Perspectives on Social Work: 2017

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This collection gathers content from two volumes of Perspectives on Social Work published in 2017.


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Now showing 1 - 12 of 12
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    Perspectives on Social Work Volume 13 (Winter 2017)
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2017) Zhou, Shu; Crawford, Claire; Webb, Ann E.; Dettlaff, Alan J.
    This is the full-text volume of Perspectives on Social Work, vol. 13 (Winter 2017).
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    SPECIAL EDITION ISSUE: A Call to Action in Perspectives on Social Work EDITORIAL
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2017) Minott, Kenya R.
    The devastation of Hurricane Harvey and its impact on the community is something from which many Houston residents are still trying to recover. Moving toward any resemblance of “normalcy” requires strength and determination at the individual, family, and community level. At the Graduate College of Social Work, that strength and determination was felt immediately as faculty and students began working together to build a network of support among each other and a rapid response to the greater community. As a result, our editorial board felt it important to document the experiences of some of our doctoral students and faculty directly involved. Each submission was reviewed internally by our editorial board and faculty chair.
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    After the Storm: Reflections on Volunteering at Shelters after Hurricane Harvey
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2017) Zhou, Shu; Crawford, Claire
    As climate change increasingly devastates all areas of the globe through natural disasters, vulnerable populations are disproportionately affected. People with unstable housing, little income, and poor health prior to a major disaster will have access to even fewer resources after their homes, jobs, and environments have been destroyed. Natural disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey in Houston, Irma in Florida, Maria in Puerto Rico, fires along the West Coast of the United States, monsoons in India, and earthquakes in Mexico have ended and disrupted thousands of lives in 2017 alone. The effects of Hurricane Harvey drew social workers from the city of Houston, Texas, to volunteer in droves, whether at shelters, churches, homes, schools, food banks, or other places in need. It was inspiring to watch as social workers from macro and clinical settings, from administration and medicine, from private practice and schools appeared across the city to give their time.
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    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2017) Webb, Ann E.
    Ann Webb's personal experience going through Hurrican Harvey.
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    Reflections on a Storm
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2017) Dettlaff, Alan J.
    On August 25, 2017, when the University of Houston closed its campus in anticipation of Hurricane Harvey, I had no idea what was in store. Being still new to Houston, I had experienced rain and flooding, but had not yet experienced the impact of a storm of this nature. In the days that followed, it quickly became clear that we were experiencing what we now know was a historic weather event. I was personally very fortunate to live in a part of Houston that was not severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey. There was rain, but no significant flooding. However, I watched, along with the rest of the country, much of the city of Houston and its residents experience incredible devastation. Many students of the Graduate College of Social Work, and several faculty and staff, experienced significant flooding and many were forced to evacuate their homes and communities. While the extent to which personal property, including homes and other belongings, was lost among those impacted varied, the trauma experienced by all was significant. For our students, this trauma was heightened by the anxiety that already existed due to the start of the academic year, which had begun just one week prior to the storm. In the days that followed, many of our students expressed concerns about how Hurricane Harvey and the university’s closure would impact their assignments, due dates, completion of field hours, and even their timeline for graduation. During this time, I found that it was most helpful to be in regular communication with our students to assure them that accommodations would be made as a result of what now would be a shortened semester. Primarily, I wanted to ensure that our students focused on their health and their safety, and not be worried about school. To this end, I am greatly appreciative of the GCSW faculty and to the administration of the University of Houston, who uniformly emphasized flexibility and understanding as our students gradually adjusted back to the routine of the academic semester once the University of Houston campus reopened on September 5, 2017.
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    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2017) Carbone, Jason T.; McMillin, Stephen Edward; Addo, Reuben; Murphy, Erin Roark; Dhungel, Rita; Miller, Vivian J.; Petrovich, James
    This is the full-text volume of Perspectives on Social Work, vol. 13 (Summer 2017).
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    EDITORIAL – Social Work Values in Perspectives on Social Work
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2017) Mauldin, Rebecca L.
    Editorial for volume 13 of Perspectives on Social Work, by journal editor Rebecca L. Mauldin, LMSW
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    A Critical Approach: A Comprehensive Analysis of Socially Constructed Factors for Trafficking of Women in Nepal
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2017) Dhungel, Rita
    This paper explores socially constructed root causes of trafficking of women and children exploited in sex trade using the case of Nepal. As of yet no single study has attempted to examine gender violence that has escalated the trafficking of women and children from a social justice approach. Recognizing the dearth of literature and the need for further study to explore the multi-layer risk factors, as well as the increasingly oppressive culture and vulnerability for women and girls to trafficking, this research was initiated in collaboration with trafficking survivors exploited in sex trade. Employing a Participatory Action Research (PAR), focus groups, peer interviews and photo-voices were used as collective knowledge generation methods. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted to understand the issue of trafficking in depth. A comprehensive analysis of causal factors of trafficking of women and children as substantive outcomes of the study process are presented, grounded in individual narratives. Implications for social work education and practice are briefly highlighted in this paper.
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    Caring for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Institutional Care Facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Social Development Intervention
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2017) Addo, Reuben
    Although several studies have shown that children raised in institutional care facilities experience greater mental health symptoms than those raised in noninstitutionalized settings, children across sub-Saharan Africa are continually being placed in institutional care facilities. However, prior to the establishment of institutional care facilities, Africans relied on traditional cultural practices such as kinship fostering and shared child rearing to care for children, especially orphaned children. As traditional cultural practices continue to weaken, due partly to urbanization, institutional care facilities operated mostly by nonprofit organizations have become the primary alternative response to the care of orphans and vulnerable children. Traditional ways of intervening in cases of orphans and vulnerable children have been replaced with institutional care facilities, relegating the role of the extended family system. This paper examines institutional care facilities in the context of sub-Saharan Africa; in addition social development is suggested as a conceptual framework to finding alternative strategies to institutionalizing orphans and vulnerable children.
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    Social Impact Bonds: A Social Impact Investment Approach to Facilitating Community Development
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2017) Carbone, Jason T.; McMillin, Stephen Edward
    Community development is a field of practice that encompasses many disciplines and has special resonance for social work. Although the definition of the term community development is not consistent throughout the literature, this article proposes a definition that broadly conceptualizes the term as the synthesis of solidarity, agency, and community well-being. The role of social indicators to measure the impact of community development initiatives is discussed. Social impact bonds, a form of social impact investing, are presented as a tool to encourage a more holistic approach to community development. This is achieved by moving beyond individual program output measures and focusing on community-level outcomes. The limitations of social impact bonds are also discussed as is their relevance within the larger social work context.
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    Implications of an Emergency Diversion Collaboration Effort
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2017) Murphy, Erin Roark; Petrovich, James
    The overuse of emergency departments (EDs) presents a major burden to health care systems nationwide and individuals seeking services. Because health is a matter of both physical wellbeing and economics, it is important to consider how individuals access services and the costs associated with service use. This study examines an ED diversion collaboration implemented in Texas designed to divert lower acuity patients from EDs to more appropriate primary, urgent, dental, and in-home levels of care. Using secondary data, the study determined that approximately 29% (n = 388) of the 1,348 calls intercepted by the program were triaged to more appropriate levels of care, possibly resulting in significant cost avoidance for the hospital and collaborating partners. With over 25,000 emergency calls being made in the study area during the study period, increased diversion program resources could yield additional benefits for the community and individuals seeking care.
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    Book Review: Social policy for an aging society: A human rights perspective, by Carole B. Cox. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, 2015, 211 pages
    (University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, 2017) Miller, Vivian J.
    Worldwide the number of older adults is projected to grow at a faster rate than any other age group (Ortman, Velkoff, & Hogan, 2014) thereby making the critical examination of social policies directly impacting this population extremely important. Social Policy for an Aging Society: A Human Rights Perspective is the most recent social policy textbook authored by Carole Cox, PhD. Currently an associate professor of social work at Fordham University, Cox presents her third text in the context of the ethics and value sets of the social work profession. The text’s premise is that adults across the lifespan can actively contribute as members of society and that it is the job of a just society to foster and enable older adults to live their later years with dignity and respect. Moreover, Cox argues that it is equally as important for society to advocate for policies, programming, and services relating to older adults’ well-being. Throughout this text, Cox pays close attention to women and elder ethnic minorities, as they are both particularly atrisk subpopulations within older adults in America.