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News & Press: Updates for Members

North Carolinians Need You: Disaster Response Volunteer Opportunities

Friday, September 21, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Valerie Arendt
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Dear fellow NASW members,
 
I would like to thank the social workers and members of NASW North Carolina who have reached out to learn more about how they can help in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. Social work is clearly the right calling for you all and I applaud your commitment to assisting our fellow North Carolinians.
 
I would also like to thank North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and Secretary of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Mandy Cohen for their leadership and dedication to responding to this crisis in an incredibly organized and thoughtful manner by reaching out to associations and organizations across the state. The team at DHHS has been working hard to coordinate recovery efforts and has been in constant contact with NASW North Carolina since before the storm.
 
North Carolina is in need of behavioral health professionals:
 
 
How Behavioral Health Professionals Can Help:
 
North Carolina Behavioral Health Professionals Only:
  • Register with the North Carolina Disaster Response Network . Sign-up is hosted by the North Carolina Psychological Association. This includes all licensed behavioral health professionals (LCSWs, PhDs, LMFTs, etc).
  • Contact the American Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina, which is coordinating mental health volunteers.
  • Social workers in North Carolina seeking information on how to help should refer to NASW-NC's resources here and here.
Out-of-State Behavioral Health Professionals Only:
  • Register with your state's Emergency Management Department now. North Carolina's Office of Emergency Medical Services will reach out to other states for resources as needed in the coming months.
  • Register with the North Carolina Disaster Response Network. Sign-up is hosted by the North Carolina Psychological Association. This includes all licensed behavioral health professionals (LCSWs, PhDs, LMFTs, etc). 
  • Contact the American Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina, which is coordinating mental health volunteers.
How ANYONE can help:
  • Volunteer Opportunities - NC DHHS has collected, in one place, ways various health professionals can register to volunteer their service if needed.
Resources for Providers and Clients:
  • Food and Nutrition Program - DHHS has been granted flexibility in the state's Food and Nutrition Program that allows people to buy hot meals with their EBT card and allows more time for someone to report loss of food and be eligible for replacement.
  • WIC - DHHS has been approved to make an automatic issuance of one month of benefits onto the eWIC cards of WIC participants whose WIC offices have been closed or are otherwise impacted by the storm.
North Carolina DHHS has also launched a NC Medicaid Hurricane Florence Response & Recovery webpage on the NC Medicaid website, that will continue to be updated as policies continue to be enhanced to assist recovery efforts, and to share other helpful information.
 
Disaster Resources for Immigrants
 
The NC Justice Center has developed flyers in English and Spanish, regarding immigrant eligibility for FEMA, Disaster SNAP (food stamps), and other disaster benefits. The flyer also discusses which benefits are available to tenants, to homeowners, and to those "renting to own," and provides links to disaster resources and immigrant eligibility information available in English and Spanish from Ready NC, FEMA, Legal Aid of NC, NC Justice, NILC, and more.
 
 
Thank you again for your NASW membership and your dedication to the profession. Please share with your colleagues and encourage them to volunteer and join their professional association. We need their voice.
 
Please stay in touch and let me know how you are helping, or recovering yourself, in the days and months ahead.

Be well,
Valerie Arendt, MSW, MPP
Executive Director
varendt.naswnc@socialworkers.org

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