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Social Work Student Association

Issue 10: April 10, 2013

A student led organization focused on developing an environment that fosters positive relationships between students, faculty, and staff of the College of Social Work at USC within the broader South Carolina community.

SWSA Volunteer Day! On Saturday, students joined together in service for the local community. The MSW students from all different programs – full time, part time, advanced standing, micro and macro – volunteered their time to “spring” clean the Welcome House, an old parsonage donated by the St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church to Lutheran Family Services of the Carolinas (LFS). LFS uses the house as a temporary residence for individuals that come to Columbia with refugee status. These individuals have fled persecution in their home countries to a second country or a refugee camp where they underwent an extensive process to be classified as Students listen as LFS case “refugees.” Refugee manager explains the role of the Welcome House status for the US provides individuals with an opportunity to start a new life under the safety of the US government. Refugee status provides individuals with Social Security cards, housing, vocational training and other resettlement services and is the beginning of journey to a new life. Students spent the day thoroughly cleaning the house, talking with the residents living there and enjoying each other’s company. It was a beautiful day and a fantastic event. The SWSA hopes to keep this new partnership going and to provide more COSW students the opportunity to volunteer.

Congratulations Ally Gauche Whitley Mann Melissa Olster Megan Phillips

on passing the licensure!

Passed the licensure? Email

Important Dates §

Wednesday, April 10 Amanda Martin Guest Speaker o


Wednesday, April 10 Social Work Legislation Day o




4:30 at 1731: Planting Pinwheel Garden


5:00 at Cantina 76: Networking

Columbia International Festival

SWSA Volunteer Crew 2013

April 13 & 14 at Columbia Fairgrounds

Friday, May 10 Hooding Ceremony o


South Carolina State House

Friday, April 12 Child Abuse Prevention Month Event

o §

12:00 – 1:00pm in Sumwalt 338

10:00am at Cola Metro. Convention Center

Saturday, May 11 USC Graduation Ceremony

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Issue 10: April 10, 2013

Faculty Facts: Dr. Cynthia Flynn Where are you from? Charleston, South Carolina What is your area of interest? I am most interested in program evaluation. I have conducted a variety of evaluation over my 15 years at the Center. One of my favorite evaluations is one that we are currently completing. It is the evaluation of the Family Group Conferencing Project that was implemented by the Department of Social Services. We are currently completing the final report. We have data for over 200 families! We have been working with the Casey Family Program staff on this evaluation. WE are all eager to see the results. What is your role at the Center and what does it entail? I am the Director of the Center. I have been in this role since August 2010 but began working at the Center in April 1998. As Center Director, I work with a team of talented people to envision the future of the Center as well as manage the contract deliverables and the dayto-day operation of the Center. With almost 80 parttime and full-time staff, it is a huge job. You can read more about some of our projects by visiting our Web site: Are there ways social work students be involved with activities at the Center?

There are a large number of ways for students to be involved! Here’s some of the things we work on each day…conduct a survey of youth in foster care, assist with quality assurance reviews, analyze the data and develop the reports for these reviews, provide training to staff at various agencies, do Spanish translation and interpretation for the Department of Social Services and the Department of Health and Environmental Control, assist the School for the Deaf and the Blind with their annual census of students with deaf-blindness, facilitate youth and community groups, and assist with data analysis of large data sets to determine if agency outcomes are being achieved. Our students are involved in these processes in various ways. What is one piece of advice you would give to graduate students? Make the most of your education! Take all the classes you can and don’t limit yourself to what you think might be interesting, try something new, be adventurous! Greatest thing about working with the COSW? It’s hard to choose just one thing. If pressed, I would have to say the faculty and staff are wonderful, so many varied interests and such hard workers! What is your favorite thing to do in Columbia? Kayaking on one of our beautiful waterways! If you could rule the world for a day, what would you do? It’s hard enough to lead the Center, I’m not sure what I would do with the world… J Maybe get everyone to put down the guns and try to talk instead.

In the Field: Department of Social Services

Jennifer Coker

2st Year Macro Student From Florence, SC

Undergraduate degree? Bachelor of Social Work Major tasks at placement? Helping ensure children's safety and providing permanency for children. What have you gained from your placement? I have learned how to come out of my comfort zone to help enhance and save lives. What do you feel is the best part about working at your placement? I feel wonderful knowing that I may be a link to helping save lives. What are your goals post-grad? My goals post-graduate include, obtaining my Master's Social Work license and a career in Legal, Nonprofit, or School Social Work. What do you like to do in Columbia? I love dinning at the local restaurants, especially Al Amir’s and Preston’s on USC campus! If you have any more questions for Jennifer -

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Issue 10: April 10, 2013

Burmese Refugee Camps Guest Speaker Amanda Martin, alumna of USC (MSW, MPH 2003) and USC alumna of the year (2010), is currently working as the Public Health Institute Curriculum Coordinator for the Global Health Access Program. She lives in Mae Sot, Thailand. Her job includes spending four days a week in Umpiem Mai refugee camp, training the next generation public health practitioners in Karen State, Burma. Amanda teaches Burmese refugee students who have chosen public health as their profession. Community health care workers are desperately needed in ethnic communities in Eastern Burma, which has the worst health indicators in South East Asia. Community health education and prevention programs can address the root causes of the most prevalent diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, and tuberculosis. Amanda is also setting up a fellowship program for the students to intern with international NGO and community-based organizations along the ThaiBurma border. Amanda is an alumna of the Rotary Peace Center Program in Bangkok, Thailand (2011). Her previous work in Human Rights in Guatemala, Colombia, and Bolivia has helped her to understand the current situation for people living in Eastern Burma and those who live in refugee camps along the border. The Umpiem Mai camp formed in 1999 and has a population of 16,000 people (only 11,000 of whom are officially recognized by the UN High Commission on Refugees). Umpiem Mai is located in the mountains 10km from the Burma border, and 84 km south of Mae Sot, Thailand.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month Did you know? • Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted • 54% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police • 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail • Approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim Source: RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network, 2013)

Thursday, April 11: Live T-shirt Painting o

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Come paint a t-shirt and show your support for Sexual Assault Awareness month! 10 AM – 2 PM Russell House Patio This event is free and open to all students! T-shirts will be displayed at the Clothesline Project on Greene Street on April 15th.

Thursday, April 18: Walk a Mile in Her Shoes o

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Men will be standing up against sexual assault and abuse, one pair of heels at a time! 6:00 PM Cola Metro Convention Center Hosted by Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands and presented by Palmetto Health Register HERE

DENIM DAY 2013: This year Denim Day is Wed, April 24th. Denim Day is an anti-rape, anti-violence, anti-victim blaming campaign, using denim jeans as a creative tool to fight against rape and violence in our communities and our world.

Issue 10: April 10, 2013

Get out in the community!

April is (also) Child Abuse Prevention Month April is Child Abuse Prevention Month or otherwise referred to as CAP Month. The SWSA and COSW are hosting an event this Friday as an opportunity for USC to stand in solidarity with the rest of the nation in support of children and the happiness that each and every child deserves. The event includes planting a pinwheel garden in front of 1731 that will remain there for the duration of the month of April. After that, there is a networking event at Cantina 76. There will be COSW staff, child well-being/child welfare professionals from around the area and USC students in attendance. This will be a chance to hang out and learn more about the progress being made in South Carolina’s communities.

…and build your resume…. • • • •

• • • • •

Famously Hot Career Expo Thursday, April 11 10:00am to 4:00pm Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center For more information click HERE

March of Dimes Walk & Fundraiser Saturday, April 27, 2013 8:00am – Registration 9:00am – Walk Starts SC State Fairgrounds Sign up to walk or sponsor a walker like Mrs. Praise Dunyo Praise is involved with the PASOs team as March of Dimes continues to fund several PASOs programs around the state. If you are interested in sponsoring Praise or finding out more information contact her at

To find out more about pinwheel gardens around South Carolina and the US – check out the following sites! April 16 a pinwheel garden will be planted in Times Square, NYC! Columbia Councilman Runyan Spring Valley High School Pinwheels in Utah Pinwheels in Ohio New York City

• • • • •

Columbia International Festival April 13 & 14 10:00am to 4:00pm SC State Fairgrounds This year’s theme is Southeast Asia. Over 60 countries will be represented! For more information click HERE

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Issue 10: April 10, 2013

Medicaid Expansion – Everything you need to know! Join me in urging South Carolina lawmakers to accept federal funds available through the ACA that will expand health care access to hundreds of thousands of hardworking individuals who are currently uninsured. Through our field placements, not to mention in our personal lives, we all meet people who are uninsured due to no fault of their own… The part-time student who works at a minimum wage job that doesn’t offer health care coverage or like the 60-year-old woman who was forced into early retirement during the recession and doesn’t yet qualify for Medicare. The 21-year-old man who just came out to his parents and was kicked out of his home and off his parent’s health insurance plan. The list goes on and on because approximately 20% of South Carolinians are uninsured, according to the 2010 Census. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, has the power to drastically reduce the number of South Carolinians who are uninsured. Here’s how: by extending Medicaid coverage to more individuals. Medicaid is currently only available to specific groups of people with lowincomes—those groups include children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and (to a certain extent) parents. Hundreds of thousands of single adults without dependents cannot access the program, despite having lowincomes. However, starting in January 2014, the ACA gives states the option to expand Medicaid coverage to include individuals with incomes of $15,000 or less—and, the federal government will cover the cost for the first three years. If we accept the federal funds via the ACA to expand Medicaid, over 329,000 South Carolinians will gain access to health care coverage.

What’s the current state of the decision in South Carolina? A recent AARP SC survey polled 800 South Carolinians and found a majority support accepting federal dollars to pay for Medicaid coverage. However, the House of Representatives has approved a version of the state budget that does not include Medicaid expansion, and Governor Nikki Hayley has said she will not support it. If it does not get passed during this legislative session, advocates will continue their efforts in the coming year since states can opt in at any time. If the ACA is a federal law, why aren’t all states required to expand Medicaid? As it was originally written, the ACA did mandate the expansion of Medicaid. But, the Supreme Court’s ruling on the ACA in 2012 effectively made expansion optional. Are other states planning to expand, and what’s it going to cost them? Currently, the governors of 25 states and the District of Columbia support expanding Medicaid. Even governors who are on record as vehemently opposed to the ACA have decided to support expansion, in part because it is a great deal. The federal government will pay for 100 percent of the cost of the state’s Medicaid expansion for three years beginning in 2014. Thereafter, the federal government’s match rate gradually drops until the share falls to 90 percent in 2020. (Administrative match rate will remain the same at 50 percent.)

Eleanor Stein-Glavey 2nd Year Macro Student AARP Intern From SC

What can I do? Become a fan of the Accept ME SC esc. Please sign the petition Contact your state senator! • Share a personal story • Share these talking points: Ø Provide health care access to over 329,000 South Carolinians, many of whom have lost their jobs and are struggling to find new ones or work in jobs that don’t provide health benefits. Ø Provide more South Carolinians with access to preventative care and save millions of tax payer dollars currently spent inefficiently treating uninsured people in emergency rooms. Ø Increase federal dollars that will help pay for medical service programs currently paid for entirely by the state, like mental health services. Ø Infuse the state economy with hundreds of millions of dollars each year. According to a study by USC’s Moore School of Business, South Carolina will see “a net gain in federal funding… of $11.2 billion between 2014 and 2020.”

Issue 10: April 10, 2013

The Center for Child and Family Studies The Center for Child and Family Studies (CCFS) is a well-hidden secret in the Benson Center on Pickens Street. It is home to an array of programs with a focus on program evaluation, training, quality assurance, translation services, media and technology services, and creating educational documents to be used to empower professionals in the local community. CCFS employs several graduate assistants each year and the faculty members are great resources for research and issues surrounding child well being. Feel free to contact them for further information about their work!

Hispanic Initiatives • HABLA • Testing and training for Spanish-English translators Child Welfare • SCDSS Child Welfare Basic Training – training provided to all SCDSS child welfare workers • GOALL – Go Out and Learn Life – an advisory committee of youth that have aged out of the foster system and want to share their story to impact the policies • National Youth in Transition Database – a national study that (1) surveys youth about their thoughts and experiences of foster care services and (2) tracks the independent living services that youth receive • Voices and Visions of SC Youth in Transition - a transformative mixed methods longitudinal research study that explores the lived experience of youth as they transition out of foster care and mature into young adulthood • Foster and Adoptive Parent Resources • Quality Assurance of SCDSS Child Welfare Services COSW Research Faculty • Dr. Cynthia Flynn – Interim Executive Director of CCFS, Research Assistant Professor o • Dr. Suzanne Sutphin – Research Assistant Professor, lead evaluator for SC’s Quality Assurance Reviews o • Dr. Monique Mitchell – Research Assistant Professor, SC NYTD Research Director, GOALL Facilitator, SC NYTD Youth Voice Facilitator o • Dr. Qiduan Liu – Research Assistant Professor o

1st Year Reflections on Policy Project Nina Kondratenko 1st Year MSW Student From Ukraine

This semester all first year MSW students read their policy syllabus with curiosity and a bit of anxiety, especially when it came to the assignment called “Influencing State Policy.” Many of us started this project with little or no understanding of the real reasons for those bills to be introduced and the outcomes that will follow if the bill is passed or vetoed. Personally, I knew what Medicaid Expansion was but whom it might affect and how it might affect them was unknown to me. As we started researching and reading recent articles that analyzed both the positive and negative outcomes of Medicaid Expansion, reality started to sink in. However, no matter how much you read the best understanding comes when you talk to people who are directly impacted by it. Those people are real - mothers, sons, students who are seeking work, people with disabilities and social workers like us. Delia, a MSW student, is a strong advocate for Medicaid expansion and impressed our group by her knowledge and passion. But what we didn’t know is that she is 56 and uninsured. When I asked her how she felt about her situation she shared with us that “right now I am in relatively good health so I try not to think about not having insurance. I sometimes feel scared. I have vision problems that I am dealing with. If they get any worse I do not know what I will do as I don't have insurance to cover it. For now I have insurance through the school but it does not cover pre-existing conditions.” We were profoundly impacted by her story and her willingness to share. We should remember that anyone of us could be in Delia’s place. We’ve also learned through this school project that change can be achieved. It starts with one person sharing her story and progressing with social workers striving to change the situation for everyone by ensuring their basic need, healthcare, is provided. It takes just a small effort to make a call to a legislator and declare your support of Medicaid Expansion but it can result in big change for 329,000 South Carolinians who are currently uninsured. If not us then who?

SWSA Newsletter Issue 10  

social work student assocation

SWSA Newsletter Issue 10  

social work student assocation