Formerly IGSW News | VOLUME 21 | FALL 2014 |

From the Director

Access issues are a key concern

More About Quality, Effectiveness of Continuing
Professional Education for Social Work in the U.S.

By Scott Miyake Geron

Continuing education in most social service and healthcare professions is accepted as essential for professional competence, career development, and compliance with licensing rules and other regulations. In my summer column, I wrote about what social workers say they want and need in continuing education, based on information from a three-year study that I and two of my colleagues, Betty Ruth and Mark Gianino, at the BU School of Social Work were just wrapping up. The research was commissioned by the Association of Social Work Boards' American Foundation for Research and Consumer Education in Social Work Regulation to examine the current quality and effectiveness of the continuing professional education system for social work in the United States. We have just completed our final report, and the findings are illuminating.

Access and effectiveness are two important examples of issues causing concern. One of the most distressing findings from our study was the degree to which practitioners struggled to access continuing education in the face of numerous obstacles.... Read more

Boston University photo of Scott Miyake Geron

Issues and Views

In my opinion

Attacks on Social Security and Medicare Are Based
On the Phoney Politics of Intergenerational Conflict

By Larry Polivka

It's not surprising that this midterm election season has seen its share of critics of our publicly supported system of retirement security. After all, Republicans and others have spent the past 30 years attacking Social Security and Medicare. But any reasonable analysis shows that the attacks are based on the phoney politics of intergenerational conflict. The real reason for projected declines in retirement security? Read more

Photo of Larry Polivka courtesy The Claude Pepper Center

New training video is compelling and effective

Options Counselors See The Person's View
of Person-Centered Care

By Mary Johnson

The best way to appreciate the principles of person-centered care is to see through the eyes of a care recipient. Options counselors in Oregon are gaining this perspective from a powerful training video recently developed by the Oregon Department of Human Services.

"The Thin Edge of Dignity" features Richard "Dick" Weinman (pictured at right), a former professor of communications and radio personality, telling of his experience in the assisted living facility where he has resided since a debilitating accident abruptly took him from his active way of life. "We have a lot of 'aha moments' with this video," says Suanne Jackson, an analyst and trainer who uses it in a course to implement person-centered care. Weinman, she says, "brings home exactly what the principles of dignity, respect, and choice mean—and what happens when actions don't reflect them."... Read more

Silverman Studios Video Production image of Richard Weinman

Online from CADER at Boston University
Learn the Essentials of Person-Centered Support and Care

An Option Counselor's Guide to Consumer Control,
Consumer Choice, and Consumer Direction

This online course is for options counselors and other practitioners who provide long-term supports and services to older adults and people with disabilities and wish to support them in realizing their own goals and choices. Case examples, scenarios, exercises, and discussions illuminate what the concepts of consumer choice, control, and direction mean in practice. Course participants gain new skills and knowledge for working with a range of consumers and community resources. Sign up now for a 10 percent discount (enter code ENEWS2014) or obtain more information.

News to Note

A champion of direct-care workers' rights

Labor Organizer Is New 'Genius Award' Winner

A labor organizer who champions the rights of direct-care workers has received one of this year's prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, better known as a "Genius Award." Ai-jen Poo (pictured at left) was among those selected because her vision of the value of home-based care work and her strategic skills are "transforming the landscape of working conditions and labor standards for domestic workers," including those who provide direct care to older adults and people with disabilities.... Read more

Photo of Ai-jen Poo courtesy National Domestic Workers Alliance

Often prescribed for insomnia, anxiety

New Study of Older Adults Taking 'Benzo'
Drugs Finds Increased Risk of Alzheimer's

While older adults who suffer from insomnia, anxiety, or depression are often treated with drugs called benzodiazepines (Xanax and Valium are examples), use of these drugs by older people is associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, a new study has found. Read more about the findings and implications for practice.