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Narrative Practice Comm - Readings From Narrative in SW Practice: The Power & Possibility of Story
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When: June 19, 2017
6:00 to 8:00 PM
Where: NASW-NYC Chapter Office
50 Broadway
Suite 10001
New York, New York  10004
United States

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Interim Chairs; Ann Burack-Weiss, PhD, LCSW and Christiana Best-Giacomini, PhD, LMSW 


This special meeting will feature short readings from the just-published book NARRATIVE IN SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE: THE POWER AND POSSIBILITY OF STORY, from Columbia University Press. Seventeen authors, most of whom are committee members, contributed first person accounts describing the part narrative plays in their experience as social workers. Their readings at the meeting will illustrate the creative and wide reach of narrative practice. We look forward to your contributions in the conversation that will follow.


We hope to see you on June 19th to hear these readings together, and to participate in the committee's focus as we move forward.


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We invite you to 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 at the chapter office, 50 Broadway Suite 10001 New York, NY 10004. 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”.

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