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Editor's e-Note
March is Social Work Month and, as a social worker, you may be thinking about professional development and your future. Like many professionals, social workers are tasked with the challenge of maintaining certifications and overall competency in the field.

This month’s E-News Exclusive discusses the variability in professional development requirements and education program effectiveness in social work. The author points out that professional development through continuing education is a priority for regulatory bodies and professional organizations, but more research is necessary to ensure the integrity of licensure without obscuring title protection with overly strict professional development requirements or diminishing the process with ineffective programs.

Celebrate Social Work Month!

We welcome your comments at Visit our website, including our new Peer Perspectives section, at; like our Facebook page; and follow us on Twitter.

— Marianne Mallon, editor
e-News Exclusive
Considerations for Continuing Education Requirements
By Kerianne Johnstin Guth, MSW

Depending on state of residence (or practice) and practice specialty, training program, or mentorship, a social worker’s approach to and integration of professional development varies greatly. For some, state licensure requirements dictate and/or support development, refinement, and maintenance of particular knowledge and skills (e.g., ethics and boundaries or mandated reporting). For others, employer-based-training programs provide enough development opportunities to demonstrate competence for licensure renewal. Others still maintain clinical certifications with specific competency expectations, subsequently fulfilling continuing education (CE) obligations for license renewal.

Variability in Professional Development Requirements
The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) is the nonprofit organization composed of social work regulatory boards and colleges across the United States, its territories, and Canada. Last year, the ASWB’s education conference explored the nuanced differences between continuing competency and CE. According to Jennifer Henkel, LCSW, ASWB director of member services, continuing professional competence was defined as “the ongoing ability of a licensee to learn, integrate, and apply the knowledge, skill, and judgment to practice according to generally accepted industry standards and professional ethical standards in a designated role and setting.”

Full Story »
In this e-Newsletter
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Reevaluating the 12-Step Model Legacy
The 12-Step peer support model has helped millions of people, but a social worker addictions specialist takes another look and finds some limitations. Read more »

Mental Health and Cancer
A cancer diagnosis can be devastating to those with preexisting mental health conditions and those with no history. Both require social workers to be prepared to help patients navigate this challenging time in their lives. Read more »
Tech & Tools
Cognitive Enhancement Therapy Improves Outcomes for Adults With Autism

New collaborative research out of the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work signals a potential breakthrough for adults with autism spectrum disorder.

While there have been advances in early detection and many studies involving the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorder, few efforts to date have focused on interventions for adults. These individuals experience significant challenges throughout adulthood, including unemployment, social impairment, and poor quality of life. It is believed that the challenges people with autism have in processing and understanding information contribute to these difficulties in adulthood. But treatments to address such problems are virtually nonexistent.

The new six-year study, “Cognitive Enhancement Therapy for Adult Autism Spectrum Disorder: Results of an 18-Month Randomized Clinical Trial,” involved 54 adults and was led by Shaun Eack, PhD, MSW, and Nancy Minshew, MD, both of the University of Pittsburgh.

The study tested two treatments, cognitive enhancement therapy (CET) and enriched supportive therapy (EST).

CET focused on helping adults improve their thinking and social understanding through computer-based exercises designed to improve attention, memory, and problem-solving, along with small group exercises designed to help individuals take the perspectives of others and better understand social situations.

Read more »
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Continuing Education
Social Work Today's CE program offers social workers the opportunity to earn CEs from the comfort of their homes or offices.

Visit today and join the thousands of professionals from across the country who already have taken advantage of this great program.

Simply read an issue of the magazine and complete the online exam. Most issue exams will earn 2 CE credits! PLUS, you have the opportunity to earn CE credits from past issues, too!
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More Clergy Question Isolation,
Silence Around Suicide

NPR reports that a growing number of previously silent religious leaders are being educated and becoming a key part of the suicide prevention effort.

States Prepare for Unprecedented Medicaid Revisions
According to The New York Times, many states are preparing for new and unprecedented changes in Medicaid regulations such as the
work requirements for recipients, confusing new rules, and burdensome documentation.
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