Thursday, March 19, 2009

NASW Press Release on Social Work Month and World Social Work Day Resolution

NASW Press Release on Resolution for Social Work Month and World Social Work Day

Government Relations Update March 19, 2009

NASW Press Release on Social Work Month and World Social Work Day Resolution

More Info

With corrected link.

For Immediate Release Contact:
March 19, 2009 Gail Woods Waller

NASW Applauds Passage of Social Work Month and World Social Work Day Resolution U.S. Congress Recognizes Contributions of Professional Social Workers
Washington, DC-On March 17, the Social Work Month and World Social Work Day Resolution, H. RES. 240, passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 421 - 0. The resolution was introduced by Rep. Carol Shea-Porter from New Hampshire. Representative Shea-Porter is one of nine social workers in Congress.

The resolution recognizes with gratitude the contributions of the 600,000 social workers who have chosen to serve millions of people each day through their work, and encourages young people to seek out educational and professional opportunities to become social workers.
The focus of this year's national Social Work Month observance is the future of social work and the need to recruit more students into the profession. The Social Work Month 2009 theme-Social Work: Purpose and Possibility-highlights the infinite possibilities and connections that social workers make in the lives of individuals, families and communities. It also showcases the range of career opportunities available to those who choose the profession.

Socially conscious students, who may have limited knowledge of social work, are encouraged to review profiles of more than 50 dedicated professionals on a new interactive web site: While on the site, they may also take a social work career quiz, link to schools of social work, and learn more about diverse social work career paths.
"Social workers' service makes our communities stronger," says Rep. Shea-Porter. "As the need for social workers is expected to grow at a rate much faster than average, we must attract new people to the profession and retain the dedicated professionals we already have. Through this resolution we honor our nation's social workers, and thank them for caring for us each day."
About the National Association of Social Workers
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, D.C., is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with nearly 150,000 members in 56 chapters throughout the United States and its territories. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy for social justice.

Senior Leadership Program

Are You a Senior Leader?

The UNC Senior Leadership Initiative is a program of the UNC Institute on Aging and is open to any person aged sixty and over, currently residing in North Carolina and having the potential to emerge as a statewide leader in aging. Between 3 and 5 applicants are expected to be selected to participate. Each leader will become involved in a year-long personal development plan and will implement an aging related project to provide a practical leadership experience that benefits both the participant and North Carolina's older adults. A stipend of $2,000 per participant is available to help defray the costs. The application deadline for the 2010 Class of Senior Leaders is February 28, 2009.

For more information about the program and to download the Senior Leadership Application go to: (A copy of the
application is also attached to this email.)

Questions should be directed to:

William Lamb
Associate Director for Public Service
UNC Institute on Aging

NC Coalition for Responsible Lending: ACTION Alert

NC Coalition Action Alert

Coalition Supporters,
We're going to have a much harder fight in the Senate than in the House.
Neither Senator Burr nor Senator Hagan have agreed to support S61 which includes court supervised loan modifications for distressed families who meet strict criteria.
We do not know when the vote will take place, but we do know they need to hear from as many North Carolinans as possible!
Please take a minute to call or fax our NC Senators today. And forward this email to your membership or email list and ask them to contact Senators Burr and Hagan also!
Senator Richard Burr (202) 224-3154, Fax 202-228-2981 Senator Kay Hagan (202) 224-6342, Fax 202-228-2563
See the alert below for talking points.
Please let us know if you have any questions or need additional information.
Thanks for your support,
Susan Lupton, 919-313-8521Lisa Pittman, 919-313-8526

CRL Action Alert

Will the Senate Allow Families to Fail?

While you read this, a foreclosure will start for about seven more families: a new filing every 13 seconds. Since January 1, by our conservative count, nearly half a million foreclosures have been initiated.
How many more can we take?
Until this epidemic is stopped, every day we will have more disrupted lives. More homeless children. More seniors who can't sell their homes. More declines in property values, resulting in fewer dollars for safe streets, education, and basic community services.
Foreclosures affect not only families on the edge, but also families who are paying their mortgage on time. This year alone, 73 million people who just happen to live near a foreclosed property will lose thousands of dollars in their home value--on average, $6,000 per family.
An Essential Part of the Solution
Last week, despite intense opposition from companies that have been getting bailouts, the House of Representatives put the economic stability of America's families first by passing a bill that would allow court-supervised loan modifications for distressed homeowners who meet strict criteria. This is an essential component of the Administration's housing stabilization plan. It would provide a strong incentive for lenders to modify mortgages, and also provide a needed backstop for homeowners in cases where the lender refuses to modify, or where the homeowner needs alternative relief to keep their home.
Press Release: House Takes Vital Action to Stop Foreclosures
The House bill amounts to an opportunity for all of us, since analysts believe this court relief would prevent almost two million foreclosures. Combined with other remedies from the Administration, this would be an essential part of rebuilding our battered economy.
The Senate is considering this measure, and may take key actions as early as next week. They need to hear from concerned people in their communities, now and throughout their deliberation process.
Take Action
Tell our Senators we can't take any more foreclosures. The financial services industry has received plenty of help while ordinary people struggle. Urge your Senators to add their voices and votes to the bill passed by the House.
Talking Points
Foreclosures are getting worse, not better, and already 73 million families who are NOT in foreclosure have lost billions of dollars as property values drop at an alarming rate.
Allowing struggling homeowners to seek relief through the courts, as a last resort, creates a TAX-FREE option for preventing almost TWO MILLION foreclosures.
This policy targets those who need it most. High-income homeowners will not qualify, and participants must show that they have tried to work with their lender.
This will be good for lenders, too. Judges would be able to modify loans only when lenders would get more money through the modification than they would in foreclosures.
To be effective, this legislation must apply to all existing loans. Most at-risk loans today are not subprime loans.
This legislation has broad support, including that of Citigroup, one of America's largest mortgage lenders, and many economists and financial experts.
Keeping people in their homes is the best way we can stabilize the economy now and restore confidence in the housing market.
Contact your senator today.
If you prefer to call, the Senate switchboard can connect you to your Senators:
(202) 224-3121
Thank you for your support!

About the Center for Responsible LendingThe Center for Responsible Lending is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices. CRL is affiliated with Self-Help, one of the nation's largest community development lenders.
Copyright 2007 Center for Responsible Lending. All Rights Reserved.

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World Social Work Day

The general theme for the World Social Work Day 2009 is"Social Work and Social Development: The Agenda".

In focus for the World Conference 2010 in Hong Kong is how we can build a social work and social development agenda for the upcoming decade that face the challenges the global society is confronted with and that makes sure that humanity can thrive despite the troubled times."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fellowship Opportunities for Social Workers in Aging and Health Care


March 11, 2009
Fellowship Opportunities for Social Workers in Aging and Health Care Applications Due April 2009

NASW is pleased to advise its members of two fellowship programs, unaffiliated with NASW, for professionals in aging and health practice.

Practice Change Fellows: Leaders in Geriatric Care
The two-year Practice Change Fellow program provides leadership training, individual mentoring, structured peer feedback, and funding to support each participant in implementing a new geriatric program or service line within her or his current organization. Social workers, nurses, and physicians who hold a leadership role in a health care delivery organization (including long-term care residences), health-related institution, or community-based organization—and who have both direct responsibility for geriatric services or aging-related programs and enough seniority in their organizations to have decision-making authority and be able to effect change—are eligible to apply. (Four social workers were selected as fellows during the first two award cycles.)

The Practice Change Fellows Program is funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies and administered by the Division of Health Care Policy and Research at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, in partnership with the National Council on Aging. Please visit for an application and more information, including a schedule of informational teleconferences in March. The application deadline for the 2009 award cycle is April 1, 2009.

John Heinz/Health and Aging Policy Fellows

The John Heinz/Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program offers practical experience and professional mentoring in health policy development and implementation on behalf of older adults. Fellows may complete residential placements of 9 to 12 months in Washington, D.C., or may work with the national program office to identify placements in their own communities. Participating fellows may also apply for second-year funding. Social workers and other clinical professionals with practice experience in health and aging and a desire to be involved in health policy at the federal, state, or local level are eligible to apply. (Two social workers were selected as fellows in 2008.) Applicants may be at any career stage, and previous experience in policy is not required.

The program is supported by the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Heinz Family Foundation, and the U.S. Senate, and is administered by the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry. Please visit for additional information, including details regarding the March 18 program symposium and reception, scheduled in conjunction with the Aging in America conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The application deadline for the 2009 award cycle is April 15, 2009.

Medicare Hospice Funding Signed Into Law


March 11, 2009
President Obama & Congress Act to Ensure Access to
Compassionate End-of-Life Care for Patients & Families

One-Year Moratorium on Cuts in Medicare Hospice Funding Signed Into Law

The nation’s hospice community claimed a significant victory after President Barack Obama signed a bill (H.R. 1-The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) into law that includes a one-year moratorium on cuts in Medicare funding for the more than 4,700 hospice programs nationwide. The action ensures that access to quality and compassionate end-of-life care will be maintained for the more than 1.4 million patients and their family caregivers who seek hospice each year.
Over the past year, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the Alliance for Care at the End of Life, and hospice advocates from across the country have been working to overturn a 2008 regulation issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which eliminates a key component of the Medicare hospice reimbursement formula known as the budget neutrality adjustment factor (BNAF).
The phased funding cut would have taken $135 million away from quality and compassionate end-of-life care in fiscal year 2009, and has already jeopardized the survival of many hospice programs, particularly smaller, more rural ones. Approximately 3,000 hospice provider jobs were threatened to be cut this year, with deeper job losses expected in fiscal year 2010 as the funding cut enters its second year.
The effort to halt the hospice rate cuts has been underway since the Bush Administration announced its intention to eliminate the BNAF in its FY09 budget.
NASW and NHPCO with its partners within the hospice community have been engaged in an aggressive grassroots program, mobilizing patients and their families, social work professionals, physicians, nurses, home health aides, spiritual and bereavement counselors, and volunteers, that has resulted in tens of thousands of calls, emails and letters being sent to elected officials in the House and Senate. As a result, a bipartisan group of lawmakers worked together to have the hospice provision included in the economic stimulus package approved by Congress, and signed into law by President Obama.
“From the start, our efforts have been about ensuring access to high-quality and compassionate end-of-life care for Americans coping with life-limiting illness. We thank our supporters at the grassroots level and in Congress for securing a one-year moratorium on cuts in hospice funding. It’s important that we continue to build upon the momentum that we have now to ensure that patient access is protected in future years by permanently overturning these devastating rate cuts,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of NHPCO.
Despite strong, bipartisan opposition in Congress, CMS began implementation of the final rule on October 1, 2008. “If allowed to move forward in FY10, this misguided rule will slash hospice payments by approximately $2.18 billion in the first five years, despite the fact that hospice has been found to be a cost saver for the Medicare program,” Schumacher noted.
A 2007 independent Duke University study found that hospice reduced Medicare costs by an average of $2,300 per hospice patient, amounting to a total of more than $2 billion in savings in a single year.
With the one-year moratorium in place, NHPCO, the Alliance for Care at the End of Life, and Hospice Advocates will now turn their attention to working with the new administration and Congress on permanently overturning the CMS rule to eliminate the BNAF.

For more information contact NHPCO: Sara Perkins, at (703) 837-3135 and Jon Radulovic at 703-837-3139 or NASW Advocacy at

- NHPCO is the oldest and largest nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States. NHPCO’s mission is to lead and mobilize social change for improved care at the end of life.
- The Alliance for Care at the End of Life is a 501(c) (4) organization created by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) to provide a more aggressive and comprehensive advocacy voice to serve the entire field and, ultimately, one of America’s most vulnerable populations – those nearing the end of life.
- The National Association of Social Workers (NASW,) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with 150,000 members. NASW promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers and also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NC given a "D" as a grade for mental health care

Group gives N.C. 'D' for mental health care

A grassroots nonprofit group has given North Carolina a "D" grade for its public mental health system, alleging there have been years of poor decision-making.

“Years of bad policy decisions have left emergency rooms, the criminal justice system and families to shoulder the burden of responding to people living with mental illness in crisis,” said Debra G. Dihoff, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness North Carolina. “Our grade reflects the chaos and disorganization in our state.”

The national report is a follow-up to one published three years ago to measure states' progress in achieving the goals of a presidential commission that called for transforming the mental health care system.

NAMI gave North Carolina a "D" in the previous report, too, and it is one of 23 states that saw no change this year. The national average is "D," remaining stagnant from three years ago. Six states received "B's." Six received "Fs." No state got an "A."

The report card is based on 65 criteria, including access to medication, housing, family education and support to National Guard members.

It includes policy recommendations for federal and state leaders. State governments provided most of the information on which the grades are based.