News

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Every Monday night, teenage Latina girls meet at the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center in Milwaukee, WI. They participate in the SEED Program (Self-esteem. Empathy. Empowerment. Discovery of Self) Program, a support group led by alum Melissa Waldo.

 

The group allows Latina teens to learn new skills and support each other as they confront life events that cause stress and challenges. As Melissa explains:

 

“Typically, (the girls) are referred by a colleague in behavioral health or by a medical provider, They may have had some change in their life that adversely affected them — a parent left, or they changed schools, and they can’t sleep or are moody....

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Percy Brown, Jr.

In today’s social and political climate, confronting issues around building a more racially equitable society are as important as ever. On Monday, January 30th the School of Social Work hosted the 3rd annual “Social Workers Confronting Racial Injustice Conference,” one of many events the School hosts to engage with the community and students on racial injustice.

 

Around 400 students, faculty, staff, and community members attended over a dozen workshops and innovation panels focusing on this year’s theme: “Engaging in racial and social justice action; the intersectionality of Race, Mental Health, and Poverty.” Attendees also listened to keynote addresses from Armando Hernandez, Ph.D., Assistant Director of Integrated Health for the Madison Metropolitan School District, and Percy Brown, Jr., Director of Equity and Student Achievement for the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District. Both presentations will soon be publicly available on the School of Social Work YouTube page.

 

“The conference aimed to present a large variety of ways to work on racial and social justice from many perspectives,” comments event co-organizer Jenny...

Monday, January 30, 2017

Lawrence Berger, professor of social work, director of the School of Social Work Doctoral Program and director of the Institute for Research on Poverty, was selected for the 2016 School of Social Work Faculty Achievement Award.

 

School of Social Work Director Stephanie Robert stated that Berger has made considerable contributions as an excellent and productive colleague, an accomplished researcher, a strong mentor, and a helpful and supportive member of the School of Social Work faculty.

 

Berger studies how socioeconomic factors (family structure and composition, economic resources) and public policies influence parental behaviors and child and family wellbeing. His recent research focuses on the roles of factors such as family complexity, consumer debt, and housing (in)stability vis-à-vis individual and family functioning, parenting, and child development....

Monday, January 23, 2017

Social Work Professors Kristen Slack and Lonnie Berger, along with their colleague Jennifer Noyes, are the editors of a special issue of Children and Youth Services Review bringing together research that addresses the role of income and material resources on child maltreatment behaviors and involvement in the child protection system. The papers were originally presented at a workshop hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Institute for Research on Poverty on the "Economic Causes and Consequences of Child Maltreatment.”

 

For decades, researchers have established a strong link between poverty and child maltreatment, but the set of studies published in this special issues is the first to address the other half of the battle – the causal mechanisms behind the economic factors that are strongly associated with child maltreatment, either as a risk factor or an outcome. As Professor Slack notes, "When people think about child abuse and neglect, they tend to focus only on deficiencies in parenting behaviors, and not a broader set of stressors that can create or exacerbate risk for children. Poverty and economic hardship need to be systematically considered in our efforts to prevent maltreatment or lessen its consequences. For...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Alejandra Ros Pilarz, assistant professor at the School of Social Work, has received a $50,000 grant from the Madison Education Partnership in support of a year-long project titled “Family Engagement in Madison’s 4K Program: Implications for Children’s School readiness.”

 

The Madison Education Partnership is a collaboration between the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) and the Metropolitan School District. The WCER works to improve education outcomes for diverse student populations, to positively impact education practice, and to foster collaboration among academic disciplines and practitioners.

 

Pilarz’s project aims to investigate the impact that family engagement has on children’s school readiness in the Madison Metropolitan School District’s four-year-old kindergarten program. She hopes to learn about strategies kindergarten site directors and teachers implement in facilitating communication with parents and keeping them involved, how these strategies impact school attendance, and how parents perceive and experience family engagement strategies. The project is designed to identify promising methods for family engagement and support in preschool programs, as well as possibilities for intervention to improve family...


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