LG: Hi Karla, we are talking on a sad morning, just after hearing about the death yesterday of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a hero for me and for so many of us.
KA: Her legacy reminds us about the need to continue to fight for social justice, fairness, equality and especially the need to vote.
LG: So much of our work as social workers reflects on all she stood for.
Today, let’s go over what our leadership team has been doing this past month. We had our first full Board meeting—where all of our Branch Directors, Committee Chairs and staff came together for 3 hours via Zoom—to talk about next steps.
Budget Shortfall Solutions
LG: At the start of the Board meeting, I raised one item of concern for the Society: a budget shortfall that is projected for this fiscal year. Our Society is not immune from the economic issues affecting most organizations. We, in leadership, are working hard to produce a balanced budget, looking at sources of income and reviewing all of our Society expenses. Members may not know that our income only comes from two sources: our membership dues and the programs we offer. Because of COVID-19, these income sources are shaky right now.
We are working to retain our existing members and attract new ones. We are also hungry for more educational programs. The Board generated some creative ideas about programming during a pandemic.
Focusing on Education
LG: Let’s talk programs: We have a need and lots of room for more of our members to step forward and educate us! We make it easy, because we provide the Zoom platform, registration support, CEUs, marketing through our list and an honorarium for the presenter. After the event, the programs go into a Society Zoom library.
KA: It gives our Society a source of needed CEUs, and helps us share knowledge with each other. It’s a great way for members to give back to each other, and for those who are new to presenting, it’s a chance to build their resume as a speaker. Everyone has a clinical specialty, you know, and it may be something else that a member does in relation to clinical social work, maybe non-profit work or some other kind of sponsoring activity that would make for an interesting talk. It’s basically telling your professional story and we have a need for that. Members can fill out an application for speaking to our Society at this link: https://www.gwscsw.org/proposal-request
A November Surprise
LG: One new program for this Fall will be a virtual ethics presentation by our favorite ethics presenter, Dr. Frederick Reamer! We usually offer a live one-day, 6-CEU program by Dr. Reamer in the Spring, but he has been busy researching and writing about topics that are critical for us right now. So, we are bringing him in early, in mid-November, using a Zoom platform. Dr. Reamer is alert to the many boundary concerns and risk management issues that are not always obvious during this time of working virtually.
In my opinion, Dr. Reamer brings the “gold standard” of ethical information to us as clinicians. His programs are always engaging and essential; he has the rare talent of making ethics come alive. (Save the date: It will start on Friday afternoon, 11/13/20 -- 3 hours with Dr. Reamer by Zoom and then 3 hours on the following Sunday morning, 11/15/20, for a total of 6 CEUs over one long weekend. Information and registration for this program will be sent out to the membership beginning in early October.)
Other New Society Programs
KA: At the Board Meeting, I was pleased we got to hear from one of our newest membership groups, the Anti-Racism Task Force. The Board embraced and welcomed a brief discussion that they led about the complex issue of racism and its potential occurrence within a clinical setting. Can we go from creating a safe space with clients to creating a brave space? They will be creating programs for our membership this term.
The Task Force asked each Board member to begin to consider several questions:
LG: We are preparing for additional virtual meetings. Some are of a supportive nature, as we look to form small study groups. Others are social—like our virtual wine and cheese get togethers. Our fun “New Member Brunch” will be October 11 on Zoom (free for all members, great chance to network.) The Legislation and Advocacy Virtual Luncheon, with a theme of “Advocacy, Equity and Practice in the age of Covid-19” is October 17 (on Zoom, free for members and offers 2 free CEUs.) Members can register at the website.
One More Thing…
KA: One more thing, or maybe just a few more. I am excited about two projects we are planning that can engage MSW students to become members. We are hoping to offer a program of pro-bono therapy from members, for grad students who need clinical counseling. We also plan to restart a program for grads who would benefit from low-cost supervision as they work towards full licensure. Members who want to participate should contact the Community Branch Director at: DirCommunity@gwscsw.org
LG: I know that you are working with our university liaisons and I am so appreciative of all of these outreach efforts. Lately, I am having fun with a new program we just launched called “Welcome to Our Wisdom,” where I get to interview members about their areas of expertise. We have a very gifted group of members. We have several videos posted. Some are focused on clinical topics, some on practice-building. View them on the website under the “members only” tab.
It is always great to debrief together Karla. I feel like we are off to a strong start. As this time of uncertainty continues for our profession and our country, I am counting on our members to continue to sustain a strong connection
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