Suburbs suffer from police social worker gap | Mich. school district aims to level playing field for students in poverty | How sensory rooms can meet needs of all students
February 1, 2016
Social Work SmartBrief

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Suburbs suffer from police social worker gap
A shortage of social workers in suburban police departments can hamper responses to increasing mental health and substance abuse crises. There is a particular need for bilingual social workers familiar with different cultures. "There is a humongous need for people that speak more of the Asian languages. That's where the assistance of other agencies/nonprofits comes in," said social worker Natalia Mercado. Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Ill.) (2/1)
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Breaking News
Mich. school district aims to level playing field for students in poverty
Schools in Traverse City, Mich., are trying to counter the effects of poverty by offering free meals and other services. As of 2014, about 12% of the students in Traverse City Area Public Schools were living in poverty and the district is working to place more social workers in schools with the greatest need. "I've spent a career really trying to be a force for equality and equity, and so being able to work in a building where if we're successful, if we can actually pull off what we intend, we're assisting to help change the trajectory of their lives," said principal and former social worker Kirsten Jones-Morgan. Traverse City Record-Eagle (Mich.) (tiered subscription model) (1/31)
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How sensory rooms can meet needs of all students
multisensory room
(William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
Schools are creating sensory rooms to help students with and without special needs relax or release energy to improve their classroom behavior. This article describes how one New Jersey school uses its sensory room for occupational therapy, special-education classes and a calming space for students without disabilities. District Administration magazine (2/2016)
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Increased infant mortality tied to prepregnancy obesity, study finds
Infants born to mothers who were obese before becoming pregnant were more likely to die from preterm birth-related causes and also more likely to die from birth defects and sudden infant death, compared with those born to normal-weight women, according to a study in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. Researchers analyzed data from more than 6 million newborn infants born in 38 US states between 2012 and 2013. HealthDay News (1/22)
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Government & Policy
Utah adoption-foster bill draws fire for anti-gay bias
Gay rights advocates are speaking out against a Utah bill that would require judges to give preference to married heterosexual couples over same-sex couples in state adoptions and foster care placements. The bill does not apply to private adoptions and does not specify as yet how same-sex couples would be subordinated. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (1/30)
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Other News
Career Insights
How to encourage long-term thinking
Strategic planning often brings with it resistance and uncertainty, writes Nikolas Samaras. It's important to be able to define "strategic" in meaningful ways, to frame strategic plans in operational language and to handle the group dynamics that arise with new strategic plans. CEB Blogs (1/27)
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Why leaders should look beyond good and evil
Too many leadership stories frame their messages as "morality tales," with leadership traits seen as self-evidently good or bad, writes Jeffrey Pfeffer. Well-written biographies paint a nuanced picture, with effective leaders blending "good" and "bad" traits in the service of their goals. "Characterizing leaders' behavior as somehow dependent on inherent traits provides an easy excuse for avoiding the sort of behavior and strategies that may be required to get things done," Pfeffer writes. McKinsey (1/2016)
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NASW Updates
Register today for the NASW Virtual Career Fair
Calling all social workers, social work veterans, and recent graduates – NASW is hosting a free Virtual Career Fair on February 9 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET. This is the perfect opportunity for you to find your social work dream job and network with top social work employers. For NASW members that register, you will also receive a special invitation to participate in a free Career Development webinar. See more information and register here.
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2016 NASW National Conference –- registration now open!
Registration is now open for the 2016 NASW National Conference taking place June 22-25 in Washington, DC. Join more than 2,000 social work colleagues and walk away with knowledge, tools, and renewed inspiration. Earn up to 25 CEUs! Go to our website and select the registration tab today!
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Lineage, personality, and environment may shape you, but they do not define your full potential."
-- Mollie Marti,
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