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September 2021 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
For social workers specializing in immigration, it’s been a difficult few weeks. Most of us have seen the scenes at the Texas border, where thousands of immigrants gathered under a highway overpass with limited supplies.

During these times, it’s sometimes easy to forget the stress being endured by the social workers. This month’s timely E-News Exclusive delivers advice on applying self-care techniques for this specialized group.

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 Importance of Self-Care for Immigrant Advocates
By Susan Schmidt, DSW, LGSW

For those of us who have worked in the United States with immigrants and refugees since the Trump administration, and even before, it may feel like we experienced a less recognized policy and public opinion pandemic, before the global viral pandemic that is widely acknowledged. In September, we also remember the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, and those who were killed and impacted by the weaponization of airplanes that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, hit the Pentagon outside Washington, DC, and crashed in Shanksville, PA, after passenger intervention. These terrorist attacks led to shifts in priorities and tactics by law enforcement, intelligence, military, and politicians; they also altered public opinion toward immigrants. From this broader historical perspective, perhaps this service provider stress goes back 20 years, not merely the past five years, and is felt not only by immigrants and refugees themselves but also by those who assist, advocate for, and accompany them.

How should these practitioners, providers, carers, and advocates care for themselves, as they support and stand with the immigrants and refugees who have experienced a range of oppressions firsthand?

Perhaps the first step is to acknowledge what we’ve been through. From the time Donald Trump entered the U.S. presidential contest, he made clear his disparagement of immigrants and his intent to disrupt immigration policy. Once elected as president, Trump implemented anti-immigrant policies, resulting in more than 1,000 immigration-related policy changes during his tenure. Programs and policies were altered or dismantled in ways that harmed rather than helped. The U.S. refugee resettlement program shrunk to its smallest size since the program began, and asylum seekers were denied protections via policy changes large and small.

Full story »
Industry Insight
Study Outlines Factors That Help Engage Nonresident Fathers in Child Welfare Efforts

A recent study outlines a number of things that social service providers should be aware of if they want to engage nonresident fathers in efforts aimed at supporting the well-being of their children. The study also highlights the need for more formal training to help service providers work more effectively with nonresident dads.

Nonresident fathers are defined as fathers who do not reside with their child’s primary caregiver.

“We know that nonresident father engagement is positively associated with the emotional well-being, mental health, and academic success of children—and the well-being of the fathers themselves,” says Qiana Cryer-Coupet, PhD, corresponding author of the study and an associate professor of social work at North Carolina State University. “However, while teaching a graduate-level social work course with students who were doing fieldwork, it became clear the students would benefit from additional training in how to engage nonresident fathers on issues related to childcare, child rearing, and child well-being.”

As a step toward developing that training, Cryer-Coupet and her collaborators recruited a cohort of 20 social service providers with experience and expertise on engaging fathers. Fourteen of the study participants were men.

“We knew that nonresident fathers were more likely to feel engaged if they were working with male social workers,” Cryer-Coupet says. “So we deliberately sought out male social workers to see what they’re doing and how they’re approaching their efforts to engage with fathers in their casework.”

Read more »
Products & Services
Macro Social Work Stories for Your Classroom or Training Session

The Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice in Social Work announces that its YouTube channel for “Macro Social Work Stories” is operational with more than 10 episodes available for viewing and use.

Ranging from Dr. Darlyne Bailey’s take on social justice in 2021 to Joanna Jane Batholomew’s insights on how social entrepreneurship can be used for social justice and community development, the episodes focus on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion from a variety of standpoints. Recent additions include key insights on working with young African Americans by Dr. Melissa Buckley to Isabel Lee’s discussion about Asian Americans’ increasing interest in social work at a time when there are heightened safety concerns in many Asian American communities.

Read more »
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In this e-Newsletter
Recently in Social Work Today
Self-Care Deserves More Than Lip Service
Notorious for paying little attention to self-care, social workers may have a different outlook as we enter a postpandemic world. Read more »

Back to School: What’s the Plan?
A leading expert suggests three potential strategies to help ensure the psychosocial wellness of students, teachers, and social workers. Read more »
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Flu Shot Initiative Aims to Address Racial Inequities in Health Care
Flu shots are not accessed equally across different racial groups, but an initiative is working to close this gap, according to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Cecile Richards: Court’s Texas Move Could Mean End of Roe
The former president of Planned Parenthood expressed concern for abortion rights following the Supreme Court’s inaction on Texas’ new abortion law, reports the Associated Press.
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