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Editor's e-Note
When it comes to serving the needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, why are social work students facing a dearth of education on the topic?

This month’s E-News Exclusive attempts to explain the circumstances that may have led to the gap and how the hole could be filled.

We welcome your comments at Visit our website at, like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter.

— Lee DeOrio, editorial director
e-News Exclusive
The IDD Gap
By Sue Coyle, MSW

Social work students receive minimal education on how to best serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

When Mary H. Berlin, MSW, LSW, social work supervisor, first began working at Easterseals 20 years ago, she had limited experience directly serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). She relied on her education and previous experience to help her. “A social worker is a social worker,” she says. But very little of that background—particularly the coursework—was specific to IDD.

The same is true today of the BSW students Berlin supervises each year. Though they may have an interest in and some personal experience with the population, their social work education has, most likely, barely touched on IDD. Should these students continue on for their MSWs, the same will be true—regardless of their desire to work with the population.

The social work curricula at all levels lack significant content about working with individuals with IDD. This gap is a disservice both to those individuals and to the social workers who serve them.

Full story »
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The County Touchpoints In Access To MAT For Justice-Involved Populations video training and website were developed with seasoned, well-known leaders from justice and child welfare systems and offer customized, impactful training materials and modules. All training materials are provided free of charge on the project training website.

The video-based training modules and resources focus on educating justice and child welfare professionals about addiction as a chronic brain disease, effective medications to treat opioid addiction, and their roles in supporting recovery and sobriety for their clients by supporting the use of MAT.

“Influencing a person with OUD to reduce or stop using MAT places the person at extreme risk for relapse, overdose, and death,” says Donna Strugar-Fritsch, BSN, MPA, CCHP, HMA project director. “This program is designed to break down misunderstandings and stigma by educating professionals so they can help clients access the resources they need and improve their lives.”

Read more »
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