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Current News and Events in Social Work

Check out recent articles, events, research and presentation opportunities in the world of Social Work

Celebrate Social Work Month!

Attention all Social Work Students!  March is Social Work Month.  The Department of Social Work would like you to come and celebrate a profession that has been around for more than a century.
Our own Social Work Department has a strong history that dates back to 1974!  We our proud of our students and faculty and want to celebrate our profession.

We will be having a hygiene drive to support The Cabinet on campus through a toothbrush/toothpaste collection. The faculty has challenged the Student Social Work Association (SSWA) to a competition to see which group can raise the most items.
We will have treats in the Social Work office, Swart 230, on March 17th and March 19th.  Wear your social work gear, bring a toothbrush/toothpaste to the Social Work office and enjoy a treat.

Student Loan Forgiveness for Public Service

To be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, a federal student loan borrower must work full time in the public or nonprofit sector for 10 years and make 120 on-time monthly payments in a qualifying repayment plan. After 10 years of qualifying payments, the federal government forgives the remaining loan balance. Learn more about options for student loan forgiveness when you work in public service.

The ASWB social work licensing exams are changing in 2018

ASWB has released new blueprints for the social work exams based on the results of the 2015-2016 practice analysis. The 2017 Analysis of the Practice of Social Work report detailing the process and outcomes is now available for download. Licensing exams using the new blueprints will be launched on January 2, 2018. Until that date, test-takers will be tested using the current blueprints.

Fox Valley Veteran Suicide Awareness in the News

On March 28 2017 at the Appleton PAC, the Connect to Courage event took place. It was to bring awareness to the veteran suicide rate. The film Project 22 was screened, Prevent Suicide Fox Cities provided QPR training, and over 50 organizations had tables. Veteran organizations and Non-veteran organizations all cametogether to show veterans there is help out there they are not alone.

Veterans Court Mentors Aim to Change Lives

Read the March 15 2017 article regarding the Veterans Treatment Court here!

Aurora President Nick Turkal Responds to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Article

See his comments below:

On Sunday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran a story implying that the major Milwaukee area health care systems, including Aurora, are somehow “failing a moral test” by deciding to not engage in a more active management relationship with Milwaukee County in its behavioral health program.

I found the headline to be sensationalistic and the story to be a mischaracterization of what we at Aurora are doing from a behavioral health standpoint throughout our service area and in critical programs, such as our Better Together Fund charitable efforts.

I need to directly answer the question posed in the headline: “Milwaukee systems failing to pass a moral test?” by saying instead that I’m extremely proud of what Aurora is doing to address the behavioral health needs of the people and communities we serve, including in Milwaukee County. In fact, Aurora is the largest private provider of inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services in Wisconsin, with three inpatient facilities and more than 40 outpatient sites throughout eastern Wisconsin.

Aurora Behavioral Health Services’ clinical and professional staff cared for more than 43,000 patients in 2015. Some of these patients have been referred out of the County psychiatric emergency department enabling the County Behavioral Health Department to reduce its bed capacity. Working with all ages and diagnoses, we provided a full array of services to more than a quarter million patient encounters last year and operate Kradwell School, a private middle and high school specializing in serving students who have not succeeded in traditional settings, generally due to behavioral health-related concerns.

So to intimate in this story that we are failing a moral test or taking a pass on this critical component of health care because we are not in essence taking on the problems associated with Milwaukee County’s historically beleaguered mental health program represents a fundamental lack of understanding of our investment in behavioral health and the bid process itself. We recognize the need for a high acuity behavioral health hospital and psychiatric emergency department and support outsourcing these services. In fact, one year ago, each of the health care systems submitted joint feedback to the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Board. Along with the other systems, we acknowledged that there is indeed a need in the community for high acuity inpatient mental health care, and offered suggestions on how to advance a center of excellence. However, we also stated that a partnership model should be based on reasonable shared responsibilities. We asked the County to consider fully aligning the new hospital services with County-sponsored outpatient and community-based services to ensure continuity of care for County patients.

These concerns were shared directly with Chris Abele, Milwaukee County Executive, and Hector Colon, Director of the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services. This information was missing from the story. No further action was taken to revise the bid process and achieve these objectives.

To subsequently frame actions by the systems as motivated only by financial concerns bordered on the insulting.

We are proud of our accomplishments in expanding behavioral health access despite the national and local workforce shortages and a challenging environment in how we are paid to deliver care. We have also appreciated our longstanding partnership with Milwaukee County, which allows patients to be directed to the most appropriate care setting in a timely fashion. As we shared in written testimony to the Mental Health Board Outsourcing Committee, we are unable to consider broadening this partnership to accommodate the County’s request, as the County has yet to provide the clinical, financial and operational data necessary to adequately evaluate privatizing inpatient operations.

As was stated in the feedback provided one year ago, Aurora and other health systems remain committed to improving behavioral health access and care coordination across the community.

I recognize that sometimes the full story of what we at Aurora, as well as other local systems here are providing in behavioral health is not often told.  For your information, below are several examples.

  • Aurora Psychiatric Hospital campus—We are making excellent progress on our $35 million investment in infrastructure improvements and clinical expansion on our Wauwatosa campus to address growing demand for mental health care in the greater Milwaukee area.  This investment will include 18 new adult and adolescent inpatient beds, a new Addiction Treatment Residential Center and Transitional Living Center, along with 20 new professional staff.
  • New Outpatient Mental and Substance Abuse Therapy Access Points—Our investment in mental and behavioral health also includes three new hospital-based outpatient centers throughout eastern Wisconsin, including one in Milwaukee County. The centers offer intensive outpatient programming, partial hospitalization and substance abuse services. The Milwaukee County center includes five new outpatient therapists and a psychiatric nurse practitioner who specializes in children and adolescents.
  • Health Psychology Residency Program at Aurora Sinai Medical Center—The Health Psychology Residency Program at Aurora Sinai Medical Center matched three residents for the 2015-2016 training year. One resident was hired full-time and started in September. We matched four additional residents for the 2016-2017 training year.
  • Maternal Addiction Recovery Center at Aurora Sinai Medical Center—The Maternal Addiction Recovery Center (MARC) program at Aurora Sinai Medical Center has been conducting sessions to help expectant mothers with substance addiction for over two years.
  • Aurora Better Together FundAurora has invested $8.8 million to support 53 community organizations to expand access to outpatient mental and behavioral health care and respond to acts of sexual assault and domestic violence throughout eastern Wisconsin.

Thank you for your time and attention to this issue.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have comments or questions



NASW-WI Seeks Student Representatives

The National Association of Social Work-Wisconsin, is looking for student reps to serve on our board. This is a 2 year term so the student must be a junior or if a graduate student, a foundation or advanced student who is part time, that is who would be able to serve ,while a student ,over a 2 year period. The student must be a student-member of NASW. (You can join by visiting our website).

There are 4 meetings over the course of the year, held in Madison, on Saturdays (12:00-4:30). There is an annual conference and other activities that you may be asked to participate in.

Please let Donna Altepeter ( know if you have questions and if you are interested in serving your professional, social work organization.


UWO Social Work Grad wins "Doing Right Reward"

HUGE congratulations to Emily Ruck, a Social Work grad, on your well-deserved win of the "Doing Right Reward" from Capital Credit Union! Read the full story on UW Oshkosh Today.

One Wisconsin Now

Learn more about how you can make a difference in the state's University budget crisis. One Wisconsin Now is for higher education, and lower debt.

Responses to Omnibus Motion #521, Item #39

Read PROFS and UWM Faculty Senate responses to omnibus motion #521, item #39

Play time can relieve stress for homeless children

A study by two University of Wisconsin Oshkosh researchers (including our own Dr. Fredi Giesler) indicates that play time helps reduce stress for both children and their parents living in homeless shelters. Read the full story.

by stoner90 — last modified Mar 11, 2020 02:44 PM