Monday, March 9, 2015

Happy Social Work Month 2015

[Episode 95] Hey there podcast listeners. March is Social Work Month. I know, you’re saying, but every month is social work month. Yes… that’s true… for social workers. But, social work is one of those professions that, to misquote Ogden Rogers [Episode 88], if you’re doing it well, people don’t know you’re doing it. so, let’s have a month to remind the general public of what social workers do. In that spirit, today’s episode is a quick and dirty rundown of some of the things I do for social work and some of the things I’m involved in that make social work a better profession. So, this episode is a quick and dirty rundown of upcoming episodes, resources for social work and technology, and information about my book, Suicide in Schools, published by Routledge Press in December 2014.

NASW’s theme for Social Work Month 2015 is “social work paves the way for change.” I love our profession and all that we do to pave the way for change for the oppressed, marginalized, and underrepresented in our society. I also recognize that there are social workers who have paved the way for me to change. So, every day this month I’m honoring a different social worker who has inspired me and helped me to change so I can be a better social worker. You can see my list of social workers on the Social Work Podcast Facebook page at, the Twitter feed @socworkpodcast.

Upcoming episodes:
Attachment-Based Family Therapy: Guy Diamond & Suzanne Levy
Cognitive Enhancement Therapy: Shaun Eack
Working with Deaf People: Teresa Crowe Gualladet
The Contribution of the Children's Bureau to Social Work Education: Alice Lieberman
Social Innovation: Steve Anderson
Suicide in Schools: Terri Erbacher

NASW is launching a series of Tweet Chats. Tweet chats are opportunities for people to gather on Twitter at a specified time and use a specific hashtag (that symbol that we used to call the “pound sign”) and discuss a specific topic. I’m honored to be the NASW Tweet Chat guest on April 2nd talking about “Suicide in Schools.” Laurel Hitchcock has a wonderful guide for how to participate in a Tweet Chat. If you like it, you can participate in lots of Tweet chats. Well-established tweet chats specific to social work include:

Speaking of Laurel Hitchcock, she’s one of a growing cadre of experts in the integration of social work and technology. Many can be found posting on the Google + group, Social Work and Technology and Twitter. Name to look out for include: Laurel Hitchcock, Nancy Smyth, Jimmy Young, Karen Zgoda, Melanie Sage, Julie Hanks, Neil Ballantyne, Dorlee Michaeli (formerly DorleeM), Lauri Goldkind, Mike Langlois, and recently Sean Erreger.

Another source of information about tech and social work is, which stands for human services Information Technology applications.

There are several excellent podcasts about social work and social services :



Suicide in Schools provides school-based professionals with practical, easy-to-use guidance on developing and implementing suicide prevention, assessment, intervention and postvention strategies at the individual, family, school, and community level. The book includes detailed case examples, guidelines, handouts, and internet resources on the best approaches to effectively working with youth who are experiencing a suicidal crisis as well as those students, families, school staff, and community members who have suffered the loss of a loved one to suicide. Here are some reviews of the book:

"This book provides the exact kind of practical information school staff need to know, from how to tell a parent his or her child is contemplating a suicidal act to what the school staff member's responsibility is to the child, the parent, and to the community to address suicidal risk. When combined with the detailed case examples that really bring an extra dimension to the step-by-step guides, this book becomes a must-read for any professional working in a school environment." Thomas Joiner, PhD, Robert O. Lawton Professor of Psychology at Florida State University and director of the Laboratory for the Study and Prevention of Suicide-Related Conditions and Behaviors

"A comprehensive guide for all educators seeking the current evidenced-based, model practices for suicide prevention in schools. The ‘expert tips’ reflect a wealth of knowledge gleaned from the front lines, where collaboration is essential between school psychologists, social workers, counselors, and their administrators. The authors paraphrase our national motto: ‘Everyone in the school plays a role in suicide prevention!’" Richard Lieberman, NCSP, school psychologist/consultant with the Los Angeles County Suicide Prevention Network

"Suicide in Schools is an essential, invaluable resource for all school personnel who are interested in preventing self-harm among their students. User-friendly, yet erudite, the book serves as a manual for evidence-based and innovative practices. If only this reference had been available when, as president of the National Association of School Psychologists, I issued a call to action to prevent suicide." Ralph E. (Gene) Cash, PhD, ABPP, professor at the Center for Psychological Studies and director of the School-related Psychological Assessments and Clinical Interventions Clinic at Nova Southeastern University

"This book provides a comprehensive examination of the many issues that schools face in working with suicidal youth and provides hands-on strategies that have been successfully implemented in school-based settings. The authors provide excellent case examples and practical information that aligns with clinical and research experts in the field of youth suicidal behavior. Finally, the authors structure their book to extensively explain how a multi-tiered approach can be implemented for suicide prevention, risk assessment, and management of youth suicidal behavior. This book provides exactly the help school personnel need to feel more confident in working with high-risk youth and thus is an invaluable resource for anyone working in the schools and/or working with them. It already has a place on my desk." James J. Mazza, PhD, professor and director of the school psychology program at the University of Washington

Thanks for all that you do, social workers. We’re an amazing and storied profession. Happy social work month. And keep up the good work.

Download MP3 [12:26]

APA (6th ed) citation for this podcast:

Singer, J. B. (Producer). (2015, March 9). #95 - Happy social work month 2015 [Audio Podcast]. Social Work Podcast. Retrieved from

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