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Brian Canfield, ACA Past President and Nominations and Elections Chair, and Richard Yep, ACA Executive Director, announced February 17th that Dr. Marcheta Evans has been elected the 59th President of the American Counseling Association. Dr. Evans competed for the national leadership role with three other distinguished candidates: Brad Erford, Michael Hutchins and Michael Lazarchick.
Dr. Evans is the Department Chair and an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She will begin her term as President-Elect on July 1, 2009. Congratulations to Dr. Evans and sincere appreciation to her fellow candidates.
On Tuesday, February 17, President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 1, "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009," a measure intended to stimulate the economy through a combination of government spending and tax cuts. The legislation passed both the House of Representatives (by 246-183 vote) and the Senate (by a 60-38 vote) on Friday, February 13.
The legislation will pump $787 billion into the economy through a combination of government spending and tax cuts. Much of the spending will be devoted to "bricks and mortar" projects. However, the package contains billions of dollars in spending in support of health, education, and social services programs, and in support of state and local government. Consequently, while the stimulus package does not include funding targeted specifically at counselors (or any other type of provider), its investments should make possible increased support for counseling services and staff.
Counselors working with clients or in settings affected by the stimulus funding need to be aware of the following areas of spending focus:
More than half of all Americans see college degree attainment as their "ticket" to the middle class. At the same time, a growing number see the achievement of that goal as out-of-reach or significantly more difficult to realize. These are the findings of public opinion research by the Public Agenda and the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education Policy.
In their latest survey, "Squeeze Play: How Parents and the Public Look at Higher Education Today," the two groups monitored two different trends: the necessity of higher education and the availability of higher education.
Congress and President Obama took an important step forward at the beginning of February with the enactment of legislation to bolster the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). SCHIP is a joint federal-state program providing health insurance coverage for uninsured children in families making too much money to qualify for Medicaid. An estimated 7 million children are currently covered under SCHIP. The reauthorization legislation recently enacted will extend the program through 2013, and authorize an additional $32.8 billion in spending, allowing SCHIP to cover 4 million more children who otherwise would not have access to health insurance. Unfortunately, even with the added spending, an estimated 5 million U.S. children will still be without health insurance.
Of importance to ACA and AMHCA members, the legislation prohibits SCHIP plans from setting lower treatment limitations or higher financial requirements on coverage of mental health or substance use services than are used for other health services. This provision clarifies that the mental health and substance abuse parity law passed by Congress last year fully applies to SCHIP.
House Committee Weighs In on VA Law Implementation, Department of Veterans Affairs Announces Key Step Forward
Two years ago, President Bush signed into law legislation explicitly recognizing both licensed professional counselors and marriage and family therapists as mental health providers within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. Unfortunately, the VA has very little to show for two years of implementation work, at a time when mental health care professionals are desperately needed to meet veterans' mental health care needs.
ACA and the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) recently collaborated with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and the California Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT) in enlisting the support of the House Veterans Affairs Committee for speedier implementation of the counselor and MFT recognition law. House Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Bob Filner (D-CA), joined by thirteen of his fellow committee members, wrote to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, asking him to finalize the agency's recognition of the two professions. A copy of the letter is posted here (PDF). ACA and AMHCA are grateful for the interest and support shown by Chairman Filner on this issue.
It appears to have had an impact. After the House Veterans Affairs Committee letter was sent, ACA and AMHCA learned that the VA has decided to request the development of at least one new federal occupational category for counselors and marriage and family therapists. Establishment of a federal occupational category for counselors has been a long-standing goal of ACA and AMHCA, and the VA's announcement is welcome news. ACA and AMHCA are continuing to work closely with AAMFT and CAMFT on implementation of the VA law, including both the agency's request for new occupational categories and interim steps to allow the hiring of counselors and marriage and family therapists into clinical and supervisory positions within the VA health care system. This joint work includes ongoing outreach to VA staff, both the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committee members and staff, and veterans service organizations and other consumer groups.
Inside Higher Education, a daily electronic newsletter emanating from Washington, reported on February 17th that educational and political leaders are kicking around the idea that one of the solutions to college affordability may be reducing the study time required attain an undergraduate degree. In "The Buzz and Spin on 3 Year Degrees," editor Scott Jaschik called the shortened study period the "higher ed equivalent of a fuel-efficient car."
It's hard to imagine a counselor or a counseling program today that isn't connected in some fashion to the public and profession via the Internet. More so than any other time in recent memory counselor and counseling websites aid in helping our publics understand whom we serve, where we are, what we do and other vital public awareness and advocacy matters.
Website creators and others seeking to enhance their web presence will find "12 Secrets to Website Success," by Janet Attard, founder and CEO of BusinessKnowHow.com, an excellent yard stick for measuring their website's purpose and the manner they connect to consumers. Let her dozen points become a check list of what and what not to do.
Topics have just been announced for the ACA Foundation's annual Graduate Student Essay Contest, open to all grad students in counseling or related programs. The winner will receive $500 and there are other valuable prizes, too. Essays must be submitted by May 1st and address one of the following questions:
A. Do you think there is an advantage to counselor education programs having students focus on a particular theoretical framework, or should counselor education promote a more wide-ranging and eclectic approach in training counselors?
B. Given how our country's demographics have changed in a variety of ways in recent years, do you think that the counseling profession has taken adequate steps to meet the needs of this nation's changing population? If yes, in what ways have counselors or counseling changed? If no, what needs to be done?
Students should write up to 750 word on one topic, and send their essay to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New Handbook of Administrative Supervision in Counseling
To meet the goal of delivering excellent, culturally responsive services to clients, successful administrative supervisors provide leadership to professional counselors, manage counseling services, and work effectively within their agencies. Whether you are a practicing, new, or aspiring first-line supervisor in a mental health agency, center, private practice, or school, The New Handbook of Administrative Supervision in Counseling is for you. It highlights the skills needed to fulfill 18 job responsibilities such as implementing your vision, advocating for services and staff members, navigating the politics inherent in work environments, building a team of staff members, managing budgets and other realities, and maintaining your own professional integrity and development. Useful forms are provided, as are self-directed exercises to facilitate personal reflection. Sponsored by the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group
2009 | 380 pages
February is Black History Month and time once again to honor the noteworthy achievements of African Americans in the nation's history through the annual ACAeNews Black History Quiz. Each member who answers the following four questions correctly will have his or her name placed in drawing to receive a copy of Multicultural Issues in Counseling: New Approaches to Diversity by Dr. Courtland Lee.
Send your correct answers to Frank Burtnett at email@example.com by midnight, Saturday, February 28th. The winner will be announced in the March 10th edition along with the correct quiz answers.
Searching for a first-time or new counseling position? Starting a private practice? Have an ethics question? ACA will be offering free Career Consults, Private Practice Consults, and Ethic Consults at the annual conference 10am - 6pm on Saturday and Sunday, March 19-20.
Conference registrants desiring a consult should contact Jason Wilke at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
If you are attending the conference, have a PhD, are license-eligible, and willing to relocate please send your resume to email@example.com. There will be a number of employers at the conference who would like to interview you!
If your agency has Masters-level positions available please have them contact firstname.lastname@example.org, they can conduct interviews or post their positions at the conference.
The Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development will honor past AMCD President Wyatt Kirk by staging a two-part inaugural service initiative to give back to Charlotte's richly diverse racial and ethnic adolescent communities. Service day participants will engage in adolescent outreach at a Charlotte jail and middle school. Conference attendees wishing to participate in these service activities should contact Sherlon Brown at 419.350.8421 or email@example.com for specific details about each effort.
Target Local Store Grants are available in the communities where the company's stores are located and funds can be used to support initiatives that strengthen families and keep communities safe, including family counseling, parenting classes, and similar efforts. Typical grants range from $1,000 - $3,000 and are accepted between March 1 and May 31, 2009 through the company's website.
The Entertainment Software Association Foundation is dedicated to supporting positive programs and opportunities that will make a difference in the health, welfare, and quality of life of America's youth. Grants are made to nonprofit organizations nationwide seeking support for projects that reach two or more states and serve youths ages 7-18. The foundation is particularly interest in initiatives that include skills and personal development, risk behavior prevention, general education, health and welfare. Application deadline is April 15, 2009.
The Helping Children of Domestic Violence Grant Program of the Avon Foundation supports nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. that assist children who have been exposed to or who are victims of domestic violence. The foundations is interested in programs that protect children from trauma around the issue of family separation and divorce in cases where their parents or caretakers are victims of domestic or dating abuse, including programs developed through collaborations between domestic violence service providers and legal service providers. Grants amounts range from $50,000 - $100,000, depending on the impact of the proposed program. Applications must be postmarked by April 1, 2009.
March 12-13, 2009
March 19-23, 2009
March 30-31, 2009
ACA divisions, branches, and regions are valuable sources of learning and professional development. Information on events will be posted approximately 8-10 weeks prior. This information is made available to ACAeNews via the ACA master calendar and the various organization web sites. Send calendar items to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide the sponsor, dates, site and contact person information. Information posted here is restricted to that sponsored by ACA divisions, branches, regions and related organizations.
ACAeNews is published 24 times annually by the American Counseling Association for the benefit of members across the counseling profession. Any reference to a product, service, activity, or listing of a website in ACAeNews does not imply endorsement by ACA. Any views and opinions are those of the sponsoring organization and may or may not be shared by ACA.
Direct comments, questions, and submissions to email@example.com. All submissions will be subject to review by ACA for accuracy, timeliness, and relevance to the readership and may be edited.
Colleen Logan, President
Richard Yep, CAE, Executive Director
Debra Bass, Director of Marketing and Communications
Frank Burtnett, NCC, NCCC, ACAeNews Editor
Don Kenneally, Internet Development / Production
ACA Website: www.counseling.org
Copyright 2009, American Counseling Association, 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone: 703-823-9800. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce anything contained in this newsletter as long as the American Counseling Association is identified as the original source of the information.
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