Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Review: 101 Careers in Social Work - Second Edition (2015)

101 Careers in Social Work - Second Edition (2015) by Jessica Ritter, Halaevalu Vaakalahi, and Mary Kiernan-Stern, is a comprehensive career guidebook that highlights the interdisciplinary nature of social work and the different career options available with a social work degree. It builds upon the first edition with updated information and new features such as:
  • Introduction to the social work profession (including a brief history)
  • Differences between social work and other related professions
  • Benefits and challenges of a career in social work
  • Education and licensing requirements for social workers
  • Paying for your social work education
  • Future outlook of the social work profession in the United States
The next section has chapters that cover a myriad of sub-fields within the social work profession. Each chapter includes sections about the sub-field's core competencies and skills, educational and licensing requirements, best and challenging aspects of the job, compensation and employment outlook, self-assessment checklist to see if the job is right for you, and recommended readings and websites. The beginning has the most common career paths (e.g., child welfare, school social work, gerontology, health care, and mental health/addictions) and explores emerging fields that would be of particular interest to macro practice social workers, such as:
  • Crisis intervention
  • Criminal justice and the legal arena
  • International social work and human rights
  • Poverty and homelessness
  • Politics and public policy
  • Community practice
  • Research in academia
  • Leadership in human service organizations and much more!
The authors are supporters of dual degrees for social work students who want to pursue a rigorous course of study that draws upon a diverse academic disciplines/fields such as public health, public policy, law, business administration, ministry, educational leadership, or urban planning. I highly recommend this new edition to any social work student or practitioner who wants to explore what they can do with a degree in social work. The possibilities are limitless!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Study confirms that white students who misbehave get medicine/therapy, black kids arrested/suspended

This past month, several news articles, such as the Daily Kos, have reported data on racial disparities in school suspensions. White kids who misbehave often receive therapy or medicine. It would take a severe violation like bringing a weapon into school for a White kid to receive suspension. In contrast, Black kids who misbehave are more frequently suspended or arrested. Unfortunately, this type of treatment quickly funnels students of color into the juvenile justice system. As a result, schools and the solutions they pose to common problems are increasingly separate and unequal. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed by elected officials and school administrators. For more information, check the links below:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Freep: Concentrated poverty spikes in Metro Detroit communities

Metro Detroit has not recovered well from the Great Recession of 2007-2010. The Southeast Michigan region has more concentrated poverty than any period in history. From the Detroit Free Press:

Concentrated poverty has exploded in metro Detroit over the past 15 years, especially among minority groups, according to a new report.
In Wayne County, half of all its residents who are poor now live in areas of high concentration of poverty, the second-highest rate in the U.S. In Detroit, the number of census tracts where more than 40% of people are in poverty more than tripled, from 51 to 184. And the high concentrations of poverty are now pushing out to Detroit suburbs such as Warren, Dearborn, Oak Park and Southfield.
In Wayne County, the percentage of African Americans who are poor living in areas of high poverty jumped from 18% in 2000 to 58% in 2013, says the report by the Century Foundation. That's the second-highest percentage in the U.S., after metro Syracuse, N.Y. Nationally, the figure is 25.2%.
Related article: Census bureau: Detroit is poorest big city in U.S. (Detroit News)