Thursday, October 25, 2007

Selecting a presidential candidate

Need help selecting a presidential candidate, or would you like to see who stands with you on key issues? The following quiz will help with your selection:

SCHIP update from American Friends Service Committee & NC Council of Churches

Raleigh Report Network--

Things are moving rapidly in Washington today, and it appears that there could be a vote as early as tomorrow on a compromise Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) bill. While I don't know the details of the revised CHIP bill, advocates for children seem to be most concerned about maintaining those provisions that would provide coverage to an additional 10 million kids.

If this is an issue you are working on, please take a minute to call your US Representative. It's most important that those who voted to uphold President Bush's veto last week hear from their constituents now. In NC, that means Reps. Walter Jones, Virginia Foxx, Howard Coble, Robin Hayes, Sue Myrick, and Patrick McHenry.

See information below about making a call.

George Reed
NC Council of Churches

----- Original Message -----
From: Linda Walling
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2007 3:21 PM
Subject: CHIP CALL IN # available - 800-965-4701
Hello, again,
The American Friends Service Committee is generously providing their 800 number again for calls to support the CHIP bill.
The number is 800-965-4701.
When circulating this number among your members, please include the following note: "AFSC welcomes groups to circulate and use this toll-free number in support of non-partisan federal goals and without linking the alerts to a website soliciting donations or actions which may be used to support partisan lobbying or work."
Suggested phone message/ask:
Representative __________: I am calling to urge you to vote in favor of the revised children's health care bill. Because my faith tradition teaches me to act with compassion toward those who are vulnerable, I urge you to make our children a national priority. Please move beyond partisan struggles and vote to provide health care for 10 million more children in our country.
Health and peace, Linda - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
___________________________________________ Rev. Linda Hanna Walling, Executive Director Faithful Reform in Health Care 2800 Euclid Avenue #520, Cleveland, OH 44115-2418 Tel: 216-685-0796; Fax: 216-241-8423 Email: Web:

Monday, October 22, 2007

NC Care Link Provider Database

As many of you are aware, North Carolina has created a comprehensive health and human services website, This collaborative effort of the NC Department of Health and Human Services and other non-profit and government service providers gives information about services and programs for families, individuals, youth, seniors, and many others.
In order to make the best of this innovative service, it is critical that we all take part to ensure as many services are listed as possible. Services listed come from three main hubs, the Isothermal Planning and Development Commission, the North West Piedmont Council of Governments, and the Office of Citizen Services.
Below is the link to a map and a listing of the data contributing hubs, their partner counties, and contact people. Please utilize this link to find contacts about updating services in your area of the state and practice.
Take advantage of this resource and make sure information is correct. Contact your local hub for updates or for additional information.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

SCHIP Update from NC Council of Churches

Raleigh Report Network--As you know, we rarely deal with federal issues, having our hands full with state matters. However, the reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program directly impacts our efforts to get health care for all children in North Carolina. As you probably know, President Bush last week vetoed this bill, which had been passed by significant and bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress. The effort now is to get Congress to override the veto. Advocates for children's health are focusing in North Carolina on Reps. Bob Etheridge, Mike McIntyre, and Robin Hayes.

The following information is from the Coalition on Human Needs, in Washington, though many other organizations are circulating similar calls to action. (And several toll-free 800 numbers are circulating as well. This one, as you will see, is provided courtesy of the good folks at the American Friends Service Committee.) I will also attach a brief sheet of "talking points" from Faithful Reform in Health Care.

A specific NC wrinkle on this issue is that the vetoed bill would have funded children's health insurance by a 61 cent per pack increase in the federal cigarette tax. Adam Searing, with the Health Access Coalition, makes the following points: 1) A 61 cent increase in the federal cigarette tax to fund the program means 3-4 times more money for NC in increased funding for children’s health insurance than we will ever lose from the increase in the cost of cigarettes. 2) NC farmers and quota holders are in the process of getting over $11 billion in direct payments from the tobacco buyout and the national tobacco settlement. Isn’t it about time we helped children – especially of workers in other industries who are losing health care?

Please take a minute to communicate with your members of Congress about this most important veto override vote, scheduled for next week. Thanks.

George Reed
NC Council of Churches
Will you pick up the phone so millions of kids can go to a doctor?
The President's veto stands in the way of providing health coverage to nearly 4 million uninsured children. The President's veto would stop them from joining the millions of children now helped by the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). On October 18, the U.S. House will vote on overriding that veto so these millions of children can get care. Rejecting the veto takes a two-thirds vote. It will be close. That's why your call is so important. Please call your Representative on Tuesday, October 16Toll-free number: 1-800-965-4701Ask for your Representative's office* - Urge him/her to vote to provide health coverage to millions of uninsured children by overriding the veto of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (H.R. 976). *If you don't know your Rep's name: (enter your zip code, upper left side)See how your Rep. voted on final passage of the children's health bill: If your Rep. voted no, or didn't vote, your call is especially important - some of the no votes or absences must be turned around in order to get to two-thirds. We can get there - if you and your neighbors call!Why you should call even if you're sure your Representative will vote in favor of the billWe need a huge volume of calls - enough to convince everyone that people are watching and want children to have health care. That tells proponents their constituents want them to keep fighting.Angry? Determined? enough to call?The New York Times today reports that "conservative bloggers" are spreading lies about 12 year-old Graeme Frost, who gamely spoke up in favor of SCHIP because that program in Maryland provided him with essential medical care to treat a brain injury from a 2004 car accident. The bloggers accused Graeme's father of refusing to buy insurance for his six children even though he owned his own woodworking business. In fact, that business was dissolved in 1999. They said their home had undergone substantial remodeling and was worth about $400,000. In fact, it's valued at $260,000. They pointed out that Graeme goes to a private school. True, but on scholarship.Mr. and Mrs. Frost both work; they own property. They are not poor. They earn about $45,000 a year - exactly the kind of family for whom SCHIP was designed. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that of the 3.8 million uninsured children who would gain coverage under the bill the President vetoed, 84 percent have family incomes below the current eligibility guidelines. The rest would have somewhat higher incomes because some states would expand eligibility.The President and other opponents of covering more uninsured children through SCHIP have said the bill departs from the original purpose of covering the poor. Wrong - SCHIP was always intended to serve families above poverty, allowing states to set their own eligibility levels. But the new legislation puts more constraints on states than current law - if states want to set eligibility at above 300 percent of the poverty line (about $60,000 for a family of four), they'll get less federal funding. Learn the facts: The toll-free number is provided courtesy of American Friends Service Committee.AFSC welcomes groups to circulate and use the toll-free number in support of non-partisan federal goals and without linking the alert to a website soliciting donations or actions which may be used to support partisan lobbying or work.Thanks!=======================
Please forward this e-mail!
Do not reply to this email. But we want to hear from you! See our contact information at to contact us directly.
If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for CHN emails at

Survey sent to Gubernatorial Candidates

NASW-NC has made contact with all four of the Gubernatorial campaigns. We want to distribute a survey that will be used by the NC Political Action for Candidate Elections (NC PACE) to make an endorsement.

The survey highlights issues of interest to social workers in NC. It is listed below for you to review. A very big thank you to our social work interns, Kathryn Schley, Melissa Ahrens, and Kelsi Wilson for all their efforts!

As a reminder, our NC PACE committee is made up of members of NASW. Only members of the committee, not staff, will make the endorsement of candidates.

As of this writing, three of the four campaigns have responded with a request for the survey to be emailed or faxed to them.


DATE: October 3, 2007

TO: Candidates for North Carolina Governor

FROM: Jack Register, Director of Advocacy & Legislation

SUBJ: NC-PACE Candidate Questionnaire

In November NC-PACE, the political action committee of the National Association of Social Workers, NC Chapter (NASW-NC), plans to complete its review of candidates and release endorsements for Governor. In order to help us reach endorsement decisions, a candidate questionnaire form is enclosed along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

We would appreciate it if you would take the time to fill it out and send it back to us. The deadline for return of the questionnaire is

The National Association of Social Workers, NC Chapter (NASW-NC) is made up of 3000 professionally trained social workers employed in the schools, departments of social service, health and mental health facilities, private non-profit agencies, and in private practice delivering mental health counseling. Members are concerned not only about the issues that directly affect their jobs, but about how public policy decisions affect the lives of their clients.

The NC-PACE endorsements will serve as a guide for NASW-NC members when they go to the polls in November. We hope, as well, to encourage members to help out in campaigns this fall. The complete list of NC-PACE endorsements will be sent to the media.

Thank you in advance for taking time to help us out during your busy campaign schedule. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to call


Political Action for
Candidate Election
North Carolina PACE: An affiliate of the National Associations of Social Workers- NC Chapter



Name: ___________________________________ Telephone: ___________________

Current Occupation: _____________________________________________________

Office Sought: __________________________________________________________

Previous Work Experience: ________________________________________________________________________


Community/ Volunteer Activities: ________________________________________________________________________




If elected, what will be your top 3 priorities?

a) _______________________________________________________________

b) _______________________________________________________________

c) ____________________________________________________________


The following issues are highlighted as priorities in the NASW-NC Chapter’s 2007-2008 Legislative Agenda. Our Legislative Agenda reflects advocacy positions aimed at reducing stigma, pursuing a healthy environment, and achieving social justice for all persons in North Carolina.
Please indicate whether you favor or oppose the issues. Comments are optional; additional pages may be attached in order to answer multiple choice questions in more detail.

Do you favor or oppose limiting the term “social worker” only to those with an educational degree in social work?
NC-PACE seeks title protection for the word “social worker.” This reserves the title “social worker” for only those with bachelors, masters, or Ph.D. in social work. Professional social workers posses the specialized knowledge necessary for an effective social services delivery system. Social work education provides a unique combination of knowledge, values, skills, and professional ethics that cannot be obtained through other degree programs or on-the-job training.

Favor ____________ Oppose______________

Do you favor or oppose para-professionals providing mental health services?
NC-PACE supports increasing the accessibility of mental health services along with the delineation of social work as distinctly different from other human services disciplines (such as counseling, clinical psychology, nursing, marital counseling, etc.). NC-PACE promotes the identification of tangible social work skills such as psychosocial assessment, treatment planning, interviewing, and discharge planning, all of which are essential in mental health service delivery.

Favor ____________ Oppose______________

Do you favor or oppose mandatory licensure for N.C. social workers?
In 1984 the NC General Assembly passed and Act for Certification of Social Workers in North Carolina. This created the NCSWL&C Board and set 4 voluntary levels of certification. In 1991 the Act was amended, making certification for clinical social workers mandatory. In 1999 the General Assembly modified the Act to change certification to licensure for clinic social workers Licensure is mandatory for all clinical social workers in North Carolina. Other social workers may choose to receive voluntary certifications.

Favor ____________ Oppose_____________

Do you favor increases in social work salaries and compensation to create equality in pay levels among professionals?
Surveys indicate that social work salaries have not kept pace with inflation, and salaries remain low compared with other professions, even female-dominated helping professions.

Favor ____________ Oppose______________
Do you favor or oppose expanded funding for
The Child Welfare Collaborative?
The Child Welfare Collaborative aims to increase the number of BSWs and MSWs in local Departments of Social Service by providing educational and financial support for social work students who commit to employment in Child Welfare. The Child Welfare Collaborative not only offers support and training for the student, but benefits families, children, local agencies, and the child welfare system.

Favor ____________ Oppose______________

An Aging Collaborative?
Similar to the Child Welfare Collaborative, a Collaborative on Aging would provide educational and financial support for social work students committed to working with the aging population.

Favor ____________ Oppose______________

Do you favor or oppose implementing a bill to enhance social worker safety?
The Teri Zenner Social Worker Safety Act is in honor of Teri Zenner who was stabbed and killed during a routine, in-home visit with a client of the Johnson County Mental Health Center in Kansas in 2004. The bill builds upon a previously introduced resolution to raise awareness about the importance of workplace safety for social workers and caseworkers.

Favor ____________ Oppose______________

Do you favor or oppose implementing a state drug assistance program?
State patient assistance programs, often called “SPAPs” use state funds to pay for a portion of costs for a defined population that meets specific enrollment criteria. NC-PACE believes that implementing an SPAP would better provide affordable medications to a variety of vulnerable and oppressed populations.

Favor ____________ Oppose______________

Do you favor or oppose offering healthcare to undocumented residents?
NC-PACE supports a healthcare policy that ensures all individuals have a right to affordable, accessible, and quality health care continuum. Healthcare reform must promote social justice and avoid racism and discrimination or profiling on the basis of race, religion, country of origin, gender or other grounds.

Favor ____________ Oppose______________

Thank you for your participation.
Please return this questionnaire in the enclosed return stamped envelope by October 26, 2007:

For further information please call Jack Register at 919-828-9650

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Child Maltreatment Issue Brief from Action for Children

NC Action for Children recently released an issue brief regarding the state of child welfare in NC. The report indicates both successes as well as areas for growth in this tremendously important program. After reading the report, I was most struck by the information surrounding children who age out of foster care and what becomes of them once they are no longer the responsibility of the state. Reportedly, North Carolina does not have a system of transitional supports for children aging out of the system and last year 623 foster children aged out of foster care without a permanent family or supports to guide them into adulthood.

North Carolina does, in fact, have transitional foster care services. NC LINKS is the program to assist children who are making the transition from foster care into adulthood, yet according to Action for Children's report, a child's access to these services varies by county and even by caseworker. With 623 children left adrift last year alone, it is startling to learn that all 100 counties are not providing equal access to these services on behalf of these children. 1 in 5 foster children will experience homelessness, and many more will have psychological and legal issues as a result of their stay in the foster care system. It is imperative that we as a state not release ourselves from responsibility of these children simply because they turn 18. Child welfare workers need support to assist these children and to access the funding to ensure that ALL of North Carolina's foster care children are supported to become successful, healthy adults.

Want to read the entire report?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Social Workers donate more money politically

In the Sept-Oct 2007 NC Psychologist newsletter, Dr. Jennifer Snyder writes Political Giving-Whither Psychology? In her article, Dr. Snyder states that "Even social workers contribute more, overall, than psychologists." (p. 4)

The article discusses several possible rationale for the lack of giving in psychology. It is my opinion, that social workers give more because we are inherently more political in nature. Our profession, born out of the Industrial Revolution, reared in the Depression, and educated in times of plenty and times of need. Social Workers began in the movements of the Hull House and the Charity Societies.

We have evolved to be a profession of grassroots organizers to politicians. From child welfare scholars and practitioners to academic researchers. Ours is the profession of meeting clients, organizations, communities, consumers, where they are.

Our professional ethos and ethics brings to bear the ideals of right to self determine, dignity and worth of people, need for boundaries and practicing within one's scope of practice.

For all these reasons, I believe, and many more, Social Workers give more politically.

Cherry Hospital won't loose federal funding

Mental hospital in Goldsboro won't lose its federal financing

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The federal government won’t cut off financing to treat patients at a state mental hospital here after officials dealt with concerns about the quality of patient care, a state spokesman said yesterday.

Inspectors from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told officials at Cherry Hospital that they would recommend lifting its “immediate jeopardy” status, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

The center told the department earlier this month that it was considering an end to reimbursing expenses for Medicaid and Medicare patients effective Sunday because of incidents at the hospital.

One involved a patient escape, and another involved failing to provide timely emergency care to a patient. None of the incidents resulted in injuries.

State mental-health officials presented a plan to correct problems that were uncovered, but the inspectors visited the hospital again yesterday before making the decision, said Mark Van Sciver, a spokesman with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

“The staff of Cherry Hospital worked diligently to correct the deficiencies” said Dr. Jack St. Clair, the hospital’s director, adding, “We remain committed to providing the finest mental-health care to the people we serve here in the eastern region of the state.”

Meanwhile, the state mental-health division is trying to restore Medicaid and Medicare patient payments to Broughton Hospital in Morganton after a patient death and fall. The state said this week that hospital staff will be reorganized to improve clinical staff supervision.

The state announced on Aug. 31 the payment suspension at Broughton, which could cost the state $1 million a month.

Fitzsimon file link

In the 10/8 NC Policy Watch article, Chris Fitzsimon discusses choices regarding doctors and healthcare in the US. Follow this link to the full article.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Child Fatality Task Force Meeting

by Melissa Ahrens, MSW Intern

On Monday, October 1, 2007, I attended a Child Fatality Task Force meeting at the legislative building in Raleigh. The task force is led by executive director, Selena Berrier and chaired by Tom Vitaglione. There is currently an opening for a co-chair position. The task force has three committees: Intentional Death Committee, Unintentional Death Committee and Perinatal Health Committee. There are several members of the task force and also several interested parties at the meeting, so it was very well attended.

The CFTF was very pleased to announce the lowest infant mortality rate in 2006 in North Carolina’s history, despite record numbers of babies being born; additionally, overall child deaths were at an all time low, at a rate of 73.2 per 100,000 children. The committees were all given a chance to report out on their statistics, and copies were provided to all those in attendance. These statistics demonstrate that the CFTF is effective at studying child death in our state, and that they have been able to use this information to assist with interventions to prevent child fatality.

The committees continue to work on issues such as endangerment/child abuse statutes, gun safety, safe sleep awareness and breastfeeding support and promotion. Additionally, they will be undertaking new research in child abuse underreporting and investigating other states which have a 1-800# for reporting suspected child abuse, and determining if this would be an appropriate course of action for North Carolina.

The next meeting is December 3, 2007 from 10:00am-12:00pm in room 1228 at the Legislative Building in Raleigh.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

ADAP Update

As prepared by Kathryn Schley, MSW Intern, NASW-NC.

As of October 1, 2007 the financial eligibility criterion for the NC ADAP will increase to a gross family income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level (FPL); $25,525 for a single person and $34,225 for a family of two. This news is a great success for NC’s HIV community. Historically, NC has paled in comparison to other state ADAPs, with some states doubling, even tripling the financial eligibility criterion. In 2004, NC was 50th in the nation in ADAP financial eligibility at 125% FPL with over 700 North Carolinians on waiting list to receive the life sustaining medications ADAP provides.
The increase to 250% FPL brings NC closer to parity with neighboring states, Tennessee, SC, and Virginia, all having a 300% eligibility criterion.
This increase is a result of hard work and advocacy from members of HIV community throughout the state. The improvement will certainly make a difference in the lives of many North Carolinians living with HIV/AIDS who previously did not qualify for ADAP, but could not afford the expensive anti-retroviral medications.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Legislative Conference for October 6 Cancelled

NASW-NC 2007 Legislative Conference scheduled for October 6, 2007 at the UNC School of Social Work has been cancelled. We did not have enough registrations in order to hold the event. We are planning on rescheduling the conference for sometime in January and will get that date out when it is confirmed. Those who have pre-registered will be contacted by us in the next 2-3 business days to discuss your wishes.

Thank you to all the volunteers as well as the staff and faculty of UNC School of Social Work for their help in planning the event. Please contact our office if you need assistance or have questions.