The 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work

12 grand challenges of social work
Make the most impact in the areas of greatest need The profession of social work aims to help people and advance the values of self-determination, diversity, human dignity, and social justice. But given today’s changing priorities and social issues, how can you focus your social work career on the areas of greatest need—with opportunity for professional growth? In fall 2016, the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare released its 12 Grand Challenges. It’s a “dynamic social agenda” for our profession’s work with individuals, families, and society. Learn how your current skills and interests fit in—and where to focus for future growth. And link through to delve deeper into a specific Academy challenge. The 12 Grand Challenges for…

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Program Director Spotlight: Jennifer O’Neil, MSW, LCSW – Social Work Program

Jennifer O’Neil, MSW, LCSW
Jennifer O’Neil, MSW, LCSW, is the Program Director for the Master of Social Work program at UNE Online. We spoke to her about the program, how she came to the field of social work, and her thoughts on preparing students for life after graduation. Can you tell me a little bit about your background and what drew you to UNE Online? My background is in social work. I earned my undergraduate degree in my late 30’s as an adult learner, and then was accepted and went directly into a Master’s of Social Work program. After I graduated with my MSW, I practiced at an agency that worked with substance users and people who are HIV positive. While I was practicing…

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Careers in Social Work: Now is the Time to Earn an MSW

MSW Careers
Now is the time to earn an MSW. The future is bright for social workers as the field of social work evolves to accommodate the ever-changing needs of vulnerable populations. Political turbulence, climate disasters, widening class divides, an increasing emphasis on mental health—these have all combined to open and solidify, a promising job market for social workers. As different populations across the world face unique struggles, social workers are primed to improve their conditions, health, and wellbeing. Despite global unrest, it’s a good time to be a social worker. Opportunities abound The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects social work employment to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026—faster than the average of all other professions. Although those entering the field…

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Alumni Spotlight: Dee Manatowa, MSW

Dee Manatowa, Student, MSW program
You could say it’s in her DNA. An Oklahoma Sauk Native, Dee Manatowa inherited her passion for social work along with a devotion to environmental justice. Her father—the late Chief Elmer Manatowa Jr. of the Sac and Fox Nation in Stroud, Oklahoma—instilled in her a love for all people and the Earth. As a tribal member, Dee knows all too well the intergenerational trauma that comes with finding your place in a society that is not your own. “I was born into a world that was foreign to me,” she explains. To add to the emotional burden, she says, “I’m not full blood, so I was rejected by both my tribe and greater society.” Like her father, Dee turned to…

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Social Work and Human Trafficking – Spotting the Signs, Ending the Crisis

Social Work and Human Trafficking
Social work and human trafficking are linked in that social workers have a unique and valuable role in the fight against human trafficking, helping victims and fostering a greater understanding around the issue. Victims of human trafficking A 15-year-old runaway in a rural roadside motel. A middle-aged man picking tomatoes in a Georgia field. A twenty-something woman babysitting children at a New York City playground. These seemingly disparate individuals have one thing in common: They’re among the estimated 27 million people in the world who are victims of human trafficking, in which vulnerable individuals are brought into sexual acts, labor, or other forms of exploitation through fraud, coercion, or the use or threat of force. Social workers are in a…

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Social Workers Help with Independence and Reintegration after Abuse

help for sex trafficking
What are the next steps after sex trafficking or domestic violence? Social workers help people regain their independence and reintegrate into society after escaping domestic violence or sex trafficking. How social workers help those who’ve escaped domestic violence or sex trafficking make the transition and heal For people who have experienced sex trafficking or domestic violence, escaping their dangerous circumstances is only the first step. Fresh challenges await in the struggle to heal and create stable lives afterward. Yet rehabilitation and reintegration resources for these victims are often limited, stretched thin, or nonexistent. Enter social workers. With their knowledge of trauma-based therapies, connections to community resources, awareness of intersectionality (including race, class, gender, and ethnicity), and passion for social justice,…

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Faculty Spotlight: Christine Rogerson, LCSW – Social Work Program

Christine Rogerson, Practicum Coordinator
Christine Rogerson, LCSW, is the Practicum Coordinator for the Master of Social Work program at UNE Online. She graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology from the University of Maine and went on to earn her Master of Social Work right here at the University of New England. Prior to teaching at UNE, Christine spent several years working in multiple clinical social work capacities, including work within the crisis system, inpatient hospitalization with children and adults, foster care, school social work and social work within the medical setting. Can you tell me a little bit about your background and what drew you to teaching at UNE Online? I’m actually an MSW grad from the University of New England! I really enjoyed…

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Faculty Spotlight: Mary White, LCSW – Social Work Program

Mary White, MSW Clinical Assistant Professor
Mary White, LCSW, is a Field Planner and Clinical Assistant Professor for the Master of Social Work program at UNE Online. She graduated with a BA in Behavioral Science from the University of Maine in Presque Isle and earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Maine at Orono. For 18 years Mary was employed at a community mental health center working in both clinical and administrative social work, in charge of a staff of 100+ people. She also worked for four years at a high school, providing support and social work services to approximately 500 students. She has been working full-time for UNE since June of 2011. Prior to her full-time position with the University, she was

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Children of Abuse - How Social Workers Help Them Heal 

Children of Abuse
Abuse takes many forms, and child victims may experience it differently. Whether they are victims of violence themselves or witnesses, even audibly, the effects can last a lifetime. There are many reasons that parents stay in abusive relationships— and it’s often mothers, who represent up to 85% of the victims of domestic abuse, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The reasons for staying in an abusive relationship include a fear of retribution, the inability to provide for children alone, the belief that abuse is normal or deserved, lack of resources, and simply nowhere to go. But even if they flee, the damage of domestic violence may already be done, posing a serious threat to children’s emotional, psychological, and…

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Tackling Three Misconceptions of Domestic Violence

Children of Abuse
Opening our eyes to domestic violence and helping victims requires a deeper understanding – because reality is far more complicated than common conceptions. Domestic Violence fact: One in four women, and one in seven men, will be victims of domestic violence in the U.S. in their lifetime, according to the CDC. For women globally, the number is 35 percent. Understanding the complete definition of domestic violence The U.S. Department of Justice defines domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship, used by one partner to gain or preserve power and control over another intimate partner. This behavior can involve physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats. Social and economic costs are huge Misconceptions…

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Alumni Spotlight: Darryl Vincent, MSW

Darryl Vincent, MSW Student
Darryl Vincent is living proof of the power of integration. Working full-time as the then-Vice President of Programs at the U.S. Veterans Initiative while earning his MSW at UNE Online, Darryl applied his education to the workplace the moment he signed off from class. Now a COO, Darryl credits his UNE Online teachers for the successful changes he’s implemented at his organization — and the improvement of veterans’ lives across the country. Finding a path to service Education was always important to the Vincent family, as they believe that the more investment you put in, the more you get in return. Growing up in New York and the Washington, D.C. area, Darryl earned his bachelor’s degree, as both his parents…

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How to End the Domestic Violence Cycle

Domestic Violence Cycle Infographic
Empathy and action are a powerful combination – Social Workers protect victims and children by intervening. How does the cycle of domestic violence start? How does it become so insidious that millions of victims stay in abusive relationships and homes? How do we make it stop? The Cycle of Violence was identified by psychologist Dr. Lenore Walker in 1979 when she interviewed 1,500 female survivors of domestic violence and discovered that each of them described a similar pattern of spousal abuse. Her work spurred wide recognition of this global issue. The source of the problem Power and control are at the root of abusive relationships. The Power and Control Wheel is a time-tested tool used to help people understand why,…

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Focusing Your Future: Which MSW Concentration Will You Choose?

MSW Concentrations
Starting Summer 2020, these three specializations will be combined and our MSW will become an integrated clinical program. Students who start their MSW degree in or after the Summer 2020 semester will enroll in this integrated clinical program. Students who have enrolled in one of these specializations prior to Summer 2020 will complete their degree in that specialization. As a part of our ongoing high-quality education in social work, community- and clinical-focused electives will continue to be available for all MSW students to take. The three MSW concentrations at UNE Online allow you to plan ahead and focus your degree so it’s the best fit for your future career. Everyone pursues social work for different reasons, but many do so…

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Faculty Spotlight: Wanda Anderson, LCSW – Social Work Program

Wanda Anderson, MSW Professor
Farming is not for the faint of heart. Growing up poor on a small potato farm in northern Maine, Wanda Anderson and five siblings started working in the field at age 7. Now a clinical professor of social work at UNE Online, Wanda would carry that agrarian work ethic throughout college and her 26-year career. Potatoes may not have been her passion, but helping people—particularly struggling families like her own—was. Finding her passion As a first-generation college student at the University of Maine, Wanda had a truly eye-opening experience learning from peers and professors from across the country—further broadened during an exchange program in Reno, Nevada her second year. But graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, she had trouble…

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Social Work: Making a difference with PTSD Treatments

Social Work PTSD Treatments
PTSD treatments—and hope—abound as social workers help clients. As the National Center for PTSD states, there is no single treatment that will work for everyone for post-traumatic stress disorder. So to help people experiencing PTSD, social workers engage on multiple fronts. They’re researching promising treatments and honing and adapting accepted practices for new groups and environments. They may be part of a team in hospital care helping identify the most effective medication for a client, working with children’s or veteran’s associations, or helping individual clients, every day. “Social workers must look to expand their therapeutic repertoire to meet clients ‘where they are,’ not force the treatment to fit the client,” wrote Claudia J. Dewane, EEd, LCSW, of Temple University, in…

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Five Social Work License Myths: BUSTED

Social Work License Myths
Get the facts on social work license regulations and requirements Do you need a social work license? How do you get it? Is it worth it? Licensing in social work has become a source of confusion and misinformation, especially given the evolving process and varying requirements. But fear not! Here we examine the truth behind five licensure beliefs. Belief #1 All social workers must obtain a social work license FALSE This is a common misconception. Licensing regulations vary from state to state, with some requiring licensure, some requiring certification, some requiring registration—and most being tricky to navigate. Check out UNE’s State Licensing Requirements to find requirements for the state you want to practice in and to see if you’ll need…

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Meet Our Team: Lisa Shaker

Lisa Shaker, Senior Student Support Specialist
At UNE Online students are our top priority, and their success is what drives each and every one of us to do what we do.  We’d like to share a little bit about the people that are dedicated to making that happen every day. Meet Lisa Shaker Lisa is a Senior Student Support Specialist at UNE. Sometimes Lisa feels like she never left college; after graduating from the University of New Hampshire with her BA in Communication, Lisa immediately started a career in higher education, working at Dartmouth College, the University of Maine School of Law, and Southern New Hampshire University before joining UNE in 2014. Lisa even went on to earn her MS in Higher Education Administration from New…

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Social Work Licensure: To license or not to license?

Social Work Licensure
The great social work licensure debate With social work changing, it’s important to ask: As an emerging social worker, do you want a license? There may be as many different views about social work licensure as there are social workers. It’s a perennial topic of discussion and debate. But the wider range of possibilities opening up in the profession have further complicated that debate. To make this decision for your future, you’ll need to consider these factors: what a license really means, what you want, what your future employers want, and what you value. The true purpose of social work licensure Social work licensure was established by states to protect their residents. Period. A license requires social work practitioners to…

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Social Work - Career Opportunities in a Wide Range of Areas

Social Work Careers
Social Work is a caring career — and social workers earning their MSW are able to pursue their ambitions to be a political leader or boss, to drive organizational transformation or create game-changing programs, or even carve out a place in the C-Suite. An education in social work gives you an extraordinary set of in-demand, future-friendly skills, ranging from research design and data analysis to team leadership and crisis management. Here are a few of the top areas where these skills are needed most. Senior living This field must recruit 1.2 million new employees by 2025, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, crunched by Argentum, the nation’s largest senior living association. And social workers will be key among…

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