NASW Georgia Chapter 31st Annual State Conference
Keynote Speakers (continued)
Dr. Kathryn C. Wehrmann - (Continued from homepage)

Other needs include improving navigation of the ideology of social work.  Social workers need to be aware how their language and political ideology can be polarizing, and they need to develop the ability to operate without judgement to promote civil discourse.  Evidence-based practice must be implemented.  Social workers will need strong critical thinking and research skills.

There will be an increasing need for financial and fundraising skills, such as grant writing, communication, and financial management skills.  Social workers will need to demonstrate social Return on Investment (ROI) on measures that show the impact of social work interventions from a social outcome perspective. Social workers will need to provide a full picture of the value of investments in social work.

Changes that will affect social work practice will be an increasing focus on specialization in practice and an increase of the power of the for-profit sector. It is important to bridge the gap between micro and macro practices as this division may have harmed the profession. Social work curriculum should be changed to integrate field faculty instruction and classroom teaching from the start of students’ social work education.

Kathy then discussed some leadership exemplars, including U.S. Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, Nancy Humphreys of the Humphreys Institute of Political Social Work Practice, Senator Barbara Mikulski, First Lady Michelle Obama, researcher and lecturer Dr. Brene’ Brown, Professor Wendy Sherman, and Dr. Barbara W. White. She mentioned NASW Social Worker Pioneers, social workers who are recognized for exploring new territories and establishing new outlets for social services.

Kathy relayed the NASW vision is to ensure a strong professional workforce to increase social well-being and that when we elevate social work, we elevate the people that social workers serve. NASW is our best and most effective social work Elevator. NASW connects with 15,000+ student members.  Kathy recommended the book Days in the Lives of Social Workers which is a compilation  of tales from the private practices of 62 social work professionals.

In conclusion, Kathy suggested that social workers should ask what are the social work workforce challenges facing Georgia? What opportunities do we see for our state in the social work arena? How could NASW help or support in meeting challenges and take advantage of opportunities?

 
Dr. Irene McClatchey - (Continued from homepage)

Campers need to feel a sense of love and belonging, and Camp staff try to meet those needs in the children.  Staff also have these needs, and they try to support each other.

 

Self-esteem is an important need.  Rene relayed the story of a blind camper who was good at archery, even though he could not see the target.  She also mentioned a little girl who sang in front of a large group of people.  The camp social workers and staff receive a sense of accomplishment when they get positive feedback from the families.

 

Rene discussed self-actualization, and told the story of a Delta employee who was a volunteer at Camp MAGIK who started a Wrenched Hearts program at Delta for those suffering from bereavement and trauma.

 

In conclusion, Rene emphasized that social workers are elevated by elevating our clients. She said she knew of no other profession that meets the needs of these children and teens.  It is elevating to see how the trauma-informed approach, combined with training, wisdom, love and compassion, as well as the kids themselves, accomplish the miracle of healing.

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