Welcome to The New Social Worker's Blog

The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Turned the corner

YESTERDAY I RESIGNED from my job as editor and web manager at the city magazine where I have worked for six years, with the company where I have been employed for 10 years.

Whoosh! The winds of change are definitely upon me now.

Like my dear friend said: "The dream is becoming a reality."

I tried to do it all. I actually did it. I did it quite well, too. Now I want to do school and my internship in a healthier way. I want to have some more fun with it. I want to put more into it as opposed to slamming it.

I'm not naive. I will still be doing last-minute, late-night work. I hope not as often, though. And, most importantly, I won't have to work, too.

School will become my work for the next year. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I resigned yesterday at 3 p.m. and I felt calm and at peace. Good sign, eh? Gone was the anxiety of anticipating the action. Another friend of mine said: "It's not so much that you are leaving, but rather you are beginning..."

I woke up this morning feeling lighter. Since I have Fridays off, I did some morning journaling ("morning pages" for those of you who've read "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron), took a long walk in the neighborhood, and now I am contemplating lunch.

My other hope is that I will blog more regularly. I want to hear from you along the way.

With this huge step, I feel even closer to my dream of becoming a social worker. Woo hoo!

--Ms. T. J.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Calling All Bloggers!

i iz blogginz / leef IÂ alonze
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Do you write a social work blog? Do you regularly read social work blogs? (hint: you are reading one right now :) If so I'd love to interview you! My next article will focus on how social workers use blogs, what you think of them, etc. If you'd like to give your opinion please email me at karen[at]karenzgoda.org.

Spread the word - please tell your colleagues!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Walk it off

TONIGHT I TOOK MY DOG around the block. We've got a lot on our minds these days, me and her. She's mostly thinking about naps and dog bones. Me? I'm thinking about how my life is changing faster than the speed of light (okay, so I'm exaggerating).

In less than a month I will have left my job of 10 years (gulp). I will be relinquishing what feels like an important position (magazine editor) to pursue my dream of becoming a social worker (really important job).

In approximately one month, I will begin my internship at DFCS. As a Title IV-E student, in exchange for tuition, books, insurance, etc., I will give two years of employment. I see this as a win-win. For me, it's a no-brainer; I will incur no debt, and gain experience that will prepare me for social work.

A good friend of mine shared that when he was in med school, the most coveted residencies were those that were offered in the bowels of New York City hospitals. He said he learned the "real deal" there and he encouraged me to take the Title IV-E grant for the same reason. I believed him then, and I still do.

When I met with one of the directors at DFCS the other day I got a tiny taste of what her days are like. Hectic. Full. Important. And, to me, that seemed exciting. She is a gentle soul who faced every situation and interruption with grace and patience. I have no idea what she was thinking or feeling inside, but her calm, cool exterior set me at ease.

While my goal today is to relax and chill out for a while, my eyes are also set on the year ahead. I am scared, I am excited, and most of all, I am grateful.

Whenever I feel as if I can't possibly do this, I remember what my cohort told me in the very beginning: God doesn't call the qualified; God qualifies the called.

~Ms. T. J.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer break

SINCE SUMMER SCHOOL ENDED, it has been difficult for me to relax.

Spring semester, with work, classes, and field practice really did a number on me. When the accelerated summer session piggybacked it, I felt burnt to a crispy fried crunch. Add two deaths on the same day, and, well, I guess it makes sense why I can't seem to turn it off.

Last week I interviewed for my field placement with the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS). I am impressed with the people and the place. The building is new and the space is inviting. I will begin my second year of field placement on August 17.

I am currently researching insurance companies. If you have a private policy that you are pleased with, do share! Also, if there are insurance policies for grad students that you know about, please tell me about that, too. I am sure I am not alone in needing this info. I have been employed all of my adult life, and I have always had insurance through my employers. I don't want to be uninsured -- even if it's just for 10 months.

My husband planned a getaway for last weekend. We stayed in a bustling city for several days. We didn't make a lot of plans; we sort of let the spirit move us. We dined on the rooftop of a French restaurant. We walked hilly sidewalks in the city proper and window-shopped. On the way home, I drove for several hours while my husband slept beside me, and the peacefulness of those moments made me happy.

~Ms. T. J.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A New Kind of Online Therapy Shows Promise

Very interesting software designed to help insomniacs:

Sleepless people sometimes use the Internet to get through the night. Now a small study shows promising results for insomniacs with nine weeks of Internet-based therapy.

No human therapist is involved. The Internet software gives advice, even specific bedtimes, based on users' sleep diaries. Patients learn better sleep habits — like avoiding daytime naps — through stories, quizzes and games.

"This is a very interactive, tailored, personalized program," said study co-author Frances Thorndike of the University of Virginia Health System, who helped design the software, called Sleep Healthy Using the Internet, or SHUTi.

Such software could one day be a low-cost alternative for some patients, Thorndike said. And it could be the only non-drug option for people who live in areas without trained specialists, she said.

Read the full article here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090706/ap_on_he_me/med_insomnia_therapy_2

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mentoring with Mankita...our newest blogger!

I am ecstatic to announce that Susan Mankita, LCSW, is joining THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER as our newest blogger/columnist. Susan and I met online way back in the 1990s when she was the coordinator of the AOL Social Work Forum. We have since become real-life friends, colleagues, and collaborators. Susan has a positive impact wherever she goes.

Here is Susan's official bio:

Susan Mankita, MSW, LCSW, has been a proud professional social worker for 20 years. She is on the faculty at Florida International University School of Social Work as the Title IV-E Child Welfare Program Coordinator. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in practice and human behavior and child welfare. She provides clinical supervision for licensure, tutoring for licensure prep, offers consultation services to nonprofits, and is a public speaker and trainer on a variety of practice related topics. She is known locally and around the United States to social workers for her expertise on Internet ethics and practice. She was the founder of the AOL Social Work Forum and currently serves as the Community Manager of www.socialworkchat.org, an online community for social workers, co-sponsored by NASW and The New Social Worker Online. Licensed since 1994, Susan co-teaches a licensure prep course for NASW Florida, and has recently worked with colleagues to develop a course specifically for licensure exam re-takers.

Need I say more? Susan will be sharing her expertise and wealth of knowledge on such topics as the licensure exam, supervision, public speaking, and more here on our blog. Watch for her blog...coming very soon!

The New Social Worker Summer 2009 issue available now

I am pleased to announce that the Summer 2009 issue of The New Social Worker magazine is now ready to download. It is available, free of charge, in PDF format directly from The New Social Worker Web site.

To download the Summer 2009 issue, go to:

If the file opens in your Web browser, just click on "Save a Copy" or "File>Save Page as" and save the file to a location on your computer's hard drive.

Articles from this issue are also available on our Web site (http://www.socialworker.com) in Web format.

Here are some highlights from this issue:

• Student Role Model: Kelly Lee
• Ethics and Economics
• Social Work Intern Logs
• Seeing Is Not Believing: Group Supervision by Telephone
• An MSW Student’s Life
• The Evolution of a Social Work Researcher
• Program Evaluation--Lessons Learned From the Field
• Reflections on War
• SW 2.0: How Tweet It Is: Social Tweeters
• Identifying Substance Abuse Among Clients With Intellectual Disabilities
• Africa: A Bucket Half Empty or a Bucket Half Full?


Please go to http://www.ceu4u.com/tnsw for availability of CE credits for past issues (Fall 2006-Fall 2008 available now). You will receive a 15% discount on ALL CEU4U courses that you take after you follow the above link.


THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER’s page on facebook now has 3,200+ fans! You can be one of our fans, too! Go to http://www.facebook.com/newsocialworker and log in to your account (or create one), and you will be able to register as a fan of our page. You will then be able to receive special notices and take part in discussions on the page.


If you are looking for a professional social work job, or looking to hire a social worker, be sure to visit our online job site, SocialWorkJobBank.com (http://www.socialworkjobbank.com) today.


We are looking for articles from social work practitioners, educators, and students! We especially want manuscripts that present social work ethics, field placement, and practice specialties in an educational, creative, and readable format. Articles are typically 1,500-2,000 words and are written in an educational, conversational tone, as if you are sitting down with a colleague to talk about a social work issue.

We also want short news items about student social work clubs/organizations, as well as other social work-related news, with photos.

Additionally, we will consider poetry, artwork, and other forms of creative work that relate to social work!

The deadline for consideration for the next issue is August 15. Please send all submissions and/or ideas to me at: lindagrobman at socialworker dot com

Please let your colleagues, classmates, and/or students know about THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER, and the fact that it is a FREE social work resource. Feel free to pass along the download links above, and let them know that they can subscribe free to receive notifications of future issues.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thank you!