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Industry Insight

Key Takeaways From CSWE’s Annual Meeting

More than 2,180 people registered for the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) 66th Annual Program Meeting (APM) this year, beginning with a week of live education sessions and keynote speakers focused on the theme, “Leading Critical Conversations: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion.”

“In many ways, I believe this year’s APM was the best yet. The research presented at APM this year was not only timely, addressing topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion in a year where educators saw these conversations shift into the mainstream, but the mix of live and on-demand sessions will allow people to consume this content at their own pace,” says CSWE President and CEO Darla Spence Coffey, PhD, MSW. “We are so thankful for our attendees and sponsors for supporting the first-ever virtual APM.”

Recordings of the 60 live sessions that aired November 16–20 will be added to the library of more than 600 on-demand sessions that debuted during the live event. CSWE is also proud to say that more than 150 sessions qualify for continuing education credits.

One session from each of CSWE’s 40 APM tracks was presented live during the week as well as keynotes from all parts of academia.

Thanking the Event’s Platinum Sponsors
CSWE would like to thank the following Platinum Sponsors for their generous support: Boston College School of Social Work, Case Western Reserve, Howard University, LEAP, The Joint Programs of Social Work at North Carolina A&T and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, The Ohio State University College of Social Work, Rutgers University, Social Work Today, and University of Utah.

Quotable Keynotes
Four keynote speakers punctuated this year’s critical conversations on diversity, equity, and inclusion with remarkable presentations. These sessions are available on demand; however, Professor Ibram X. Kendi’s presentation is no longer available.

Cindy Blackstock
“Fall in love with the generation that will never know us.”

“The reality is that all we’re asking for is culturally based equity for First Nations kids. That’s something that Canada already does for every other kid in the country. … Why should there be any excuse for saying to a child that you get less because of your race?”

Ibram X. Kendi
“If there’s any group of people that should be at the front lines of working toward social change, meaning power and policy change, why can’t it be social workers?”

“All we can do is ensure we are teaching and executing an antiracist curriculum. ... If we can train generations of social workers to ask antiracist questions and to have antiracist perspectives, that’s going to shield them from the consistent and constant misinformation.”

“History doesn’t make itself. We make history.”

Laura Burney Nissen
“The future is here. The future is complicated and unpredictable in many ways. The future is unevenly distributed. In order to navigate that, we probably need new ways to operate and new ways to think about what is happening and what might happen next. Futures thinking and foresight practice provides that possible framework.”

“Futures thinking and practice is about deepening and strengthening the ability to anticipate and imagine in new ways. To commit to reducing ‘short-term–ism’ in our immediate and extended circles of influence. Futures thinking can help us make better decisions by having a deeper commitment to exploring unintended consequences of different paths we might take or underdeveloped possibilities.

Dexter Voisin
“To live in any society where a global hierarchy of superiority and inferiority is based on whiteness, sets up white supremacy as the norm. … This is the default drive which we have been born into and the default drive in which social work has been operating.”

“Social work has had a very complicated history of enacting social change, but also enacting social control, and at times, unintendedly, being agents of the status quo.”

— Source: Council on Social Work Education


Reunification of Families With Children in Foster Care Is Focus of SSW Institute Grant Award

The Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW) has been awarded a five-year, $10 million grant to support timely, stable, and lasting reunification and well-being of families with children in foster care.

The grant, recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families’ Children’s Bureau, will allow the Institute and participating partners to establish a National Quality Improvement Center on Family-Centered Reunification (QICR).

The intent of the project is to work with five to seven public child welfare sites nationally, to identify, assess, and implement promising and evidence-based practices that address the individual and collective needs of birth families with children in foster care. These sites will be identified through an application process to launch in 2021. The interventions implemented through the QICR will support successful reunification of families by preserving, nurturing, and strengthening parent-child relationships and supportive community connections and resources, including the meaningful engagement of birth parents, foster families, youth, alumni of foster care, and other stakeholders.

“The Children’s Bureau Quality Improvement Center (QIC) model is the kind of work the Institute wants to be involved with on behalf of children and their families,” says Michelle Zabel, assistant dean and director of the Institute. “QIC grants allow us, with our research and implementation science expertise, to generate and disseminate much-needed knowledge for child welfare professionals to improve the quality and delivery of services for youth.”

The QICR is a partnership with Children and Family Futures, Tribal Law and Policy Institute, Youth MOVE National, and The Center for the Study of Social Policy with an expert pool that includes birth parents, youth and alumni of foster care, foster parents, and other content experts, all of whom will be engaged throughout all activities of the QICR.

Marlene Matarese, PhD, MSW, deputy director of the Institute and clinical associate professor at the SSW is principal investigator for the grant. She expresses gratitude to the Children’s Bureau for prioritizing the need to strengthen family relationships when a child enters foster care.

“When the whole family receives the supports and services they need, they are more likely to achieve timely, stable, and lasting reunification,” Matarese says. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to reimagine child welfare through a focus on comprehensive, culturally responsive, family-centered, community-based solutions.”

“I am excited and honored for the School of Social Work’s Institute for Innovation and Implementation to host the Quality Improvement Center for Family Reunification,” adds SSW Dean Judy Postmus, PhD, MSW. “This opportunity to help support the Children’s Bureau vision for systemic change through intentional policy, practice, and culture shifts offers enormous possibility to develop a foster care system that supports entire families.”

Among the SSW faculty and staff members who will contribute to the QICR along with Matarese, are Elizabeth Greeno, PhD, MSW, LCSW-C, who will be the lead evaluator; Terry Shaw, PhD, MSW, MPH; Antoinette Donnelly; Samuel Macer, MSW; Paige Hammond, MHS; and Morgan Bosset.

— Source: University of Maryland