Thursday, July 31, 2008

NEA Unveils Education Plan to Reshape Federal Role in Education

I subscribe to several "Google Alerts." One for social work, one for the congressional caucus and one for feminism, oh, and one for KoKo Taylor, but that's beside the point. They alert me whenever someone in the blogosphere is writing about the subject and gives me a snippet of what they have written. All I have to say is, boy, people are pissed about the NEA's new plan. I don't have the time to re-find them for you but I thought you might like to read the entire plan for yourself. The entire pdf file can be found here. The title link will take you to the NEA's synopsis.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

These Kids Mean Business

This is such a cool place! Click the title link to be taken to the site map page.

"The Documentary

“A lot of kids would like to start their own business of one kind or another, but they don’t know how. Most schools don’t teach it.” So says Clarence Page, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Chicago Tribune and essayist of THESE KIDS MEAN BUSINES$. The documentary premieres on PBS Thursday, August 30, 2007, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings).

Centered on budding entrepreneurs across the country and the programs created to foster their interest and understanding of the free market, THESE KIDS MEAN BUSINES$ tells the tale of underserved youth creating and living their own versions of the American success story.

In the course of the documentary, viewers meet young entrepreneurs such as Eric and Derrick, 16-year-old twins in urban Milwaukee, as they promote their thriving lawn-care business; Laima, age 16, who makes sure her Web site development company in New York City doesn’t sacrifice good design and aesthetics for the latest special effects; and, west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, David Lawson of Wise County, Virginia, who began converting six acres of his family property to a vineyard after completing a high school entrepreneurship class several years ago.
David Lawson

“I got a first-hand knowledge of writing a business plan, and it opened me up to the idea that it wasn't necessarily a college-get-a-job market,” says David Lawson. “There might be opportunities outside of just getting to college and working for somebody. I've always wanted to be able to work for myself and be my own boss, but I wasn't sure exactly how I could do that.” David’s elective entrepreneurship class was through an organization called Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning, otherwise known as REAL. “This class was a good introduction for me to realize that it's not so complicated in some respects to start your own business.”

Additional young entrepreneurs profiled include: a student-managed salad dressing company, Food From the ‘Hood, which was born in the aftermath of the 1992 riots in South Los Angeles; a 7th grader who designs inspirational picture frames and artwork; and a student-owned snack vending machine business.

“The old thinking figured kids were too young to learn about entrepreneurship. The new thinking sees entrepreneurship as a healthy remedy for classroom boredom, restless energies and high dropout rates,” says Clarence Page in THESE KIDS MEAN BUSINES$.

The stories in the documentary come from many parts of the country: Milwaukee, Wisconsin; South Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Chicago, Illinois; Wise County, Virginia; and New York City, New York. Among the organizations featured in the program are the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, REAL Enterprises, Center for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Entrenuity, and the C. E. O. Academy.

In 1987, Steve Mariotti founded the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) with the mission of teaching low-income youth how to start and manage small businesses. “I think it's very important to start as young as possible,” explains Mariotti. “We start at the age of 11 and we are thinking about even moving down to the age of seven. The sooner a young person starts to train their mind to think entrepreneurially, to look for business opportunities, to think about budgeting and planning, to think about marketing and sales, and so that it's incorporated into one's very intellectual being, I think it's very, very positive.”

What do these diverse youngsters from very different parts of the country have in common? They're part of a quiet revolution that's been growing in recent years. Each of them has learned how to start up, own, and operate their own business.

-Clarence Page
Syndicated Columnist, Chicago Tribune

Academic experts interviewed in the documentary comment on their extensive research, which indicates that entrepreneurship education has a positive effect on the academic performance of at-risk students — as well as affecting attitude and behavior. Featured scholars are Andrew B. Hahn, Ph.D., Professor, Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University; and Howard S. Rasheed, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Cameron School of Business, University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

“Entrepreneurship projects are, first and foremost, experiential education; they fill a vacuum that many young people feel that they need,” says Professor Hahn. “And they’re voting with their feet. They’re leaving school in droves, if you look at the dropout rate. And the principal reason for the dropout rate, according to research we and others have done, is that kids just don’t like the regimentation of school. And they’re crying out for experiential learning opportunities.”

“What we are trying to do with Youth Entrepreneurship is bridge the gap. Teach [students] life long skills, understanding the business concepts and economic processes, so that they can create, as opposed to be part of, a work force,” comments Dr. Rasheed. “So we're not really training students to become consumers, or employees. We're training them to be employers, and economic creators.”

Also interviewed is Cathy Ashmore, executive director of the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education. “The rationale behind having young people begin to develop those experiences, is the high motivation we see as a result of being involved in those programs,” says Dr. Ashmore. “To find out that you have opportunities is a whole new message to so many young people. And to actually experience the process for doing it, so that you feel empowered to go out there and do it sometime in your life.”

In addition, life-long educator Rudy Crew, superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, talks about his plans to include entrepreneurship education as part of his secondary school reform policy. “We’re realizing that Miami Public Schools is the centerpiece of the economy for this entire region,” says Dr. Crew. “And to that extent, entrepreneurship has to be a part of the curriculum. We really do believe that how students make sense out of their world, how they actualize and realize their own dreams and goals by being participants in that world at an early age, all have a lot to do with their ability to be very successful later in life.”

Clarence Page concludes THESE KIDS MEAN BUSINES$: “Even if these ambitious young entrepreneurs don’t launch their own company right away, they walk away with skills, values and experiences that can help them in other ways for the rest of their lives.”

Check Local Listings for Times »

And to that extent, entrepreneurship has to be a part of the curriculum. How students make sense out of their world, at an early age, have a lot to do with their ability to be very successful later in life.

-Rudy Crew Ed.D.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools

The rationale behind having young people begin to develop those experiences, is the high motivation we see as a result of being involved in those programs. To find out that you have opportunities is a whole new message to so many young people. And to actually experience the process for doing it, so that you feel empowered to go out there and do it sometime in your life.

-Dr. Cathy Ashmore
Consortium for
Entrepreneurship Education

Business failure is really a business transition. You know, you transition from one business that may not be as profitable as you want it to be, you close down that business and you start another business. So it's not an issue of failure. It's only failure is that you don't get up and start it ... and try again. That's when you fail.

-Howard S. Rasheed, Ph.D.
Cameron School of Business
UNC at Wilmington"

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lavena Johnson

The title link will take you to an article on talking about the overall coverup by the army of the rape and murder of women soldiers. When I first read this story I just couldn't post about it. To think, a soldier serving for me was treated in such a manner was just completely incomprehensible. To think about her father having to view his daughter's body after the crime, well, I just can't imagine the pain. Here's the short version found on Alternet:

"The Jamie Leigh Jones-Halliburton rape case was horrific, but what happened to PFC Lavena Johnson in Iraq in 2005 was many orders of magnitudes worse.

The parents of the young Missouri woman were told that she died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds, and her death was ruled a suicide. But her physician father became suspicious after looking at injuries to the body:

After two years of requesting documents, one set of papers provided by the Army included a xerox copy of a CD. Wondering why the xerox copy was in the documents, Dr. Johnson requested the CD itself. With help from his local Congressional representative, the US Army finally complied. When Dr. Johnson viewed the CD, he was shocked to see photographs taken by Army investigators of his daughter's body as it lay where her body had been found, as well as other photographs of her disrobed body taken during the investigation.

The photographs revealed that Lavena, a small woman, barely 5 feet tall and weighing less than 100 pounds, had been struck in the face with a blunt instrument, perhaps a weapon stock. Her nose was broken and her teeth knocked backwards. One elbow was distended. The back of her clothes had debris on them indicating she had been dragged from one location to another. The photographs of her disrobed body showed bruises, scratch marks and teeth imprints on the upper part of her body. The right side of her back as well as her right hand had been burned apparently from a flammable liquid poured on her and then lighted. The photographs of her genital area revealed massive bruising and lacerations. A corrosive liquid had been poured into her genital area, probably to destroy DNA evidence of sexual assault.

Despite the bruises, scratches, teeth imprints and burns on her body, Lavena was found completely dressed in the burning tent. There was a blood trail from outside a contractor's tent to inside the tent. She apparently had been dressed after the attack and her attacker placed her body into the tent and set it on fire."

Please go here to sign the petition to let Congressman Waxman, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform know that you will not tolerate such horrors.

You can read more about Lavena Johnson and find the link for the "Democracy Now" video at


The title link will take you to the "History" Page. Clicking here will take you to the "Resource" page and here will take you to the "Approach" page.

"generationFIVE envisions a future in which child sexual abuse no longer occurs.
In this vision, the intergenerational impact of child sexual abuse is interrupted and mended.

In this vision, the impact of trauma does not keep us from actualizing our individual and collective potential. Instead, collective healing supports our creativity and resilience.

In this vision, the conditions that allow child sexual abuse to occur are transformed in such a way that child sexual abuse and other forms of violence become uncommon rather than ever more common.

In this vision, free from the conditions that allow so much violence to occur, children, adults, families, and communities have lives and relationships that are safe, loving, and healthy. They live in a world liberated from the effects of violence and oppression. They live in a world that is just and sustainable.

In this vision, we can all contribute to ending child sexual abuse and other forms of violence because we can all participate in personal, community and political change.

Whether you have a history of child sexual abuse, are a parent, a community member, a person who has sexually abused children in the past, a service provider, a social justice activist and/or are part of a community organization, please join us in this radical approach to uprooting child sexual abuse.

generationFIVE supports and develops liberatory approaches to responding to and preventing violence.

generationFIVE addresses child sexual abuse where it happens most - in our families and communities.

generationFIVE believes that society can become less violent, and that the majority of people who sexually abuse children can change. Child sexual abuse is not "human nature."

generationFIVE addresses the traumatic impact of child sexual abuse on individuals, families and communities while supporting individual and collective resilience.

generationFIVE understands that child sexual abuse is one of many forms of violence that promote domination and institutionalized oppression.

generationFIVE sees connections between intimate, community and State violence and systemic oppression.

generationFIVE works to change the relations of power, community beliefs and practices as well as the social conditions and State violence that allow child sexual abuse to occur.

generationFIVE understands that ending child sexual abuse requires both personal and political transformation. Social justice and justice for individuals who experience violence are connected, reliant on each other, and mutually reinforcing. By creating the world we want to live in, child sexual abuse is less likely to occur. By addressing individual instances of child sexual abuse, we help to create the world in which we want to live."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Senate Child Welfare Bill (Companion to H.R. 6307) Still In Development, Call-In Day Today!

This is important, so I have added it today in addition to the regularly scheduled posts.

"The Senate Finance Committee is still in discussion over a possible child welfare bill that would be the companion to the McDermott-Weller bill, H.R. 6307. (See Children's Monitor, July 7, 2008.) The committee was expected to act last week, but it is engaged in debates over several issues. As a result, CWLA is joining in an effort to have a call-in day today, Monday July 28, to urge members of the Senate Finance Committee to act before the August Congressional break.

The states with Finance Committee members include Arizona (John Kyl-R), Arkansas (Blanche Lincoln-D), Colorado (Ken Salazar-D), Idaho (Mike Crapo-R), Iowa (Chuck Grassely-R, Ranking Republican), Kansas (Pat Roberts-R), Kentucky (Jim Bunning-R), Maine (Olympia Snowe-R), Massachusetts (John Kerry-D), Michigan (Debbie Strabenow-D), Montana (Max Baucus-D, Committee Chair), Nevada (John Ensign-R), New Hampshire (John Sununu-R), New Mexico (Jeff Bingaman-D), New York (Charles Schumer-D), North Dakota (Kent Conrad-D), Oregon (Gordon Smith-R and Ron Wyden-D), Utah (Orrin Hatch-R), Washington (Maria Cantwell-D), and West Virginia (Jay Rockefeller-D). Everyone in these states is urged to call their Senate members of the Finance Committee and ask their Senators to act now to reauthorize the Adoption Incentive Program and help support adoption and relative guardianship.

A toll-free number for the call-in effort is open Monday and Tuesday, July 28-29; call 1-888-686-8191. We urge everyone to call in on these days.

The Senate bill, like the bipartisan McDermott-Weller bill in the House, is expected to include several other key provisions. The McDermott-Weller bill includes provisions on kinship care, direct access to federal funds by tribal governments, expanded access to training funds for child welfare workers, and extended supports to foster youth and adoptive families, as well as strengthening health and education requirements.

The next critical step is for the Senate to act before the August recess, which would allow for any differences between the House and Senate to be negotiated during the August break."


The Child Welfare League has some very interesting radio broadcasts on here. Click the title link to go have a listen. Go here for a listing of all their features and programs.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

H.R. 5447 Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act

The title link will send you to the complete bill that was introduced in February. There are tracker feeds here and for the Senate version S. 2858 here so that you can keep up with what is being done. As far as I can tell nothing has been done beyond introduction. We should probably use the widget over in the sidebar to tell our representatives to get off their a***s and get it moving. It is the prettiest piece of legislation I've seen in a good while and well worth the (dream)read.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Total Break

Most of you know that I hurt my back 2 months ago and have had shooting pain totally through my midsection for this entire time. That makes it somewhat hard to sit at this computer. I finally went to the doctor and got some flexaril and I think it is getting better finally but the drug is making me very sleepy and very stupid and very paranoid, I think :) Today, I got my feelings hurt when I visited a blog that I normally read whenever she posts and decided to check out her blogroll. Guess what? I'm not on it and yes, she is a social worker. Now normally, I'm not the kind to just tuck tail and run with my hurt feelings in tow but, today I did, complete with tears in my eyes. That is just complete and utter nonsense. I'm a tough old bird usually and normally what I would have done was to call them on it by leaving a comment either asking permission to be on it or to ask why I wasn't on it. This usually solves the problem. My reaction today did not only not solve the problem, ended up only making me disgusted with myself. It has to be the pain, it makes you do stupid stuff...

So I've decided to take a break from thinking about this blog for awhile. My first knee-jerk reaction was to just pull it all down and say to hell with it but I still need a place for all this information for my own benefit and for those of you who use it regularly so I'm not going to do that. Instead I'm going to take a break until around the 6th of August. I'll probably schedule some posts over the weekend but then I really need to let it go for a minute.

I finally faced my fear, bit the bullet and signed up for an appointment to take the licensure exam. I will be taking it August 5th at 9:30 central time. So if any of you out there happen to think of me on that day I would greatly appreciate your thoughts and especially your prayers...I am old, you know, and I need all the help I can get :) Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement. It has meant the world to me. I'll be back after the test, hopefully with great news and a rested viewpoint :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Learn and Serve America's National Service Learning Clearinghouse

Please click the title link for more information on just what service learning is and the skills proper implementation of a service learning program can provide. I have also added the toolkits page of the website to the "toolkits" links sidebar.

I've been on a search quest for the past few days. It started with a comment left on bluejean's blog and now has me in full blown search mode. I will be adding what I found, as far as assessment tools/forms, probably on the Victims Assistance Page, as that is where I have the most room and will not have to make yet another page for this blog. I'll put up what I have now and add more later. There are hundreds of links to sort through. :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

An Article from CJ Social Worker

I'm not sure if you all know this but I nearly always post an article in it's entirety if it stirs emotion deep within me. This is one of those...


Forgotten is forgiven.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
She posed with exaggerated sexually at the counter of the rural Texas working class restaurant, waiting for her lunch order. Her purposely selected clothes were probably a size too small. She was sending out a signal and occasionally looking around the room at the uniformed, blue-shirted workers on lunch break to see who was receiving it. A few were and giving her lurid looks. I felt like I kind of knew her. I’ve talked to many women like her over the years, women who are primarily defined by the approval of men – male defined women.

When we left the restaurant, my husband, who is a criminal defense attorney, remarked about the “ex-dancer” in the restaurant. I guess that makes sense since he represents so many of them. I said, “You mean the woman who looked like a sexual assault victim?” Maybe we’re both being reductionistic. Maybe we’re both right.

Sex workers seem to be perennial victims, at least the one’s I’ve met. Most of them have been my clients, victims of domestic violence. (And, mothers. Kind of takes away the lure to think that the woman gyrating in front of you at Babe’s has a 2 year old at home.) Maybe my view is skewed. I also meet a lot of teachers and nurses who are domestic violence victims. So – maybe I just see a lot of them because this is another profession that primarily employs women?

From what I’ve experienced and read, and what I think to be true is this: How is it that a woman feels like sex is her primary power? Is it because society tells women that to be worthwhile, we have to be sexually attractive? Is it advertising? Magazines like Cosmo? Playboy? Penthouse? Could it be that women who end up selling sex are taught at a young age that the best, most powerful thing about them is sex? And who taught them? An abusive step-father? Grandfather? Pedophile uncle?

Once a woman is defined as a sex seller – a prostitute, dancer – then she can never, ever get away from that role. Never. She will always be known as an “ex-dancer.” You can imagine at the PTA meeting that someone finds out. One mother whispers to another, “SHE used to dance naked.” Yet, we wouldn’t consider defining a man as a “sex-buyer” or much less and “ex-sex-buyer.” Could you imagine at the same PTA meeting, one father saying to another, “You know, he used to go to titty-bars all the time.” Even if they did, it would be said with admiration or jealousy.

A common defense in domestic violence cases is this idea that the woman is a whore. They don’t come out and say it like that. But, that’s what they mean. “She was cheating, so he lost it and hit/shot/stabbed/killed her.” Often in protective order court, the man’s attorney will talk about how she works as a dancer, or she’s been having a sex with many men. Uhhhh, and that has what to do with the fact that he beat her until her face looked like one big, swollen bruise? Once a respondent’s lawyer told us how the protective order applicant had been having sex with a lot of different men. I looked at him with a straight face and said, “You mean she’s a whore?” He said, “yes” without the slightest clue that I was being sarcastic. Wow. My co-worker had to explain it to him.

The point is this: We want sex-workers. We want male-defined women. We encourage and expect this behavior from women. The price they (we) must pay is that we cannot escape this role and we cannot be equal. It isn’t that sex or sexuality is bad or wrong. It is the imbalance of power that is wrong. Even if a woman temporarily gains power in her role as a sex seller, ultimately she will pay the price – her humanity, her self-worth, and inclusion in the “legitimate” world. Because, she’ll someday be at that PTA meeting or at church or try to get a job in an office – and they’ll say it…”you know, she used to…”

Posted by CJ Social Worker at 12:10 PM"

Beijingers told to mind their manners

At first read this was hilarious, then I started might be nice if we all lived our lives with these guidelines :)

"1) Don't pick your nose, yawn, shout, pull at your clothes, pull at your fingernails or scratch your head when talking to foreigners

2) Show your most civilized face

3) In conversation, wear a smile, don't stare to long or do anything to make people feel ill at ease

4) Subjects to avoid include what foreigners earn or how much they spend, how old they are, whether they are married and whether they are healthy

5) Also off-limits are questions about where foreigners live, where they have worked, their religious or political beliefs, or what they are currently doing.

6) Be careful when being interviewed by foreign journalists during the Olympics

7) Don't say or do anything that harms national prestige, the country's image or national security.

8) Before you help [a disabled person], first of all get their agreement and co-operation. Absolutely do not use force or be too enthusiastic

9) Do not to barge onto buses and trains"

Friday, July 18, 2008

CDC's BRFSS Prevalence Data--Start Page

I found you guys another cool tool, especially if you are doing research.

"Established in 1984 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a state-based system of health surveys that collects information on health risk behaviors, preventive health practices, and health care access primarily related to chronic disease and injury. For many states, the BRFSS is the only available source of timely, accurate data on health-related behaviors. "

Click the title link for the start page.

Be sure to check out these two pages:


BRFSS--Site Map

Thursday, July 17, 2008

13 months and this is all I get?

My blog is worth $7,903.56.
How much is your blog worth?

Roughly off the top of my head, that's about $600. a month right? Geez...I so need a real job :) Hey, Bluejean, if I can find a way up there will you mentor me and teach me how to be an awesome social worker like you are? No offense intended to anyone else, I respect you all...bluejean just hits me where I live :)

Hey, go have a chill day, revisit your youth and visit the blues page...I am :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Barefoot and Pregnant...

Since no one seems to be reacting to this proposal I thought I would provide some more articles for your perusal, before I decide that everything I have worked and voted for in my lifetime is just going down the drain and women are just plain out fucking determined to stay beneath a man. Every article I read on this subject just makes me want to scream and or take to my bed as only a true southern female can.

I like men, don't get me wrong and I don't totally blame them for our predicament. Until we as women take the time out of our busy schedules to pay attention to what is happening around us things will never change and apparently will revert back to medieval times. Last night I dreamed I entered a sitting room in the White House and there was Bush surrounded by hundreds of naked pregnant women all smiling up at him and thanking him for thinking for them, because they really did want to have many, many children even without the help of a man or an income to support them. When oh when are we going to make a man as accountable for children as we do a woman? When?

It's been a long day so I'll leave you with the links:

Click the title post for the Reuters article

Feminist Wire Newsbriefs

Alternet: White House Tries to Define Contraception as Abortion

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

President Bush Please Stay Out of My Reproductive Organs!

Got this email from Naral today. Will January never get here? Click the title link for the New York Times article. Please use the widget in the left sidebar to voice your opinion.

"Just hours ago The New York Times reported that the Bush administration is proposing a new regulation that could discourage doctors and health-care clinics from providing birth control to women who need it.

Pro-birth-control members of Congress are calling on the Bush administration to reconsider this terrible idea. Please let your members of Congress know that you strongly oppose this attack on birth control!

This proposed regulation deliberately confuses the definitions of contraception and abortion and could seriously jeopardize state laws and policies that protect women’s access to birth control. For example, state laws that require hospitals to provide sexual-assault survivors with access to emergency contraception could be jeopardized.

This issue makes it all the more clear why we must elect pro-choice Sen. Barack Obama as our next president. Sen. John McCain has repeatedly voted against allowing women to obtain birth control and there’s no doubt he will carry on Bush’s anti-choice legacy. Sen. Obama has a consistent record in strong support of women’s access to contraception and is the chief sponsor of legislation to make birth control more affordable.

Take action today. Don’t let the Bush administration’s attacks on birth control go unanswered.

Thank you for remaining vigilant against the Bush administration and taking action today."

Human Rights Watch: Defending Human Rights Worldwide

The title link takes you to the United States Children's Rights page but the entire site has many, many interesting and informative articles listed by country. Great site!

Improving Negotiation Skills: Rules for Master Negotiators

It seems as though Google has decided to link people to this post. I have recently added many links under negotiation for social workers on the Child Welfare page which can be found in the sidebar.

The art of negotiation has always interested me very much. Click the title link for an awesome article on the fine points of negotiation.

The University of Hull: Best Practice Guide for Disabled Social Work Students and Placements

Ok, I know this is somewhat old in terms of the virtual world, but still it is still cool. Click the title link to be taken to their homepage. I have also added the full report in the "toolboxes" sidebar. Here is an excerpt taken from their background page:

"Improving access for disabled students to courses within Higher Education is a priority. This is particularly the case for professional training programmes such as Social Work. Students are supported on campus by Disability Services. However, questions remain about the adequacy of placement support for disabled students.

The project seeks to address these questions and has a particular focus on students whose needs are 'unseen'. These include dyslexia (the most prominent declared disability in HE, mental health problems, visual or hearing impairments. They can also include medical conditions such as epilepsy, arthritis, diabetes and asthma.

The project will focus on identifying any challenges that social work students face on placement as well as exploring positive experiences of support.
Aims and Objectives

1) To identify any opportunities and barriers in relation to the learning of social work students with unseen disabilities on practice placement from the perspectives of disabled students, practice placement co-ordinators, practice teachers and disability support staff.

2) To co-ordinate and deliver a learning support service to social work students with disabilities on practice placement.

3) To identify examples of good practice in supporting the learning needs of students with unseen disabilities on placement.

4) To produce and disseminate a Best Practice guide to ensure effective and consistent learning support of disabled students undertaking professional education."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Simply Momtastic

Click the title link, please. I'm not sure if she is a social worker but she has written one of the best, most comprehensive posts on what to do when Child Protective Services comes knocking on your door that I have ever read. She also has other cool stuff on there for those still in the child-bearing years. Definitely worth the read :)

The Sumsing Turbo 3000 Xi Multitask

Thanks Cathy over at Grandad's blog Head Rambles for the laugh. I needed it this morning as the blues page is still messing with me! Click the title link for the video. There's another link on Cathy's blog for an experiment with phones that really is scary!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Working with Elected Officials

Click the title link for the ACLU's great article on working with elected officials. The ACLU downloads page also has some great stuff for advocacy, including preventing burnout. I have also added The Activist's Toolkit to the list on the sidebar. If you just want to call your congressman directly you can call 202 224 3121. You might not get to speak with them directly but you can voice your opinion and they will be notified.

Alternet also has a great video up on who voted for FISA and how much $$$ they received from the telecom companies.

Carry a Big Sticker
also has some great stuff!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


For eleven days now I have been reading the comments on Dr. Rob's now famous post "Shame." I will let you click and read for yourself as I am too tired now to re-hash it for you. Suffice it to say that it is about the treatment of the morbidly obese by the medical community, although it started out innocently enough with only how he treats his patients, it snowballed all the way to a New York Times article on it, complete with many more pages of comments. God love him...I doubt he expected this sort of commotion when he wrote that innocent, honest post, but as usual people jumped on it and hijacked it for their own agenda etc., etc.

I have made my suggestion for alleviating the problem and truly hope someone takes the bait and runs with it. My answer? The provision of water aerobic programs throughout the universe. I truly believe that if doctor's (especially in rural communities) in particular were to use their influence for the greater good it could spark a nationwide even universal approach to obesity.

Water aerobics combined with the Health at Every Size teaching module could virtually eliminate the problem.

This is just my humble opinion.....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sorry, Firefox 3, Guess It Was Me After All

Geez...this has been a harrowing 24 hours. I removed all drivers having to do with sound and video that were on my computer and reinstalled most of them and then went to download.whatever and found a couple others and downloaded them too. Then I downloaded the Google toolbar for Firefox 3. Now, since I didn't check each one individually after installing, I can't tell you which one worked but one of them or maybe the combination of them all worked because I-NOW-HAVE-SOUND-ON-THE-BLUES-PAGE-WITH-FIREFOX-3!!! Yea me!!!

Still not happy with the bookmarks thingy but I was reading somewhere that maybe I just don't know how to use them yet :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Firefox 3--Please Help!!

If anyone out there has downloaded Firefox 3 and can help me with this problem it would be greatly appreciated!

I can't say I've always been happy with Firefox but for the most part it is so much better than Explorer that it makes it's little quirks bearable. At least until a few days ago when I upgraded from Firefox 2 to Firefox 3.

#1 problem: It apparently is not recognizing dark blogs. At first I thought it was just my blues page until I went on other dark sites and had the same thing happen. It will not allow sound to be played, from the finetune player or from the youtube videos...not good for a blues site. It is not recognizing the site's address apparently because I tried changing the template and that didn't work. I know it is a Firefox problem because I can listen to the videos and the player just fine with Explorer and from my desktop. This is very frustrating!

#2 problem: When I go to bookmark a site it is not letting me choose which folder I want to put the potential bookmark in. It tells me "site bookmarked" wtf! I have well over a hundred folders in my bookmarks. If it was bookmarked, where the hell did it go? It goes to the very bottom of the bookmarks list! It takes me nearly a full minute to get to the bottom of this list and then another minute to get back to where I was. I realize I'm a little strange with all the bookmarks I have and lately I have been trying to clean them up but this will take forever going like this. If I'm working on something I liked the old way that would let me keep the top 5 folders I was working on in the drop-down menu, let me create another folder if I needed to and easily flip back and forth between folders. This really sucks...

Firefox 3 has basically shut me down...or right now I feel like it has, so if you have any suggestions please feel free to fire away before I lose it here....
ok, crap...just checked the finetune player on this page and it won't play on here either...OMG I don't wanna have to go back to using Explorer!!! WWWAAAAAHHHHH!!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Anne E. Casey Foundation

I have not posted in a few days because I could not find anything that did not piss me off to the point of pure, raging, idiocy. Finally, in my travels through my "reader" I found something worthy of a post. I think I have told you about this foundation before but it was awhile back and probably included in with another post. This time I think it deserves it's own stand alone post. Click the title link to be taken to their home page where you can find a link for the 2008 KIDS COUNT Data Book, A Roadmap for Juvenile Justice Reform, Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative among other great stuff. The following was taken from their "Our Approach" page:

"a mission and history rooted in an ambitious vision of building better futures for disadvantaged children, the Casey Foundation’s approach to philanthropy has always embraced more than giving grants to achieve our goals.

We use our resources to partner with and forge collaborations among institutions, agencies, decision makers, and community leaders so they can work together to transform tough places to raise families. We fund research, technical assistance, and multi-site demonstrations that help service and support systems like public schools, juvenile justice agencies, and child welfare systems get better results for kids and families. We directly deliver exemplary services, identify and measure what works, and share lessons learned to demonstrate the potential of reforming public policies and services on behalf of children and their families.

No one single investment approach can fully meet the needs nor truly make a lasting difference in the lives of the significant numbers of vulnerable children and families encompassed by Casey's mission.

However, taken as a whole, these approaches to philanthropy and "change-making" help increase our positive impact on the populations we care about most; expand our influence with key audiences; and maximize our ability to leverage even more resources for the kids, families, and communities at the heart of our mission.

Providing Direct Services
We design and deliver services and interventions for foster children and their families, facilitate adoption, and help prepare at-risk youth to become successful adults. All of these services are driven by our goal of securing and supporting lifelong family connections for all children and youth.

Reforming Public Systems

System reform is a signature Casey investment area and a major emphasis of our work. We demonstrate, replicate, and advocate for changes to public human services and systems that do a better job of providing effective, efficient assistance to the children and families they were designed to support.

Providing Strategic Consulting
In an effort to make lasting and measurable reforms in public human service systems, the Casey Foundation provides intensive, strategic management support to leaders of public systems who are working to create fundamental change.

Transforming Neighborhoods

Building on Casey’s history of system and community change investments in multiple communities and neighborhoods, we seek to demonstrate that improving the quality of the places in which our most vulnerable children and families live can make measurable and sustained improvements in their ability to survive and thrive.

Strengthening Families
We work to advance the premise that improving future opportunities for vulnerable children requires helping parents to secure the resources, connections, and skills they need to support, nurture, and provide for them today.

Building Economic Success
By investing in new models, best practices, evaluation, and policy research, Casey’s goal is to promote specific strategies that enable parents to get jobs and advance in the workforce, increase their income, and build and protect a base of assets sufficient to secure a better future for their families.

Using Data and Evaluation
We gather and promote the use of data as a critical tool for change. We also routinely seek and support independent evaluation of our initiatives to ensure that our investments are yielding real results.

Ensuring Racial and Ethnic Equity

We support research, promote understanding, and share data around issues of disparity that continue to result in opportunity and achievement gaps in low-income communities of color and ethnic diversity.

Featured Resource

Publication thumbnail for A Call to Action: An Integrated Approach to Youth Permanency and Preparation for Adulthood
A Call to Action: An Integrated Approach to Youth Permanency and Preparation for Adulthood

Children who ‘age out’ of the child welfare system without a permanent family and/or adequate preparation for adulthood often do not have the supports needed to thrive independently. This report highlights efforts to ensure that youth currently in the foster system benefit from the most strategic preparation and supports for entering adulthood.

Data Spotlight

Children in Poverty

Over 13 million US children under the age 18 live in poverty. Find more facts on poverty in the KIDS COUNT Data Center."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cultural Competence Resources for Health Care Providers

Click the title link for a little light read this morning :) There is also an eighteen page toolbox...if you've been reading here for very long you know I love toolboxes! I feel they pick up where school is so lacking, in the actual 'tell you specific actions to take' department. If you want to just cut to the chase of the article the toolbox is located here. In fact I think the challenge for the day will be to pull all the toolboxes I have out and put them on the sidebar...oh, what fun :)

Is a Big Hunk of Steak Worth Almost 2000 Gallons of Water?

Click the title link for the article...I have only one answer to that question...Absolutely :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

How about this for an idea?

About a month ago I re-injured the pinched nerve in my back so I haven't been able to do much strenuous stuff and I've not been able to look for a job. So I'm thinking of ways I could promote myself and this blog to the various helping agencies around town and possibly find a way to work from home doing what I love to out information for social workers. In my mind, it should be useful/time-saving/productive for social workers to have someone do their emailing to senators, look up the progress on various legislations, etc., etc. I don't want to give away all my ideas here because I've had very good ideas taken from me before. This time I need to make my own money and not let others ride on my ideas. I have so much on here that I think would be beneficial to other social workers and their clients. I've never been one for self-promotion, especially where an income is concerned and have little or no experience doing it, so...I'm asking for ideas as to how I should go about this and what I should say. Should I take specific examples to each agency as some sort of proof that I could make their lives easier? Should I go to the top or try to get in another way like through the IT department. Should I work up possible scenarios where my being able to provide the information in a timely manner would be beneficial to the business workings as a whole? I just want to know what you think. If you don't want to post here in the comments you can email me This is the address I have for all my social work related emails. Thanks in advance :)

H.R 6307

"House Passes Bipartisan Bill to Extend Kinship, Foster Care

On June 24, the House of Representatives passed the Fostering Connections to Success Act (H.R. 6307) by a voice vote. Representatives Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Jerry Weller (R-IL), the chair and ranking members, respectively, of the Subcommittee on Income Support and Family Security, introduced the bipartisan bill the week before.

The legislation draws from an earlier bill McDermott had introduced, the Invest in KIDS Act, H.R. 5466. CWLA has endorsed both bills.

The new legislation extends support for kinship care, provides a state option to extend foster care to age 21, extends access to federal training funds to private agencies, provides tribes governments direct access to Title IV-E funds, requires greater health planning by states for children in foster care, requires greater coordination of ongoing education by the state and local education agency for foster children, and reauthorizes the adoption incentives program.

The legislation is significant for at least three reasons: It contains significant child welfare policy reforms, it is bipartisan, and it is paid for. McDermott had indicated on several occasions he would seek bipartisan agreement over common issues of support if Congress did not pass his earlier comprehensive Invest in KIDS Act. All items are included in the CWLA 2008 Legislative Agenda.

The floor debate demonstrated broad bipartisan support. McDermott said, "I think there are children out there right now who are going to benefit from this," and Weller indicated, "Members of this body stand in the place where the parents of children in foster care belong. That is a serious responsibility, and this legislation accepts that responsibility and makes solid, bipartisan improvements."

The bill, if enacted, could make significant advances in support for kinship care, foster youth, and tribal populations and would strengthen access to training for the child welfare workforce. Perhaps equally important, the bill is paid for by including what are referred to as offsets. These offsets, or changes in programs or cuts in other areas, generate federal revenue and mean the federal deficit would not worsen as a result of the bill's passage. The two offsets are to allow the IRS the ability to collect or recover unemployment compensation collected through fraud, and to allow the U.S. Treasury greater flexibility in investing federal funds.

The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it will be referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Last month, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Improved Adoption Incentives and Relative Guardianship Support Act of 2008 (S. 3038). This bill is his version of the adoption incentive program and includes a kinship care extension of Title IV-E funds, as well as several other provisions on adoption."