The Network For Social Work Management Launches New Policy Fellows Program

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LOS ANGELES, CA  – The Network for Social Work Management, a professional, international organization whose mission is to strengthen social work leadership in health and human services, has launched a Policy Fellows Program.

The Policy Fellows Program has been established to encourage social workers to engage proactively with policies that directly affect them and the communities they serve, as well as to encourage social workers in management positions to be at the forefront of policy.

The eight-month program will allow fellows to take the next step in leadership by focusing on leadership and professional skill development as they prepare a poster presentation on a policy issue they are passionate about.

Fellows will also be placed with mentors to coach and guide them through the course of the eight months and prepare for their presentation. Fellows are encouraged to attend The Network for Social Work Management’s annual conference to be held June 16-17, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA.

“This program gives our members the ability to advance their skills by providing them with a platform to brainstorm, collaborate and innovate on what it means to be a social work leader in today’s environment”, said Lakeya Cherry, Executive Director of the Network for Social Work Management.

Applications for the program are due by October 8th, 2015. For more information on participating as a mentor or a fellow please visit www.socialworkmanager.org/policy-fellow or contact the Network directly at info@socialworkmanager.org. You can also find the them on FacebookTwitter or Linkedin

Want to Debate the Recommendations Being Made to CSWE?

On March 27th at 9PM EST, Thursday night, I will be moderating a live twitter chat using the hashtag #macrosw to discuss the CSWE public commenting period, and we will also conduct a review of the Social Work Helper petition seeking internship reform. Going into this tweet chat, I am open to supporting any ideas put forward to help innovate as well as prevent hardships for those pursing the social work degree.

TweetchatThe petition I created seeks to remove the mandatory minimum internship requirements for BSW students and Nonclinical MSW students which by no means eliminates the internship as part of your plan of study. However, this appears to be a major sticking point for some folks or its interpreted as an elimination of internships all together. I am guessing the concern is without a minimum mandate of hours students would decide not to do internships.

However, if students can’t be trusted to come to the best conclusion on completing an internship under counsel from their advisor, how can we entrust them as social workers to problem solve someone else’s life with no stake in the outcome?

If the social work degree does not innovate and relax the rigidness of the internship requirement, I am concerned enrollment will decline, and the social work degree will primarily only attract students who want to do therapy. Students wanting a macro/policy degree will seek degrees in other disciplines such as the MPA, MPH, or MBA due to their degree having a higher market value than the MSW, both campus and online options, as well as alternatives for experienced and working practitioners. How many students are social work programs losing already when potential students begin comparing degrees when deciding to pursue higher education?

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I am willing to put forth my best ideas in hopes of sparking communication and inspiring others to add to the conversation. I know that many of us already have our degree, and whatever policies being implemented by the CSWE have no effect on us. However, I believe we should give this public commenting period some thought and effort to see what we can change for future generations of social workers.

Currently, CSWE does not prevent institutions from making exceptions to the internship requirement based on the needs of the student. However, this decision is in the hand of the institution, and policies vary from institution to institution which mean students don’t have access to the same options. We advocate to get  autonomy for our clients, so why can’t we advocate to get some autonomy for ourselves in tailoring a plan of study to fit our own needs?

The #Macrosw chat is a collaboration made up of community practice organizations and individual macro social workers.  The collaboration consists of ACOSA @acosaorg by(Rachel West @polisw), Network for Social Work Management, Deona Hooper (Founder of Social Work Helper @deonahooper), Karen Zgoda (PhD Candidate at Boston College), The University at Buffalo School of Social Work and the University of Southern California School of Social Work. Each member of the collaboration will take turns moderating the #MacroSW chats. The #MacroSW twitter chats occur on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month.

I will be moderating Thursday night’s chat using @deonahooper. Please tweet any questions or responses directed to the moderator to @deonahooper and include the #macrosw in all of your tweets.

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