Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Celebrating Social Workers: Social Work Week in B

Social Work Week honours those who serve B.C.’s most vulnerable

B.C. Government (March 12, 2017). 

Honouring those who serve BC's most vulnerable. 

March 12-18 is Social Work Week in BC - a time to honour their hard work & courage. More than 2,500 social workers in BC strive to do their best and think outside the box to make a lasting difference in the lives of children and families.

Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux has issued the following statement in recognition of Social Work Week in British Columbia, March 12-18, 2017:
“This is Social Work Week in B.C. and National Social Work Month, a time to recognize and honour the courage shown each day by MCFD social workers, clinicians and other front-line staff who have some of the toughest jobs in the province – supporting and protecting vulnerable families and children.
“ ‘One person can make a difference and everyone should try.’ That quote from former United States president John F. Kennedy is a fitting one to describe what social workers do each and every day. During difficult circumstances they strive to do their best and think outside the box to make a lasting difference in the lives of children and families. 
“The work of social workers can make headlines when things do not go well. Unfortunately, they often do not get recognition for all of the amazing things they help their clients achieve on a daily basis.
“During social worker week, it’s my pleasure to shine a light on some of their efforts and triumphs. Stories like Karen Zilke’s, a Vancouver social worker who recently won an award from the charity Children of the Street, for her work helping sexually exploited youth in a unique partnership with the Vancouver Police in the Downtown East Side. Read Karen’s story here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/14147
“She is just one of the more than 2,500 social workers in B.C. who make a difference by giving families a sense of hope. Social workers by their very nature are adaptable and creative thinkers. They have to be. There is no one size fits solutions in their line of work. What they often need most is more time.
“So to help social workers and other front-line staff do their jobs, we’re putting extra supports in place. This includes hiring more administrative staff so social workers can spend less time doing paperwork and answering phones and more time working directly with families.  
We’re also providing pay incentives to attract front-line staff to hard-to-recruit communities. Ministry social workers in designated rural or remote regions will receive an additional $3,000 to $6,000 per year.
“My sincerest appreciation goes out to social workers this week and throughout the year. On behalf of the Province and all British Columbians, thank you for doing the work you do every day and for making a difference.”    
To read the 2017 Social Work Week Proclamation, please visit: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/proclamations/proclamations/SocWrkWk2017

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Social Work Registration in Manitoba: Complaints and Loopholes

Social worker regulatory college heard 9 complaints in 1st year

Concerns persist over some workers not being required to register with the college

In its first year of operations, the Manitoba College of Social Workers fielded nine complaints of unprofessional conduct against social workers.
Of the nine complaints outlined in the college's annual report for 2015-16, two resulted in action taken by the complaints committee involving the social worker.
College registrar Barb Temmerman told CBC News that one case dealt with concerns about a social worker's terms of service and fee schedule, as well as the social worker's level of supervision.
The complaints committee entered into an agreement establishing a formal service contract and fee schedule for the social worker, the report said. It also said that agreement was on hold pending the complainants' appeal to the board of directors.
A second case was about concerns regarding the level of skill and knowledge a social worker applied in planning an intervention with a client. The report said the committee was satisfied the social worker had addressed the concerns through actions such as additional training and supervision.
The remainder of the nine complaints included two that were not yet concluded, two that were dismissed and one in which the complainant's information was incomplete, the report said.
In two other cases, the complaints committee did not have jurisdiction to investigate because the practitioners were not registered social workers at the time of the alleged unprofessional conduct.
The issue of who is required to register with the college has been controversial. The Social Work Profession Act came into force April 1, 2015 requiring anyone who uses the job title "social worker" to register with the college.
There are now more than 2,100 social workers registered with the college — up from about 1,100 members under the Manitoba Institute of Registered Social Workers, the voluntary regulatory body that preceded the college.
But Temmerman said there are still an unknown number of practitioners who do social work for the provincial government but who are not being required to register with the college. She said that's because the former NDP government made a decision to exempt those workers.
"We know that right now the public is confused about who is a social worker and who is required to be registered," Temmerman said. She said the college wants the current government to amend the Social Work Profession Act to make it clear anyone who practices in the field will have to register, whether or not their job title is social worker.
"It's about public accountability and the public interest," said Temmerman.
It was also a key recommendation in 2014 by retired judge Ted Hughes from the Phoenix Sinclair inquiry that looked into the death of the five-year-old girl. Phoenix Sinclair was killed by her mother and her mother's boyfriend despite the child's involvement with the Child and Family Services system.
Hughes found that 27 social workers and supervisors played a role in relation to Phoenix's family during her life.
He recommended that anyone who practices social work, whatever their job title, be registered by the college.  
"I still feel very much the same way," Hughes said from his home in British Columbia. "If they're doing social work — and that would include providing the care and oversight and attention to children that are the government's responsibility... they should be registered with the college and subject to the college's process for complaint and discipline."
"It's a serious matter because there are people taking charge of those kids that are in government care who aren't subject to the regulations of the college," he said.
"It's wrong, it's inept," he said.
The minister responsible for the Social Work Profession Act, Scott Fielding, said his government hasn't made a decision yet on amending the law.
"It's something we would always be open to considering," he said. "We'll have to have discussions with them and other stakeholders before we make any decisions on that."
"We do want to listen to what they say and how the current legislation is handled," said Fielding.
Temmerman said under the circumstances, there is still a need for members of the public to ask whether the person they may be receiving social work services from is indeed registered.
"They have every right to ask that person, 'Are you registered with the college'?  'Who am I receiving services from?' I'm not sure that the public knows to ask that question right now."
For the complaints that have been received so far by the college, the complaints committee report provides almost no detail about what happened in each case.
The cases have not been grievous enough to warrant censure of the social worker or be sent for a formal hearing to the college's inquiry committee, Temmerman said. 
Temmerman said the legislation provides guidance on what information can be made public, but the college's board will consider whether it needs a specific policy on publishing the findings related to complaints and discipline.
Temmerman said she's pleased with what the college has been able to accomplish since its beginning in April 2015.
"We're making steps forward and every step is worth taking," Temmerman said.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Professional development: Pediatric Pain Management Symposium & Aboriginal Children's Hurt & Healing Initiative and Art for Healing Talk

Pediatric Pain Management Symposium
Register today!
Please help Pain BC spread the word and share this invitation with your network.
January 23, 2017
8:00 AM - 4:45 PM

All health care providers interested in enhancing their expertise in the field of pediatric pain assessment and management are invited to attend (e.g. physicians, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists, social workers, and occupational therapists). Accreditation: 6.5 MOC Section 1 credits.

Community Talk Evening Session:
January 23, 2017
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
This event is open to the public. All are welcome! Join us for an evening community talk with Dr. Margot Latimer and John Sylliboy about the Aboriginal Children's Hurt & Healing Initiative.

The Chan Centre for Family Health Education Auditorium at BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, located at
BC Children's and Women's Hospital
938 West 28th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H

Please contact education@painbc.ca if you have any questions. We hope to see you at the symposium!
More about our keynote presenters:

Margot Latimer, RN, PhD
Dr. Margot Latimer is an Associate Professor in the Dalhousie University School of Nursing, and is cross-appointed in the Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University. She holds a scientific appointment at the IWK Health Centre and is faculty in the IWK Centre for Pediatric Pain Research. She works closely with community to mobilize Indigenous knowledge and co-leads the CIHR funded research “Aboriginal Children’s Hurt and Healing” Initiative with Eskasoni Health Director, Sharon Rudderham.

John R. Sylliboy, BA
John R. Sylliboy is a member of the Millbrook First Nation and is the Aboriginal Children’s Hurt & Healing Initiative (ACHH) National Research Coordinator. He has extensive experience as a health policy analyst for First Nation communities and is research lead on several projects that impact the health, wellbeing and educational pursuit of Aboriginal youth. John is completing his Masters in Education at Mount Saint Vincent University.

Firoz Miyanji, MD, FRCSC
Dr. Miyanji is a Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia. He is a pediatric spinal surgeon who provides a combined spinal clinic and operative spinal care service at BC Children’s Hospital. Dr. Miyanji’s research is focused studying the clinical outcomes of patients with spinal conditions, such as scoliosis (curvature of the spine), in order to improve treatment and quality of life.

Community Talk: 

Aboriginal Children's Hurt & Healing Initiative and Art for Healing

Aboriginal Children are the fastest growing cohort of children in Canada, yet their chances of achieving their optimal developmental outcomes are compromised by the lingering effect of colonization efforts experienced by their ancestors, combined with current health care inequities. A unique initiative was developed out of clinical questions about how to best generate and disseminate knowledge related to improving the wellbeing of Aboriginal children and youth.

Community Talk Evening Session:

Date: January 23, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Cost: $10

This event is open to the public. All are welcome! Join us for an evening community talk with Dr. Margot Latimer and John Sylliboy about the Aboriginal Children's Hurt & Healing Initiative.

Writing: Call for contributions to ‘Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability’ book

Call for contributions to an IFSW book on ‘Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability’

International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)
Dear IFSW Members, Friends and Supporters
As you are aware the current and third theme of the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development is: “Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability”.
The four Agenda themes where set in 2010 by 3000 social work representatives to take the profession forward to address the causes of global, regional and national problems. The first theme on ‘Social and Economic Equality’, the next on the need to realize ‘The Dignity and Worth of all Peoples’, and this: ‘Community and Environmental Sustainability’ continue to be prioritized by the social work profession as essential measures for preventing wars, displacement and creating the conditions of a sustainable future for all.
“Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability” is an important topic for the social work profession and there are many practitioners and educators worldwide facilitating and working within communities to highlight and create action to enhance and or protect the environment in which the communities live.
IFSW is looking forward to being able to publish examples of social work practice, approaches and models that illustrate this theme. We aim to launch the first series of these examples on World Social Work Day 2017, March 21stthrough the Online Social Work Bookshop.
The book will be a resource the global audience of social work practitioners, students, and educators. It will include contributions from social workers from all regions in the world, examining the social work contributions to sustainability and ecological justice. The book aims to elevate the knowledge base and engagement of the broader profession around this critical area of practice, theory, and research. Formatted as a workbook, this resource will include stand-alone case studies, activities, and exercises ready-made for use in the classroom and/or practice setting.
If you are interested in contributing to this edition or future editions of the book, please contact the co-editors by January 6th (Michaela Rinkel atmrinkel@hpu.edu or Meredith Powers at MCFPowers@UNCG.edu)
The editors also want to offer an invitation all social workers to join the growing virtual, global Collaborative Network on this third Global Agenda theme. The Green-EcoSocial Work Network is an international, collaborative network for sharing ideas, resources, asking questions, and building solidarity around ways to address sustainability and ecological justice issues within our profession. To join, please contact the group’s administrator: Meredith C. F. Powers at MCFPowers@UNCG.edu

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Online Professional Development: Vicarious Trauma & Compassion Fatigue & Solution Focused Therapy

School of Social Work Continuing Education

Dalhousie University 
The Heart of Helping: Understanding Vicarious Trauma & Compassion Fatigue
with Lynda Monk, MSW, RSW
February 27 - March 26, 2017 | Online
Vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue are common occupational hazards for social workers, counsellors, healthcare professionals, educators, and others in high-care fields. This 4-week online course is designed to teach those in the helping, human service and healthcare professions about these work-related risks that can result from the very nature of the work itself. You will gain a deeper understanding of vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue, what they are, how they manifest and how to prevent and/or intervene with the negative effects that can flow from the heart of helping. Discover how to balance caring for yourself while caring for others, in order to stay healthy while you make a difference.

Early bird deadline is January 16, 2017.

To register for this course, please email your completed registration form to coned@dal.ca, or fax to 902.494.6709.
More Information
Solution Focused Therapy
with Jill Ceccolini, MSW, RSW and Barry McClatchey, MSW, RSW
February 6 - March 5, 2017 | Online
Solution focused practice is characterized by the use of respectful curiosity in learning about what is important to clients and in the co-construction of their preferred future. Change is viewed as constant and inevitable and clients are regarded as having the necessary expertise about their own lives to create useful change. There is a strong emphasis on the use of the client’s language in solution focused work, as opposed to the dominant “expert” language embedded in the traditions of the helping professions. As such, solution focused practice can be a useful approach in engaging people across the broad spectrum of culture, race, and gender. The facilitators use a variety of methods to invite participant learning, including case examples, small group work, video examples, and exercises designed to provide experiential learning.

Early bird deadline is December 23, 2016.

To register for this course, please email your completed registration form to coned@dal.ca, or fax to 902.494.6709.

More Information 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Innovation: Social worker provides help at the local library

Not just books — Kitchener Public Library puts a social worker on the shelf

KPL’s latest addition lends patrons advice, guidance and a sympathetic ear

KITCHENER — The library has always loaned books, videos and even CDs that offer guidance and advice on everything from how to manage money to how to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Now, the Kitchener Public Library's Central branch is offering a little bit more: a trained social worker who can give advice and guidance, offer a friendly presence and a sympathetic ear.
Kym Bohachewski admits many of her friends and colleagues were skeptical when she said she would do a work placement at the library as part of her requirements for a master in social work at Wilfrid Laurier University.
It's actually a logical fit, said Laura Reed, the library's manager of children and teen services. "We're a public building and we see a good cross-section of society," Reed said. "Our role is to make sure people can find what they need."
People come to the library for all kinds of things: to access computers for free, to get help filling out applications or e-documents, to search for housing or to get resources if English isn't their first language. A social worker could help any of those clients, Reed said.
"People find their way here not because it's a library but because it's a warm place, it's a welcoming place, it's a place to bring your kids to read a book," Reed said. "Over the years we've always gotten questions around, 'I have nowhere to stay tonight' or 'Where can I get a hot meal?' We'll be able to not just answer those questions but be able to add some support."
Social workers have in-depth knowledge about what's available to help people in the community, and they have skills in helping figure out what they need, Bohachewski said. "I've got the time to sit down and talk with somebody who maybe isn't quite sure what's available or what they need."
Her placement, which runs three days a week until April, includes training library staff in how to recognize when a library customer may need help with a bigger issue; outreach with community agencies to help the library figure out how it can best meet the needs of clients such as women staying at a shelter, or homeless men. 
That work could include helping people sign up for library cards, or even offering library tours for groups from theHouse of Friendship or OneROOF youth agency, or even organizing pop-up libraries at community agencies.
Having social workers at the library is still fairly unusual, but is something that libraries across North America are trying. The first was probably in San Francisco in 2009, while Edmonton Public Library was the first Canadian library to bring in a social worker in 2011, Bohachewski said.
"Libraries are increasingly a hub for the community, meeting different community needs," said Nancy Schwindt, the field education co-ordinator at Laurier who helped set up the placement. "This is just an extension of work we do with, for example, community centres, with drop-in centres, all those sorts of agencies."
cthompson@therecord.com , Twitter: @ThompsonRecord

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Conference - Trauma and the Family - Vancouver

Trauma and the Family: Widening the Lens

A conference sponsored by Living Systems Counselling.

Date: March 3 & 4, 2017 

Location: SFU Harbour Centre, Downtown Vancouver

Description: Over the last many years, more and more symptomatic conditions and behaviours have been attributed to a traumatic experience or event. While this conference will review some of the current ways in which trauma therapy is conceived and approached, it will also broaden the lens to consider how the relationship process in the family contributes to the overall outcome for the symptomatic individual. 

  • Dr. Daniel Papero presents the assessment and treatment of trauma from a systems perspective. 
  • Dr. Walter Smith presents evidence based ways of responding to child trauma and several clinical cases will be presented by clinicians who follow a systems approach in the treatment of trauma.
View our Conference Brochure. 

For more information or to register on-line:
please visit www.livingsystems.ca or contact info@livingsystems.ca 
or the Registrar at 604 833 8791.