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In this Issue
Other Social Work News
The Pros and Cons
of Calling in Sick

The Wall Street Journal reports on the delicate task of balancing self-care, concern for coworkers, and avoiding the “slacker” label.

New Research Links Anxiety, ADHD to Youth Bullying Behavior
According to The Huffington Post, a new study shows that youths with certain mental health disorders are three times more likely to bully others.

High Rates of Concussions
in Youth Sports Raise Concerns

NPR interviews a professor of neurosurgery about making changes in youth sports to stem rates of head injuries.

Ancient Afghan Treatment of Mental Illness Endures Despite Inhumane Conditions
According to The Washington Post, some Afghans still believe in unsanitary, inhumane treatment of people with mental health conditions.
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Editor's E-Note
Foster care is far from the ideal living arrangement for young people. But when faced with the alternative of remaining in a severely dysfunctional or dangerous family home, foster care is a placement youths and social workers may view as welcome relief. Foster care has many challenges, not the least of which is establishing trusting connections between youths and their foster families.

This month’s E-News Exclusive highlights the study of an evidence-based program initiated to strengthen family functioning, enhance connectedness, and reduce adolescent drug use and other risk-taking behaviors. According to the study authors, few evidence-based programs have been tested in foster care, so research is especially valuable to improve relationships within foster families and make these less-than-perfect placements more comfortable for youths making their “home away from home.”

We welcome your comments at SWTeditor@gvpub.com. Visit our website at www.SocialWorkToday.com, join our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter.

— Marianne Mallon, editor
E-News Exclusive
Creating Foster Care Connections
By Maura Keller

Few connections are harder to establish than trust. For many foster families, gaining trust and making strong connections between the foster child and other family members can be challenging.

A recent study at the University of Washington School of Social Work is exploring ways foster families could benefit from a program called Staying Connected With Your Teen, initiated to strengthen family functioning and enhance family connectedness in an effort to reduce adolescent drug use and other risky behaviors.

Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the three-year study began in November 2010 and is designed to evaluate the feasibility of disseminating an evidence-based, self-directed, family-focused substance abuse prevention program within the foster care system.

According to study coauthor Kevin Haggerty, MSW, PhD, assistant director of the Social Development Research Group, there is an increasing demand to implement evidence-based programs for children in foster care. “Few evidence-based programs have been tested with this population, especially teenage youths,” he says. “And research is needed to understand what works, with whom, and under what conditions.”

Full Story »
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Tech & Tools
Tracking and Sharing
Mood Patterns

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An Action Plan for Mental Health
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