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School briefs

Assistant professor Cindy Fraga Rizo has been awarded a two-year $285,000 grant to develop a project aimed at raising awareness and preventing human trafficking by helping schools identify and respond to victims. Rizo is working with School of Social Work professor Rebecca Macy and Department of Maternal and Child Health professor Sandra Martin on the project, which is funded by the Governors’ Crime Commission. To develop the program and protocol, the team will: research model programs across the United States, including North Carolina; survey middle and high school principals in the state to document current services and explore suggestions for program/protocol content, structure, and logistics; and conduct interviews and focus groups with stakeholders across the state, such as advocates, school personnel, law enforcement, criminal justice, survivors, youth, and parents. The program/protocol will be revised based on expert feedback. Rizo and her colleagues will also work with the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault to develop a training workshop and to plan for the project’s statewide rollout.

Kim Strom-Gottfried recently worked with the National Association of Social Workers to draft revisions to the NASW Code of Ethics to address changes in technology and to update the Policy on Impaired Professionals.

Wanda Reives was the plenary speaker and a workshop presenter at the 15th Annual Mississippi Child Welfare Institute Conference on Feb. 9. The conference was sponsored by the Jackson State University School of Social Work, College of Public Service. The theme for the conference was “Rethinking Child Welfare Services: Forging New Direction Through Community-Based Partnerships.” Speakers and presenters provided participants an opportunity for meaningful engagement, sharing of knowledge and skills and educational networking. Discussions focused on evidenced-based translational research and best practices that are vital to our work with families and child in child welfare.

MSW students Shane Phillips, Jennifer Mossefin, Alli Schad, and Christine Shaw have been selected for the Minority Fellowship Program for Addiction Counselors, which is sponsored by the NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals. The NAADAC represents the professional interests of more than 85,000 addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused healthcare professionals in the United States. The goal of the fellowship program is to reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health care outcomes for racially diverse populations. This program aims to address current challenges in the addictions profession pertaining to human infrastructure development, cultural misalignment between addiction professionals and the populations they serve, and insufficient training of addiction professionals. The program awards tuition stipends to support master’s students in completing their addiction/substance use disorder education, so that they can enter into the addiction profession, and engage in treating underserved communities, including minority and LGBT populations, and transition age youth (ages 16-25).