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Social Work Today
E-Newsletter    March 2024
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Editor's E-Note

Running for Office

In an essay reflecting the theme of this year’s Social Work Month, “Empowering Social Workers,” Tami Gouveia urges social workers to better their communities and the country by running for political office.

We welcome your comments at SWTeditor@gvpub.com. Visit our website at www.SocialWorkToday.com, like our Facebook page, and follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter.

— Kate Jackson, editor
In This E-Newsletter


E-News Exclusive
Why More Social Workers Should Run for Office

By Tami Gouveia, DrPH, MPH, MSW

Another election year is upon us, with key social policy issues like an expanded child tax credit gaining steam ahead of tax season. That means it’s once again time for me to drag out my favorite soapbox: getting more social workers into elected office.

While we count some notable politicians among our ranks, including Los Angeles mayor Karen Bass, MSW; Michigan senator Debbie Stabenow, MSW; and Arizona governor Katie Hobbs, BSW, MSW, we are underrepresented at all levels of government relative to professions like law, business, or medicine.

We can change that. We can build stronger networks and invest in each other from the ground up for the betterment of our communities and our country. I grew up in Lowell, Massachusetts, a diverse, working-class industrial city that was hit hard by drugs, outsourcing, and the recession. I looked around and didn’t see people like me running for office; I saw mainly older, wealthy white men from well-connected families.

I knew I wanted to be in the room shaping policy and working toward a society that’s more equitable, respectful, and humane—that puts people’s needs first (and not just when paired with corporate tax breaks). I never thought I could get elected, but it was always in the back of my mind. So when a seat opened up in my district in 2018, I jumped into the race, knocked on over 20,000 doors, and won.


Other Social Work News

A Growing Role for Lay Counselors
In light of a nationwide shortage of therapists, new solutions are being proposed to meet dire needs and help increase accessibility of services. StatNews reports on a growing call for a role for lay counselors.

The Need to Regulate Hospice Providers
With end-of-life care increasingly provided by for-profit entities, is the quality of services declining? According to a story in Scientific American, the system is failing people at the end of life.

Not a Big Happy Family
According to a study of secondary schoolchildren in the United States and China, the more siblings one has, the less happy they may be. The Guardian reports on the findings, published in the Journal of Family Issues.

Preventing Child Abuse Should Not Be Controversial
According to an opinion piece by a social work scholar, more people are interested in punishment for childhood sexual abuse than they are in preventing it.


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