Friday, June 28, 2013

SWAN UK: Social Work Activism in the 21st Century

Social Work Action Network (SWAN) London UK: Interview with Dan Morton

by Deona Hooper, MSW, June 28, 2013.

In the wake of austerity, there appears to be a resurgence of a social work movement to address the increasing inequities being forced upon vulnerable populations. Social Workers around the global are revisiting and taking notes from generations passed in how they responded in the onset of the civil rights movement
Recently, I interviewed Dan Morton who is on the steering committee for the Social Work Action Network (SWAN) in London, United Kingdom. We discussed how austerity policies by global governments are causing social workers to become more involved in politics. Here is our discussion:

SWH: What is SWAN, and What types of issues do SWAN focus on?

DAN: The Social Work Action Network (SWAN) is a radical campaigning social work organisation which was formed in the UK in 2004, and it sees itself in the tradition of 60′s/70′s radical social work movement and the magazine ‘Case Con’. What makes SWAN different from those days, is that we are a partnership of practitioners, service users, educators and students. While SWAN still has a large membership in the UK and rotates its national conferences here, it has a strong international focus – there are SWAN groups or similar organisations elsewhere in Europe, America, Asia and Australia.

SWAN sees the value in both collective practice and good relationship based individual social work, but understands that social workers must analyse and act upon the social problems they encounter with a close eye on structural and cultural influences on people’s lives. In the present international context, that means understanding austerity as a project of neoliberalism and opposing its levers in social policy – managerialisation, marketisation and privatisation. We understand the links between capitalism, crisis and the inequality and social devastation it causes. Instead we are broadly in favour of a model of human rights and partnership based practice, radical community work and a comprehensive, progressive social security system. The notion of linking ‘private troubles to public issues’ is a touchstone for SWAN.

SWH:  What is the mission and vision for SWAN in the wake of Global Austerity?

DAN: SWAN has strong links to progressive global social movements, for instance Occupy and the wider anti-capitalist movement. We are keen to support those involved in social action such as colleagues in Greece and more recently Turkey. We also have also run defence campaigns when social workers are attacked or vilified, such as Norbert Ferencz a Hungarian social worker who was arrested for speaking out against a law to criminalise rough sleepers. Likewise, in the wake of the Baby Peter tragedy in the UK some years ago, SWAN defended practitioners against the British tabloid The Sun‘s witch hunt against social workers, by highlighting unbearably high case loads, lack of resources and support experienced by many practitioners.

SWAN has often reconfigured the anti-capitalist phrase ‘another world is possible’ to ‘another social work is possible’ – we live out our methods for practice while we work towards that world through respectful alliances between practitioners, trade unions, grassroots movements, user lead organisations and pressure groups.

SWH: What are SWAN’s highest priorities?

DAN: At present to continue to build our networks and encourage practitioners and those who use services to work collectively against inequality and oppression. This means working with trade unions and service user movements to avoid divide and rule. While imperfect, we need to defend what system of social support we have left while envisaging something better. While we are under a sustained attack in the UK which is resulting in a marked increase in poverty, in Greece we have seen people turning their children into social services, as they have no way to buy the necessities of life for them.SWAN has a network of regional groups in the UK and in Eire and they will have their own particular priorities.

At the moment anti-racist social work is especially important in the wake of increased far-right activity in the UK (the rise of the English Defence League and Islamophobia in the UK, the brutal attacks on Roma in Eastern Europe). We must continue to work with disabled people to refute attacks dividing them as either ‘lazy scroungers’ or ‘worthy strivers’.

SWH: If someone wants to become more familiar or collaborate with SWAN, where would they found you on the web, and what key points do you want them know?

DAN: SWAN has an English language website - - and a Facebook site.  

Our twitter handle is @swansocialwork. We gladly welcome written contributions on radical practice both in the UK and internationally- email We would also be delighted to have more folk in the US and Canada link up with us, though we do have connections already in some cities and states. In terms of key points, we would ask practitioners to look at the global neoliberal project over the last 30 years and the attendant rise in inequality and social problems. What do you feel the priorities of a social worker should be?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Job Posting: Team Leader, Child and Youth Mental Health (SPO 28) - Terrace, BC

Team Leader, Child and Youth Mental Health (SPO 28)
Salary $65,140.29 - $74,532.69 annually
This position is also posted as a Nurse 9 REQ 14991 and a Licensed Psychologist 6A REQ 14492
Please note: These positions are posted on an on-going basis. The competition will remain open until a successful applicant has been found.
Provide direction and leadership and make a difference in your community

The Child and Youth Mental Health Program provides specialized mental health assessment and treatment services to children, youth and their families when the child or youth is suffering serious emotional, psychological, or behavioural disorders.

Under the direction of the Community Services Manager, the Team Leader administers child and youth mental health services by providing direction, leadership and supervision to professional staff on the Child and Youth Mental Health Team. The Team Leader is directly accountable for the quality of service clients receive from the team and for monitoring and maintaining appropriate standards of multi-disciplinary professional mental health practice in accordance with established standards and policy. Clinicians provide individual, family and group interventions within a systems context, and participate in prevention and consultation activities. 

The Team Leader has the authority, accountability and responsibility to plan, develop, manage, coordinate and evaluate the delivery of mental health services for children, youth and families in the Terrace area. The Team Leader has broad responsibilities to work with diverse community partners to promote the establishment and maintenance of a full range of mental health services within the community. Your dedication to excellence creates a motivated team capable of delivering high standards of quality service to clients. The Team leader will be supervising 7 child and youth mental health staff in the communities of Terrace and Kitimat. The two communities are 60 kilometres apart.

Consider this exciting opportunity to live, work and play in the vibrant
City of Terrace.

For more information about this posting, please contact: DO NOT APPLY TO THIS EMAIL. For technical problems, please email

For more information on this exciting career opportunity and TO APPLY please visit the BC Public Service Recruitment System on the BC Public Service Agency website :

To be considered for this position your resume must clearly demonstrate that you have the following:

Education Required:

- SPO28: MSW (Clinical Specialty or equivalent training/education), MEd (Counselling), MA (Clinical Psychology), Master's Degree in Child and Youth Care or comparable graduate degree at Master's level (i.e. Counselling Psychology, Clinical Psychology).

- Nurse 9: Master's or Bachelor's Degree in Nursing and licensed under the Registered Nursing Association of B.C. and/or College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of B.C.

- Psychologist 6A: Ph.D. in clinical/applied psychology, and registered with, or eligible for, registration with the College of Psychologists of B.C.

Experience Required:

- A minimum of 3 years post degree experience in the provision of mental health services to children, youth and their families is required. Applicants must have previous supervisory experience. Preferred is 6 (six) months in the last 3 (three) years and direct experience (6 months or more) in the supervision of staff and the coordination or management of a Child and Youth Mental Health or directly related program.

- The successful applicant will have exemplary leadership skills, as well as demonstrated ability to mentor/orient new clinicians. The position requires proven demonstrated abilities to develop team cohesion and the ability to implement specialized child and youth mental health programs. Applicants must be able to demonstrate their ability to successfully engage in community development activities with contracted agencies, service partners, schools and other MCFD teams.

Willingness Statement:

- You may be required to work evenings/weekends.
- You may be required to travel and you may be required to use your own vehicle on an expense account basis.
- You are required possess and maintain a valid BC driver’s licence.

Applicants moving forward in this competition may be assessed on, but not limited to the following:

Supervisory skills, teamwork and cooperation, leadership, change management, expertise, planning, organizing and coordinating, knowledge of DSM IV.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

National Day of Action – Stop Cuts to Refugee Healthcare - June 17th

National Day of Action – Stop Cuts to Refugee Healthcare

The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) encourages social workers and all Canadians to support the National Day of Action to Stop Cuts to Refugee Health on June 17, 2013 organized by Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care (CDRC). Events are being organized in 19 communities across Canada. 

Visit to locate the National Day of Action event nearest to you.

For its part CASW will be standing in solidarity with other leading national health associations on Parliament Hill to discuss consequences of federal cuts to refugee health services as the CDRC has documented many cases of people being denied care.

It has been over one year since CASW joined other national heath organizations asking for the withdrawal of the federal government changes to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP). As national health organizations predicted, since the IFHP changes have been implemented, many patients have been denied care; especially refugees needing long-term care such as pregnant women fleeing sexual violence and people with chronic conditions.

Job Opportunity: Program Manager & Clinical Supervisor - Adult Trauma Program - North Vancouver office & Community


Counselling Services

Position: Program Manager & Clinical Supervisor - Adult Trauma Program
Position #: 13-1103
Reports to: Director of Clinical Programs
Location: North Vancouver office & Community
Closing Date: June 30, 2013

The Agency:

Family Services of the North Shore is an accredited, not-for-profit community based organization which provides counseling, education and support to those living or working in North & West Vancouver, Bowen Island and Lion’s Bay. Family Services of the North Shore also provides provincial wide programming in the prevention of eating disorders.

The Program:

Our Adult Trauma program provides individual and group counselling to women 19 and older who have experienced relationship violence / abuse, sexual assault, and / or physical, emotional or sexual abuse in childhood. Counsellors work from a feminist perspective using a trauma-informed approach. This program is funded though our Stopping the Violence contract with the Ministry of Justice.

The Job:

This is a permanent, part-time, 17.5 hours per week, (preferably T-W-Th) management position in our Adult Trauma Counselling program. You will provide both program management and clinical supervision for our adult trauma therapists. The hours must be spread over 3 working days.

You will provide overall program management as well as individual and group supervision for counsellors in our Stopping the Violence and Crime Victim Assistance Programs. The Stopping the Violence Program delivers counselling to women who have experienced intimate partner violence, sexual abuse and / or childhood abuse, as well as trafficked women. Stopping the Violence counsellors consider the impact of power imbalances on women’s experience of violence and abuse, and use a trauma-informed approach. You will also participate in budgeting and maintain responsibility for your department’s budget. You will monitor contract program targets and ensure that all required reports are submitted. 

You are responsible for all legal, ethical and safety issues related to the delivery of these programs as well as managing critical incidents and helping to resolve difficult or sensitive issues. You will work closely with the Director of Clinical programs to ensure that any challenging situations are attended to appropriately.
You will work collectively with the other program managers as a clinical team and, with the Director of Clinical Programs, work to ensure that the highest quality of clinical service is delivered to our clients. This is achieved through training, professional development opportunities and other avenues. 

The Candidate:

The ideal candidate will:

  • Be a seasoned trauma therapist specializing in the counselling of women who have experienced violence in their relationships, are adult survivors of childhood abuse, or have experienced sexual assault.
  • Have significant experience supervising clinical staff
  • Have theoretical knowledge and experience applying feminist analysis to issues of violence against women.
  • Have experience managing budgets and reporting.
  • Be prepared to take on a leadership role on Agency committees, with community partners and in collaboration on clinical program projects under the direction of the Director of Clinical Programs.
  • Have experience with the criminal justice system and child protection.
The Qualifications:

The successful candidate will have a masters degree in social work or equivalent and current RSW registration as well as a minimum of 5 years experience in trauma therapy.

Significant experience counselling women impacted by domestic violence or women survivors of childhood abuse or sexual assault.

Specialized training and demonstrated skills in EMDR and / or other modalities would be considered an asset.

An understanding of how the therapeutic relationship is impacted by diversity issues is also required.

Language proficiency in Farsi, Korean, Mandarin or Cantonese would be considered any asset as would experience working with First Nations People.

This position is dependent on external funding and any changes to that funding could adversely affect the viability of the position. This position also requires a minimum of one evening per week of work.

Please respond, in confidence, to:
Kathleen Whyte, Manager of Human Resources
Family Services of the North Shore
101-255 West 1st Street
North Vancouver, B.C.V7M 3G8

While we thank all applicants for their interest, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Training: Treatment of Complex Trauma Workshop - John Briere - Vancouver

Not to be missed training event with John Briere. I caught him at a trauma conference a few years back and it was one of my best professional development activities ever!

Date: Friday, June 28th 9:30AM - 4:30PM

Location: Park Inn & Suites OAK Room
898 West Broadway Vancouver, BC V5Z 1J8

Registration Deadline: June 21st, 2013

About the Workshop: In his workshop for BCPA, Dr. John Briere will explain the unique characteristics, assessment and treatment of complex trauma. This is therefore a very important workshop for any psychologist or therapist who wishes to be informed and more competent in the assessment and treatment of victims of repeated and prolonged trauma by a world leading expert. 

Workshop Presented by Dr. John Briere:

Dr. John Briere is a renowned expert on the effects and treatment of trauma and maltreatment. He is currently an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the Keck School of Medicine University of Southern California. He is also the Center Director of the USC Adolescent Trauma Training Center (USC-ATTC), National Child Traumatic Stress Network, SAMHSA. In addition, he keeps busy as the Director of the Psychological Trauma Program, Department of Psychiatry in Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center.

Dr. Briere has published over 90 articles on trauma, victimization, child maltreatment and sex roles. He has published twelve books on trauma and maltreatment and he has contributed another 28 chapters in other books or encyclopedias. Dr. Briere has eight well known tests of trauma including the Trauma Symptom Inventory (TSI-2), the Detailed Assessment of Postraumatic Stress (DAPS), and the Cognitive Distortions Scale (CDS)/

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be received in writing by June 17th, 2013. A 20% administration fee will be deducted from all refunds. No refunds will be given after June 17th, 2013.

Regular Registration Fee: $258 plus tax

For more information and to register click HERE.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

It's Not Really About You: How to survive aggression from clients in social work

How to survive in social work

When dealing with hostile and aggressive people you should not take it personally, advises the blogger Masked AMHP

Guardian, June 14, 2013.

A few days ago, one of our CMHT nurses returned to base in tears. She had been visiting one of her patients, a woman with bipolar affective disorder. She knew she was relapsing, and had been trying to support her and her relatives, and had been striving to avoid a hospital admission for several days.

The patient had shouted at her. She hurled very personal insults at her. She berated her for failing in her job, for letting her down, for not being a good enough nurse. It hit a nerve with my colleague. It triggered her deepest fears. Was she a bad nurse? Was she incompetent? Could she have done more to prevent this crisis? Was she so useless? Should she hand her notice in right away?

The team did their best to support and comfort her. She was a good enough nurse. She had done her best. She had seen a relapse coming, and she had done everything she professionally could to avert it.

This incident made me think about how mental health and other care professionals survive the job. It made me think about how I had managed to continue to function as a (hopefully) effective social worker for over 37 years.

I remembered very early on in my social work career being given a particular female client to work with. She and her children were very well known to services, and had had many social workers. I was the latest.

I walked into her living room and introduced myself. She took a deep breath and then proceeded to treat me to a tirade of complaints and insults which continued for at least 30 minutes. Throughout this deluge of vituperation I stood silently and listened diligently. At first, I was mortified. Judging by her comments, I must be the very worst and most totally useless social worker in the entire world.

But after a while, it occurred to me that all this had nothing to do with me. She was ventilating. She was expressing her anger and despair at the system, and at the world in general. I just happened to be there at the time. It wasn't personal. It wasn't about me at all.

I learned right then that it was all about separating out the professional persona and the professional functions from the personal, from the individual me. When I realised this, I suddenly felt a lot better. I waited patiently for her to finish, then got on with the job in hand. She never shouted at me again.

It's a simple lesson, but not necessarily easy to learn. But it has helped me to deal with the often hostile and verbally aggressive people who I have to assess under the Mental Health Act.

It has even helped me to remain mentally intact on the few occasions when I have been physically assaulted during the course of my work. It's not actually about me.

Social work students, having witnessed me working in extremely fraught and stressful situations when acting as an approved mental health professional, have often asked me how I manage to remain calm and unflustered when they have been mentally (and sometimes physically) cowering. I tell them that story. It's all about separation.

The Masked AMHP blogs at

If you would like to blog for the social care network about issues affecting social workers' professional lives, then you can get in touch by emailing us at

Global Social Work: Azerbaijan

The new social workers of Azerbaijan

It may be new to the country, but the profession is doing world class work and tackling the institutionalisation of disabled people

Azerbaijan is an interesting place to practice social work. It's a country which, officially, had no social problems because it was part of the Soviet Union for 70 years.

Then, in 2002, a handful of young women returned to Azerbaijan from the US having been awarded full masters scholarships to study social work. These were the first professional Azerbaijani social workers whose scholarships had been arranged by an NGO concerned about the absence of social work and education across the entire country.

I visited Azerbaijan recently to support one of the International Federation of Social Workers' (IFSW) newest members – the Azerbaijan Social Work Union (AZSWU). The union is playing an important role in working with the government, the NGO sector, universities and communities as the country begins to develop plans for a social protection system.

Developing social work is critical when set against a backdrop of multiple social problems. Most of these relate to high unemployment and poverty, which in turn create depression, family dysfunction, and community violence. More than 7.6% of the country's population is below the poverty rate, about 10,000 children are in large-scale public institutions and over 800,000 people are internally displaced and have been living in tent camps for more two decades. Azerbaijan has been criticised by the United Nations for its slow progress in protecting human rights.

In the 10 years after the first master degree graduates arrived back in their country they have worked successfully to ensure a positive future for social work. One example is their work with universities to establish a bachelor of social work degree which has just produced its first graduates. These graduates have a responsibility to pioneer culturally appropriate social work models and will be the leaders of tomorrow, writing the first textbooks in Azerbaijani.

The young women scholars also established the AZSWU which in its first year generated wide scale public awareness of social issues and the role of the social workers. They have built positive relationships with the labour ministry and parliament. They have advocated that these arms of government work alongside the NGO sector and communities to draft jointly a blueprint for sustainable social protection.

For the members of AZSWU their immediate interest is to support vulnerable people in the context of building a sustainable community. And despite their profession being so new, world class social work is being carried out on a daily basis. I had the opportunity to visit an AZSWU-run social service in the capital Baku. In this centre, without cost to the community, people have access to parenting training, family and child therapy services, counselling and community support workers.

One example of their work related to the countrywide problem of people with disabilities being institutionalised under the former Soviet regime. There are still many thousands of people who spend their entire lives in large hospital-like structures and continue to suffer significantly from social isolation, institutionalisation – and often from abuse. "If you are disabled, you should be shut away for your own protection and good" is the long-held perspective that social workers are working hard to change.

Lale, who had suffered from cerebral palsy as a child and is in a wheelchair, was not institutionalised in the welfare system, but in keeping with those beliefs her family confined her to her bedroom. She had not left the room for more than 10 years and in that time had only spoken with her mother. The young social worker assigned to work with Lale was able to encourage the family to allow her to leave her room – leave the house, and eventually begin a life of her own. Supported by the social worker, Lale moved metre-by-metre and over time out of the bedroom and out of the house.

This scary activity was made easier by the support group the social worker arranged for his client. The support group, whose members were also affected by cerebral palsy and in wheelchairs, became her new friends. Within months she was meeting them three times a week at different places in the city and experiencing things she had previously feared to dream.

A year later, Lale felt that other people with disabilities also needed to be allowed a chance at living a proper life and she organised for herself and a delegation from her support group to visit the head of social policy committee in parliament. He is now working to find ways to close the institutions for disabled people and allow them to live with dignity in their community.

This example is typical of Azerbaijani social work, the role of finding people support systems and encouraging them actively to build a better life for themselves and others. Of course in this instance it helped having a government minister who was open to seeing a member of the public. But Azerbaijan is clearly full of massive contradictions and the AZSWU has worked extremely skilfully to maintain an open and positive relationship with their government and to advocate for the people they are there to support.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Webinar: Dr. Keely Kolmes called How to Create Your Social Media Policy for Your Psychotherapy Practice - Friday, June 14

View the last video in the social media series by Clinton Power, Coach + Consultant:

So along with this final tip, I'm very excited to announce that I will be hosting a unique and innovative online professional development webinar by Dr. Keely Kolmes called How to Create Your Social Media Policy for Your Psychotherapy Practice.

Dr. Kolmes is a psychologist from San Francisco who is a an expert and world authority on all things related to digital ethics. Any time I have a question about clients and the Internet, Dr. Kolmes is the person I speak to.

This webinar will be held on Friday, June 14 @ 11am Australian EST (Thursday 13th June, 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern.)

Dr. Kolmes will be introducing you to advanced ethical decision-making on the Internet as well as taking you step-by-step through how to create your own social media policy for your psychotherapy practice.

Click below to register now:

Macro Social Work: Learning from our American counterparts

This is an excellent example of some of the important discussions taking place in other countries. I think this is very relevant for BC and Canada. As my career as a social worker has progressed, I've gone from being a newcomer in the field, and as I gained more experience and worked in more organizations, I have become more and more radical as an human rights activist and social worker and those two roles blended together for me. The construct of macro social work isn't even something I've ever heard of in BC or Canada, but it is what I have been doing for several years now as I have been advocating for systemic, structural and political change. 

As the social safety net continues to be slashed at both provincial and federal levels in Canada, I believe that it is incumbent upon the social work profession and individual social workers to start working more at the macro level. From what I have seen in the field, we have largely become a complacent, docile workforce that remains happy with our middle-class jobs, benefits, and pensions. In my view, this is taking the heart and soul for social justice and human rights out of the profession.

In the end, social work, as a profession, is already feeling the burn of this, as we see social work jobs getting wiped from the map easily, whether this is through cuts, or re-classification to other disciplines, most notably nursing. All of this is happening with little in the way of resistance, or complaint from the profession, from ourselves, or from the unions that are supposed to represent our interests. There is absolute silence on what is happening to transform the profession and the loss of employment in BC.

This silence also extends to the deepening invisibility of our profession in BC. As social work participants in the Rothman study pointed out, community-based social work, and macro work, are largely unrecognized, or invisible to the majority of people. What people know of the profession continues to be the stereotypical negative images of "babysnatchers" working in child protection. The complexity, diversity and importance of our work is rendered invisible within our organizations and within our communities and society at large.

I truly believe if more of us don't become more radical and more macro, we will one day wake up to find we no longer have a viable profession. As many new grads find out, it is getting more and more difficult to find jobs in the field that are willing to pay a salary commensurate with a BSW, or MSW, or to find jobs in the field altogether. 

Our profession is on the frontlines of the global structural adjustment taking place because we work with the ever-increasing populations of marginalized people in BC and Canada. We should consider what is happening within, and to the profession of social work, the canary in the coalmine of these largely political and socio-economic forces. If we do not wake from our slumber soon, it will be at the peril of ourselves, our profession and those who have no voice at all.

Commissioned by ACOSA: The Rothman Report and What it means for Social Work Education
by Demecia Wooten-Irizarry, Retired Social Worker, June 4, 2013.

Social work has traditionally been a profession that has embraced the principles of social justice, social action, and equality with individuals functioning as change agents fighting oppression and inequality in order to improve outcomes for their communities. Social Workers such as Jane Addams, Frances Perkins, Whitney Young, Congressmen Ron Dellums and Ed Towns as well as Senator Barbara A. Mikulski to name a few used their social work background to influence social policy and legislation.

Organizations such as ACOSA (Association for Community Organizing and Social Administration) was created to promote the development of community organizing and macro thinking in social administrations which would later commission Dr. Jack Rothman to evaluate the current state of macro practice courses being taught in social work education. The Rothman report was completed in October 2012 and will be discussed in greater detail later in the article.

However, under today’s standard none of the individuals listed above would be entitled to call themselves a social worker under today’s standard because they do not meet the standard of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Clinical Social Workers focus on micro practice in which therapeutic treatments deal only with how an individual can develop mentally, cognitively, or behaviorally. However, macro community practices is focused on influencing the social policies that creates oppression and inequality. Macro practice social workers are change agents committed to making social change while the other is managing individual change.

For instance, Social Worker Frances Perkins was the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945, and she was also the first woman appointed to the U.S. Cabinet by President Franklin D. Roosevelt whom she helped craft New Deal legislation. During her tenure as Secretary of Labor, Perkins championed the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Public Works Administration and its successor the Federal Works Agency, as well as the labor portion of the National Industrial Recovery Act.   She was a major force in establishing the Social Security Act, Unemployment benefits,  and public assistance for the neediest Americans.

Perkins fought to reduce workplace accidents and helped create laws against child labor. Through the Fair Labor Standards Act, she was responsible for establishing the first minimum wage and overtime laws for American workers, and defined the standard forty-hour workweek. She formed governmental policy for working with labor unions and helped to alleviate strikes by way of the United States Conciliation Service. Perkins resisted having American women be drafted to serve the military in World War II so that they could enter the civilian workforce in greatly expanded numbers. Sadly, Frances Perkins with all her achievements as a change agent with graduate degrees in political science, sociology and economics would not have been considered a social worker today.

Since 1988, ACOSA has served as the official representative of social workers in a broad array of community/macro practice professions.  These include “Community organizers, activists, nonprofit administrators, community builders, policy practitioners, students and educators.  These conversations led ACOSA to commission a study to explore the concerns of its members regarding the status of community/macro practice in social work.  The report would focus on both identifying the problems with macro practice in schools of social work  while also looking for possible solutions.

The timing of this study and its outcome could not be more relevant with today’s societal issues.  During the survey process, Dr. Jack Rothman determined that many in the profession believed the over focus on clinical social work has devalued community/macro social work.  Participants were concerned about the future of community/macro practice as exhibited by the lack of macro courses for individuals interested politics, administration, public service, and grassroots organizations.  One respondent of the survey Dr. Rothman constructed pointed out that many social work faculty believed that anyone could teach macro classes—no experience or training in the field was needed.

Participants stated that ACOSA should seek to gain visibility with other professional groups and disciplines “to interface better so our community-based work is known and social work is not seen as simply casework. "We need to relate to these groups”, they said, because “we have a common cause in macro areas and there is strength in numbers.” There were concerns that if the community/macro practitioners in social work do not establish themselves as visible players in broader areas of intervention and public policy that other fields will step in and replace us.

One of the recommendations of the Rothman Report was to develop a high-level special commission to look at community/macro social work.  One of the key issues ACOSA members expressed was the level of support received from their schools when addressing the lack of courses in the community/macro area. As a result, participants wanted to engage the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE) with respect to macro practice course in social work curricula.  Additionally, participants wanted to raise the visibility of community/macro practice and advocate for a strong place for community/macro practice within social work institutions and with the public.

Since the survey was conducted, a Special Commission with 16 individuals has been formed.  One of their first tasks will be to prioritize the issues raised by participants in the survey.  They will begin to work on growing faculty with experience in community/macro practice, as well as to work with CSWE to develop curricula in response to the need for students interested in a community/macro concentration.

Also, ACOSA has developed core competencies for community/macro practitioners, and they are looking at developing research studies that reach beyond the individual application of social work principles.  The association will begin to work with organizations that are incorporating social, cultural, economic, political and environmental influences that advance social justice solutions as well as develop change agents that empower individuals at systemic levels.  Moreover, they have also begun to develop collaborative relationships with legislatures, community members, non-profit groups, and organizations that address the needs of communities on a macro scale.

For organizations and individuals interested in community practice and the work ACOSA is doing, you can contact its current Chair, Mark Homan at

You can also view the full report here.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Upcoming Training - Practical Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Strategies for the Assessment and Treatment of Self-Injury - Vancouver

The DBT Center of Vancouver is co-sponsoring a pre-conference workshop on June 28th, at SFU Harbour Centre, downtown Vancouver, entitled "Practical Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Strategies for the Assessment and Treatment of Self-Injury." This workshop occurs the day before the 8th Annual Convention for the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury (June 29 & 30).

Please see the attached brochure or go to for
more information (to register, go to

Participants are welcome to register even if they are not planning to attend the ISSS

If you have any questions about the pre-conference workshop or the ISSS convention, please e-mail Thank you.

DBT Centre of Vancouver, Inc.
1040 - 1200 Burrard St
Vancouver BC V6Z 2C7
P: 604-569-1156
F: 604-569-1230

Job Posting: SSWK INSTRUCTOR - Prince George

College of New Caledonia - PRINCE GEORGE CAMPUS


The School of University Studies and Career Access requires a full-time Social Service Worker Instructor. This is a 10 month sessional appointment. The courses to be taught include: SSWK 145: Communication & Interpersonal Relationship Skills; SSWK 151: History & Philosophy of Social Welfare Policy; SSWK 195: Issues and Principles of Fieldwork & Community; SSWK 196: Practicum and Seminar; SSWK 199: Practicum and seminar (intersession);SSWK 242: Community Development and SSWK 271: Health & Wellness Self-Care Lab.

The successful applicant must be a professional social worker with an MSW, or have an equivalent applied master’s degree and experience. Awareness of current Canadian social policy, community development practice and experiential education philosophy and process are required. Developing and maintaining strong relationships with the community’s social service agencies and conducting practicum supervision are essential skills. Preference will be given to candidates having a Child and Youth Care Work background.
The College of New Caledonia offers certificates and applied and university-transferable diplomas in the Social Service Worker program. Further information on the program is available at .
  • Master’s degree in Social Work or an equivalent applied master’s degree
  • Minimum of five years of clinical experience, with at least two years’ experience after the completion of the graduate degree
  • Membership in good standing with a professional or regulatory body such as the BCCSW
  • Current criminal records check
  • Recent teaching experience is an asset
  • You will be part of a team actively engaged in contributing to and accomplishing the vision, mission, and goals of the College of New Caledonia and in supporting the aspirations and needs of our learners and communities.
  • You will promote a positive work atmosphere and communicate in a professional manner that demonstrates mutual respect with students and colleagues.
Hiring criteria shall include professional qualifications, professional experience, teaching experience, college contributions, community awareness and personal attributes so far as they are applicable to the job classification in question. 

SALARY: Commensurate with qualifications and relevant experience

TERM: August 21, 2013 – June 26, 2014

SCREENING DATE: This position will be posted until filled. All applications received up to and including June 19, 2013 will receive full consideration. Applications received after that date may be reviewed.

Interested applicants should EMAIL their cover letter, resume and teaching dossier (if available) to the Human Resources Department at quoting the reference number. Please include names, addresses and phone numbers of three references and a copy of your highest degree designation or transcript with your resume.  

For other employment opportunities, please check our website at:
We would like to thank all candidates in advance for their interest, but only those selected for an interview will be contacted. CNC embraces the principles of employment equity.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Videos on Social Media for Therapists and Other Social Service Professionals

Clinton Powers, an Australian therapist and coach, has put together some quick videos that discuss the ethical concerns regarding using social media as clinical professionals. I can't embed the videos, so just follow the links to view them. 

"Is it OK for clients to friend me on Facebook?"

"Is it OK for clients to follow me on LinkedIn?"

Below is another video I've found quite helpful, both to use in teaching, but also to consider the new world of the Internet and social media. 

Clients (and potential employers) often search for us on the Internet. We need to ensure what they find paints us in a professional, appropriate light.  

Self-Disclosure in Therapy: Part A of Boundaries Series 

Part B of this series can be found here.

Job Postings Across Canada

PPC Worldwide
Imagine making a difference each day in every way. Come and shape the future… 

PPC Worldwide is the leading global provider of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), work/life, well-being and personal development services, supporting over 6 million employees in more than 130 countries. With a Canadian head office in Burnaby, BC, and network and account services throughout the provinces, PPC Canada supports over 350 organizations across Canada. 

Make a difference in an exciting environment as part of our national Clinical Coordination Team, located in Burnaby, BC. 


Reporting to the Senior Manager, Clinical Services, this dynamic variety-packed role is responsible for the efficient coordination, delivery, and evaluation of various clinical services, from management consultations and formal referrals, to critical incident responses. Your customer -facing, onsite work will include the delivery of a range of educational workshops/training seminars, as well as conducting Critical Incident Stress debriefings. 

You will enjoy working with our skilled and talented teams to meet the needs of our corporate clients, and you thrive in a results-oriented business environment. Your responsibilities will also include the provision of crisis counsellling to individual clients as needed. This position is ideal for the professional looking to apply one’s clinical skills to address a wide range of workplace requests.

Interested candidates for this two (2) day per week position will have a related Master’s Degree, relevant EAP experience, professional registration, and computer literacy. Exceptional communication skills, analytical skills, and the ability to present to a variety of audiences are key components for success in this role. English/French bilingualism is an asset. You will bring value to a team environment that excels in best practices with your passion for high achievement. 

Please forward your résumé in confidence along with a cover letter to: 

Deb Gooding
Senior Manager, Clinical Services
To learn more about PPC Canada, please visit 


Director, Income Assistance – Government of Nunavut

Director Regulatory Practice – Alberta College of Social Workers

Social Worker – MSW- Casual and Temporary Full Time – BC Children’s & Women’s Hospital & Health Centre

Training & Professional Development: Child, Youth & Family Mental Health Webinars

The Child Welfare League of Canada (CWLC) is offering webinars on selected topics related to child, youth and family mental health. 

Follow the link to listen to the webinar:

Walk-In Counseling Services: Making the Most of One Hour
March 28, 2013

Dr. Arnie Slive is a Licensed Psychologist (Texas). He is an AAMFT Clinical Fellow as well as an Approved Supervisor for more than 25 years. 

The presenter has 20 years of experience in a single session walk-in context and is co-editor of When One Hour is All You Have: Effective Therapy for Walk-in Clients (2011). The model was developed in Calgary and has been imported to other parts of Canada and the United States. The approach is based on current research on brief therapy and makes use of strength-based models of practice. The presentation will describe the rationale for walk-in services, the most current research in support of walk-in and single session therapy, a mindset and a model that support single session work.

All therapists have experience with clients who are seen for only one session. In fact, research consistently indicates that one is the modal number of sessions for all models of therapy and that single sessions are highly effective. This presentation describes theory, strategies, and techniques for making those single sessions as effective as possible.

You can listen to previous webinars here.

The Caregiving Relationship and Infant Mental Health

Evidence-based practice in child mental health: A research update 

Supporting Fatherhood Involvement: an evidence-based father-focused co-parenting
intervention designed for child welfare families 

Embedding the experiences of children into the lives of adults