The world is becoming much smaller and more connected. Globalization in the economy and advances in technology have contributed to unprecedented interconnectivity across borders. Problems of the most fundamental concern to the profession of social work—social exclusion, growing inequities, access to essential resources, even problems we most visibly address as “clinical” ones, like interpersonal violence or substance abuse—all have cross-national elements and repercussions.
In this Conversation, Lambert and Josephs, who have collaborated on projects over the last 20 years, talk about why protection for work schedules is important, what’s in and what’s missing from the Schedules That Work Act, and what it takes for research to support and advance social change.
A growing body of research has shown that learning to regulate emotions—to manage feelings of anger, sadness or even joy—is a key part of human development. Research also suggests that this capacity is frequently impaired among children who have suffered from maltreatment, abuse or poor caregiving.
Residential care has become the “third rail” of child welfare, says Andrew Zinn, professor of social work at the University of Kansas. Roughly a quarter of all adolescents placed in substitute care by state or county welfare agencies live in group homes or other kinds of residential care facilities. This number has remained fairly constant for the past 20 years. But group homes or campus-like treatment centers are expensive, and some critics say residential care does more harm than good.
Fifteen years ago, programs to house the chronically homeless increasingly began turning to permanent supportive housing, or PSH, which combines subsidized housing with services to treat mental illness, substance abuse and other afflictions.
For two decades, SSA Professor Deborah Gorman-Smith has been studying and working in communities to combat youth violence, and she has seen a lot of programs fail. So it was with great pleasure that the director of the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention (CCYVP) unveiled the early results of her latest study to the Centers for Disease Control last year: Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, which historically had homicide rates three times higher than the city average, had shown a drop in those rates by 50 percent from 2010 to 2013. Similar high-crime Chicago neighborhoods showed little to no decrease over the same period.
In Israel, although military service is mandatory for Jewish youth after high school, the military can decline to enroll anyone who has physical, mental or behavioral problems, such as a criminal record. Studies have shown that fewer young people who have been in the Israeli child welfare system join the military than their peers—–and that many who do face difficulties adjusting to the service. It’s a telling sign of the fact that, as in the United States, youth who “age out” of the child welfare system can have difficulty acclimating to life on their own.
Adults with serious mental illnesses have been overrepresented in the criminal justice system for years. Recognizing this fact—and with a belief that ignoring their needs in criminal proceedings leads to poor outcomes, both socially and clinically—a number of programs have been introduced around the country over the past two decades.