Interim Chairs; Ann Burack-Weiss, PhD, LCSW and Christiana Best-Giacomini, PhD, LMSW
We invite you to the newly formed NASW- NYC Committee on Narrative Practice, to introduce the potential of narrative social work to social workers across all settings, populations, and disciplines, and to develop a lively conversation among colleagues. At traditional and non-traditional contexts, agency practice, and private practice, as well as in supervision, teaching, research, and administration, narrative practice can uniquely enhance the meaning of our work.
The Committee on Narrative Practice will meet three times during the year, in October, January, and April. The 2nd meeting will be held on Monday, January 23, 6:00 to 8:00 PM, at the chapter office, 50 Broadway Suite 10001 New York, NY 10004.
Please send an RSVP to Ann Burack-Weiss at firstname.lastname@example.org. Future meeting dates will be announced, and will appear on the Calendar of Events. All social workers are invited.
Narrative Practice honors the human connection between clients and worker and the stories they bring into their encounter. The reciprocal nature of the contact has the potential to unite case to cause – the advancement of the goals of racial and social justice – that are at the heart of the social work profession.
Illustrations of the breadth of narrative practice, and of the creative use of self while helping clients and their communities find hidden strengths, are included here from founding members of the committee. They also appear as chapters in a forthcoming book from Columbia University Press:
- A social worker who uses her skill as an oral historian surprises herself and her dying client with the discovery that the story she evokes is a valuable historical archive.
- A social worker with an understanding and love of poetry helps a group of Alzheimer patients in a senior citizen center compose a list poem that demonstrates their surviving spirit and strengths.
- A social worker raised in privilege in India goes to Africa to help truck drivers feel safe enough to disclose their HIV stories, protect themselves and others and become advocates on their own behalf.
- A social worker who understands the power of writing one’s story provides mothers’, stigmatized by having their children removed from their care, with the tools to write and publish accounts of their experiences - giving them a powerful voice in the child welfare system.
- A social worker who was a child of transnational parenting facilitates the telling of stories from mothers who have been separated from their children - so uncovering the costs of the search “for a better life”.
We look forward to seeing you at the January 23rd meeting of the Committee on Narrative Practice, and invite your active participation.