As Spring beckons, we are seeing a lot of energy and creativity within our Society. I feel very inspired and appreciative of the hard work of many. Despite concerns at the start of the pandemic, we are not only surviving, we are thriving. Our chapter remains in very good financial health and our membership is growing. We are acclaiming new programs, welcoming new members, meeting member’s needs for connection and education and have some encouraging legislative policy to share.
I think we can credit this to a creative and collaborative Board who stay connected to our members’ needs. I am so grateful to our wonderful group of volunteers. One recent program has been a great success thanks to Frances Wu, Melissa Grady and others on our University Liaison Committee. We partnered with NCSSS (National Catholic School of Social Service) to offer a free, one-day workshop for graduating MSW students to try and address potential bias within the LG test that may have resulted in fewer grads passing the test. It was a success!
Corey Beauford, LICSW, was the presenter on our Zoom platform on April 17. He was reviewed as “clear, informative. empathic and personable.” He offered a wealth of additional materials for participants and gave us permission to tape the program so students could revisit the workshop as often as needed, prior to taking the test. Almost the entire graduating class of NCSSS registered with our Zoom program. We received very positive responses and great evaluations from students, NCSSS professors and a big thumbs up from Dr. Roslynn Scott-Adams, Assistant NCSS Dean.
The GWSCSW Board is busy with other new programs, including low-cost therapy for MSW students, many of whom graduate from school without having experienced psychotherapy for themselves. Kate Rossier has spearheaded this program and coordinated with members who are willing and eager to provide therapy for MSW students at reduced rates.
Some big news on the legislative front: Many of us have complained about the limitations of not being able to follow our clients and patients for continued care across state lines, when they move or when we do. Our national association, the CSWA (Clinical Social Work Association) announced an exciting program: The Department of Defense and Council of State Governments have partnered to create an interstate compact for clinical social workers. CSWA is one of the three main stakeholders! This may be a way to affect legislation and help the Federal and State governments rethink the need to allowing clinical social workers to offer a continuity of care, regardless of location. Stay tuned for more.
The Anti-Racism Taskforce launched a very successful introductory program for members seeking a brave space (not just a safe space) within which to grow their understanding of how systemic racism comes up in the therapy room. This facilitated group experience to allowed members to think and talk about the impact of racism in their lives and their clinical work with each other and all reported that it was deeply meaningful.
We are also in the process of a society website redesign, which will make the GWSCSW website easier to navigate and a better tool for displaying all the resources we are accruing. We are starting to have a presence on social media and trying to make sure that those local clinical social workers who want connection and resources can find us. We had a good time and a good turnout at the New Member Brunch on Zoom and I really enjoyed meeting many new members who are joining our Society.
I invite members to check out a new entry in the “Welcome to Our Wisdom” section of the existing GWSCSW website. Just log in and go to https://www.gwscsw.org/members-wisdom to see the 30-minute interview with May Benatar, LCSW, PhD, one of our long-term members who is a clinician and published author. She shares her process of writing and some tips and techniques for getting published! There is even more going on: ongoing CE programs (we have a new Education Branch Director, Ari Sallas-Brookwell!) and a renewed interest in our mentoring program, and ideas for a variety of support groups.
We invite any members who are curious about joining a committee or volunteering to get to how it works, behind the scenes to join us at an upcoming ZOOM board meeting. We welcome you to get involved. Watch for the invitation on the listserv and on our email blast.
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