Sunday, August 31, 2014

Professional Development: Dialectical Behaviour Therapy - Vancouver

Introduction to Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

Dates: September 19th – December 5th

There are still a few spaces available for the Fall Session of the Introduction to Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) course. This course, offered as part of an ongoing consultation and training program at the DBT Centre, covers all aspects of DBT including individual therapy, skills training, telephone consultation, and consultation teams.

The course takes place at our downtown office on Fridays from 9-12pm, starting September 19th through to December 5, 2014. Please note: The content is the same as our previously offered 36-week course. The schedule was changed to 3 hours per week for 12 weeks to make it easier for many to attend.

For more information and to register, please visit:


Annual Fall Workshop: Integrating PTSD Treatment into DBT for Suicidal and Self-injuring Clients with BPD

Date: October 3rd, 2014

We are pleased to be hosting the "Integrating PTSD Treatment into DBT for Suicidal and Self-injuring Clients with BPD" workshop on Friday, October 3, 2014, at the Italian Cultural Centre.

This one-day workshop, presented by Melanie S. Harned, Ph.D., from the University of Washington, will describe a treatment approach developed specifically for the high-risk population of individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), incorporating Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Prolonged Exposure (DBT-PE).

**Early bird registration for our annual Fall full-day workshop ends September 3rd.

For more information or to register, please visit:

Job Posting: Resident Manager - Private Senior Care Facility, Metro Vancouver

Resident Manager - Private Senior Care Facility, Metro Vancouver


Opportunity for an ambitious and caring social worker to be a part of a values-driven management team in a private senior care facility. Work in Vancouver, enjoy close and enduring ties with residents and develop your management potential.

Role and Responsibilities
  • Represent the facility as· ambassador of the unique culture of the facility manager responsible for intake, resident care, counselling and family relationships liaison with care-givers and broader community
  • Manage intake, administration and non-health care operations
  • Manage intake process and documentation
  • Manage administrative duties (through administrative assistant)
  • Deal with non-care complaints and relief support
  • Support residents, staff and advocates
  • Provide counselling support and services

Qualifications and Education Requirements
·  Social work or equivalent post-secondary education (Master of Social Work preferred) more than 3 years of experience in counselling and geriatric support;
   Can demonstrate effective administrative responsibilities (some hospitality or medical management experience preferred)

Additional and preferred characteristics

· The candidate should have a hospitable, caring and service-oriented attitude
· The candidate should be independent and motivated and accept constructive feedback in a productive manner
· The candidate should have own transportation and sufficient domestic stability to be able to deal with local issues (out of town travel is not required)

  Indicative base salary of $58 800
· Bonus related to performance
· Benefits

IIf you are right for this exciting opportunity, send a RÉSUMÉ and COVER LETTER to

Professional Development: UBC Continuing Education - Vancouver, Kelowna & Online

New Health Courses in Vancouver, Kelowna and Online

UBC Continuing Education

Fall Sessions Begin September 18

Benefit from practical courses to improve communication, increase engagement, and enhance team performance. All courses can be applied to the UBC Certificate in Collaborative Practice or taken individually.

Cristine Urquhart, MSW, RSW & Victoria Da Costa, MA
Strengthen your communication skills to engage with colleagues, reduce errors, increase efficiency and ultimately improve patient care.

Sep 18-19, UBC Robson Square, plus online learning and practice

Cristine Urquhart, MSW, RSW
Frances Jasiura, BPHE (Hons), BSW, RCC

Gain familiarity with an MI-style of communication, shown to increase engagement, reduce discord and guide conversations to support health and related change.

Sep 26-27, UBC Point Grey
Nov 7-8, UBC Okanagan

Lesley Bainbridge, BSR (PT), MEd, PhD & Victoria Da Costa, MA

Delve into the complexities of interprofessional teams, addressing role negotiation, stages of team development and the variables that can influence functioning at both interpersonal and systemic levels.
Oct 2-3, UBC Point Grey, plus online learning and practice

Nancy Poole, MEd, MA, PhD candidate

Learn strategies and best practices for effective knowledge translation (KT) and engagement.
2 Webinars, Oct 2 & 16, 100% Online

Also of interest:

A 15% group discount is available.

Find out more and register or call 604.827.4234

Friday, August 29, 2014

Social Work Critique & Analysis: Top 5 Reasons Social Work is Failing

Hopper, D. (2014). Social Work Helper. Retrieved from:
Airing live on CSPAN, Dr. Steve Perry gave a searing speech on the “The Role of Social Workers” at the Clark Atlanta University Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the founder and principal of a Connecticut school which only accepts first generation, low income, and minority students.
Dr. Perry received his Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania and has since become a leading expert in education, a motivational speaker, accomplished author, and a reality TV host.
Dr. Perry was adamant that social workers are the key to solving societal problems because we are the first responders for social issues.

However, he also pointed out that social workers are not unionized, tend to be politically inactive, and do not engage in social conversations in the public sphere.

Dr. Perry asserts that our jobs are the first to be cut because we are silent, and taxpayer dollars are being diverted to education budgets for programs social workers should be implementing.

I have listened to Dr. Perry’s speech twice already, and there were many pearls of wisdom that he dropped on the ears of those in attendance and viewing the broadcast. For the most part, I agreed with 95 percent of what Dr. Perry said which is a very high percentage for me.

Now, I am going to share with you my top 5 reasons why I believe social work is failing:

1. Title Protection

First, it made me beam with joy when Dr. Perry referred to himself as a social worker despite his celebrity status. Most individuals with social work degrees who work in social work settings often refer to themselves as researchers, professors, therapists, or psychoanalysts. The people most vocal about title protection and licensure don’t actually call themselves social workers as if  the title is relegated only to frontline staff.

I feel that over time title protection has been convoluted to mean licensed social worker and not a worker with a social work degree. I go in more detail on my thoughts regarding licensure in a prior article entitled, “Licensed Social Workers Don’t Mean More Qualified“. In my opinion, current policies and advocacy by professional associations and social work organizations have fractured the social work community into its current state.

We hail Jane Adams as the founder and pioneer of social work when in fact a story like Jane Adams’ would not be possible today. Jane Adams did not have a social work degree nor did she need a license to advocate and help people organize. As a matter of fact, in today’s society Jane Adams would probably be a women’s study major, political science, MBA or JD.

Social work degree programs have begun dissociating themselves with “casework”, and they actually steer students away from these types of jobs. If we are going to pursue title protection, we also need to create second degree and accelerated programs to pull experienced professionals and other degree holders into the social work profession instead of excluding them.

2. Macro vs Micro

For the past couple of decades, social work has slowly moved towards and is now currently skewed toward being a clinical degree while social work has marketed itself as a mental health profession. Over time, the profession has done a poor job in recruiting and connecting with individuals who are interested in working with the poor, politics, grassroots organizing, and other social justice issues.

Individuals who once flocked to social work to do community and social justice work are now seeking out other disciplines instead. Many social workers who want to be politically active and social justice focused are forced to do so under the banner of a women’s organization or other social justice nonprofit due to lack of our own. Students who decided to seek a macro social work degree often feel alienated and unsupported both in school and later with lack of employment opportunities.

3. Professionals Associations Represent Themselves and Not Us

Social Work organizations and associations have been pushing licensing for the past couple of decades which happens to also correlate with the same time frame they tripled the amount of unpaid internship hours required to complete your social work degree.

Recently, the Australian Association of Social Workers conducted a study which found university social work students were skipping meals and could not pay for basic necessities in order to pay for educational materials. American social work students who receive no stipends or any type of assistance are being forced to quit paying jobs in order to work unpaid internships, and they have no one fighting for them. In fact, most social work leaders argue that if you can’t shoulder the hardship this is not the profession for you.

You can’t talk to a social worker about anything without hearing the word “licensing”. From the time you start orientation, licensing is being forced feed to you as the solution that will solve all of social work’s problems. You are told licensing is going lead to better pay, better professionalism, better outcomes for clients, and better recognition to name a few. Here are a few things that licensing actually does:
  • Who can pass the licensure exam without having to pay for test prep materials or a workshop in which your professional association happens to sell to you at a “discount”?
  • People are taking the licensure exam sometimes at $500 each time for four to five times. Were is this money going?
  • Once you pass the licensure exam, you are going to need liability insurance in which also they happen to sell.
  • To keep your social work license, you are going to have to maintain a certain amount of CEU credits hours yearly. They just happen to own and provide the majority of these CEU online companies and workshops for you as well.
  • Then, you have to pay renewal fees yearly and fines to your state board of licensure which goes to sustain their jobs.
Licensing is currently in all 50 states and US territories, and it seems to benefit the people who created the policies more than it does the social worker and the communities we serve. Licensure makes money, and social justice issues just aren’t income generators. For social workers who are already struggling, how does all the above fees and costs affect their career mobility in one of the lowest paid professions with one of the highest student loan income/debt ratios? Without a union for social workers, who will advocate on our behalf and for our clients to get the resources we need to serve them?

4. Lack of Diversity in Social Work Leadership and Academia 

Through Social Work Helper, I have had the opportunity to be a part of conversations with various fractions of social work leadership over the past couple of years. Often times, I was the only person a part of the conversation that didn't have a doctorate or at least in the process of earning one.  Additionally, I also noticed that very few were minority voices if any other than me were a part of these discussions. At first, I was intimated because they had more education and  higher positions than me.

However, the more I listened and paid attention, I realized they are not better than me rather they had more access to opportunities than me. The ignorance and insensitivity displayed towards communities of color and the plight of social workers who are struggling in this profession is unbelievable.

Diversity in leadership brings different perspectives and point of views to be added to the conversation. Why didn't more social work organizations and schools of social work support last night’s speech by Dr. Perry hosted at a Historically Black College? How often is the topic of social work front and center in a televised public forum?

According Social Work Synergy,
“At times this will mean sharing power and leadership in deeper ways, and taking proactive steps to undo oppression and racism. The use of community organizing principles and skills are essential” (p.19) to this effort. Read Full Article
5. Lack of Support and Silence

Social work organizations and associations are forever holding conferences that the majority of social workers can’t afford to attend. Many social workers don’t have the luxury of having their university foot the bill for them to attend every social work conference each year. This very dynamic adds to the failures listed in 1 thru 4. In addition, it highlights another point made by Dr. Perry when he stated, “Social Workers will talk to each other, but they won’t engage in the public sphere”.

I have contacted both the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE) and the National Association of Social Worker (NASW) asking them to waive certain expenses, so I can cover their conferences in order to engage social workers via social media who can’t afford to attend. I can get press access to a White House event, but not to a social work conference. It’s like a country club that you can’t be apart of unless you can afford it.

You can view the Role of Social Workers by visiting CSPAN at

Global Social Work: Botswana & Myanmar

A history of social work in Botswana – and the challenges ahead

IFSW, (2014). 

Kgomotso Jongman President of Botswana National Association of Social Workers explains the problems facing the profession. The BNASW is an active IFSW Member:

Social work in Botswana is a relatively new profession, established by the British government in 1946 to look after returning soldiers from the second world war. The profession has steadily grown from one social welfare officer who was based at the ministry of education to more than 3500 social workers.

In the past, prior to contact with colonists, welfare services were provided through the community, with households supporting each other in times of need. Poor members of the community were assisted by more affluent members, through systems such as mafisa – a scheme whereby people with lots of cattle loaned livestock to those who had none. The chief, the highest political authority, occasionally collected levies from his subjects to be used to sustain the community in times of famine and drought.

Social services such as education and health were rudimentary, and mainly provided through local initiatives. Indigenous volunteerism and mutual aid were the key ways through which services were provided.


Social work in Myanmar: a slow and difficult birth

Ashencaen Crabtree, S. and Parker, J. (2014). Guardian Professional.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, has long been isolated to the international community, with solitude self-imposed by the leading military junta. But cracks are beginning to show, due to the lure of capitalism. Corporate business has been alerted to the possibility of big profits, in a work market where there is no minimum wage and a recent history of enforced labour.

During our research sabbatical as visiting professors at two elite Malaysian universities, University Sains Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, we were invited to Myanmar. Our role was to offer free, much-needed social work training workshops via the Myanmar Education and Development for Social Work, a fledgling agency. We also held research seminars for community development master’s students at the Myanmar Institute of Theology in Yangon.

Myanmar was a sobering experience from the beginning. It is unnerving to find that immigration officials know exactly who you are before your name is announced or passport shown. While usually happy to chat cheerfully to taxi drivers in south-east Asia, we felt a certain disinclination to answering questions now. The feeling increased as, pulling up to our very ordinary hotel, we had to walk through a peculiar electronic portal that lit up and clanged alarms if anyone passed through or out of the hotel. Would it be necessary to hold private conversations in the bathroom with all the taps running, we wondered.

On our first session, we arrived at a crowded, make-shift classroom in a Christian community hall to find that of 45 trainees only five had any social work training at all. The rest had been made up from the Baptist Church congregation who worked in a variety of non-governmental organisations, service industries and other outlets.

All the carefully prepared training materials that we had brought were based on the assumption of rudimentary working knowledge of social work. Complete reassessment of the situation was suddenly needed. This seemed a blow at the time, as our preparations had been focused on the complexities of international social work values and ethics, and social work assessment training – not subjects that are particularly accessible if you have no social work background. Yet after all the trouble and expense of coming to Myanmar, it had to work out somehow – and thankfully it did.

As is so often the case, the teacher learns as much from the trainees as they impart. While our audience didn’t know much about social work they certainly knew a great deal about social need in Myanmar. Participants didn’t realise that something as seemingly humble as working with the lowly and underprivileged could be counted as a profession. The idea of international standards and principles underpinning this work was also a revelation.

Despite this, the social and ethical necessity of this kind of work was easily embraced and recognised. The appetite for information grew while inhibitions about taking part lessened, with participants able to talk and give opinions more freely. When social inquiry was seen as a legitimate part of professional work people unleashed themselves.

One tool we used were genograms – a picture representation of a person’s family connections and relationships. Participants developed these for famous families of their choice, and the assessment techniques involved in analysing these were quickly seen as useful for their own service work. Similarly, we carried out eco-mapping of the Aung San dynasty. This kind of mapping shows what systems operate and affect someone’s life.

In this story, the famous, ageing daughter follows in the footsteps of her equally famous but long-since assassinated father. The map helped those working on it to raise questions about troubling unknowns, both historical and contemporary. This appeared to be very liberating, and emotions grew as audience interest swelled in relation to issues, not always directly related to social work, but decidedly relevant to the traumatic, national context.

Our work over, we left Myanmar with goodwill, impressed by the intelligence of our participants. Now we wondered how and when we could return to witness the slow, difficult birth of a new indigenous social work model in this isolated and brutalised country.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Professional: Dealing with Office Politics

5 Effective Ways to Deal with Office Politics
Crist, M. (2014). Social Work Helper. 

Office differences can be oh so difficult to avoid, especially seeing as you spend most of your life with the people you work with. The workplace is a modern day jungle and to survive you need to know how to stand up and deal with crucial situation or know when to lie low and say nothing. When conflicts do happen, it’s very easy to be sucked in.  Meaning, you’ll run the risk of inviting more resistance from those around you.

The key is learning to steer these awkward situations in a direction that suits you, meaning you can disengage from those petty differences and position yourself as someone who is only interested in doing their best and getting things done. Before the whispering and the finger pointing begins, here are 5 things that you need to remember when it comes to office politics.

1. Worry about Your Own Job

Focus on your career, not that of others. In almost every environment the most unsuccessful employees are the ones who are more worried about how others go about their business.

Learn to appreciate and acknowledge other’s success, but don’t become envious or jealous of it. Be generous to your fellow workers and soon enough people will notice and your efforts will be recognised.

The genuine support of colleagues can really change the nature of work relationships for the better and it also shows you are above any petty squabbles.

2. Learn to Deal with Disappointment

In business, as in life, things are not always fair. People’s reactions to difficult scenarios like missing out on a promotion, so dealing with confrontation or personality clashes will say a lot about their character.
Demonstrating a little calm and objectivity shows you have the maturity for greater success going forward.

3. Ignore Others and Don’t Gang-up

Your perception of how you view yourself is often shaped by how others see you and in almost every work environment, whether it’s a result of a poor culture, or simply jumping on the bandwagon – employees tend to gang-up.

To be the most successful employee it pays to build relationships with many and different individuals and various groups.

So if you can do this without being pressured into joining a destructive pack, you will be viewed by the management as a collaborative individual – rather than a just a sheep that follows the pack.

4. Know Your Role and Play it Well

Don’t let office politics distract you from your ultimate goals. This means taking every opportunity to build and maintain relationships without becoming bogged-down in petty arguments.

Exposing yourself to environments both inside and outside the workplace can always be beneficial, as this will provide you with experience of working alongside people who face issues and challenges that you aren’t necessarily used to.

Also, make it your business to position yourself as the person who will step in when disagreements do arise. This will enable you to provide a positive perspective when others are no longer capable of doing so.

By focusing on these goals, your context and judgement will continue to improve, and you will further insulate yourself from the destructive nature of office politics.

5. Get to Know Your Colleagues

Maintaining a position of influence can see you rise above any needless office bickering, but in order to do this, you must build authentic relationships in your work environment.

This means being genuinely curious about the people you work with and finding out just what makes them tick. This could be their expectations, ambitions and what drives them on. As well as training seminars and out of work interests they partake in when you are not around.

Getting to know people you spend most of your working week with will often make you stand out as a trustworthy individual, as well as allowing you to detect any disingenuous political agendas that might exist amongst others.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Professional development: Justice Institute: Expressive Play Therapy training & certificate

The Neurobiology of Expressive Play Therapy: Connecting Heart and Mind with Marie-Jose Dhaese PhD and Dr. Richard Gaskill (SPE159)

Date: October 2-3, 2014
Time: 9am-4:30pm

$355, Group/Early Bird rate $325 plus GST
(Early Bird Rate expires August 26, 2014)

Register Now

Renowned expressive play therapist Marie-José Dhaese and psychotherapist Dr. Rick Gaskill join their expertise to explore current neurobiological research and the theory and application of holistic expressive play therapy for this special event that weaves together current neurobiological research and the theory and application of Holistic Expressive Play Therapy (EPT).

EPT is an integrative approach with a long and successful history of treating trauma in children. Its wide variety of attachment-based and body-centered expressive methods utilizing sensory experience, movement activities, and creative expression, lend themselves well to the rapidly evolving knowledge regarding the effects of complex trauma.

Expressive Play Therapy Certificate

This 14-day (7 credit) program is designed for those learners with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience seeking to enhance their knowledge and develop new skills in expressive play and sandplay therapeutic interventions. Students who hold a master’s degree in a related field may apply for Continuing Education Units towards registration with the Association for Play Therapy and certification with the Canadian Association for Child Play Therapy. For more details contact program manager at 604 528.5711.

Note: All certificate courses will be offered in Parksville, BC on Vancouver Island, with the exception
of CY104 & CY104A which will be offered in both Parksville and New Westminster Campuses.

Courses: (Courses may be taken individually or as part of the certificate, with the exception of COUNS299)

Expressive Play Therapy Methods – Level 1
Expressive Play Therapy Methods – Level 2
Sandplay Therapy – Level 1
Sandplay Therapy – Level 2
Expressive Play Therapies to Help the Grieving Child
Final Project/Consultation Group

For more information or to register: or
or 604.528.5590 or 1.877.528.5591 Toll Free

Monday, August 18, 2014

Professional Development: Satir Transformational programs

Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy
Training Program Level 1

September13, 14, October 18, 19, November 22, 23, 2013
January 17, 18, February 21, 22, 2014
at Phoenix Center 13686-94A Avenue, Surrey, BC
Kathlyne Maki-Banmen, MA , RCC Individual, Couple and Family Therapist
Jennifer Nagel, MA RCC Individual, Couple and Family Therapist

The Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy Model (STST) is unique in encompassing both the intrapsychic and interactive components of therapy. Much therapy of the past has been focused only on clients’ behaviour, cognition or affect. This model is focused on bringing about change at the level of Being, as well as changes in doing, feeling and perceiving. The process taps the universal yearnings of individuals within their personal family and social systems and helps them work towards a sense of responsible wholeness. The process requires that the therapist has a high level of therapeutic competence and congruence.

10 day program only $1250.00


Cindi Mueller, Administrator
Satir Institute of the Pacific
Charity Reg. #858851082


Satir Institute of the Pacific will be offering a Personal Growth Seminar on:

Becoming and Embracing Your True Identity:
Gender Queer/LGBTQ2S - Personal Growth

If you could please pass this along to any of your clients whom you think may find this interesting, or post where it is possible. Thank you

For more information and registration for both programs contact:

Cindi Mueller, Administrator
Satir Institute of the Pacific
Charity Reg. # 858851082
Soicety # 38709

For more information about all of the training visit here:

Professional Development: Victoria & Vancouver

The Mindful Couple Workshop - UVic, Victoria, BC
Saturday September 20, 2014

The Mindful Couple Workshop is a one-day, experiential workshop for couples, created and presented by Connie Feutz, MA, LMHC, a Senior Clinician with The Gottman Institute in Seattle for over 12 years.

A dynamic synthesis of Connie Feutz’ 28 years of clinical experience, clinicians and couples attending this workshop will learn practical and sound methods for building a more harmonious and resilient relationship.

Couples work privately on exercises specifically designed to strengthen their connection as well as exercises which guide them on how to navigate difficult conversations gracefully and mindfully. There is no group work or public disclosure.
John Gottman, PhD calls Connie “An extraordinarily-gifted couples’ therapist.”

Date: Saturday 9/20/14 
Location: University of Victoria.
Fee: $250/couple, $175 single practitioner

For further information, or to register for the workshop:

A New Two-Day Workshop Presented by Christine A. Padesky, Ph. D.
Vancouver – Oct 7-8, 2014
How often do you watch a master clinician at work and wonder, "How did she know to ask that?" "Why did she do that?" Past workshop participants frequently comment that some of the best learning in Christine Padesky's workshops comes from her clinical demonstrations. Listening to this feedback, Dr. Padesky decided to structure a new workshop series around clinical demonstrations. In this first workshop of her new "Show Me!" series, she reveals what is going through her mind during demonstrations of Strengths-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

Each demonstration highlights subtle decision points that guide her practice. For example:

· When and how do you identify client strengths and bring these into client awareness?
· When is it therapeutically helpful to show deep empathy and when is a lighter level of empathy more effective?
· What nonverbal therapist behaviors influence the direction an interview takes?
· How do CBT methods vary depending upon client issues, personality, and strengths?
· When and how do you decide to help a client build a personal model of resilience?
· How do you decide when it might be better to construct new beliefs and behaviors rather than test the old ones?
She lets us listen in as she makes a myriad of decisions concerning what paths to follow as she does this. Following each demonstration and lengthy debriefing attendees will get a chance to work on the same skills.

It promises to be a really useful and refreshingly different way to hone skills and improve learning. All the details (agenda, prices, venues) are posted on our website, where you can book a place and pay on line, request an invoice be sent to your employer, or download a brochure. Please join us this fall.

Or contact Dr. Lorna Tener at Cognitive Workshops --, 1-888-379-4770.

PS: Early Bird Price deadline is September 5th!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Technology: Social Work Podcasts

Podcasts offer a portable resource for social workers - Podsocs aim to share good practice and support social workers in their professional development

Fronek, P. (2014). The Guardian.

Even social work technophobes are listening to podcasts or portable audio recordings. You can listen to whatever you like, whenever you like, wherever you are and no matter what you are doing. All you need is a media player (on a computer or smartphone). Listening is as simple as a few clicks of a mouse, and is even easier when smartphones download them for you.

Many different disciplines, from the media to science, have reached out to the public, professionals and students since podcasting took off in the mid 90s. US social worker Jonathan Singer, host of The Social Work Podcast, was an early pioneer who recognised the potential of podcasts and in time others followed.

Social work podcasts are great for social workers, students and the profession in so many ways. Doing social work is rewarding but can be tough. Practitioners are used to being blamed by the media and public. Workloads are beyond what is reasonable for many and access to professional development is often the first thing to go when budgets are cut. Podcasts let the people whose work we read into our homes, cars, offices – anywhere really.

What we do is important but social workers are notoriously bad at promoting how much the profession has to offer. Our education, knowledge and skills mean we are well equipped to work with communities, and people and families of all ages. Social workers are found wherever people are affected by inequality, tragedy, social injustice and breaches of human rights.

These are some of the reasons why Podsocs, the podcast for social workers on the run, was created. The Podsocs team has come to realise that social workers are hungry for content that actually speaks to them. From the beginning I have been an avid podcast listener which I suppose inspired Podsocs' creation – why shouldn't social work share our unique, professional contributions to social policy?

The problem was I knew nothing about how to actually create a podcast. My technological skills have developed over time but are still a work in progress. Podsocs listeners have been very forgiving! After two years of brainstorming ideas, struggling with technology and picking the brains of people with technological skills, a learning and teaching grant meant we got our website and the first podcasts were published in June 2012. Today, I source our guests from around the world, interview them, edit and publish the podcasts. Interviewing overseas guests often mean very late nights and early mornings. I am still mastering Podsocs' Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Seventy podcasts on a great variety of topics have been published so far and I aim for a new one every month. 17,000 podcasts have been downloaded from the website alone reaching people in 60 countries. Esteemed experts, skilled practitioners and people living their experience share their research, knowledge and experiences . Every new podcast tends to be my favourite until the next one comes along and each speaks to a particular area of practice.

Jan Fook is popular with listeners because the capacity to critically reflect on what we do is core to social work practice. Fook talks about how using a clear, practical process of critical reflection helps social workers understand how power and domination come together in practice. Engaging in a process of critical reflection makes our work relevant and more effective.

Professional supervision helps that process and Elizabeth Beddoe talks about surviving in environments often dominated by risk management and managerialism. Lena Dominelli draws social relationships, the political, economic and physical together in our understandings of the environment and how green social work brings new and creative ways of thinking. Her approach is particularly relevant to a world faced with climate change and its negative consequences for all people.

Also of great contemporary relevance is Richard Wilkinson's research on the importance of equality . Inequality is bad for everyone – the rich and the poor. The greater the inequality, the more social problems. Podsocs doesn't shy away from such controversial subjects, whether political or social. For example, Maggie Walter's podcast challenges race and dominance in social work practice. Walter explains how whiteness theory disrupts the normative white, individualistic view that race is about other people, and positions white practitioners as raced and often blind to their privileged position in practice and within the profession.

These are only some of Podsocs' offerings. There are sixty-five more equally engaging podcasts on topics including disability, adoption, war, domestic and family violence, sexual assault, working with men, child welfare, refugees and suicide.

Tell us how we're doing and which guests you would like to hear on a podcast. If you haven't already give podcasts a go, help us put social work on the map – listening is easy.

Patricia Fronek is a senior lecturer at Griffith University and president of the Australian and New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Global Social Work: Tanzania: Call for Formation of Social Work Council

Tanzania: Call for Formation of Social Work Council

SOCIAL workers in Tanzania have called for the establishment of National Social Work Council to steer the profession, which, despite its potential to bring about social reformation, is not fully utilised.
Chairman of Tanzania Emerging Schools of Social Work Education Programme (TESWEP), Dr Naftali Ng'ondi, made the call on the sidelines TESWEP's annual general meeting held in Dar es Salaam.

The meeting was attended by representatives of more than 12 public and private institutions of higher learning which offer social work courses.

"Establishment of a council would enable us to perform our work efficiently as it would oversee and put in place guidelines to be adhered to by social workers," Dr Ng'ondi, who is also a lecturer at the Institute of Social Work (ISW), said, adding: "It is a standard practice everywhere in the world that in order to have competent social workers they must be registered and certified by a council."

The don was confident however that the council would be created in the near future since the government had shown commitment on the matter.

"The process is now at the ministerial level but there are some processes which have to be followed before the council is established and become operational," he explained.

Dr Ng'ondi expressed concern, saying both the public and private sectors were not making the best use of the available social workers.

"It has now become a trend, particularly in the private sector, to employ people with other professions to undertake duties that should have been done by professional social workers," he lamented.

"It is true, on the other hand, that the country was facing shortage of social workers since there was only one institution training them in the past, namely ISW, but now the number of institutions offering such courses is more than 12."

Studies conducted during the year 2011/2012 showed that the country faced a shortage of 5,000 social workers, but the gap was slowly being closed.

Representatives from institutions offering social work studies who attended the meeting decried shortage of human resources and facility in training social workers across the country.

TESWEP is a project of TASWO and brings together universities and colleges on sharing information, knowledge as well as harmonising and standardising the curricula.

TASWO is supported by the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and CDC/Tanzania through a capacitybuilding partnership managed by the American International Health Alliance (AIHA).

Job Postings: New Aiyansh, B.C.

Social Worker Team Lead (Child Protection)

Nisga’a Lisims Government has an exciting new position for a Social Worker Team Lead (Child Protection) to join the group in Gitlaxt'aamiks (also known as New Aiyansh) in beautiful British Columbia. Your main responsibilities will be to plan, develop, manage, coordinate and evaluate the delivery of services within the context of a C-6 Child Protection team. You will also ensure clinical support is effectively provided as you oversee staff training and development.

To qualify for this role, you will have 5 years’ of related experience with at least 3 years’ of child protection experience. You will also have a:

  • Bachelor of Social Work degree (Master preferred),
  • Master of Education (Counseling), or
  • Master of Psychology degree.
It is also mandatory that you have a C6 Delegation. You will also be at an advantage if you have previous experience working within a government setting.

In appreciation of your hard work and dedication, you will be rewarded with a competitive hourly wage of $38.29 - $42.54, plus applicable overtime (hours based on 35 hours per week) and great benefits!

For full details and to apply, please visit

Director of Practice
Nisga’a Lisims Government is seeking a Director of Practice to join the group in Gitlaxt'aamiks (also known as New Aiyansh) in beautiful British Columbia. Reporting to the Director of Programs and Services and as a member of the Directorate’s Management team, you will promote excellence in practice and service delivery, and identify barriers to quality services to ensure strategies are developed to reduce or eliminate these barriers.
Although an equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered, you must have a:

  • BSW or MSW
  • BA in Child & Youth Care
  • M.Ed. Counselling/MA Clinical Psychology, having completed a practicum in family and child welfare
  • Or a related degree preferably in a social sciences discipline.

You will also have a minimum 3-5 years’ of experience in child safety and an additional 2 years of experience in a supervisory role with responsibility for direct client service delivery, preferably in a multi-disciplinary environment.

In appreciation of your hard work and dedication, you will be rewarded with a competitive salary of $80,000 - $90,000 (based on 35 hours per week) plus great benefits!

For full details and to apply, please visit