Tuesday, July 30, 2013

NASW: Social Workers and Salaries

In 2012, the National Association for Social Workers (NASW) released salary guidelines for social workers. It contains recommended salary ranges for BSW and MSW holders based on years of experience. Although the salaries don't take into consideration cost of living (social workers living in the Midwestern, Southern, and rural areas may earn lower salaries than what is posted in the document), I am glad that NASW is addressing the salary issue now.  As I mentioned in previous posts on this blog, many social workers are underpaid, overworked, and under-appreciated. Earning competitive salaries will increase the prestige and awareness of the social work profession and ensure that social workers can afford the cost of living in their respective regions.

Updated (08/25/13): Social Work License Map offers a link about social work salaries by state. The list includes average salaries (broken down to average and hourly wage) by specialization (child, family, and school; medical and public health; mental health and substance abuse; and all other).
based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The link also includes this infographic salary guide.

  The Social Worker's Salary Guide
Brought to you by Social Work License Map

Thursday, July 18, 2013

AlterNet: Are Corporations Trying to Distract Us with Social Issues While They Take Control of Our Economy?

This AlterNet article is so timely (thank you!) that I wish people would wake up and realize that conservatives are taking advantage of controversial social issues such as gay marriage and reproductive rights to promote a conservative economic agenda that would widen the gap between the rich and the poor.

Politicians in the “liberal Kansas” school are increasingly outspoken on issues like reproductive choice and gay marriage, while at the same time continuing to promote their corporate economic agenda. Many, if not most, of them are so-called "centrist" Democrats from the Bill Clinton wing of the party. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Democrat turned Republican, is also a prominent member of the “personally liberal, economically conservative” clique.

They’re not alone. I’ve known more than a few corporate leaders and Wall Street executives, and most of them were quite liberal on social issues too. It makes sense, when you think about it. When your goal is money, you’re not likely to care what people do with their bodies – as long you get their wallets.


Democrats campaigned on populist themes in 2012 campaign. But as soon as the election was over the party’s leaders returned to what Frank described in 2004 as “endless concessions on economic issues, on welfare, NAFTA, Social Security, labor law, privatization, deregulation, and the rest of it.”

Since his re-election, Barack Obama has proposed to cut Social Security, echoed the deficit hysteria of the right, continued to negotiate NAFTA-like trade deals in secret (hidden from Congress and the public but available to 600 “corporate advisors”), and continued to privatize the military/national security state. (He has also pursued the most aggressive anti-whistleblower presidential campaign in American history.)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

115,000 People Have Already Signed NAACP Call For Civil Rights Charges Against George Zimmerman

According to BuzzFeed:

The NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, saw a massive, instant response to a petition Saturday night urging the Department of Justice to open a civil rights case against George Zimmerman, who was cleared of all criminal charges in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The petition gained more than 115,000 signatures in about three hours, NAACP spokesman Eric Wingerter told BuzzFeed. The appeal asks Attorney General Eric Holder to “address the travesties of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin by acting today” and press civil rights charges against Zimmerman, who shot an unarmed Martin last February in what he said was an act of self-defense.

“The Department of Justice has closely monitored the State of Florida’s prosecution of the case against George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin murder since it began,” the petition reads. “The most fundamental of civil rights — the right to life — was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin,” the appeal goes on. “We ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman for this egregious violation.”

The NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, posted the petition around 10:30 p.m., just a half an hour after the Florida jury reached its not-guilty verdict in the Zimmerman trial. Within the first hour of its publication online, the petition garnered 57,600 signatures, according to Wingerter. In his own statement earlier Saturday evening, NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said the group was “outraged and heartbroken over today’s verdict.”

“We will pursue civil rights charges with the Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state, and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed,” Jealous said.

Wingerter said the organization will keep its tech support team “up through the night” monitoring the high traffic on the website and petition.

The full text of the petition reads as follows:

Attorney General Eric Holder, The Department of Justice has closely monitored the State of Florida’s prosecution of the case against George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin murder since it began. Today, with the acquittal of George Zimmerman, it is time for the Department of Justice to act.

The most fundamental of civil rights — the right to life — was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin. We ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman for this egregious violation.

Please address the travesties of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin by acting today.

Thank you.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Paul Krugman Op-Ed: War on the Unemployed

Paul Krugman wrote an excellent editorial in the New York Times about the conservative attack on the unemployed. When I read his opinion, I wondered what happened to the importance of human conscience and dignity. Why must the poor be punished for being unemployed and underemployed in American society? Jobs do not appear out of thin air. The Great Recession is an example of that. Businesses should not receive kickbacks and tax breaks at the expenses of the poor, schools, seniors, and families. The very founding of this nation was not based on money, greed, and fear. Our founding fathers created a democratic nation based on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Somehow, our elected officials have lost track of the meaning of these important words...

Is life too easy for the unemployed? You may not think so, and I certainly don’t think so. But that, remarkably, is what many and perhaps most Republicans believe. And they’re acting on that belief: there’s a nationwide movement under way to punish the unemployed, based on the proposition that we can cure unemployment by making the jobless even more miserable.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Review: Multicultural Student Services on Campus (2011)

Multicultural Student Services on Campus (2011), edited by Dafina Lazarus Stewart, is a comprehensive resource for graduate students and new professionals in multicultural student services in higher education. It explores contemporary issues of multicultural student services and its historical development. It focuses on the three most common aspects of multicultural student services in higher education: race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, and religious/spiritual identity. It examines how institutional context (liberal arts colleges, public universities, community colleges, and minority-serving institutions) influences the design and practice of multicutural student services. Lastly, it discusses ways in which practitioners in other units and divisions within colleges and universities can collaborate and advocate for stronger multicultural student services.

Published by ACPA: College Student Educators International, this book is an important reference for student affairs professionals who need to understand the history, breadth, depth, and future of multicultural student services. Senior-level administrators, who have a desire to make socially-responsible decisions that transform college campuses into democratic and multicultural communities, should also consider this reference as a starting point for ideas and solutions. Since I study diversity and social justice in higher education, this book has become an invaluable resource for enhancing my awareness and knowledge of pertinent issues in multicultural affairs. Dafina Lazarus Stewart is an associate professor of higher education and student affairs at Bowling Green State University.

The book is divided into four sections with 19 chapters:
  1. History and Evolution of Multicultural Student Services
  2. Multicultural Student Services Affirming and Integrating Diversity
  3. Diverse Contexts, Similar Goals (Academic and Student Affairs)
  4. Building Bridges (Collaborations and Multicultural Competence)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Review: Getting your MSW - 2nd Edition (2013)

Getting Your MSW: How to Survive and Thrive in a Social Work Program - 2nd Edition (2013), by Karen Sowers (University of Tennesse-Knoxville) and Bruce Thyer (Florida State University), is a comprehensive survival guidebook published by Lyceum Books for prospective and current students interested in graduate social work (MSW) programs. This guidebook helps orient new students to the social work profession, the MSW admissions process, the organization and structure of social work education, state licensure requirements, and a listing of professional social work organizations in the United States. This edition has four new features:
  • Extended table of contents for quick and easy reference
  • Employment resources for today's economic climate (including job search strategies)
  • Information on the use and relevance of technology in social work education
  • Content on MSW  programs and field work opportunities
Like the previous edition, this book provides a clear and concise overview of MSW social work programs. It continues to be a recommended reference for social workers in the early stages of their career. I enjoyed the chapter about the MSW curriculum and field education, which goes into detail on the Council on Social Work and a basic overview of the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS). Students will thrive much better in graduate school if they have a solid understanding of the MSW curriculum.

Unfortunately, the guidebook is biased towards clinical social work. It does not provide adequate resources for social work students who want to pursue careers in macro practice (organizations, communities, and public policy). There is an appendix section on how to earn the LCSW in Florida. While this process is helpful for students in Florida, other students would be wise to look up license requirements in their state of employment (such as Social Work License Map). Your state board of social work would also provide application materials and instructions for licensure. Overall, this is a wonderful reference to keep for graduate school. Students may have to look to other books for macro social work-specific employment information and professional organizations. I was very disappointed that the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA) was not mentioned in the appendix of professional social work organizations.