (10/7) 
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Several social workers contributed to this compilation of advice regarding how people can deal with grief while returning to work. "Cry as much as you need and never apologize for saying no," advises licensed master social worker Tami Sasson.
Full Story: NBC News (5/16) 
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Gratitude is part of Colbert's philosophy on grief
Colbert (Lars Niki/Getty Images)
Stephen Colbert, whose father and two brothers died in a plane crash when he was 10 years old, discusses his outlook on grief during an interview with Anderson Cooper. "I want it to not have happened, but if you are grateful for your life ... then you have to be grateful for all of it," Colbert says.
Full Story: Vanity Fair online (8/16) 
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Breaking News
Jeanne Nutter, a retired social worker in Wisconsin, says her background in child protection came into play when Jayme Closs, a 13-year-old from Barron, Wis., who had been missing since her parents were killed in October, approached her as Nutter was walking near her vacation home in Gordon, Wis. Nutter, who still advises the University of Wisconsin-Madison's social work program, says she is relieved Jayme is safe.
Full Story: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (tiered subscription model) (1/11) 
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Experts: R. Kelly's TV actions fit abuser pattern
Kelly (Handout/Getty Images)
Experts on the behavior of sexual abusers say R. Kelly's responses to "CBS This Morning" interviewer Gayle King exhibited textbook characteristics common to abusers, including diversion, belittling accusers and playing the martyr. Licensed clinical social worker Maria-Anne Duncan says Kelly's insistence that a past acquittal reinforces his innocence in the face of current allegations is typical of people who engage in abusive behavior.
Full Story: Pitchfork (3/8) 
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Holiday parties can be overwhelming for introverts, but techniques such as practicing positive self-talk beforehand and spending time with a small group or an individual can make events easier to handle, says licensed clinical social worker Rachel Bauder Cohen. "When you pat yourself on the back and re-energize, you are so much more likely to go out and do it again," she says.
Full Story: Bustle (11/12) 
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Government & Policy
A federal court case in Texas is one of several examples of how insurance coverage by public employers of hormone treatment and gender reassignment surgery for transgender workers is being questioned. Employer provisions vary, as do interpretations of the Affordable Care Act's nondiscrimination section and a 2016 exception.
Full Story: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock) (free registration) (1/27) 
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The death of a 7-year-old boy at the hands of his parents has led to a bill before the Kansas legislature stiffening reporting requirements for child abuse. Among other provisions, Adrian's Law, named for Adrian Jones, would permit investigators of abuse claims to force parents to show them the children in question.
Full Story: KSHB-TV (Kansas City, Mo.) (3/21) 
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The Maryland Department of Health has proposed allowing licensed certified social workers-clinical or supervised licensed masters social workers to provide telehealth services. Additionally, the National Association of Social Workers is considering interstate licensing compacts that would allow social workers to offer such services in multiple states.
Full Story: mHealth Intelligence (7/12) 
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Career Insights
Toxic people share three distinct traits: narcissism, a thirst for power and the inability to deal with negative emotions, says MIT Leadership Center founder Deborah Ancona. What to do with such people depends on how much authority you have and whether indirect approaches have been tried.
Full Story: Ideas Made to Matter (MIT Sloan School of Management) (4/29) 
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People undermine their chances for advancement by obsessing about problems instead of focusing on solutions and avoiding growth opportunities due to a fear of failure, writes Bryan Robinson. He offers advice for shifting away from a negative mindset centered on self-criticism and self-doubt.
Full Story: Forbes (6/1) 
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Work stress might lead to health problems if it goes unchecked, so know the signs of burnout, writes Robin Madell. If you're so burdened you lose sight of your purpose and motivation and the thought of work makes you anxious, it's time to cut back and take care of yourself.
Full Story: U.S. News & World Report (2/4) 
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NASW Updates
SAVE THE DATE -- 2020 NASW National Conference
We look forward to your participation at the 2020 NASW National Conference, Social Workers Make a Difference. It will be held June 14-17 at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Mark your calendars now and plan to be a part of the meeting of the profession! Watch for more information in the weeks and months ahead.
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The National Association of Social Workers has joined a bipartisan group that is working to ensure that mental health and addiction are addressed by candidates during the 2020 election season. Learn more.
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About NASW | Membership | Social Workers Speak
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Editor's Note
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Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
Hal Borland,
writer, journalist, naturalist
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