On June 13, 2013, the College held its 13th Annual Meeting and 10th Education Day at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown Toronto. The theme for this year’s event was Maximizing Professional Effectiveness in Turbulent Times. As registered social workers and social service workers, there are many variables affecting your personal and professional lives, as well as those of your clients. This year’s AMED focused on providing members with tools, connections and inspiration to maximize professional effectiveness during these turbulent times. As many as 575 members and guests from across the province joined us at the event, with some members participating by webcast. The day began with a warm welcome from College President Mukesh Kowlessar, RRSW, and an address by the Honourable Ted McMeekin, Minister of Community and Social Services.
A Journey Towards Wellness: Establishing a Healthy Workplace Environment at the Children’s Aid Society Toronto
David Rivard, RSW
Establishing a healthy workplace benefits not only the employee but the organization as a whole. Rather than simply developing policies or specific wellness programs, organizations must be encouraged to make workplace health a core component of their overall operations, with the end goal of promoting employee health and safety and organizational effectiveness. David will be talking about CAST’s journey to being named one of the GTA’s Top Employer’s for 2013.
Afternoon Concurrent Sessions
Session A – 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
The Implications of Cyber Technology for Social Work Education
Dr. Faye Mishna, RSW
Dr. Mishna will present an overview of the implications of the new social media world for social work education. With the increasing use of technology to communicate practical and therapeutic issues with practitioners, clients are demanding online counseling more frequently. This ascendancy of the cyber world has significant implications for social work practice and education.
Intimate Strangers: Social Work Palliative Care with Older Adults A Homecare Perspective
Bianca Bitsakakis, RSW
This presentation will examine the role of social work and palliative care with older adults in the homecare sector. It will look at core competencies for hospice palliative care social work that were identified and offered as a practice framework by a task force of professionals and educators, supported in its initiativeby Health Canada. Social workers working within the palliative care environment need to have knowledge about and assist with: advance directives; POA/ substitute decision maker discussions; adjustment reaction to diagnosis/ prognosis; financial resources; spiritual and emotional support; and caregiver support.
Diane Dumais, RSSW
Motivational Interviewing is a directive, client-centred counselling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. Compared with nondirective counselling, it is more focused and goal-directed. The examination and resolution of ambivalence is its central purpose, and the counsellor is intentionally directive in pursuing this goal. This presentation will focus on addictions/ concurrent disorders, although the model can be used in other areas of practice.
Mentoring – Paying It Forward at the Ottawa Hospital
Karen Nelson, RSW and Judy Vokey-Mutch, RSW
The presentation summarizes the experience with a Mentoring Program at the Ottawa Hospital over the past seven years. The goal of the social work mentoring program is to provide support as well as
knowledge translation for staff who have already completed clinical supervision at the hospital. It also
helps to bridge the gap between senior social workers and their more junior colleagues by building personal connections. The structure of the program as well as feedback describing how the program has benefited staff will be included in this presentation.
Afternoon Concurrent Sessions
Session B – 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Compassion Fatigue: A Peek Into a Social Worker’s Personal Journey
Sally Lavergne, RSW
Working with vulnerable, traumatized and marginalized clients can impact social workers and social service workers in many ways, including stress, burn-out and compassion fatigue. Sally will share some of her personal challenges and struggles dealing with these issues in her 27 years as a social worker. She will use her personal experience to provide participants with the opportunity to reflect on their own experience, enhance their self-awareness, recognize triggers and develop personal coping strategies in order to improve their self-care and manage these challenges.
Linking Animal Cruelty and Human Violence
Mary Zilney, RSW
The objectives of this presentation are: to provide a brief overview of the research; assist participants to understand the cruelty link between humans and animals; provide information on how to enhance
interview techniques and to explore the benefits of community collaboration. Participants will be invited to dialogue and ask questions in efforts to enhance their understanding of the issue.
First Steps: Increasing Access to Specialized Services for Separating and Divorcing Families
Rhonda Freeman, RSW
The availability of resources, and in particular specialized services, for separating and divorcing
families is limited. Divorce research supports the effectiveness of early intervention. However, where
specialized services exist, there is typically a long wait to see a therapist. Shared group appointments,
a new model of service, that includes an educational component for up to eight parents was created
to reduce the wait for intervention. The model is evidenced-based and draws on research and best
practices identified in the divorce literature. In this session the model will be described, implementation issues discussed, and evaluation data presented. Discussion will address the potential for application of the model to other practice areas.
Innovative Harm Reduction Strategies for Working with Youth!
Aara Amey, RSSW
In this workshop we will explore youth culture, youth friendly harm reduction strategies and utilizing
technology to engage youth. We will be discussing new ways to break down barriers between youth and social service providers. And, we will highlight the benefits of becoming a youth friendly agency.