NASW to Educate Social Workers, Others About Adolescent Brain Development

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has developed training resources that will give child welfare workers, social workers, foster parents, and others who work with older youth critical information about how the adolescent brain develops.

The knowledge professionals acquire through NASW’s Integrating Adolescent Brain Development into Child Welfare Practice with Older Youth curriculum will help older youth – especially those in foster care or involved in the child welfare system – obtain the skills they need to overcome past trauma and become successful adults.

“Many people do not realize that the brains of youth continue to develop until they are in their mid-twenties. Using this knowledge can create opportunities for positive youth development and acquisition of new skills, decreasing impulsive behavior or poor life decisions,” said Joan Levy Zlotnik, PhD, ACSW, Director Emerita NASW Social Work Policy Institute.

Each year more than 23,000 children age out of the foster care system in the United States. Many have missed the opportunity to have stable schooling, friendships, and/or lack family support. Odds are higher, they will become incarcerated, single parents, drop out of college or have trouble finding stable jobs and housing.

The curriculum was created in keeping with the Casey Foundation’s Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative’s commitment to “Train and equip practitioners to understand the role of trauma and racism, and employ effective practices to help young people understand their experiences and develop effective strategies for healing and growth.”

However, the training will have a much wider impact. It can be a resource for professionals who provide mental health and health care services to adolescents; those who work in schools or juvenile justice facilities; and social work faculty who are training new generations of social workers to work with older youth.

“The period of brain development in adolescents provides a critical opportunity to help young people grow through learning experiences and heal from trauma they may have experienced,” Zlotnik said. “That is why this curriculum and the accompanying resources are so important and we hope is shared as widely as possible.”

To learn more about adolescent brain development, join the NASW Integrating Adolescent Brain Development webinar on August 25 at 2 p.m. ET or on demand or visit the curriculum website for more information.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.

NASW Endorses Joe Biden for President

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) enthusiastically endorses Joe Biden for president in 2020. During his nearly 45-year career in public office, including as a U.S. Senator and Vice President, Mr. Biden has demonstrated a consistent commitment to advancing the mental health and social justice causes that are central to NASW’s mission.

Mr. Biden began his public service career as a county council member in New Castle, Del. He served in the United States Senate from 1973 to 2009 and as Vice President of the United States under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017.

While in the Senate, Mr. Biden supported the expansion of the state Children’s Health Insurance Program and much-needed improvements in mental health services for Veterans. He also played a key role in the passage of gun violence prevention legislation including the Brady background check bill and the subsequent ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. In addition, he wrote and spearheaded the original Violence Against Women Act.

As Vice President, Mr. Biden championed the Affordable Care Act and was a vocal supporter of marriage equality for LGBTQ individuals.

In his Build Back Better proposal, unveiled during his current campaign for president, Mr. Biden has articulated urgently needed plans to address simultaneous health, racial and economic crises that are besetting our nation.

“The 2020 election will be among the most consequential in American history,” said Angelo McClain, Chief Executive Officer of NASW. “Joe Biden brings the bold vision and extensive national and global leadership experience that will be imperative in propelling our country forward”.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.

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