Action Alert: Medicaid Expansion

17 Oct

Social Workers: Please join thousands of Ohioans to ask legislative leaders and Controlling Board members to make Ohioans more competitive, create good jobs, and make Ohio’s economy stronger by approving funding for Medicaid expansion.

There is a lot of pressure from a small, but vocal opposition, so we need you to act now!

Call legislative leaders and Controlling Board members using the call script below.

  • Senate President Keith Faber (614) 466-7584
  • Speaker of the House Bill Batchelder (614) 466-8140
  • Sen. Tom Sawyer (614) 466-7041
  • Sen. Bill Coley (614) 466-8072
  • Rep. Ron Amstutz (614) 466-1474
  • Sen. Pro Tempore Chris Widener (614) 466-3780
  • Rep. Chris Redfern (614) 644-6011
  • Rep. Cliff Rosenberger (614) 466-3506

Call Script: I support the expansion of Medicaid coverage because it will create 30,000 new jobs, and it will help Ohioans become more competitive and live better lives. Please approve funding for Medicaid expansion at the Ohio Controlling Board meeting on Monday. I believe the time to act is now. I thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration and again urge a “Yes” vote on Monday.

For more information about the Medicaid Expansion and current advocacy efforts, please visit the NASW Ohio Chapter web page here.

Action Alert: Medicaid Expansion


Social Work Takes Heart: A Non-Traditional Student’s Back to School Story

27 Aug

By Harold Brown
NASW Member

We started at Youngstown State University (YSU) in January of 2008 and graduated together August 17, 2013. Darlene received a BSW and I received an AAS in social work. Going back to school later in life was intimidating, but we found that by using YSU services, getting to know our teachers, and especially getting to know our fellow students, we were able to achieve academic success. We both finished with a 3.3 GPA, which is not bad for two students who had been out of school many years. I am 67 and Darlene is 56. We found that trust in God, hard study, an open mind, and encouragement from friends, family, YSU staff, and fellow students helped us greatly.

We were featured on the front page of our local newspaper, The Vindicator, the day of graduation; this was more than we had expected. Extended family and members from our church, St. Timothy Missionary Baptist Church in Cleveland, travelled to Youngstown to support us. I was most proud of my wife, Darlene, walking across the stage to receive her degree because of the effort I know she put forth to receive her BSW. Darlene plans to seek employment working with the homeless, displaced families, women, and children, and I plan to seek a certificate in alcohol and drug counseling. To those over 25 (non-traditional students) we would both like to say: go forth with your education; ask for help and you will receive it. We have found that social work is not just a career that requires your mind; to be a good social worker you must first have a social work heart.

Present Your Research at the NASW Ohio Chapter Annual Conference

9 Aug

By Courtney Diener
Former NASW Ohio Chapter Intern

Completing and presenting research at a conference may seem daunting, but I, an undergraduate student, did it and so can you! Let me share the steps I took to complete my research and submit it to the NASW Ohio Chapter Annual Conference.

Why Do Research?

  • Research allows you to build on your classes and grow your expertise in social work.
  • Completing research allows you to build relationships with your professors and makes you a great candidate for graduate programs and future jobs.
  • It is also good for the profession. Every time social workers engage in research, we get to know our clients a little bit better and we become more prepared to work in the social work field.

When starting research, I learned it does not always mean large complicated projects that cost thousands of dollars to survey large numbers of people. Projects vary and can be as significant as you wish. I chose to observe at a local senior citizen center to study the impact of interactions with people from the college generation on older adults. I knew my research would not be mind-blowing or change the way we look at society, but the results of the research could encourage the senior center to create programs that feature enhanced interactions with older adults.

Important Steps:

1. Pick your topic.

What is interesting to you? What might be needed on your campus or with populations you are interested in? If possible, tie your research to a class. Some professors may even offer college credit for research projects.

2. Consult your program faculty.

Does anyone in your faculty have similar interests? They can be great sources of information and help. Many professors will be happy to help you complete the project because it is good for you as a student and can be beneficial for the department.

3. Consult your campus research offices.

Many campuses have offices dedicated to research. This is where you will likely find information about funding. Some universities offer grants and scholarships for students to cover the cost of research. If no funding is available and you still think you will need funding, search for outside agencies that may be interested your research. Also consider using free survey generators and systems that may reduce costs.

4. Create a plan on how you will conduct your research.

Who should be involved? How will you gain participants? What is your hypothesis and how will you measure results? How will you gain consent from participants? Who will benefit from your research? This is where you work out the details needed to complete your research.

5. Seek permission to conduct your research.

When working with human subjects, you need to seek approval from your university’s Institutional Review Board. The IRB is a group of individuals who work for the university to ensure that the research is safe and does not harm participants. The IRB will help ensure you get the consent you need for your research project. You also want to update your program so they are aware of your research project. Make any adjustments needed to complete your research.

6. Conduct your research and conclude your findings.

Implement your research plan. Record any challenges or issues you find in your plan for further research. Summarize your findings. What did your research tell you? Was there anything new or surprising? Did your research support or reject your hypothesis? What can be taken away from your research?

7. Submit to present at a conference.

Follow the conference deadlines. Sometimes, this step will actually occur before your research has been conducted. If this is the case, send in your plan for completing your research with your hypothesis. You can apply to present your research at the NASW Ohio Chapter Annual Conference at

8. Create your presentation.

If accepted, review the conference requirements for creating your presentation. Some conferences will accept you to present a workshop, some will ask you to present a poster and some will ask you to submit a paper presentation. Posters can be created at office stores and print shops. Some universities have their own preferred office shops that offer discounts to students. Make sure your poster is professional and meets the requirements of the conference. Learn more about poster presentations at the NASW Ohio Chapter conference at

9. Present.

Follow the details given on presenting at the conference. Be professional and arrive on time. Be prepared to explain your research to conference-goers who may be interested in your research and ready to answer questions. Social workers will be interested in the research you are doing as it impacts the work that they do! Send thank you letters to the people who helped you research and put the experience on your resume. Make sure to share your results with any interested organizations and groups that may benefit from the information.

If you need additional information contact your professors or email the NASW Ohio Chapter at or visit We look forward to seeing your poster presentation proposal and look forward to seeing you at the conference November 21-22, 2013 in Columbus.

Access To Records by Social Workers’ Clients

24 Jun

Federal and state law, and the NASW Code of Ethics, all have requirements for the release of  records to the client.  From time to time  social workers receive requests from clients for access to the notes or records  of the professional services provided.   Social workers who have been rigorously trained to protect clients’  privacy may be alarmed or disturbed by such requests and concerned about how to  respond appropriately.  This Legal Issue  of the Month article will address the legal and ethical provisions regarding  client access to social workers’ professional records.  Requests for access to records by a third  party or by the parents of minors are not covered in this article and are  referenced in other LDF resources.

Read entire article that references Code of Ethics; HIPAA; State Law; Exemptions, including prevention of harm, information provided by third parties and more…

Legal Issue of the Month articles are a NASW members-only resource. Join NASW today to access this resource and many more member benefits, including access to significantly discounted professional liability insurance. Let NASW Professional Liability Insurance protect your license, your practice, your career. See why social workers needs liability insurance here. Get NASW Professional Liability Insurance today.

Another Tragedy Spurring Conversation & Action

8 Apr

By: Danielle Schmersal
NASW Ohio Chapter Membership Associate

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. After Steubenville, this is a particularly important year for Ohio to recognize this observance. What happened in Steubenville was a tragedy. But, much like Newtown, many times it unfortunately takes tragedy for society to start having the needed difficult conversations and to start taking necessary action.

We have had this difficult conversation about sexual assault before. In the 1990s, 13 sexual assaults occurred every minute in the U.S. THIRTEEN.  Efforts increased to create safer streets, to establish more programs to prevent sexual assault and to provide services for survivors. Reports of rape have decreased by 60 percent since 1993. So, now, only one rape occurs every two minutes. But, that’s still one rape every two minutes.

An estimated 1 in 5 women become a victim of sexual assault at some point in her life. I have heard this statistic since I was in high school—almost ten years ago. And, this is still the number? As a woman myself and as someone with many women in my life I know and love, I am not satisfied with 1 in 5. As a social worker and as an American, I am not satisfied with 1 in 5. What about children? 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will experience sexual assault before they reach age 18. Are we satisfied with those numbers? For men, it’s 1 in 33. With sexual assault and all the self-blame, humiliation, fear and shame that come with it, the real numbers are always higher. An estimated 63 percent of survivors never report the crime. We have to do better. We must do better.

A bright spot in the Steubenville tragedy is that—at least in Ohio—we have finally continued the sexual assault conversation. Representatives Nan Baker (R-Westlake) and Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) held a press conference on March 20, 2013 with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to announce the introduction of H.B. 108 as part of an innovative 5-year plan to establish and support rape crisis centers in all 88 Ohio counties (right now, only 27 programs provide services to 37 counties).

H.B. 108 sets aside $2 million for a trust fund to support rape-crisis programs. The bill also requires each person who registers as a convicted sex offender on the Sex Offender Registration and Notification database to pay a $100 fee, which is then deposited into the Rape Crisis Center Trust Fund administered by the Ohio Attorney General. Finally, the bill adds a representative of rape crisis centers as a member of the Safe Victims Assistance Advisory Committee.

The bill is not perfect. Further efforts to raise additional funding for rape crisis services are still needed. This legislation’s fee only raises $200,000 initially to be split by 27 programs. But, H.B. 108 represents an essential first step in helping both service providers and survivors get the resources they need. Let’s hope the conversation doesn’t stop there. Let’s not let the conversation stop there.

I will be collecting signatures in support of this legislation all month. If you would like to distribute the petition at work, on campus, and/or in your community, please email me at


Intervention Toolbox: Bibliotherapy

12 Mar

Amanda Limberty, MSSA, LISW-S

(reprinted from the Ohio School Social Work Association’s newsletter)

Greetings fellow school social workers! As a member of the Ohio School Social Work Association board, I want to share some interventions that you may find helpful in your own work.

Biobliotherapy has been very beneficial and effective in my work with children. When a child is struggling with a specific emotional/behavioral issue, school social workers can utilize various books to provide information about the issue, engage the child in conversation, create awareness that other children have similar problems, and provide realistic solutions to the problem. Books can be used to assist children who struggle to express their emotions and provides a “safety net” for children who are defensive or facing an emotionally intense issue, as books allow for a “safe” distance away from the child. Here are some of my favorite books to use with the kids, ENJOY!


Eagle Eyes

By: Jeanne Gehret


When Sophie Gets Angry, Really Really Angry

By: Molly Bang



By: Judith Caseley


Enemy Pie

By: Derek Munson


Dinosaurs Divorce

By: Marc Brown


When They Fight

By: Kathryn White


The Way I Feel

By: Janan Cain


How To Be a Friend

By: Marc Brown


Sad Isn’t Bad: A Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss

By: Michaelene Mundy


When a Parent Goes to Jail

By: Rebecca M. Yaffe and Lonnie F. Hoade


Listen Buddy

By: Helen Lester


Listen and Learn

By: Cheri J. Meiners


Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon

By: Patty Lovell


The Kissing Hand

By: Audrey Penn


Rainbow Fish

By: Marcus Pfister


Is A Worry Worrying You

By: Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz

Super Bowl 2013: More Than Just Football

31 Jan

ImageLauren Nutter
BSW Intern, NASW Ohio Chapter

The Super Bowl is a fun time for most everyone in the United States. In fact – Super Bowl Sunday has almost become an American holiday for many fans. More than 111.3 million people watched the Super Bowl in 2012. All the hype and excitement of athleticism, competition, loyalty and camaraderie lead up to one important Sunday for all sports enthusiasts: Super Bowl Sunday, a time when the season comes to a close. This year’s Super Bowl takes place in New Orleans; the city will be flushed with fans, media and athletes. In the mix of the crowd, in the shadows of the celebrations, there is a population no one will notice or talk about – victims of human trafficking and their pimps.

Super Bowl, like other events, brings an increased amount of human trafficking into our cities.  It has been called the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States. Due to the increase in travelers, supply and demand raises for sexual favors. Not only are victims brought to the city, but women and children are taken from the game and pulled into the sex trafficking ring. Most people who are buying services (also known as ‘Johns’) think that they are buying services from prostitutes who are of age and are choosing to be in that position. Sadly, most Johns do not understand that their purchase of services is only adding to an international growing social justice problem and human rights issue known as human trafficking.

As the city of New Orleans prepares for the largest sporting event in the country it is sad that no thoughts of ways to combat human trafficking will ever cross the minds of most people attending and enjoying the Super Bowl festivities.

Theresa Flores, a survivor of human trafficking, started an organization called S.O.A.P which stands for: Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution. S.O.A.P uses actual bars of soap as an outreach promotion. These bars of soap are covered in a wrapping with the human trafficking hotline (for help) as well as pictures of missing women and children who are in the human trafficking ring. S.O.A.P visits the city where the Super Bowl occurs and distributes bars of soap to hotels, motels and other places where ‘acts of service’ might take place. S.O.A.P also distributes flyers and other promotional materials that week and weekend to raise awareness of suspicious activity. The effect that S.O.A.P has already had is monumental.

If you are one of many people attending the Super Bowl this year, take time to be aware of your surroundings, realizing that Super Bowl weekend is about more than just football. For more information about S.O.A.P and for ways to get involved please visit the S.O.A.P website.