Presentation on theme: "Returning to the Past to Find the Future of Social Work:"— Presentation transcript:
1 Returning to the Past to Find the Future of Social Work: The Critical Role of Social Work Educators in Reclaiming Our Historical Leadership Position in Addressing Pressing Social Problems in the WorldDonna Leigh Bliss, MSW, Ph.D.
2 Overview Vision for Social Work Role of Social Work Educators My Leadership AttributesGoodness of Fit with Vision, Mission, and Niche of UNE SSW
4 Vision for Social WorkThe future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.Eleanor Roosevelt
5 Social Work Needs to Return to its Roots The profession of social work grew out of efforts of persons during the Progressive Era to address unprecedented social problems and political corruptionWhere are our voices today?
6 Abandon the False Dichotomy Social work has since evolved to more embrace the provision of direct servicesDid we abandon our historical mission?If social work is indeed a holistic profession, then the micro-macro debate is based on a false dichotomy and must be abandoned
7 Say Goodbye to FlexnerAt the 1915 National Conference on Charities and Corrections, Flexner questioned the validity of social work as a profession because its members lacked individual responsibility and lacked a written body of knowledge and educationally communicable techniques
8 Celebrate Our Unique Contributions Social Work is the professional activity of helping individuals, groups, or communities enhance or restore their capacity for social functioning and creating societal conditions favorable to this goal. Social Work practice consists of the professional application of Social Work values, principles, and techniques to one or more of the following ends: helping people obtain tangible services; counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups; helping communities or groups provide or improve processes. The practice of Social Work requires knowledge of human development and behavior; of social, economic, and cultural institutions; and of the interactions of all these factors. NASW Board of DirectorsPerson-in-environment perspective emphasizes role of contextSocial work values of promoting social, economic, and environmental justiceAdvocating for vulnerable populations
10 Heal the Breach Most students are interested in micro practice This shouldn’t mean that macro is de-emphasizedMicro and macro are aspects of a wholeEach are interdependent and influence the otherStudents need to be able to navigate micro and macro domains regardless of what area they want to practice in
11 Social Work is Leadership Roots of social work grew out of the leadership efforts of concerned persons during the Progressive EraStudents need to be supported in working through their self-doubt and learn how to find their voicesSocial workers are leadersKey skills that students can practice in classroom and field settings include(1) engaging in critical thinking,(2) contributing to public discourse,(3) using and producing research,(4)being proactive in advocating
12 Use 21st Century Digital Tools to Promote Social Work Values Internet and social media such as Facebook and Twitter are rapidly changing how political parties promote their agendas, corporations market their goods and services, and nonprofit organizations advocate for their causesGiven the potential global reach of the Internet, a well-thought out and executed advocacy campaign now has the potential to go viral by utilizing social mediaThe potential to “give voice” to social work values on a much larger scale is now possible, but it is up to educators to provide students the conceptual understanding and applied skills to be able to do so
13 Leadership Attributes "We must be the change we wish to see." M.K. Gandhi
14 Vision Having an accurate appraisal of the status quo Need to first be grounded on where you are starting from rather than where you want to goHaving an image of the desired state at some point in the futureDeveloping a plan on the necessary steps to create this desired state and being able to implement the planNeed to be flexible in revising plan as conditions unfold and circumstances change over time
15 Collaboration and Teambuilding There is no leadership without followersFollowers need to buy in to the vision and the plan for creating itNeed to inspire and support followers to take action and move forwardCollaboration and team building are critical components of vision realization as people need to work together and in partnership with others in achieving a goal
16 Problem SolvingProblems will always present themselves along the path of realizing a visionNeed to both anticipate problems that can come up, but also act decisively when they unexpectedly ariseManage problems, don’t let them manage youLeaders need to reframe “problems” as challenges that we can overcome rather than barriers that block progressNothing worthwhile ever gets created easily and without struggle
17 GenerativityTrue leadership embraces supporting the leadership development of othersGenerativity was a prime motivator in my returning to school in 2002 to get a PhDWanted to influence next generation of social workersI love teaching my studentsMaternal and Child Health Post-Graduate Leadership AcademySupports the emergence of the next generation of social work leaders in maternal and child health
18 Goodness of Fit with Vision, Mission, and Niche of UNE SSW
19 VisionThe University of New England School of Social Work embraces a vision of sustainable, equitable, diverse communities committed to universal human rights and social and economic justice. From this perspective, health is identified as physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being.Emphasis on health is unique as is the inclusion of spiritual well-being as a determinant of healthMy dissertation examined how severity of alcohol dependence impacted spiritual well-beingSpirituality is a key aspect of my research agenda
20 MissionThe mission of the School of Social Work is to educate a diverse cadre of professional social workers who will translate this vision into practice, to produce applied and evidence-based knowledge to push this vision forward, and to create and sustain interdisciplinary and collaborative partnerships with communities toward this vision.Mission statement is unique in that the mission of the UNE SSW is to educate social work professionals to operationalize the visionWe help them to do thisEmphasis on interdisciplinary and collaborative partnerships with communities is notable
21 Niches Program within College of Health Professions Regionally Comprehensive definition of healthHealth is a universal rightSuffering linked to inequity in distribution of resourcesChange structures and systems that foster these inequitiesRegionallyCompeting with 31 other MSW programs in 7 state Northeast regionWhat is our niche relative to these programs?How do we build on our strengths to positively differentiate us from other programs?
23 Administration Practice Academia Created and directed Bridge Back, a residential addiction treatment program for persons with AIDSDirected Avery House, a halfway house for women and childrenWorked as a clinical supervisor at a methadone maintenance programAcademiaServed as chair of Faculty Executive Committee 2 yearsServing as BSW Program Director for 2 yearsCurrently serving as Interim Associate Dean for Administration, Planning, and Evaluation
24 Teaching Emphasis on embracing standards of excellence Engage, Inspire, SupportEffective teaching needs to link practice, research, policy, and advocacyLilly Teaching Fellows ProgramWriting Fellows ProgramVoted by students Outstanding MSW Teacher in 2007 and Outstanding MNPO Teacher in 2011
25 ResearchNeed for an explicit research culture that supports faculty research and raises leadership profile of SchoolEmphasize importance of social work values in empirical researchPractice models are an important social work contribution to research base as wellWant to create center for interdisciplinary research on improving addiction treatment outcomesInstitute for Behavioral ResearchTaking advantage of research mentoringApplying for NIAAA grantEmpirical researchSpirituality and addictionPractice modelsDisaster Relief Initiative (aka Hurricane Katrina Project)Screening and Brief InterventionOutcomes Measurement System
26 ServiceUse service-learning initiatives to increase linkages between community organizations and student learningProvide students with more applied, integrated learning opportunitiesService-Learning Fellows ProgramRecovery.org websitesGiving Voice to UsHurricane Katrina Project
28 Expansion of Maternal and Child Health Post-Graduate Leadership Academy Currently collaborate with University of Maryland School of Social WorkIntensive, year-long program for 3 social workers in maternal and child healthCurrent focus on Southeast and mid-Atlantic regionsView websiteExpand to include MSW studentsReceive financial supportWill fully participate in academyAttend retreatsReceive mentoringMCH integrated field experienceCapstone project
29 Center for Holistic Addiction Research and Treatment Collaborative partnership with community providersFocus on providing innovative holistic treatment using interdisciplinary approachPractice, research, policy, advocacy focusStudents have hands- on involvementField placementsBoth clinical and administrativeService-learning opportunitiesTie in with addiction classContinuing education possibilities for professionals
31 Strategic Plan Development Evolution of online programShould program expand?If so, what markets will be served?Are necessary resources available?Development of doctoral programHow can GADE’s guidelines be used to inform this process?Becoming an autonomous college versus remaining as a program in WCHPWhat are the pros and cons of each option?What are the areas of challenge and opportunity?Are there any unintended consequences that could occur?
32 Strategic Plan Development (cont.) Importance of Interdisciplinary collaboration and partnershipsMajor focus of UNE Vision for the FutureMany opportunities within UNE, WCHP, and communityWhat is SSW role in Teaching Health Clinic, IPEC?How does SSW promote unique contribution of social work to teaching, research, and service collaborative initiatives?Barriers to interdisciplinary collaborationDiverse professional cultures can lead to profession-centrismSSW can play important role in reducing barriers by promoting interprofessional cultural competenceReducing Barriers to Interprofessional Training
33 Faculty Development Faculty development Key to mission of preparing social work professionals to realize SSW visionWhat resources does faculty needTeachingResearchServiceProfessional developmentTenure and promotionHow to best create a shared sense of connection with disparate facultyCommunity buildingWhat are the best ways to energize the unique contributions of each faculty member in a synergistic manner to benefit all constituenciesThe whole must be greater than the sum of its parts
34 All of our Successes and Strengths Realized Vision for UNE School of Social WorkFaculty Expertise andCapabilitiesStudent Engagement and PotentialUniversity/College Support andCollaborationCommunity Outreach and PartnershipAll of our Successes and Strengths
35 "The roots of effective leadership lie in simple things, one of which is listening. Listening to someone demonstrates respect; it shows that you value their ideas and are willing to hear them."John Baldoni (Michigan Radio (WUOM 91.7)