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Social Work Month 2011
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Social Work Month Celebrations in 2011

For the past 30 years, NASW-NYC has been encouraging social work agencies and departments to take the initiative in celebrating Social Work Month in March. Events are held throughout the City, ranging from keynote presentations, breakfasts, lunches, parties, and awards receptions, and there are several borough-wide activities, all organized by social workers.

Read about how agencies around the city celebrated social work month.

Seventh Annual Bronx Borough-Wide Social Work Month Breakfast Celebration Hosted By Regeis Care Center

Back row L-R: Janet T. Smith,LCSW Dir.Public Relations - Regeis care Center and Michael Williams, LMSW- Nephrology / Minority Veterans Program Coordinator -
James J.Peters Veteran Affairs Medical Center
Front row L -R: Jeanette Puryear- McFarland, LMSW-President and CEO of Mid-Bronx Council Services, Ellen Wallach, LMSW - Director Of Constituuent Services-Office of Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Maria Argentina,LCSW -Director Of Social Work Bronx Dialysis Center

Karen White - NASW-NYC MSW Student Board Member

Group Audience

The Seventh Annual Bronx Borough-Wide Social Work Month Breakfast Celebration was hosted by Regeis Care Center on March 31,2011. The event was attended by over 85 social workers from area hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies and community programs.

The guest speakers of the morning were: Nora Chaves, Quality Assurance Manager of Community Health Advocates and P.J. Weiner, Community Outreach Liaison of EmblemHealth who spoke on the topic “Health Care Reform Resources: Empowering Your Clients.”

The program culminated with the “Collegiate Community Award” which was presented to four social workers for their commitment, dedication and leadership to the field of social work.

 Kings County Hospital Center Social Work Month Celebration

Back row (L-R): Elise Gadsen, MSW; Maxine Williams, LMSW; Dana Ilie-Stout, LMSW; Ben Eckstein, LMSW; Vanessa Jackson, LMSW
Front Row (L-R): Jannet Rose, LCSW; Sheryl Alman-Charles, LCSW-R; Nancy LaTorre, LMSW; Marlienne Christian, LCSW

by Eva Sanders, LCSW

Social Work Month is a good time for other disciplines to recognize all of our hard work and dedication. But it is perhaps the only time Social Workers take to reflect, as a profession, on both what we do and why we do it. This March, Social Workers from all service areas within The Central Brooklyn Family Health Network (CBFHN) had the opportunity not only to recognize and celebrate themselves and their peers, but also to be celebrated by other disciplines.

Social Workers are trained to focus on the other: our clients and our colleagues, our families and our friends. It is for this reason that the task of our professional self-reflection and self-care is challenging for us. As a step toward tackling this challenge, CBFHN Social Workers participated in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Social Workers Change Futures campaign. Despite our demanding caseloads, we enthusiastically gathered in groups to take photos holding hand-written signs that reflect the numerous reasons we believe Social Workers are important to our nation’s future, and then submitted them in consideration for NASW’s World Social Work Day 2011 video; an effort that ultimately featured our very own Jonathan Edwards, LMSW, Assistant Director of Wellness & Recovery Programs displaying his sign that read, “Social Workers Are Important to Our Nation’s Future Because We Are Tireless and Committed Change Agents.”

In addition to participating in the NASW campaign, Mr. Antonio D. Martin, Senior Vice President of CBFHN, and his senior management hosted a celebration for the entire network Social Work staff, upwards of 200 people, on March 22, 2011. Not only did this event include a spectacular luncheon to honor folks who rarely take lunch breaks, but the multi-disciplinary leadership also took time to personally thank Social Work staff for being what Mr. Martin called, “the soul of healthcare”. Some of the leadership shared personal stories of how a social worker had touched their lives, all expressed gratitude for the role we play in ensuring that our recipients of care are treated with dignity, and as whole persons.

The Social Work Month program’s keynote address was given by Professor Madelyn Miller, LCSW, ACSW, CGP, who spoke about Secondary Trauma and Reflective Self Care, a topic that is both timely and essential for all disciplines who serve at-risk populations. Ms. Miller was careful to note that while self-care can be effortful for Social Work professionals, it is a critical component of empowering others to help themselves; that while prioritizing our own wellness is not always be intuitive, we can practice in ways small and large, strengthening ourselves in the process.

The Social Workers of The Central Brooklyn Family Health Network come to work each day with a mission to engage with and to advocate for our recipients of care and their families, and they are committed to doing so with strengths-based perspective. We are, indeed, tireless and committed change agents who insist on putting the client in the driver’s seat. We do this effectively because we, as a discipline, most embody the biopsychosocial perspective. We care because we know no other way.

Social Work Awareness Month Events at John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Social Work Panel on March 23rd

Along with the Psychology Department. a graduate school social work panel was organized that consisted of admissions representatives from all of the NYC social work programs (Hunter College School of Social Work, Colombia University, New York University, Wurzweiler Yeshiva University, Fordham University ). The event yielded 20 students! It was a great success and many students spoke directly with the admissions representatives.

Interested in Becoming a Social Worker on March 30th

Jessica Lynn Greenfield, Loretta Acquaah and Tyrone Parchment wanted to do a follow up informal discussion with students around the field of social work. In collaboration with the department of Career Development Services, students got a chance to speak directly with current MSW students (the department's MSW externs: Ashley Baglieri - Columbia University), Mikki Jordan and Dore Mann – Hunter College School of Social Work), recent MSW graduates (Jessica, Loretta and Tyrone) as well as a representative from Career Development Services (Zay John) who provided information about scholarships, prospective job outlook for social workers, loan forgiveness and graduate school guidance. It was an excellent event and students were very engaging. The event yielded nine students and we received calls from four other students who weren't able to make it about their interest in social work. This event was also an opportunity to get students interested in the Human Service minor, within the Counseling Department.

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