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Currents - January 2012 - LSWTF Conference
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Latino Social Work Task Force Holds Tenth Anniversary Conference

Keynote Speaker Carmen Nazario, United States Representative, Executive Board of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Assistant Professor, Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Social Work.

On October 17, 2011, the Latino Social Work Task Force (LSWFTF), celebrating their 10th Anniversary, held a Conference entitled “Moving Forward: A Call to Action - Promoting and Supporting Leadership to Strengthen our Latino Community” which was held at Fordham University. The conference drew 225 people from New York City and New York State. By all counts, the Conference was very successful in achieving their aims which are to identify the policy issues confronting the Latino community and the approaches that need to be taken in response to those needs. These needs included an update on the impact of policy reforms and restructuring regarding Medicaid and mental health in New York State. Most importantly the LSWTF was able to discuss and inform the participants on the implications of social work licensing on them and on their agencies. The video of the conference is posted on the PRFI web site at (click Latino Social Work Task Force on the bottom left side).

An on-line conference survey by participants yielded varied recommendations which have prompted the LSWTF to begin planning for another conference in the coming year. Additionally the LSWTF is planning their Annual Awards Dinner to be held on March 22, 2012, so save that date. This fundraising dinner helps the LSWTF to remain strongly committed in raising scholarship money for Latino men and women students pursuing their Masters degrees in seven schools of social work throughout the metropolitan area.



Conference attendees packed the room at Fordham University to hear a stellar line-up of presenters and panelists.

Three of the founding members lead the Latino Social Work Task Force in planning a highly-successful conference. Pictured left to right: Robert Schachter, ED, NASW-NYC, Co-Convener of the Task Force; Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, Associate Dean and Professor, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University; Maria Elena Girone, CEO and President, Puerto Rican Family Institute, Inc., Co-Convener of the Task Force.

Deans of the schools of social work in the NYC area speak to the topic of Educational Leadership at the Latino Social Work Task Force Conference. Left to right: Lyn Videka, NYU Silver School of Social Work; Peter Vaughan, Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service; Jeanette Takamura, Columbia University School of Social Work; Andrew Safyer, Adelphi University School of Social Work; Norma Phillips, Department of Social Work at Lehman College; Jacqueline Mondros, Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College; Sheldon Gelman, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University.

Presenters participate in a panel entitled: Approaches to Social Welfare in Challenging Times. Pictured left to right: Phillip A. Saperia, CEO, Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies; Denise Rosario, ED, Coalitioin for Hispanic Family Services; Iran Rodriguez, Regional Program Manager, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start, NY Regional Office; Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, New York City Council, District 2; Esteban Ramos, ED, Fresh Youth Initiatives (LSWTF Scholarship Alumni); Arline Gonzalez-Sanchez, Commissioner, New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.


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