Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Job Posting: Legal Advocate - First United Church - Vancouver


TITLE: Legal Advocate (Part-time)


First United Church is an inner city Ministry of the United Church of Canada committed to social justice, building community and affirming the worth of individuals. We seek to offer hospitality, shelter, housing advocacy, community support, emergency aid and a wide variety of ancillary services to promote the well-being of community members.

The goal of the advocacy related work is to ensure that individuals living in poverty have access to the same basic rights as any other member of society.


Working a three day week and with a team of three other Advocates, this position provides advocacy assistance and representation to the Downtown Eastside community on a variety of issues generally encountered by low income individuals and families.


1. Participate fully in the poverty law intake program including:
• Offering information, referral and summary as well as full representation in a variety of areas such as disability and health benefits, debt and income assistance, immigration/refugee issues, tenancy and other rights.
• Obtaining federal disability benefits and other income security benefits.
• Assisting Downtown Eastside population in areas of law where they are particularly vulnerable, e.g. tenancy disputes.

2. Assist in the delivery of public legal education workshops where appropriate.

3. Engage in research that is directly related to the casework.

4. Provide full representation at hearings, written submission of appeals and reconsideration of decision, written and spoken interventions at an administrative level with a number of government programs, interviews and investigations and basic assistance with a wide variety of applications.

5. Contact numerous government agencies, social service agencies, housing providers, other community legal assistance organizations and individual lawyers in particular areas of the law.


• Law Degree or depending upon experience, a university undergraduate degree, para-legal training certificate or continuing education training in poverty law.
• Up to one year experience would be an asset.


• Good communication skills both oral and written.
• Up-to-date computer skills with Microsoft Office.
• Knowledge of the difficulties encountered by people living in the Downtown Eastside is an asset.
• Knowledge of statutes such as Residential Tenancy and Employment and Assistance Acts.

HOURS OF WORK: 22.5 hours/week (Could be increased subject to funding.)

Please forward a resume and cover letter to Stephen Gray by May 19, 2014.

See Craigslist posting to apply:

Training: Professional Values and Ethics in Social Work - This weekend - UBC

Professional Values and Ethics in Social Work

Presented by UBC School of Social Work Professional Development Program

Date: Saturday, May 3, 2014

Time: 9am - 4pm

Location: The Jack Bell Building - Room 124, 2080 West Mall, UBC

Register here: http://sowkforms.sites.olt.ubc.ca/professional-values-and-ethics-in-social-work/

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Analysis: Employment Conditions of Child Protection Same All Over

                        Protestors held signs  in front of the Department of Children and Families offices in Lowell.

Sadly the state of child protection services is no different here in B.C. Hiring freezes, far too many managers and bureaucrats. Unreasonably high caseloads, too much emphasis on paperwork and administrative tasks. One of the highest sick leave rates and worker turnover in all of the B.C. government. A government that doesn't care here and a union that is MIA. 

DCF workers protest heavy caseloads
Crimaldi, L. (2014). 

LOWELL — Child welfare workers are struggling with what they say is a caseload crisis caused by longstanding staffing shortages and new policies implemented after the disappearance of a Fitchburg boy who was under state supervision, union officials said Tuesday.

The state Department of Children and Families was handling 35,066 cases as of March 1, according to the Service Employees International Union Local 509, which represents child welfare workers. That’s a 9 percent increase since December, when officials learned that Jeremiah Oliver was missing.

Jeremiah’s body was found Friday off Interstate 190 in Sterling, authorities said. He was 4 years old when he was last seen in September. No one has been charged in his death.

The preschooler is alleged to have been the victim of violence involving his mother, Elsa Oliver, 28, and her boyfriend, Alberto Sierra Jr., 23, both of whom have refused to say anything about his whereabouts since their arrests in December on assault and child endangerment charges. They have pleaded not guilty.

On Tuesday, a judge allowed requests from Elsa Oliver’s lawyer to let an independent pathologist examine the boy’s body before it is released to his family for a funeral, said her attorney, James Gavin Reardon Jr.
“There has been no announced cause of death nor have I been given any information about my client’s alleged involvement in the death,” Reardon said.

Sierra’s lawyer didn’t return a call seeking comment.

The Oliver case exposed systemic problems at the state child protection agency, including heavy caseloads and poor internal communication.

We need something done today. We need more workers. We need lower caseloads,” said Kelly Ballum, a caseworker in Lowell, where about three dozen caseworkers and DCF investigators held an informational picket Tuesday. She said she’s handling 22½ cases and must visit with 30 children this month.

Union officials singled out a directive requiring the agency to conduct a full investigation of any claims of abuse involving children age 5 and under in families with young parents, or parents with a history of substance abuse, domestic violence, mental health issues, or unresolved childhood trauma.

“It’s just impossible for the agency and for the investigators and ongoing workers to handle the volume of cases that are coming in,” said Anthony Labo, a child welfare investigator in Lowell and a union official.

The contract for investigators says they should have no more than 12 cases per month, but Labo said some are now juggling upward of 30 a month.

Peter MacKinnon, president of the union that represents child welfare workers, said he supports the reasons behind the new directives, including an increase in opiate abuse and research into the causes of death and injuries for children age 5 and under.

But, he said, the agency should have put staff in place to carry out the policy change.

“They put in writing that we don’t have the staff to do this, but we’re going to do this anyway,” MacKinnon said. “To do it without any thought or any planning and without the staff to do it caused the spike and actually made kids less safe.”

Governor Deval Patrick said lawmakers are working on providing more money to hire additional staff. “They have had staffing needs for some time, we’ve known this for more than a year, we’ve been working on it for more than a year,” Patrick said, according to a transcript of his comments provided to the Globe.

The agency got an additional $2.8 million in funding this year, and Patrick’s budget plan for next year includes an additional $9.2 million to pay for 175 new social workers and staff and to improve technology, according to a statement from Cayenne Isaksen, a DCF spokeswoman.

More than 150 social workers and staff have been hired in the last four months, she said.

The union said the extra money being sought would not meet demand.

Jeremiah Oliver’s disappearance only became known to police when his 7-year-old sister told school staff that she and her 9-year-old brother had been physically abused at home and that she had not seen Jeremiah in a long time.

The boy’s father, Jose Oliver, who lives in New Britain, Conn., said he hopes to hold a funeral in Fitchburg and burial in Worcester.

“I hope I get answers. Why? Just why? That’s what I want to know — just why and what happened,” he said.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Technology: Using Digital Media in Social Work Education

This article is very close to my heart. Since I made the shift to being an educator I've found ways to incorporate media, social media and technology into curriculum. Its an exciting and innovative time for learning technologies. 

I've also found, today's students, particularly the younger ones who have never known a world without the internet, really benefit from engaging in multi-media learning materials and content. In the classroom it has its pluses and minuses, but overall, I believe the profession of social work needs to expand our use of media and technology in a variety of ways, keeping in mind ethical practices. 

How can we use digital media in social work courses?
Social media can be an invaluable tool for learning, but student participation cannot be taken for granted
Megele, C. (2014). The Guardian Professional. 

Digital services are playing an increasingly important role in social care, whether it is video training that can be viewed on a mobile, or remote tools for carers. So given the rise in e-services, how can the social work profession ensure that all staff are able and confident when it comes to using digital tools?

An important starting point is for students to be introduced to the professional use and applications of social media during courses. We are seeing a move towards this; indeed, my passion for the use of technology in social care was why I started @SWSCmedia and @MHChat, two online practice communities. I then created Enable, the Enquiry and Networked Action Based Learning Environment, and used it as the model for incorporating social media in the MSc Step up to Social Work programme, for teaching and assessment. This was followed by a Higher Education Academy (HEA) workshop on using social media in academic curriculums.

These experiences, and the ideas discussed at the HEA event have taught me that it is important to establish clear objectives for what you would like social media to add to the course: assuming student participation with social media may be incorrect. It is essential to explicitly communicate your expectations, as students need to feel that the use of social media in the course is relevant and aids their learning. Furthermore, given the vast array of software and platforms, it is important to choose which social media will be used and their role.

A systematic approach and clear delivery are essential for successful use of social media in teaching and learning. The model I came up with, called Enable, encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning. The model uses networks and communities of practice to encourage interaction, connections and social learning.

Using social media may involve learning how to use the technology, and this can require training. However, technology should not be the driver. The most important thing is how these tools can help people develop their potential. People value what they help to build and social media offer a collaborative platform for sharing and co-developing projects and ideas. Therefore, it is important to go beyond meeting students' learning needs, and use social media as an opportunity for enhancing learners' social and collaborative competencies.

Learning requires motivation, and maintaining this drive is closely related to its social elements. Therefore, it is important to create a supportive, interactive and open learning environment that recognises learners' previous experiences and builds on their capabilities.

Rather than thinking of social media as a teaching tool, it can be used to create a culture of continuous improvement. Social media offers opportunities to model diverse practices, develop personal learning networks, and to establish a rich and inclusive learning process. However, to be effective, it needs to be focused on students' experiences.

Claudia Megele (@ClaudiaMegele) is a senior lecturer and CPD/PQ programme leader at Middlesex University and head of practice learning at Enfield council. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ethics: Social Worker Fired for Misconduct

Social worker sacked over missing child

The New Zealand Herald, (2014). 

A social worker who failed to tell his superiors that a child in their care was missing was rightly sacked, the Employment Relations Authority has found.

Gavin Temara had worked for Child Youth and Family in Auckland for nearly 10 years before he was fired last November.

In May last year, Mr Temara was assigned to a family, known as the K family, which had already been in the social welfare system for three years.

In the two months that followed, Mr Temara completed safety assessments of the family without interviewing any of the children.

An initial report by Mr Temara identified a long history of neglect and violence, the authority said.

Another report by him identified vulnerable infants and that one of the children, RK, was showing dangerous and criminal behaviour.

He prepared an order for that child only to be removed from the the child's parents.

He later interviewed RK and an older sibling who both reported no problems in their home. Mr Temara did not interview any of the other children.

On July 1, Mr Temara was contacted by a colleague who told him one of the children, 8-year-old MK had gone missing from the family home.

He had been missing since the previous day and the parents were going to the police.

"Mr Temara took no further action on the file. He did not note MK's disappearance in CYFS records or advise his supervisor this had occurred," the authority said.

Four days later the child was found and told police of incidences of violence towards all the siblings.

MK was placed in emergency care and custody orders were made for the other children.

Mr Temara was fired for serious misconduct following an investigation by the agency.

He told the authority his actions did not fit within the definition of serious misconduct within the disciplinary policy. At best it was "conduct that brings the employer into disrepute".

The social worker's failure to interview the children, despite knowing there had been 17 previous domestic violence incidences was "an act of wilful  negligence or gross incompetence", authority member Tania Tetitaha said.

Because Mr Temara did not notify his superiors for four days that MK was missing, they were unable to use their own resources to help in the search for the child, she said.

His dismissal by the agency was justified, Ms Tetitaha ruled.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Reflecting on Social Work in the 21st Century

I am Getting my MSW, but I Do Not Want to be a "Social Worker"

Richardson, J. (2014). Social Work Helper.

As I finish up my first year in graduate school, I am reflecting on the reasons I chose to enroll in a social work program. First, I want to change to world, and I want to help as many people as I can. I  know I cannot change everything, but I can motivate and empower other people to help to make a bigger impact. 

My passion for social justice drove me into the MSW program, and I was ready to set forth and learn how to save the world. Now during my whole time at school, I get ask the same questions over and over again about what I am studying social work and the reasons behind it. Once I tell people I am getting my MSW, they certainly jump to conclusions about my career path.

  • You are not going to make any money.
  • You are going to take kids away from bad parents.
  • Oh! I know a social worker at my school. She’s great!
  • Good for you; that job is so challenging.
  • Why are you learning about fundraising if you are going to be a social worker? They are so different.
  • What population do you want to work with?
  • What therapy method do you prefer?
  • Why do you want to help poor people?
  • You need to get licensed right away.
  • You should memorized the DSM
  • Take a course on CBT for sure
  • You need to focus to take as many advanced clinical courses as possible.

  • Sadly, I have heard all of these statements and more related ones too many times. The frustrating part about these comments is not the fact people are trying to help or learn more about my career, but they are judging my career choice before I get a chance to explain my reasoning. The worst part about this is that people who call themselves social workers are the most judgmental. They believe in their definition of social work, and what I want to do is not it.

    They in some ways diminish my motivation for social change and push more towards therapy. Even the educational requirements are steering away from social justice initiatives and focusing on therapy. Is that what social work is now? Cheap therapy? If you would like more information on the subject, there is a book called Unfaithful Angels: How Social Work has Abandoned its Mission by Harry Spect and Mark E. Courtney. The book is a great read for any social worker out there trying to evaluate their roles as a social worker in society.

    As many of you know, the definition of social work is vast and expanding. You can read about the great things about the various social work professions and opportunities in other posts on this website. It is not just counseling or adhering to the needs of individuals, but much more.  This can include anything related to helping individuals including but not limited to social policy analysis, program development, community assessment, advocacy, community organizing, development, organizational management, case management, research, social change and more, not just counseling.

    With this being said, it is said that many schools and professionals are telling students every day that their focus should be on therapy and clinical intervention. I do not discredit the wonderful work clinical social workers do, because it is necessary. I just want the opportunity for my fellow students and I to mold our own definitions of social work based on personal and communal factors. We should focus our education, internships, jobs based on what we like to do and what we feel is necessary. We certainly would not tell clients what to do based on our own perceived conceptions of their identity, then we should not do it for social work students.

    For clarification, I do plan on being a social worker, but I am going to be MY definition of a social worker. I plan to be a nonprofit executive leading human service agencies. I am getting my MSW to understand the perspective of oppressed individuals, and how my good friend says it, put the human back in human services.

    If a label is part of my identity, I will dictate what I believe the label means. In order for you to know, you need to ask me instead of judging based on your preconceived notions. Rather than tell me what to do, maybe you could offer your advice or assistance if I ask for it.  Our future is determined by our decisions, and we students need to learn that for ourselves. Honestly, you’d be surprised how much we know already, and you could learn more about us if you do not jump to conclusions. 

    Training: Love Workshop for Couples - Vancouver


    A weekend workshop for couples

    This 20 hour Imago workshop, based on the work of Harville Hendrix, helps couples to listen and to be heard, to become conscious of the dynamics that drive their relationship. Couples will learn practical skills to change self-defeating behaviours and learn to focus their energy on meeting their partner’s needs while honouring their own. Couples will leave the workshop more connected to each other, more able to replace conflict and animosity with compassion, respect and a deeper love for one another. Couples are encouraged to participate to their comfort level but are not required to speak in front of the group.
    We welcome all couples in all stages of relationship – newly in love, struggling with endless arguments, wanting to enrich their relationship, thinking about separation, and not wanting to repeat the mistakes from previous relationships. Couples with diverse backgrounds – sexual orientation, cultural, ethnic or spiritual affiliations – have all benefited from this workshop.
    NEW DATE: May 23-25, 2014
    Our weekend workshops tend to sell out! Register early to avoid disappointment.
    A note to therapists: Please know that we encourage couples to make an appointment back with their referring therapist after the workshop to continue their relationship work. All therapists who attend with their partners receive a significant discount. 
    See our website for registration and referral information.  www.ImagoVancouver.com 
    Facilitators: Tamara Adilman, RCC, 604-732-7344 and Maureen McEvoy, RCC 604-873-3278 Certified Getting the Love You Want workshop presenters.

    Friday, April 18, 2014

    Celebrating Social Work: PEI Social Workers Recognized for Distinguished Service

    Two Island social workers receive national awards

    Journal Pioneer (2014). 

    Two Prince Edward Island social workers recently received Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Awards.

    Margaret Kennedy and Phil Matusiewisz were selected from the membership of CASW partner organizations during National Social Work Month. The awards serve to honour the significant contributions made by the social work profession in support of building stronger families and a more equitable Canada.

    Kennedy is currently the provincial director of Community Mental Health and Addictions Services with responsibility for in-patient and out-patient programs and facilities across P.E.I. She is also the director responsible for the Mental Health Act of P.E.I. (a ministerial appointment). Kennedy is past president of P.E.I. Association of Social Workers and is an author and contributor to various social work related publications.
    Matusiewisz is currently the registrar of the P.E.I. Social Work Registration Board, and actively involved in the Canadian Council.
    Matusiewisz was involved in the implementation of the Best Start Program on P.E.I., an early intervention program for at-risk families with children under the age of three. He is the registrar of the P.E.I. Social Work Registration Board and actively involved in the Canadian Council of Social Work Regulators. He is currently employed as executive director of P.E.I.'s Family Violence Prevention Services.
    In receiving their awards, Kennedy and Matusiewisz were cited as having provided "exceptional service to the populations they serve as well as upholding and exemplifying the best of the profession."

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    Celebrating Social Work: Statement to the Canadian Senate

    Statement by the Honourable Judith Seidman for National Social Work Month

    March 28, 2014

    Honourable senators, in the last few years,  experts from across the country have been questioning the use of the word  “system” to describe Canada’s health care sector, some calling it a “misnomer.”  In 2011, then CMA president Dr. Jeffrey Turnbull put it this way: The health care system is fractured to such a degree that it is, in some ways, a system in name only.

    Professional silos — as they are described by health experts — may be most visible in the transition between acute and community care. In 2007-08, outside of Quebec and Manitoba, more than 1.7 million hospital days were attributed to people waiting to be moved to more appropriate care settings. Often it is seniors who occupy these beds, no longer in need of acute care but unable to be discharged with no support.

    One study included in a 2012 CIHI report found that more than one in four people over the age of 75 had been in this position and that 35 per cent of them were in need of home care.

    Recently, the integration of care across sectors has become a mantra for  health system reform. Yet, it is important to consider what this means in practice. How do we ensure quality services across a broad continuum of care?

    Social workers are in a unique position to help. In a hospital setting, they  address the psychosocial needs of both patients and families. This includes caregiver support, grief and loss counselling, and community resource  information and referral. Social workers also provide discharge planning, a critical support during the transition from acute to community care.

    Honourable senators, in practice, social workers bridge gaps between sectors and bring us closer to the meaning of a “health care system.”

    As we shift focus away from the delivery of acute care in hospital settings and towards a holistic community approach, we must ensure that the points of  transition between sectors are seamless. Social workers are essential to the  success of this transition.

    Please join me in recognizing March as National Social Work Month.

    Thank you.

    Clinical Training: Marriage and Family Theory and Therapy

    Clinical Training Program in Marriage and Family Theory and Therapy

    Living Systems Counselling is accepting applications for their 2014-2015 Clinical Training Program.
    • This program is for clinicians and professionals. Supervisors of the program have extensive training and experience in the use of Bowen Theory in therapy. 
    • The training group meets once a week in North Vancouver for four hours from early October through mid June.

    For further information please contact Randy Frost, Training Director, 604 926 5496 ext. 304 or info@livingsystems.ca.

    Visit the website: Living Systems Counselling

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

    Training: Emotional Freedom Technique - Cortes Island

    Emotional Freedom Technique Level 1 & 2

    Date: Aug 1 - 6, 2014

    Presented by: Alina Frank
    • Personal Development
    • Professional Development
    Location: Hollyhock, Cortes Island

    About the workshop

    Learn EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques or “The Tapping Technique”) and join millions worldwide who have found the most sought after Energy Psychology approach on the planet. 
    EFT has gained rapid popularity because it has been demonstrated to quickly and effectively resolve dysfunctional feelings, thoughts, behaviors and beliefs which can lead to challenges in relationship, health, right livelihood and dis-ease.  Learn to implement this powerful mind-body approach which is supported by peer-reviewed research, drawing from the fields of interpersonal neurobiology, neuroplasticity models and the field of epigenetics.

    If you are ready to transform your health, your relationships and your vision of who you truly are, then come join us. If your life is grounded in being of service to others, then EFT will quickly become your tool of choice. If you are curious about EFT for self-help or you are in the healing/helping professions, this training gives you confidence in the art of its delivery. From the professional working with clients to the laymen looking for self-application, everyone walks away having the skills to succeed with this extraordinary healing modality.
    Alina Frank is an internationally renowned and highly sought after Master EFT trainer, presenter and mentor.  She has been teaching and mentoring practitioners since 2005 and has been rated the #1 EFT coach since 2009. A certified trainer through both EFT Universe and Matrix Reimprinting, she has trained and mentored hundreds of practitioners around the world.www.efttappingtraining.com
    TUITION: $565 CDN / 5 nights (meals & accommodation extra)
    Register here.

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

    Media: BC Social Worker Registration and Exemptions

    It’s time to get rid of act’s outdated exemption

    Bramham, D. (2014). Vancouver Sun. Retrieved from: 


    Would you be okay if you knew the surgeon about to amputate your leg wasn’t really a doctor and had only taken a short course in how to use a saw?

    Would you be comfortable driving across the new Port Mann Bridge if the person who engineered the span had only completed a two-year course in drafting?

    Probably not.

    Yet one in three of the B.C. government’s so-called “social workers” don’t meet the minimum professional requirements set out in provincial legislation.

    These workers are making decisions that can be as life-changing for children and families as an amputation. And, when they make the wrong ones — as the representative for children and youth has pointed out on too many occasions — the decisions can have fatal consequences.

    But a third of them lack the specialized knowledge and training to assess and identify crisis situations and diagnose the remedies needed to keep children safe.

    They are not legally allowed to call themselves social workers even though that’s the work they do.

    What makes it worse for those working in child protection is the children’s ministry budget is now 24-per-cent less than it was in 2001, yet the complexity, workload and pressure that front line staff face is more acute than ever.

    The only reason the province gets away with this situation is because of an exemption written into the Social Work Act when it came into force in 1969.

    It exempted the federal government, school boards, municipalities, Indian bands, tribal councils and treaty First Nations from hiring the very social workers whose qualifications the act set out to define.

    The result is that when the most vulnerable British Columbians seek help, there is a good chance the social worker they are dealing with isn’t properly qualified and isn’t registered with the B.C. College of Social Workers.

    The Social Work Act was created in 1969 because until then, anyone could claim to be a social worker. With no regulation, it meant there was no recourse for anyone who complained that a self-proclaimed social worker had behaved badly.

    What the act did was bring the profession in line with others such as doctors, nurses, engineers and dentists.

    Because it was a big change, the exemptions may have made sense 45 years ago. At the time, it may have been difficult to find enough qualified people to fill jobs in rural areas and the north.

    But these days? British Columbia is home to 10 schools of social work. So supply shouldn’t be a problem.

    The Social Work Act was updated six years ago. The B.C. College of Social Workers was established with the power to investigate complaints against its member and discipline social workers who fail to meet the ethical standards and conduct outlined in the act.

    However, the hiring exemptions remained. So clearly, retaining the ability to not hire qualified people was a deliberate policy decision.

    What’s not clear is why the B.C. government and the other exempted ministries and agencies would want to hire people to do this work who only have diplomas or completely unrelated degrees.

    Justice Thomas Gove’s inquiry 20 years ago into the death of four-year-old Matthew Vaudreuil found that only a third of the social workers who dealt with the case were properly trained.

    In his recommendations, he said people providing direct services to children and their families should “at minimum, be required to have a bachelor of social work degree as a basic qualification. A master of social work should continue to be preferred.”

    He recommended the government provide incentives to its existing staff to upgrade their qualifications to bachelor’s and master’s degrees, including distance education for those in remote communities.

    While two-thirds of those doing child protection work for the government are qualified social workers, the overwhelming majority have only a bachelor’s degree — Gove’s and the legislation’s minimum requirement.

    John Mayr, registrar for the College of Social Work, emphasizes that upgraded qualifications and regulation alone won’t solve all the problems. But he says it is an important piece in a complex system.

    As Mayr points out, social workers — the same as teachers — have not been able to negotiate workloads in their union contracts, nor can workload issues be grieved or arbitrated.

    These are huge issues, as the Child and Youth Representative’s report on the suicide of a 14-year-old girl pointed out. The report made frequent references to front line workers being overwhelmed by the caseload they were required to handle and “not fully trained to meet the demands of child and family services.”

    The qualifications problem could be solved by the government abiding by its own act rather than continuing with its self-exemption.

    As for the caseload problems, Mayr says, registered social workers can use the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics to demand and drive improvements.

    March is National Social Work month, so here’s a thought: Rather than issuing a standard proclamation, the B.C. government could acknowledge the value of well-educated, well-trained professionals by ending the exemptions from hiring them.


    © Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun.


    Social Workers Profile - Welcome BC 

    Social Workers Occupational Profile - Work BC

    Young, T. (Aug. 2013). Have your say:  Social Work Standards. Winnipeg Free Press.

    Friday, April 4, 2014

    Clinical: Older Adults & Depression

    What Doctor's Don't Tell Older Adults About Depression

    Whiteman, K. (2014). Social Work Helper.

    Depression is a serious and debilitating condition for older adults aged 65 years and older. Depression not only exacerbates physical health conditions, but it also reduces quality of life and is a risk factor for suicide and other behavioral health problems such as substance use. There are many evidence-based treatment approaches to treat depression in older adults; however, the one of the most common forms of treatment in primary care settings and nursing homes is psychotropic medication. Psychotropic medication has been show to reduce depression symptoms in older adults, but these medications also have some potentially serious and life threatening side effects that older adults are more vulnerable to than younger age groups.

    Why are older adults being prescribed medication as the first response to depression when alternative therapies such as physical activity have also been show to reduce depression symptoms in older adults? Is depression treatment really as simple as exercising and encouraging active older adults to maintain current levels of activity?

    Physical activity such as yoga, strength training, swimming, and tai chi have consistently been shown to lower depression severity in older adults, not to mention improve cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness, bone and functional health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and cognitive decline.

    The Center for Disease Control and Prevention made the following exercise recommendations for adults aged 65 years or older, who are fit, and have no limiting health conditions. The following are three weekly exercise options for older adults aged 65 years and older.
    • 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
    • 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
    • An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
    Social workers and other health care professionals such as primary care physicians, nurses, or physical therapists who work with older adults first need to know the signs of depression, and if they detect depression symptoms, include physical activity in their treatment plan as a preventative or early intervention.

    If we move away from relying on psychotropic medication as the main option for treating depression in older adults, we can encourage alternative treatments that don’t have potentially serious and life threatening side effects but have also been shown to be effective.

    If you like this blog and want more, follow me on Twitter @karenwhiteman

    Training: Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) - Vancouver

    Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BC Division) presents:

    Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

    The New Technology for Immediate Healing and Vitality

    May 10th 2014

    EFT is one of the most powerful and effective therapeutic tools in the world for creating remarkable and impressive personal change and growth. It can be utilized for a broad spectrum of personal issues including:
    • eliminating phobias and fears
    • healing trauma
    • panic attacks
    • stress and anxiety
    • addictions
    • sleep dysfunction
    • belief change


    The seminar will be 80% experiential and 20% lectures. This powerful one-day experience is
    open to healthcare professionals and to the public.


    Saturday, May 10th, 2014
    Registration- 8:30 am: Workshop 9 am – 4:00

    Centre for Peace at the Canadian Memorial Church
    1825 West 16th Ave., Vancouver, BC


    Advance Registration is Encouraged
    Take advantage of Early Bird Rates prior to April 15th
    To download registration form visit www.hypnosis.bc.ca

    CSCH Member $125 (Early Bird) $150 (after April 15th)

    Non-Member $150 (Early Bird) $175 (after April 15th)

    Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BC Division)
    2036 West 15th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 2L5
    Phone: 604-688-1714 Fax: 604-683-6979
    www.hypnosis.bc.ca Email: admin@hypnosis.bc.ca

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Profession: Career & Salary Information about Social Work in Canada

    I want to be a social worker. What will my salary be?

    Bouw, B. (2014). Special to The Globe and Mail.

    Job: Social Worker

    Salary: Starts at about $30,000 a year and can increase to about $90,000 for more senior professionals in supervisory positions.

    Education: A bachelor of social work degree from a Canadian university is the minimum requirement for most jobs in the profession. In Alberta, the minimum requirement is a diploma in social work. Some colleges across Canada also offer courses that prepare students wishing to apply for a bachelor of social work.

    The role: Social workers provide their communities with “supportive services that help to support healthier families and communities,” said Fred Phelps, executive director of the Ottawa-based Canadian Association of Social Workers.

    Social workers may oversee placement of children into protective care, investigate cases of suspected child abuse or work as part of a team to rehabilitate people convicted of criminal offences. They might offer counselling to people in distress or social support to seniors.

    Social workers are employed in hospitals, school boards, social service agencies, welfare organizations and correctional facilities. Some also work in private practice.

    By the numbers: There are more than 55,000 social workers in Canada, according to the 2011 National Household Survey. About 85 per cent of social workers are women.

    Job prospects: Demand for social workers is on the rise across the country, according to CanadaVisa.com, a website developed by a Canadian immigration lawyer. It cites an aging population that will create new openings for social work positions. While competition for jobs tends to be tougher in larger cities, Mr. Phelps says there are more opportunities in smaller communities and rural settings.

    Challenges: Social workers are exposed to their clients’ difficult personal situations, but that’s not the hardest part of the job, Mr. Phelps says. The challenge lies in not taking the job home with them to the point where it has an impact on their own lives. Social workers also need to ensure they don’t impose their own views and values on the people with whom they work.

    Why they do it: “It’s a way of giving back to the community,” Mr. Phelps says. At the same time, he says social workers are constantly learning from the interactions with their clients. “It’s more of a reciprocal relationship.” Mr. Phelps says the goal for most social workers is to work themselves out of a job. While that might be the case in individual circumstances, it’s unlikely the profession will ever become extinct.

    Misconceptions: It’s not just about child protective services, as is often highlighted on TV and in the movies. Mr. Phelps says the majority of social work takes place in health care and community settings. Those who do work in child protective services are working to keep children in their homes, not pull them out. That’s often the last resort, he says.

    Give us the scoop: Are you a social worker in Canada? Write a note in the comments area of this story or e-mail your comment to careerquestion@globeandmail.com and let us know what you would tell others who are interested in the profession.

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

    Job Postings: Around BC

    Employment Opportunities

    Child Protection Social Worker
    Social Program Officer 24 (Growth)
    Salary: $27.58 - $36.50 hourly
    0.5 Part-Time Opportunity

    Apply your expertise in a role where you can make a positive difference for the children of British Columbia

    As a Child Protection Worker, you investigate and assess situations and develop plans to ensure the safety of children and provide family support services. You counsel families, fulfill the role of a guardian and coordinate and consult with other service providers in a multidisciplinary team environment.

    Using your knowledge related to child welfare, you have a willingness to work in partnership with families from diverse backgrounds, aboriginal communities and community partners. Utilizing your expert skills, you effectively work and provide supportive guidance to caregivers and communities who are experiencing stressful and complex situations. Exhibiting a high level of care and attention, you provide consultation, guidance and support to children, youth, caregivers and families in an attempt to resolve or stabilize crises and/or stressful situations. In this vital position, you have the ability to work with and facilitate group processes while also providing crisis intervention to determine alternative placements.

    Located at the south end of the Sunshine Coast, just north of Vancouver, Gibsons (population: 4,182) is a quaint town of artists and fishing boats. Perched on a hillside, it overlooks a harbour and faces nearby islands in Howe Sound. As the crow flies, the "Gateway to the Sunshine Coast" is 16km/10mi from Vancouver. To get to Gibsons, it's a 40-minute ferry ride from West Vancouver, followed by a 5km/3mi drive from the Langdale ferry terminal.

    Sechelt (population: 8,454) is as laidback as it is scenic, full of artists and surrounded by green coastal mountains. Getting to Sechelt, is just a 40-minute ferry ride from West Vancouver, followed by a 27km/17mi drive up Highway 101. Nestled on a strip of land between Howe Sound and the Strait of Georgia, this largest municipality on the Sunshine Coast attracts visitors with its blissful mix of water and land activities, suitable for all ages and ability levels.

    We offer training, growth and development opportunities; a competitive salary and benefits package; a pension plan that ranks among the best; and offer a balance between work and life commitments. We are committed to continuing to be an employer of choice and providing a professional environment where ideas work.

    Travel is a requirement in this position and a valid BC Driver's License is required. You may be required to work evening/weekends.

    For more information on this exciting career opportunity including how to apply by April 9th 2014, please visit: