Monday, December 30, 2013

Global Social Work: Newsletter from the Asia-Pacific Region

Click on this link to view the IFSW newsletter. 
Here are the feature stories:
  • Editorial
  • News from round-about
  • Philippines Typhoon Haiyan – November 2013
  • Himalayan Flood Tragedy – June 2013
  • Bangladeshi Building Collapse – April 2
  • Pictorial News from the APRC on “Social Work amidst Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management: Building Capacities and Global Partnership” - June 2013 Manila
  • IFSW Special Project Report – Manila 2013
  • Brief History of Social Work in Iran
  • Performance Summary of Iran Association of Social Workers (21.03.2012 - 20.03.2013)
  • World Social Work Day 2013 Report from Japan
  • World Social Work Day 2014 – Poster and Banner
  • Macau pursuing registration of social workers
  • Global Institute of Social Work – new online portal
  • Upcoming Conferences

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy Holidays & Bright Blessings for 2014


Greetings & Salutations, 

I have taken a break from blogging over the past week, or so, as I was very fortunate to spend Christmas with my family in sunny, warm Mazatlan, Mexico. This is a picture from the beach I like to hang out on. 

I love this time of year. Slowing down, going within and being more reflective. Decorating the house for Christmas, baking old family recipes which connect me to the past and loved ones no longer here. Spending time with family and all the fascinating dynamics and learning that brings. ;-} 

One thing I can't help but reflect on when I travel to a place like Mexico is how people who have so much less than many of us in Canada have a wealth of family connections and a joy for living that is often lacking for many of us in Canada and the U.S. 

At a house behind my Mom's place in Mazatlan Christmas day sees an ongoing gathering of people at the Casa de Baby Jesus, a special home where people visit and bring offerings to Baby Jesus to honour and bless the children in their lives. A full band, including brass instruments, played from 10am to 6pm (and sometimes goes longer) in the blazing heat and sun. 

In Mexico, and many other places around the world, people demonstrate their deepest respect, care and devotion to their children and elders in daily life, and in times of particular vulnerability they pray and honour them. I think we can learn a lot from this as we continue to drift away from some of these most important nurturing values and many of us become more disconnected and disengaged from each other. 

Over the holidays I've been reading "Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown, a social worker, educator and inspirational speaker. She has spent the last decade studying and researching shame, vulnerability, and what she calls shame resilience. This book has changed the way I think & understand the impacts of shame and vulnerability and this will have a very important influence on me, both personally and professionally, as a helper and educator. I cannot recommend this book enough. 

If you're not familiar with Brene, I've added a video of hers from a TedX talk that went viral and brought the ideas of shame, vulnerability and healing into culture in a very powerful and impactful way. You know you've arrived when Oprah has discovered you and is promoting you and your ideas. 

I also love this time of year as our Gregorian calendar winds down for the year as this is the time I reflect on what has happened in my year and begin to set my intentions, dreams, hopes and goals for the new year to come. 

2014 is going to be a time of great possibility and opportunity for all of us, if we want it to be. This is also my call to my sisters and brothers in social work and helping professions. The world needs us more than ever before. I want to encourage all of us to reach a little higher, rock a few more boats, and speak out a little louder anywhere we need to. We have so much wisdom and so many important and pragmatic ideas for solutions and change collectively, and individually. 

I want to thank you for reading this blog and sharing it with others. We become stronger as individuals, and as a profession, when we work together and share knowledge, information and resources. I am inspired by the work we are all doing around B.C., Canada, and the world. 

I wish you the brightest of blessings in 2014. 

Tracey Young, BA, MSW, RSW
Editor of BC Social Workers

Training: CyberCounselling, Clinical Hypnotherapy & Healing Depression with Satir Model

Strengthen your Practice with New UBC Interprofessional Communication course 
Date: January  9, 2014

Gain practical skills to strengthen interprofessional collaboration, reduce risk and increase patient safety. 

Interprofessional Communication is the first course of UBC’s new Certificate in Collaborative Practice for Health Professionals. Through self-assessment, case studies, interactive practice and online tools, you will strategize ways to improve your communication with colleagues in order to:
  •  Negotiate the complexities of inter-professional communication
  • Work more effectively within resource-limited environments
  • Create and sustain positive working relationships with other professionals
  • Ultimately enhance the care you provide to your clients.

Date: January 9-10 & 24
Time: 9am-4pm
Location: UBC Robson Square

Online learning and practice January 13-23, 2014 (6 hours)

Facilitators: Cristine Urquhart, MSW, RSW & Victoria Wood, MA

Upcoming electives in this new certificate include:

**A 15% group discount is available.**

Find out more and register or call 604.827.4234

CyberCounselling: Level 1

Date: January 10th through April 17th, 2014

Location: This training experience occurs entirely online.

10% discount for BCASW members!

More info: Dan Mitchell,
(778) 838-6824

Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BC Div)Two Day Clinical Hypnosis Training Workshop 2014

This workshop will provide the basic skills of clinical hypnosis, including demonstrations and practice sessions for those who wish to add hypnosis to their repertoire of therapeutic skills. Simultaneously, intermediate/advanced skills in hypnosis utilization will be provided to the experienced hypnotherapist in areas such as hypnosis for traumatic experiences, relationships, stress, pain, visualization techniques to enhance hypnosis, rapid induction techniques for emergency medicine and dentistry, and much more. The faculty has extensive experience in various areas in the field of hypnotherapy and each will be present on one or both of the days of the workshop.
BONUS HYPNOSIS DVD provided to all registrants: Clinical Hypnosis Inductions, Deepening and Strategies for Psychological, Medical and Dental Applications
Demonstrated by the Faculty

  • History & Types of Trance; How to Introduce Hypnosis; Diagnosis
  • Neuroplasticity and the Use of Metaphors
  • Rapid Induction Techniques for Health Professionals
  • Former Personalities and Reincarnational Memories
  • Acute and Chronic Pain Management
  • Hypnosis for Traumatic Experiences
  • Better Sex through Hypnosis
  • Age Regression and Progression
  • Women’s Health - Common Conditions and Hypnotic Treatments
  • Mind – Vagal Interaction in Chronic Medical Conditions: Latest Findings
  • Teaching Self-Hypnosis to Clients to Improve the Outcome of Therapy
  • Consolidating Hypnosis In Your Professional Practice
Saturday & Sunday February 8 and 9, 2014
Registration- 8:30 am: Workshop 9 am – 5:00UBC Robson Square
800 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC(HSBC Hall – Room C680)
CSCH Member $300 (Early Bird) $375 (after Jan 8th)Non-Member $400 (Early Bird) $475 (after Jan 8th)Student $200 (Early Bird) $225 (after Jan 8th)

Cancellation Policy: Registration fee includes a $50 nonrefundable deposit.
Student Eligibility: Registrants must be a full time student enrolled in a graduate or professional program in active pursuit of a doctorate in Medicine, Dentistry, or Psychology, or a Master’s degree in counseling psychology, social work or a diploma or degree in one of the disciplines listed above or a diploma or degree in dental hygiene . The program must be held in a university accredited by its appropriate regional accrediting body.

To register and for more information visit our website: www.hypnosis.bc.caEmail: admin@hypnosis.bc.caPhone: (604) 688-1714
PLEASE VISIT WWW.HYPNOSIS.BC.CA for more details and registration form.


Parenting: Within, Between, Among

with Jennifer Nagel, MA, RCC

February 8, 9, 2014 - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Cost $300.00 per person (SIP Member and Early Bird Rates Available until January 17, 2014)

Location: Phoenix Center Boardroom, 13686-94A Avenue, Surrey, BC V3V 1N1

This workshop is designed to provide therapists and counsellors with knowledge and skills to work with parents of children with challenging behaviours, bringing practical applications of the Satir Model and the current brain research. So often parents come to therapy wanting ‘the answers’ on how to parent their child, or they bring their child into our office wanting us to ‘fix the problem.’ Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy provides a holistic approach to resolving issues around parenting. Included in the workshop will be some of the latest research on attachment and brain development. This workshop will assist counsellors in helping parents create positive, healthy, and connected relationships with themselves, each other, and their children.

Please see attached Brochure and Registration form or contact:

Cindi Mueller, Administrator
Satir Institute of the Pacific

Beyond Depression: Healing Using the Satir Model 

Date: Friday and Saturday March 21, 22, 2014 

Time: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Location: Phoenix Center 13686-94A Avenue, Surrey, BC

Dear Past Level 1 Participants and Current Level 1 Participants,

This is my personal invitation to join me on March 21, 22, 2014 for the Level III weekend on Healing from Depression. I am sometimes a bit disturbed when I read professional writing about skills to help their clients manage their depressive symptoms. I really think we can do much better than that. 

Depression is a symptom of something much deeper. Often, when something is so painful and the client does not want to face it, depression is the solution. Then the depression itself becomes an additional problem, because the pain does not really go away, but now the client is in such a disconnected state that life itself hardly seems worth living. The Satir Model has the technology to assist clients in unearthing the hidden impacts in a very positive and supportive way so that clients can transform their painful issues, let go of the need for depression, and reconnect to the vitality and joy of the Life Energy. 

Research has shown that experiential, mindful therapy that moves in a positive direction has the ability to create lasting and transformational change. Isn’t it great that the most recent research supports what Satir taught and practiced so many years ago? 

Please give Cindi an email or a call and register now for the March 21, 22, 2014 Level III program at or 604 634 0572.

Job Posting: Instructors

Instructors - Caring for First Nations Children Society (Victoria, BC)
Caring for First Nations Children Society (CFNCS) is looking for a full-time Instructor and one or more Contract Instructors to join their growing team and provide sound and expert advice on all aspects of curriculum development and delivery.

CFNCS is a provincial organization that provides professional development and policy support to Aboriginal Child and Family Services in BC. Unique to their organization, is their commitment to culturally relevant services. The Society works in cooperation with First Nations and Aboriginal Child and Family Service programs to protect and foster the well-being of First Nations and Aboriginal people by reaffirming traditions, and through effective child and family service delivery that empower the voices of First Nations and Aboriginal peoples.

Please see attached pdf for job description and requirements. This position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.

To apply for this position, please send your resume and cover letter with the subject line Instructor OR Contract Instructor to

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Global Social Work: Spanish Social Workers Discuss Social Intervention in Troubled Times

‘Social Intervention in Troubled Times’ – 1,300 Spanish social workers attend national congress
      IFSW, (2013).      
      More than 1,300 Spanish social workers came together in Marbella, Spain on 14 – 16 November 2013 for the national social work congress of the Consejo General del Trabajo Social (CGTS) (the Spanish social workers council and IFSW/FITS member).

The conference theme was ‘Social Intervention in Troubled Times: We Know, We Can, We Demand’.  There were a mass of plenary sessions and workshops which explored the impact on Spanish society of the European financial crisis, the dramatic increase in unemployment (especially of young people) and the big cuts in social services.
Consejo launched a campaign against the cuts in 2012 which they called ‘the Orange Wave’.  The colour orange became their campaign banner and many social workers in the conference wore the special orange tee-shirts or other orange clothing.  There were ‘happenings’ during the refreshment breaks which highlighted the campaign and brought the participants together.  The final morning break of the conference presented a dance by social workers who gradually removed their shirts and sweaters to reveal orange tee-shirts.  They then brought out very long pieces of orange cloth which were used to create a link between participants and involve everybody in the ‘orange wave’.
Former IFSW President David N Jones was present for this happening: ‘Consejo is clearly creative, powerful and well organised’, he commented .  ‘The campaign materials are well designed and give a clear message.  Consejo has organised demonstrations around the country over the period of the austerity cuts and it is clear that their members are enthused by the campaign and participate with commitment and energy.  I was impressed’, David Jones concluded.
The final plenary session of the congress was entitled La mundialización en clave de trabajo social: exigencia, propuesta y acción en red’ – ‘Globalization the key to social work: requirements, proposals and action through networking  Speakers included Ana I Lima (President of Consejo), Ian Johnston (IFSW Europe Executive member) and David N Jones (IFSW representative on The Global Agenda for Social Work) with a live video link to Nicaragua with Iris Prado Hernandez (Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Communication) and Martha Palacios Navarrete (Director of the School of Social Sciences, both from the University of Central America in Nicaragua).  The plenary was chaired by Juan Gutierrez Curras (Spokesperson of the Governing Board of Consejo).  The plenary concluded with a video contributionfrom IFSW President Gary Bailey.

Global Social Work: Results & Recommendations from UK Inquiry into the State of Social Work

Overwhelming demands on social workers highlighted in report

Bridget Robb outlines plans to support practitioners following the Inquiry into the State of Social Work report

Robb, B. (2013). Guardian UK. 
The findings of the Inquiry into the State of Social Work won't be news to social workers throughout the country all too familiar with the often overwhelming demands of their jobs.

Published on behalf of the all-party parliamentary group on social work by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), the report offers the wider public some insight into the unmanageable caseloads, lack of support and a bureaucracy that works against, not for, the busy practitioner.

The scope of the inquiry meant MPs were able to hear just what these challenges mean in practice.

Unmanageable caseloads means unmanageable risk, as one social worker emphasised when explaining about a particular case he was grappling with at the time: "I have niggling concerns about the mum and her two children but I don't have the time to go back frequently to tease out the situation."

Lack of support means social workers doing their own administration instead of visiting children and families or meeting with multi-disciplinary colleagues. And that obstructive bureaucracy means ICT systems so unwieldy that social workers sometimes use their own computers to do their work; again, time not spent on the things that matter.

Social workers giving evidence to the MPs painted a picture of complete neglect, though not of the children or vulnerable adults on their caseloads but of their profession. Social work is like an office basement where you chuck the old chairs but every now and again a manager makes a visit and yells to someone else to "sort this out". But nothing really changes.

In their attempt to find a way to demonstrate authentic care for the ultimate caring profession MPs issued a series of recommendations for change, from the humdrum, such as putting an end to anti-social, demoralising hot-desking policies, to the fundamental – protecting not just the title but the role of social workers to confer greater professional identity and make plain to those colleagues in multi-disciplinary teams the importance of the contribution made, especially in the NHS.

More practically, the axing of local authority car allowances for social workers isn't just a back-door pay cut but stymies practitioners wanting to make one last visit on their way home. It is a policy that MPs rightly say should end.

But saying something and making it a reality, especially in the current political and economic climate, are very different things. To make these recommendations a reality BASW will:

Work with employers to:
1. Pare back ICT processes to their minimum to reduce cost and time spent by social workers and others on unworkable systems.
2. Employ administrative staff to fill data collection roles.
3. End unpaid overtime for social workers.
4. Work closely with other professions to be clear on casework responsibility, so that every person who is using the service is clear about the person taking lead responsibility, with that person given a caseload that will allow them to undertake the necessary work.
5. Be clear on the social work contribution to multi-professional teams and how that contribution is recorded.
6. Restore car allowances.
Work with ministers and the chief social workers to:

• Ensure clear messages from the social work pilots are being translated for adoption by other local authorities.
• Promote the location of social workers in community settings and engage with the community as part of their role.
• Work with ACPO to take action on social worker hate websites.

Much of the reform process over the past five years has been handed down to frontline social workers, and has largely failed. Now is the time for social workers to take the lead. This report is a first step in that direction.

Bridget Robb is chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Social Work Activism: Churnin, retired social worker, refused to fill out short-form census due to privacy & Charter concerns

Video: Janet Churnin, retired social worker, in court over census protest

Pleads not guilty for refusing to submit short-form census

CBC News, Nov 21, 2013. 

A retired Toronto social worker is in court today over her refusal to fill out the short-form census two years ago.
Janet Churnin, 79, could face a fine, as well as jail time, for contravening the Statistics Act by not filling out the census forms.
However, Churnin’s choice was a deliberate one, made in protest of the cancellation of the long-form census, which she says was a valuable tool in helping marginalized Canadians, and because the form is processed by U.S. military contractor Lockheed Martin.
Churnin isn’t backing down. She entered a plea of not guilty shortly after noon on Friday, in court at Toronto's Old City Hall.
"I wasn't going to fill it out because of the money going to Lockheed Martin and I wasn't going to fill it out because it was useless," Churin told CBC News in an earlier interview in her downtown Toronto apartment.
Her lawyer, Peter Rosenthal, said their defence will be built around Churnin's charter rights to protection against unreasonable search and seizure — rights he will argue are threatened by StatsCan’s “negligent” reliance on the U.S. company’s software.
"By allowing Lockheed Martin to have access to that data, it could end up being used for U.S. government purposes, which becomes a violation,' he said.
Churnin's protest is very reasonable in light of this story, which has the potential to impact many of the clients Canadian social workers work with and those of us who develop occupational stress injuries as a result of our front line work [Editor].
A Toronto woman is shocked after she was denied entry into the U.S. because she had been hospitalized for clinical depression.
Hauch, V. (2013). The Star. 
Ellen Richardson went to Pearson airport on Monday full of joy about flying to New York City and from there going on a 10-day Caribbean cruise for which she’d paid about $6,000.

But a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent with the Department of Homeland Security killed that dream when he denied her entry.

“I was turned away, I was told, because I had a hospitalization in the summer of 2012 for clinical depression,’’ said Richardson, who is a paraplegic and set up her cruise in collaboration with a March of Dimes group of about 12 others.

The Weston woman was told by the U.S. agent she would have to get “medical clearance’’ and be examined by one of only three doctors in Toronto whose assessments are accepted by Homeland Security. She was given their names and told a call to her psychiatrist “would not suffice.’’
At the time, Richardson said, she was so shocked and devastated by what was going on, she wasn’t thinking about how U.S. authorities could access her supposedly private medical information.

Richardson said she’d had no discussion whatsoever with the agent at the airport about her medical history or background.

Previous to her hospitalization in 2012, Richardson had attempted suicide in 2001, as a result of delusions. But medications put her on an even keel and stabilized her for years, with no incidents.

A personal relationship breakup in 2012 caused her clinical depression and hospitalization (there was no police involvement). But again, her condition stabilized and Richardson, who has a master’s degree in counselling, sees a psychiatrist with whom she has a very good relationship. 

He cited the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 212, which denies entry to people who have had a physical or mental disorder that may pose a “threat to the property, safety or welfare’’ of themselves or others.

The agent gave her a signed document which stated that “system checks’’ had found she “had a medical episode in June 2012’’ and that because of the “mental illness episode’’ she would need a medical evaluation before being accepted.