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Chapter Update

Newsletter Date

Chapter Update August-Sept-October 2013 cies and status, as well as current issues relevant to our chapter members. During the full Board meeting which convened at 11:15 AM, the Board reviewed a proposed Diversity Plan and focused on committee tasks and representation. It was decided that the Member Recruitment and Retention Committee will be re-established to focus on ways to grow our membership. It will be chaired by MSW Student Representative Aaron Guest. Other committees remain active: Continuing Education, Editorial, Symposium Planning, Government Affairs, and the Political Action for Campaign Election committee (PACE).

Members interested in becoming more involved are encouraged to contact the chapter at (803) 2568406.

Meet some of our new board members: Keitha Whitaker (Central Unit), Elaine Townsend (Vice-President) Aaron Guest (MSW Student) Bridgett Graham (BSW Student), and Karie Eichhorn (Western Unit).

BOARD ORIENTATION Held Sept. 20th The NASW-SC Board of Directors welcomed several new members at its orientation held on September 20th. Board President Mike Ottone reviewed orientation materials that defined the history and organizational structure of NASW, the roles of the chapter and National NASW, the various board functions, fiscal poli-

Chapter Update Editorial Committee Sandra Grimble, Chair Carla Damron, staff Juliana Palyok, staff Chelsea Passante, MSW Intern Sally Hayes, proof reader


From Where I Sit


President’s Letter


A Student’s Perspective


SCNASW 2014 Symposium


A Day in the Life


Health Insurance Info


Human Trafficking Conference Held


NASW Links


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Chapter Update From Where I Sit by Carla Damron, Executive

kets, shoppers may be given a second dollar for every $1 they spend. By doubling federal food assistance dollars at farmers’ markets, low-income families in South Carolina will gain access to fresh fruits and vegetables, while helping local farmers expand their business and increase profits. The program would use existing infrastructure (i.e. markets, produce, trucks, farm stands and food share programs) to:

When I thought about what to put in my column for this newsletter, I pondered a rant about the government shut-down and how it’s affecting our country. And believe me: I CAN rant. But I don’t want to focus on the negative. I see too much of that every time I turn on the news or read a paper and my guess is, you do, too. So is there some good news out there?

Carrie Draper, the Community and Policy Outreach Director for the USC Center for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities, shared some information about a new project coming to the DSS SNAP program, hopefully next year. The Double Bucks program will allow SNAP participants to stretch their federal food assistance dollars to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. The premise of SNAP Double Bucks is simple: as recipients use their benefits on produce purchases, they receive additional money to go towards more fruits and vegetables. Often implemented at farmers mar-

Improve access to affordable, fresh fruits and vegetables in underserved communities Grow the local economy by supporting purchases from local farmers Shift public policy so that federal nutrition assistance programs address health, hunger, and nutrition and support a sustainable food system The details regarding implementation haven’t all been worked out, but I’m encouraged to know this is coming our way. It seems a win-win for SNAP recipients and our farmers. Another encouraging bit of news: our Political Action for Campaign Election committee endorsed Marlon Kimpson for the senate seat in district 42. Mr. Kimpson won (in a landslide) in the special election held on October 2. What does this mean for NASW-SC? A primary focus of his campaign was the need for SC to accept the Medicaid expansion dollars—an issue very important to this chapter. He also advocates for better schools, more spending on education, for diversity, and for the rights of workers in our state. We look forward to having Mr. Kimpson in the senate; he may be the much-needed voice for the clients we serve. And finally, FINALLY, the Affordable Care Act is here! Yes, there have been, and will be, bumps in the road. It’s not a perfect law, but it’s a good start to getting more folks access to healthcare. If you have had difficulty helping your clients log on to the website, you’re not alone. But remember there is also a Call Center available and applications can be taken over the phone. The number is 1-800-318-2596. How will the implementation of the ACA change things in SC? Time will tell. But I’m hopeful that, with access to preventive care and early interventions, we’ll see a decline in diabetes, heart disease, and other potentially fatal illnesses our clients face.

Aug-Sept-Oct 2013

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The President’s Letter by Mike Ottone, MSW, ACSW, LISW-CP, CPM, NASW-SC President indeed, standing up for me. It is a good feeling. The last time I wrote, I shared my thoughts regarding a controversial court decision. I am pleased to say I received several responses, both agreeing with my thoughts and disagreeing as well. Everyone made good points to support their own opinions. But, disappointingly, no one was willing to more publicly share their thoughts. No one wanted to have their thoughts printed here, with mine, though it might have furthered our discussion.

Hello everyone,

This reaction…this hesitancy makes me wonder. As a social worker, I want my voice to be heard; I need to be heard. Advocacy; empowerment; giving voice to those who cannot speak loudly enough. This is what we do.

I hope everyone is enjoying the fall weather; it took a while, but it’s finally here! In my house it means it is So, I thought I’d put out a challenge. time for football games and my kids’ many activities. Today, our country and state face many issues of conSoon enough, the holiday season will be upon us…. tention: The Government Shut-Down, Obamacare, Medicaid Expansion, Immigration, Homelessness, But right now, it is a stressful time. The government is School Choice to name a few. What issues are you passhutdown and the divisiveness in our country seems to sionate about? be growing rather than shrinking. I challenge you to share your voice. Share it here with Yet I am happy---happy because I believe in the stand us. Share it in a letter to the editor of a newspaper or being made right now. I believe someone out there is, magazine. Share it through social media, but mostly, share it so you can be heard. And share it to stand up for others—because they are counting on us, on you and on me. Be brave and share your voice!

“We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.” Mike Ottone, Chapter President

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Chapter Update A Student’s Perspective Chelsea Passante, MSW Intern “The City of Columbia’s Emergency Winter Shelter and Overflow Shelter are part of the City of Columbia Homeless Services and are coordinated in conjunction with Christ Central Ministries, Transitions and the University of South Carolina Supportive Housing Services. The Emergency Winter Shelter provides beds, bathrooms, showers, case management, support group meetings, and coffee to homeless individuals during the winter season” (http:// This would sound like an ideal place to stay if you were homeless in the Columbia area during cold weather; the winter shelter is providing everything that you would essentially need such as a bed, support, and food. But is it as “cozy” as they make it sound? The new plan for the homeless community in downtown Columbia is to gather them up, and transport them out of the downtown’s sight. They would remain at the shelter all day, rather than just in the evening. Did I mention that this would be for all the homeless community 18 years of age and up including woman, men, vets, and people who have just been released from jail? So with this large diverse community, how would you be able to enforce or monitor the safety of the individuals who are living there? 39% of the homeless community report some form of mental health problems (20-25% meet criteria for serious mental illness), 66% report either substance use and/or mental health problems. The array of medical conditions of the individuals who would forcefully inhabit this shelter, what will be done about their medical needs? Who will be funding all this after South Carolina cut nearly 40 percent of its budget for mental health? Will there be some form of screening for each homeless person who enters the shelter? On August 27th, I participated in a peaceful protest in downtown Columbia taking a stand for human dignity; we walked Main Street between Hampton and Blanding streets, simply wandering around, walking,

sitting, etc., without breaking any laws. I cut out large H’s in red construction paper to handout and pin to the shirts of those who supported the cause, also provided were burlaps H’s to be worn on the shirts. The group started out with 15 to 20 protesters ranging from elementary school children, homeless, college students, and professionals in different fields. As the walk continued on more supporters from all walks of life joined in and wore the H’s in support. Over the course of the protest media crews started to appear and film, write, and record what we were doing, and the reason for the cause. With the peaceful protest many questions have come to mind. Focusing on the funding for this shelter, where will essentials such as food, beds, toiletries, security for the people come from? Who will pay the employees of the shelter, the police officers to find the homeless to transport them, and the bills such as air, heating, water? If the state has already cut the mental health budget by 40 percent how will they be able to afford a shelter where a good percentage of the population will have some form of mental illness, and or substance abuse. How long is the intended stay of the individuals, and what is the plan for once they leave the shelter? Will they be provided classes and certificates that will make it easier to find employment? What will happen to the individuals who are incapable of working? What will be done if the shelter has reached its max capacity but there are more homeless people roaming the downtown streets? My personal experience with the homeless has impacted me in unexpected ways. I have met a few influential individuals who just happen to be homeless, one being Auzzie. Auzzie was just 26 years old when I met him. He had graduated from high school, and had originally wanted to attend college. Since he could not afford to attend, he joined the United States Army and was planning to attend college after his time in the service was done. While enlisted Auzzie was deployed to Iraq; he served nine months. After that tour was finished, Auzzie had enrolled to college, but three weeks into the first semester he was once again deployed. This deployment had a different effect on Auzzie; after his

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Aug-Sept-Oct 2013 (A Student’s Perspective, continued) unit went on a mission and were attacked he witnessed 3 of his fellow solders not make it out alive. From that horrendous experience he started to suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The symptoms were getting worse and worse and hindered him from completing the simplest tasks. Auzzie was released and in a sense forgotten about by the army. They abandoned him in his time of need and with the PTSD getting worse without treatment, Auzzie became homeless. Two years after this Auzzie is having to sleep in shelters and get his food from food banks as well as soup kitchens. He walks around Columbia keeping to himself, trying to cope with PTSD and occupy his time. The original plan for the emergency shelter was

that it would be mandatory for the homeless to go there. Fortunately, the Columbia city council has backed off from that plan. However, I wonder if the emergency shelter is feasible? Only a small percent of the homeless population panhandle as a form of trying to earn income, and “bothers the businesses and people of downtown Columbia�. Many of the homeless community is in need of help, not abandonment and shunning. The city should consider increasing the funding to shelter the homeless, and come up with a plan that is more than a Band-Aid on the problem.

Two Social Work Positions Open at Columbia College Director of Social Work Position Announcement

riches the learning experience for all and we are committed to increasing the racial diversity of our faculty. The Social Work Program has approximately 40 majors each year and a strong reputation for preparing students to be competent graduates who are well prepared for graduate school and employment.

The Division of Behavioral Studies and Human Inquiry at Columbia College seeks applications for a tenure-track appointment as the Social Work Program Director (rank open) to begin August 2014. A doctorate in Social Work and 3-5 years of practice experience, not including internships, are required and candidates should have a proven Send application letter, statement of philosophy of record of strengths in teaching and leadership. teaching and scholarship, curriculum vita, and three letters of recommendation to Dr. Diane Thompson, SoField Director Social Work Position Announcement cial Work Program Director, 104 Wil Lou Gray, Columbia The Division of Behavioral Studies and Human Inquiry at College, 1301 Columbia College Drive, Columbia, SC Columbia College seeks applications for a tenure-track 29203; email:; phone: 803appointment as the Social Work Program Field Director 786-3629. Review of applications will begin October 1, (rank open) to begin August 2014. Responsible for all as- 2013 and continue until January 1, 2014. Columbia Colpects of the field e.g. preparing and placing students, re- lege is an AA/EOE. cruiting and training Field Instructors, serving in the liaiColumbia College is a private liberal arts women's college son role, conducting field seminar, and collaborating with related to the United Methodist Church with a legacy of faculty regarding the field program. As a full time posideveloping women leaders with the courage, committion, the Field Director will also teach two (2) courses. ment, confidence and competence to build a better Candidates must have a minimum of two years of post world. The college emphasizes leadership and service MSW practice experience. Teaching and Field Instruction learning and has a comprehensive advising process to experience preferred. prepare students for employment after graduation. The College has a diverse population of approximately 1200 students, approximately 40% of whom are minorities. We are especially proud of the diversity of our student population, believe that our enviable diversity en-

Chapter Update

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Aug-Sept-Oct 2013 SCNASW 2014 Symposium Theme: “All People Matter” The 2014 SCNASW Symposium will be held Monday March 3-Wednesday March 5, 2014. The theme this year is “All People Matter” which is timely considering the climate both in the United States as well as internationally. Believing that all people matter is a theme that is interwoven through all six of our core values and we are excited to have it as our theme for 2014. The 2014 symposium will be held at the newly renovated Marriott in downtown Columbia, SC. The planning committee has been meeting since April, 2013 to lay the groundwork for the 2014 symposium. We are in the process of securing exciting nationally known speakers and believe this will be one of our best symposiums ever. Request for abstracts is open so please get your submissions to the Chapter no later than October 30, 2013.

So mark your calendars for March 3-5, 2014 and keep an eye out for our early bird registration, which will start in early January. We look forward to seeing your smiling faces in a few short months!

Inspired Consulting Group Social Work Examination Preparation Class Inspired Consulting Group will host a two day social work examination preparation class. Dates: October 18-19, 2013 – 9:00 am – 4:30 pm each day Location: The Clarion Hotel (1615 Gervais St, Columbia, SC) This class focuses on preparation for the Masters (LMSW) and Clinical exams (LMSW, LISW, LCSWC, LICSW, etc). A thorough overview of the test content will be provided as well as an analysis of test taking strategies and tips useful for success on the exam. The class can also be taken via Webcast. The fees for the class are as follows: -$250.00 general admission -$200.00 current NASW-SC and NABSW members -$150.00 current students and recent graduates of an MSW program Space is limited. To register for this course, please log on to the following link: If you would like to receive additional information, please contact Corey Beauford at 202-904-0029 or via email at

Chapter Update A Day in the Life of a VA Social Worker By Sandra Grimble, LISW-CP I love working with veterans and their families. I’m not a veteran, but I grew up in a patriotic family with my father and five uncles serving in WWII. It amazes me still that they came home with no wartime injuries. One uncle served in the Korean War and did two tours in Vietnam. My brother served in the Navy and did a tour in Vietnam. Now, my great-nephew represents the next generation by serving in the Navy. I’m “not military” as they say, but almost.

I work primarily with Vietnam veterans, but do see many WWII, Korean and Persian Gulf War veterans as well as those who served during peacetime. Today, I had seven veterans scheduled for appointments (included two walk-ins and one referral). Plus, the social work meeting. I discussed a case with the Deputy Sheriff’s Office; notified a doctor and medical records of a veteran’s death; provided emotional support via phone for a care-giver; made wheelchair transportation arrangements for several veterans and made motel reservations for one who needed to stay overnight in Columbia; tested a veteran’s cognitive skills; called a daughter living 800 miles away and assisted her in planning her father’s emergency nursing home placement; called a sister who needed in-home services. I discovered one veteran met criteria that would almost triple his compensation and pension benefit. Then, it’s time to document.

When I saw the VA’s ad online for a social worker, I just had to apply. Instead of retiring, I started working at the VA! I am thrilled and privileged to work with veterans. During my interview, I naively asked what size my caseload would be. My current VA caseload is While this is a demanding job, it also has its rewards. I larger than my hometown. I was told that I’d probably love the varied days and making a difference for veterstart with a caseload of 1,200 and gradually increase to ans and their families. 7,200. I call that a population, not a caseload. Thank goodness, everyone is not seen every 30 days. As a social worker, I follow the patients of three physicians and two nurse practitioners. Each has a “panel” of 1,200 to 1,500 patients. This means that I have a panel of 6,000 to 7,500 veterans. We need another social worker in primary care! Our phones have the capability of holding 10 voice mails. Some days, I “empty” it 2 or 3 times. I work four 10-hour days (Tuesday - Friday 8:00A - 6:30P). My “clinic” is scheduled to see five veterans a day (9:00, 11:00, 1:00, 2:00 and 4:00). My colleague who also works in primary care at the Greenville Outpatient Clinic works a similar schedule (Monday-Thursday 7:30A - 6:00P). She sees veterans at the same times I do. That’s the structured part of the day. Today, we added a mandatory 1.5 hr meeting. We try to see veterans the same day the physician refers them. If someone comes in and says they’re homeless, we make it a point to see them the same day, too. Sometimes, veterans walk-in, have no appointment and ask to speak to a social worker. We try to work them in, but sometimes we’re overbooked. It becomes necessary to ask them to make an appointment. Add one to two dozen telephone calls to the mix and you have an idea of what the day looks like on the calendar.

Aug-Sept-Oct 2013 Health Insurance Info Provided by SCDHHS

Human Trafficking Conference Held at Coker College Coker College hosted the state’s first comprehensive conference on human trafficking this past Friday, October 11. Speakers included Dottie Laster, an expert on trafficking and CEO of Laster Global Consulting; FBI Special Agent Luke F Davis; Carmen Julious, Executive Director of Palmetto Aids Life Support Services; Betty Houbion, Advocate and Director of ReZolve,;Laura Carter, Director of Tapestri International; Dr. Pippin Whitaker, Assistant Professor with the USC College of Social Work; and Shirley McClerklin-Motley, Chair of the Coker College Social Work Department. Topics included recognizing victims of trafficking, trauma-informed care, preventionfocused social work, law enforcement operations to address trafficking, and advocacy and activism. Did you know? There are more slaves in the world today than in any other point in history. Around 150 people attended the conference, including social workers, students, law enforcement, foster care parBetty Houbion Opens Human Trafficking Confer- ents, and victim service providers. ence at Coker College

Deborah Breede, Ph. D., Communications Professor at Coastal Carolina University, presents on Advocacy and Activism

The PACE online fundraising tool has been officially launched! It can be found at : There’s also a link to it from www. socialworkers. org. Please remember that all online contributions will be shared with the chapters, just like contributions we receive through membership renewals. So it’s in our interest to promote the new online fundraising capability.

CEUSchool’s goal is to provide you with quality on-line course content in a format that is convenient to use, affordable, and relevant for today's social worker. Their site offers fully accredited NASW classes that meet all of your CEU needs. You will receive the same academic benefits that you would enjoy at an onsite facility,

along with the flexibility and self-paced learning that comes with an online education.

Register with CEUSchool through NASW South Carolina and you will automatically receive 3 FREE credits !!

We love your stories! NASW SC encourages everyone to contribute noteworthy information for Chapter Update. All material should be typed and emailed to the Chapter Office. Chapter Update is published by the National Association of Social Workers South Carolina Chapter. For information about advertising in the newsletter or renting membership labels, contact the chapter office at (803) 2568406. NASW reserves the right to accept, reject or edit advertisements and notices of events based on publication schedule, space limitations and appropriateness. The views expressed in Chapter Update do not necessarily represent positions of NASW. Because of the commitment of NASW to nondiscriminatory personnel practices, advertisers in NASW publications, by action of the NASW Board of Directors, must affirm that they are equal opportunity employers. For violations of professional ethics or personnel practices, a person may file a complaint with the NASW SC Chapter Committee on Inquiry. For information, write the Chapter Office at 2537 Gervais Street, Columbia SC 29204 or call 803-256-8406. For information regarding: Social work licensure, call or write the Board of Social Work Examiners, PO Box 11329, Columbia, SC 29211-1329, 803-896-4665,

Aug sept oct 2013  

Newsletter of the National Association of Social Workers, SC Chapter

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