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Basic Income for Alberta: Political Impossibility?

Indigenous and Involved Across Alberta

Update: Your Professional Duties Around Overdose Response Kits








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THE ADVOCATE Volume 43, Issue 4, Winter 2018 Published by: The Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) 550 10707 100 AVE NW, Edmonton AB T5J 3M1 Ph: 780-421-1167/Toll-free (in AB): 1-800-661-3089 Fax: 780-421-1168/Toll-free fax: 1-866-874-8931 acsw@acsw.ab.ca — acsw.ab.ca Executive Director & Registrar: Lynn Labrecque King, MSW, RSW acswexd@acsw.ab.ca Associate Registrar: Suzanne MacKinnon, MSW, RCSW associateregistrar@acsw.ab.ca Managers, Regulatory Practice/Complaints Directors: Bruce Llewellyn, MSW, RSW Sheryl Pearson, MSW, RSW, LLB acswregulatory@acsw.ab.ca Associate Director - Professional Practice & Advocacy: Jody-Lee Farrah, MSW, RSW assocdirector@acsw.ab.ca

COVER STORY: 2019 ACSW CONFERENCE 20 Dominelli & Sieppert: Directions for the Future, Highlights of our History

Membership Activities - Team Lead: Charity Lui, MSW, RSW Social Workers - Membership Activities: Heather Johnson, SW Dip, RSW Andre Tinio, BSW, RSW Social Worker, Professional Practice Support Vicki Shaughnessy, BSW, RSW Finance & Administration Officer: Kim Hyggen, CPA, CGA Finance & Administration Support: Audrey Kent, CPA, CMA Registration Coordinator: Brenda Gross

FEATURE STORY 19 The Spider Web


19 The Spider Web 20 2019 ACSW Conference: Dominelli & Sieppert: Directions for the Future, Highlights of our History AROUND OUR PROVINCE 4 Around Our Province THE BIG PICTURE 8 A Message from the President 9

A Message from the Executive Director & Registrar

IN THE NEWS 10 Welcome to New RSWs & RCSWs INDIGENOUS VOICES 11 Indigenous and Involved Across Alberta ETHICS IN ACTION 12 Update: Your Professional Duties Around Overdose Response Kits

SOCIAL JUSTICE WORKS 14 Basic Income for Alberta: Political Impossibility?

SOCIAL JUSTICE WORKS 14 Basic Income for Alberta: Potential Experiment or Exercise in Political Impossibility? RESEARCH & LEARNING IN ALBERTA'S COMMUNITIES 16 A New Approach in Professional Skill Development DIPLOMA DIALOGUES 17 Let’s Be Disruptive! – Ten Years in the Making THE VOICES OF PRIVATE PRACTICE 18 Creating the Narrative for Our Work – Healing from the Inside Out DAY IN THE LIFE 24 Kari Welsh FOR YOUR INFORMATION 26 The Advocate Editorial Policy 27 For Your Information

Printing on Titan Dull text. 10% post consumer waste. Titan participates in a certified forest program.

Executive Assistant / Administrative Team Lead: Noreen Majek Administrative Support Professionals: Neetu Dodd Tracy Houben Carlena Johnson Jennifer Vasquez Tami Carlin Toni Harrison Emily Rypstra (Associate) Registration/Online Service Support Analyst: Laurie Nelson ACSW Council: President: Richard Gregory, MSc, RSW Vice President: Ajay Pandhi, MSW, RSW Secretary: Rick Guthrie, MSW, RSW Treasurer: Carla Bertsch, MSW, RSW Members at Large: Dayirai Kapfunde, MSW, RSW Enid Martin, MSW, RSW Jolene Spies, BSW, RSW Cody Murrell, BSW, RSW Connie Hesjedal, MSW, RSW Baiju Vareed, MSW Equiv, RSW Indigenous Social Work Committee Representative: Derek Chewka, MSW, RSW Public Members: Murray Hiebert Bukola Oladunni Salami Trevor Liskowich Charmaine Coutinho Laura Delfs Editorial Board: Cindy Haugen, BSW, RSW & Samuel Mammen, MSW Equiv, RSW (Co-Chairs) Michelle Humeny, RSW Darnel Forro, MSW, RSW Tasha Novick, BSW, RSW Sherri Tanchak, MSW, RSW Andrea Newberry-Koroluk, PhD, RSW Enid Martin, MSW, RSW Cardinal Fomradas, MSW, RSW Editorial services provided by Bird Communications Advertising space is available. To place an ad, contact activitiesadmin@acsw.ab.ca. The ACSW reserves the right to reject any submissions and advertising. Spring 2019 Issue Ad Deadline: January 15, 2019 Canadian subscriptions are $26/year (outside Canada: $26 US/year). Please immediately update your member profile with any address changes. ISSN 0847 - 2890 PM NO. 40050109 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO 550 10707 100 AVE NW, EDMONTON AB T5J 3M1 The opinions and interpretations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW), its editorial board, or contractors. The aforementioned make no guarantee or warranty, either expressed or implied, about the accuracy or links contained in the Advocate, and are not liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages that could arise. All material ©2019 by the ACSW or by author. ACSW retains copyright when no author is listed. Reprint or copying (including digital or online reproduction in any form) of any Advocate material requires written consent of the ACSW.




Autism film screening

Boyle Street Community Services Block Party

ACSW Pride button

Edmonton Daughters Day celebration

U of A's Interprofessional Pathway Launch

Private Practice interactive panel

ACSW Member-Driven Activities Autism: Solutions for a Lifespan is a film developed by Jesse Orjasaeter, MSW student and member of the ACSW Social Action/Social Justice – Edmonton group. ACSW staff, social workers and social work students attended the film screening on the 27th of July. Dr. David Nicholas, PhD, RSW, facilitated a panel discussion after the film. On August 17th, ACSW staff members and social work colleagues attended the first Boyle Street Community Services Block Party. This event, organized by Brenna Gavel, BSW, RSW, was created to raise awareness on gentrification in Edmonton’s downtown core. ACSW groups Calgary Social Workers for Social Justice, Sexual and Gender Diversity Interest Group and the Indigenous Social Work Committee organized a float at the Calgary Pride Parade on September 2nd. Social 4


workers walked in the parade and distributed ACSW Pride Buttons. The Daughters Day Celebration in Edmonton was on September 9th. This annual celebration is to honour the achievements of daughters and all females, and to ensure that every daughter has opportunity to achieve all she can without discrimination or abuse. Social workers who participated included Minister Lori Sigurdson, MSW, RSW, Andre Tinio, BSW, RSW, Sadia Sameeullah, BSW, RSW, Papiya Das, MSW Equiv, RSW and social work student, Jesse Orjasaeter. The University of Alberta’s Interprofessional Pathway Launch was on September 14th. At this event, approximately 500 health professional students came together to learn about the various health professions. ACSW group members from Social Workers in

Health and the Central Alberta Social Action/Social Justice group, as well as Edmonton Area Coordinators and ACSW staff connected with students to share about the ACSW and social work practice in health care settings. The ACSW Private Practice Committee organized an interactive panel discussion featuring social workers in private practice on September 15th. We thank the panellists Stephanie Wellings, MSW, RSW; Veena Khatri, MSW, RCSW; Cathie Kent, MSW, RSW; Paul Kent, MSW, RCSW, and Talia Zink, MSW, RSW.

CHARITY LUI is the Membership Activities Team Lead. You can contact her at Charity@acsw.ab.ca regarding submissions for the Advocate.

Lady Flower Garden

Calgary area social workers with Ministers


Ministers Sabir and Ceci

Meeting with Provincial Ministers The ACSW Calgary Social Workers for Social Justice, Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary's Faculty of Social Work were pleased to host a meeting with Minister Irfan Sabir, Minister of Community and Social Services, and Minister Joe Ceci, Minister of Finance. The ministers spoke to social workers about their successes and challenges while in office, the important role that social workers play in social justice, and answered questions related to programming, funding, and what's next for the NDP government.

On July 21st, Edmonton area social workers attended the second annual Lady Flower Garden event. Sponsored by the ACSW Edmonton Area Coordinators, the event saw social workers pick produce to be donated to the Food Bank. Then for a $20 fee, the participants were able to fill a 5-gallon pail with produce for their own use. In addition to members of the committee, ACSW staff and friends also participated. The area coordinators members agreed that this was a rewarding and fun event and intend to hold another garden harvesting next year.

Welcome, New Staff! We have had the pleasure to welcome the following new staff members to ACSW:

Andre Tinio, BSW, RSW, Social Worker – Membership Activities Coordinator

Carlena Johnson, Administrative Support Professional

Jody-Lee Farrah, MSW, RSW, Associate Director – Professional Practice & Advocacy

Vicki Shaughnessy, BSW, RSW, Social Worker – Professional Practice Support

Emily Rypstra, Associate Administrative Support Professional




Up & Coming • March 3-9, 2019 - Social Work Week in Alberta. Let us know how you celebrate! Send us photos and tag us on social media. #SWweek2019 • April 4-6, 2019 - ACSW Annual Conference, BMO Centre on Stampede Park, Calgary “Connection to Change: Evolution, Innovation & Activism in Social Work” Keynote Speakers:

Student presentation at U of C

Other ACSW Activities On Sept 5th, members of our staff attended the University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work in Edmonton to speak to incoming students about the ACSW. During an evening “meet and greet” on September 6th in Calgary, Council and ACSW members heard presentations delivered by Janet Eremenko, formerly with Vibrant Communities Calgary, and Ricardo Acuña of the Parkland Institute. Ms. Eremenko discussed the City of Calgary’s poverty reduction strategy and led an engaging overview of individuals’ experiences of poverty in Calgary. Mr. Acuña presented on the Parkland Institute’s research, and through an examination of their data, broke down myths about government spending and resource revenues in our province.

• Dr Jackie Sieppert – Dean, University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work • Dr. Lena Dominelli – Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling, United Kingdom (UK).

Social Work Diploma Program Update The Alberta Association of Social Work Diploma Programs (AASWDP) held their annual retreat and meeting this spring. The AASWDP has an important role in supporting the delivery of social work diploma programs in Alberta. New Family Violence Group We are excited to announce our new Family Violence Member Interest Group. It is a provincial group that meets monthly to discuss family violence social work practice at all levels. Members are able to join over the phone or at our office in Edmonton. For more information, please contact Andre Tinio: andret@acsw.ab.ca.



THIS IS AUPE YOUR WORKING PEOPLE The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees is proud to represent thousands of social services workers across the province who are on the front lines, making a difference every day.

www.aupe.org • facebook.com/yourAUPE • Twitter: @_AUPE_

Alberta College of Social Workers Council Nominations are now open! Important Dates • Nomination Deadline – February 1, 2019 • Candidates posted on the ACSW Website – February 6, 2019 • Elections will be open from February 8, 2019 to March 15, 2019 • Election results are shared at the Annual General Meeting – April 5, 2019 Run for Council where you will have opportunity to: • Contribute to strong leadership and effective governance for the ACSW • Discuss diverse perspectives on emerging issues • Represent and engage with membership on professional issues • Engage with and represent diverse professional interests Open Positions

Alberta College of Social Workers

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING NOTICE The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the ACSW will take place on Friday, April 5, 2019 at 5 pm at the BMO Centre, Palomino Room D, Calgary. Time will be available at the AGM to discuss resolutions. If you wish to submit a resolution, please see www.acsw.ab.ca under About Us – Council by February 8, 2019.

• President • Vice President • Council Member at Large (3 positions) Questions for Candidates Submit questions for the candidates to the Executive Assistant at noreenm@acsw.ab.ca until March 8, 2019. All candidate questions and individual responses will be posted online at www.acsw.ab.ca under Election Nominees.

ACSW Awards – Call for Nominations ACSW members are invited to submit nominations for the following awards: • John Graham Hutton Memorial Award for Social Action/ Social Policy • Excellence in Social Work Practice • Honourary Membership • Excellence in Clinical Social Work Practice Deadline for submitting nominations is February 1, 2019 Awards will be announced at the ACSW Awards Luncheon at the ACSW Annual Conference on Friday, April 5, 2019 at the BMO Centre, Calgary.

ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORK BOARDS: CALL FOR APPLICATIONS! Deadline: December 31, 2018 The Association of Social Work Boards is seeking applications from qualified social workers who are interested in writing questions, called “items” for the social work licensing exams. Becoming an item writer is a great way to contribute to the profession, sharpen your own writing and critical thinking skills, enhance your professional portfolio, and earn some extra income! To learn more about this opportunity, visit: www.aswb.org.

For more information, see www.acsw.ab.ca under Social Workers – Honouring Our Own





RICHARD GREGORY is the President of ACSW Council. He is also chair and instructor of the Social Work program at Medicine Hat College. You can contact Richard at acswpresident@acsw.ab.ca.

ALTHOUGH ALL SOCIAL WORKERS do amazing work every day, I really want to extend my appreciation for those who help people who suffer through natural disasters locally, nationally and internationally: fires, floods, droughts, tornadoes and hurricanes. Often, news of these catastrophic events is overshadowed by political scandals and pipeline conversations. It is imperative to remember the incredible loss people experience with natural disasters. Over the past few months, in my role as president for ACSW, I have had the opportunity to participate in some very interesting initiatives. Public Interest Alberta hosted several events across the province to promote the ‘Revenue Reno’ project. On June 5th, I joined Joel French, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta and Ricardo Acuña, Executive Director of the Parkland Institute, as a guest panelist at one of these events. This project calls for the provincial government to overhaul the tax system so public services can be protected, revitalized and strengthened. This project identifies that Alberta has a revenue shortage, best solved by renovating our tax system, and recommends resource revenues should be saved, not relied on to fund government’s basic operations. In April, I was invited to participate on the Community-Based Health Care (CBHC) Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee comes from the vision for communitybased health care in Alberta announced by Minister of Health, Sarah Hoffman. This vision is that Albertans’ health and wellbeing are improved through an integrated health care system that structures and plans around individuals and their communities. This vision goes beyond health care and links Albertans with social agencies to address challenges that impact their health and wellbeing. The mandate of the Community-Based Health Advisory Committee is to provide advice on the policy development process, and discuss and share expertise on policy, strategic directions, and key actions required to achieve the CBHC vision. This is an ad hoc committee reporting to the Deputy Minister of Health. To date we have had two face-to-face meetings and several discussions via email. Please forward to me your ideas or comments about Community-Based Health Care. I appreciate that we have an opportunity to put forth our ideas. In August, I participated in the first of a series of focus groups held by the Friends of Medicare. Upon conclusion of these groups, Friends of Medicare will propose a vision of progressive improvement founded upon our shared values and existing resources within Alberta Health Services. Friends of Medicare is calling for fundamental change in health care and provincial policy to reflect the values of public health care, to embrace clear provincial standards to improve access to care, and to establish ways of assessing quality of care. The intent is to develop a progressive health platform that will lead a discussion on the future of health care during the spring 2019 provincial election. Although it has just turned fall, we have already experienced snow and freezing temperatures. I do hope it isn’t going to be another long winter. I will take this opportunity to wish each of you health and happiness during the holiday season and a wonderful new year. Richard Gregory, MSc, RSW



A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & REGISTRAR The Case for the Integrated Organization

LYNN LABRECQUE KING is the Executive Director and Registrar for ACSW. Contact her at acswexd@acsw.ab.ca to share your thoughts on this or any other topic.

Can an organization effectively serve as both regulatory body and professional association? This is a question that may arise from time to time both internally and externally in our practice. The Alberta College of Social Workers has in fact been carrying out the integrated roles of regulatory body and professional association for well over a decade. Our College was included as a profession under the Health Professions Act in 2003, providing assurance to all Albertans that persons with social work education and serving the public within the scope of practice will be registered and hold an active practice permit. Our practice permit lets the public know that minimum requirements for registration have been met. This includes meeting standards for maintaining competence, and accountability to a Code of Ethics and to professional Standards of Practice. A view that is sometimes raised is that a regulatory body’s mandate is inherently a position of conflict with the role of professional associations. This perspective suggests that it is not possible to investigate or respond to cases where there is a complaint about a professional, while at the same time representing that member’s interests. This view most certainly comes from the good intention of wanting to ensure public interest. It can be useful to look at foundational principles in an integrated mandate to fully appreciate the connection to public protection. Here are some thoughts. A Systems View In a systems view, we recognize how parts work together to create a whole structure and we understand it is important to view parts in relation to each other. In Canada, the social work profession consists of three pillars: Social Work Education, Social Work Regulation, and Professional Social Work Associations. In Alberta, where we implement an integrated role model in our organization, the concept of systems matters. As we work together in our professional body in activities that include maintaining our competencies, upholding professional standards, and addressing complaints when needed, we are serving both the public interest and strengthening the profession. Thus, we see the mandate and roles of public protection and professional association as complementary, where one purpose reinforces and supports the other. A Matter of Social Justice Social justice is a principle inherent in social work. We view it as a matter of social justice that persons who are served by social workers have a voice and can make a complaint with the professional body if they believe there has been unprofessional conduct. What it Means to be a Professional A member of the College recently shared that she had experienced a complaint made about her practice. While being the subject of a complaint

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can be difficult, she found the process fair, respectful and professional. “The ability of our clients to make a complaint is important and my accountability to my client and practice is part of what it is to be a professional�. Commitment to our Clients and the Public Whether an organization is operating within a single or integrated mandate should not by itself be a determinant of 10


its effectiveness. In our professional body, social workers have a high regard for our colleagues and we are, together, stewards for public protection. Can an organization effectively serve as both regulatory body and a professional association? The Alberta College of Social Workers answers with a resounding YES! Lynn Labrecque King, MSW, RSW


Indigenous and Involved Across Alberta

schools with close to 400 staff form this authority. As social work and education work so closely together, we have been invited to return in the upcoming months to discuss how we can continue to collaborate. Calgary Pride A big shout out to Cindy Willet, BSW, RSW, of ACSW’s Calgary Social


Workers for Social Justice group for THE INDIGENOUS SOCIAL WORK COMMITTEE (ISWC) has been very active since the last issue of the Advocate. Much of our time has been spent supporting University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills as they conduct the research to complete the Indigenous Social Work Practice Framework.

Guidelines, concrete and useful strategies for social workers to include as part of their practice. We are also excited to have interest from the CASW in sharing our work with them as they begin their journey of reconciliation. If you did not get a chance to participate in providing feedback and are still interested, please give us a shout. We are seeking opportunities to share the framework with the membership across Alberta. I want to highlight a few activities that the ISWC have engaged in over the last while:

University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills

The ISWC and ACSW received a grant from the Ministry of Indigenous Relations to bring together Indigenous wise practices into a framework. This framework will provide several resources for Indigenous social workers as well as non-Indigenous social workers who work with Indigenous clients. One of these resources is the Practice

Blanket Exercise at the Maskwacis Education Schools Commission (MESC)

At the end of August, ISWC was invited to facilitate the Blanket Exercise by the newly-formed MESC. It was an honour and a privilege to celebrate with them on their first day of operations. Maskwacis is one of the first Indigenous Nations in Canada to negotiate with the federal government for funding to sustainably run their own education systems. Eleven

the invite and warm welcome as we participated in the Pride Parade. It was a huge success. We are already planning next year’s float ideas! Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association (CINA) We were approached by CINA to participate in a study about the services provided on reserve to those suffering from cancer. Preliminary reports showed that nurses work extremely closely with on-reserve social workers to ensure patients receive the best services possible while remaining on reserve. We have just begun to explore how we can participate in a meaningful way. If this is of interest to you, or you are a health care worker on a reserve and would like to become involved, please let us know. To participate in or offer feedback on any of the activities mentioned above, please contact Heather at the ACSW office at 780-421-1167.

DEREK CHEWKA is the chair of the ACSW Indigenous Social Work Committee.




Update: Your Professional Duties Around Overdose Response Kits BY SUZANNE MACKINNON, MSW, RCSW, & SHERYL PEARSON, MSW, RSW, LLB

THIS CLARIFICATION STATEMENT is an update to the article on this topic in the Summer 2018 Advocate. As the regulatory body for the profession of social work in Alberta, the ACSW acknowledges the important role of registered social workers (RSWs) in responding to the opioid crisis, and the potential

The emergency injection of Naloxone by an RSW who is trained in opioid overdose response would not constitute unprofessional conduct for social workers to be involved in emergencies. The Government Organization Act identifies the administration of an injection as a restricted activity. Social workers 12


are not among the regulated health professionals who are authorized to perform this restricted activity (Social Workers Profession Regulation, Alta Reg 82/2003). Registered social workers who have completed the required training may:

• Be involved in the sale of Naloxone or receive compensation in relation to providing Naloxone. The emergency injection of Naloxone by an RSW who is trained in opioid overdose response would not constitute unprofessional conduct.

• Provide overdose prevention, recognition and response education and training to members of the public.

It is the responsibility of the RSW to follow their employer’s policies regarding the distribution and use of overdose response kits in the work setting.

• Distribute overdose response kits to members of the public who are at risk of overdose or who may witness an overdose.

* RSWs employed in health care should be aware that during the course of employment, they may not inject Naloxone.

The ACSW Standards of Practice (2013) provide guidance on limits of practice and adding new services and techniques: E.4(b) A social worker will limit their practice to areas in which the social worker has gained competence through education, training or supervised experience. E.4(c) Where a social worker does not have sufficient knowledge/skill/ ability to provide a service that is requested, the social worker will (i) develop the competence to complete the task; (ii) decline to act, or (iii) refer to another professional who is competent on that matter.

Registered social workers may not: • Inject Naloxone, unless doing so clearly falls within the Emergency Exception where: no authorized individual is available to do so themselves; the Naloxone is provided in order to provide physical comfort or stabilize the individual who is ill, injured or unconscious as a result of an accident or other emergency; and no compensation is expected or received by the member.*

SHERYL PEARSON (top) is a Manager of Regulatory Practice and SUZANNE MACKINNON is the Associate Registrar of the Alberta College of Social Work.

For more information about required training and distribution of overdose response kits, please visit the AHS Community Based Naloxone Program website: https://www. albertahealthservices.ca/info/ page13663.aspx or email naloxone.kit@ahs.ca




Basic Income for Alberta: Potential Experiment or Exercise in Political Impossibility? BY REBECCA GRAFF-MCRAE, PARKLAND INSTITUTE

IS A BASIC INCOME feasible in Alberta? Trials in Manitoba, Ontario, and even Finland suggest that the answer is as much political as economic. Basic Income (BI, also referred to as Universal Basic Income or Guaranteed Minimum Income, among other terms) evolved as an idea adapted to the challenges of different eras and geographies – from 16th-century Europe to 1970s North America, to its current status as a concept with growing appeal worldwide. What basic income lacks is not ideas. What it lacks is evidence. What does a true basic income program look like on the ground? How does it impact participants’ financial, physical, and mental well-being? What are the effects on employment? What are the costs and net benefits to society? These questions were at the heart of the three pilot projects mentioned above: the Manitoba Mincome Experiment (1975-1978), the Ontario Basic Income Pilot Project (20172019), and Finland’s Experimental 14


Study on Basic Income (20172018). Yet all were beset by similar challenges that pose significant concerns for any consideration of BI in the Alberta context.

The importance of these initiatives as providing tangible, reliable, replicable data for other jurisdictions cannot be overstated First, none of the much-lauded pilots proposed a true basic income – one that is universal, unconditional, covers basic needs, and is paid on an individual basis, without means-test or claw-back. All three programs were targeted at specific groups already receiving benefits, and did not cover what most would consider basic necessities or cost of living. Under the Ontario program,

the benefit amount in itself was not sufficient to lift participants above the poverty line. In Finland, which sets the threshold of those “at risk of poverty” for a single person at 1185 euros per month, the BI benefit paid was just half that (560 euros). The experiments also relied upon a specific model of BI (technically a negative income tax), which was favoured over other variants with little empirical justification. In the Finnish case, the BI program essentially consolidated a number of discrete benefits into one payment and removed certain reporting conditions (such as requiring recipients to actively seek employment) – what should more accurately be termed a guaranteed unconditional income. Unlike the Manitoba and Ontario programs, Finland’s did not “claw back” other earnings if participants chose to take up paid employment. The experimental design has also been criticized in all three cases. This may be seen as pedantic, especially if we view BI as primarily a means of assistance to people rather than as research. But the importance of these initiatives as providing tangible, reliable, replicable data for other jurisdictions cannot be overstated. Without data, how can policy makers design programs that are effective in achieving the goals we desire, be they to reduce poverty and its effects or to incentivize people into the workforce? Instead, in Manitoba the data painstakingly collected was literally boxed up and warehoused for a generation, after a change of government at both provincial and federal levels prompted the program’s abrupt cancellation. Years later, the incomplete files were rediscovered

by researchers, who found startling correlations between basic income and improved health and educational outcomes with little impact on employment figures. For Finland and Ontario, the scenario is sadly familiar: as right-leaning governments declare their respective experiments “failures” before they have even been completed, it appears likely that highly sought-after information will suffer a similar fate. Most crucially for Alberta, these ambitious but imperfect projects were scrapped because they were vulnerable to the whims of politics: incoming governments who chose to foreground “work-fare” style benefits over “no strings attached” “free money” to bolster an ideological narrative and separate the “deserving” from the

“undeserving” poor. Considering the political atmosphere permeating Alberta in the lead-up to the spring election, it is difficult to conceive how BI could fit into either of the major parties’ positioning on poverty and our provincial finances. Our province’s first left-leaning government in more than eight decades has made it clear that ambitious social programs – from universal pharmacare to $25 per day childcare – can only be considered in conjunction with a resurgence in resource revenues. Rather than a progressive utopia, basic income has become part of a vicious political circle: in order to accumulate the evidence needed to design and maintain a large-scale program, it must have sustained political support, regardless of who is in government;

without such political will, basic income projects will be dismissed for lack of evidence. For Alberta, especially, the momentum for a truly progressive basic income will have to be built from the ground up by those with a real stake in reducing inequality and empowering the vulnerable: our civic organizations, advocacy groups, and labour unions, our teachers, health care professionals and social workers.

REBECCA GRAFF-MCRAE is a Research Manager for Parkland Institute. She completed her undergraduate and doctoral studies at Queen’s University Belfast and has held post-doctoral research fellowships at Memorial University Newfoundland and the University of Alberta. THE ADVOCATE



A NEW APPROACH IN PROFESSIONAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT New couple and family therapy education provides practical skills and hands-on help BY DON MCSWINEY Dr. Sally St. George

LAST MAY, the University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work quietly launched a new educational initiative that – on paper – may not appear to promise a lot. There’s no degree, just two non-credit certificates and a diploma at the end. However, for the practicing social workers, psychologists, child specialists, and educators who take the program, the certificate in Couple and Family Therapy offers a lifeline. “There are students who have basically told us that they’re lost,” says Dr. Dan Wulff, PhD, RSW. “Some of our students find themselves having to do family therapy in situations with no help or supervision. When they find themselves across the table from families and couples, they are uncertain about what to say. This practical set of courses fills in the gaps in their knowledge and helps them develop their skills.” The certificate has been, amazingly, 11 years in the making. The original idea came from practitioners in the social work community who were literally begging for practical education in the area. Last spring, the faculty’s Graduate Program Director, Dr. Sally St. George, PhD, RMFT, brought the program proposal to the university for approval and found them very supportive of the useful and rigorously practical program. She says the response from the first cohort of students has been gratifying. “I think what the students find really valuable,” says St. George, “is the practical nature of the classes. We follow instruction with practical examples of how to use the new ideas students have learned. In many cases students use their actual cases, so there’s immediate relevance in this education. In a way the class is very much like intense, small group supervision. We like to say, ‘We are taking class to work.’” The other innovative feature of the certificate/diploma program is that it boldly bridges the divide between social 16


work and clinical family therapy. As Wulff explains, the program teaches clinical family therapy skills with a social work perspective. “If you go into a room and you can’t effectively speak to a client,” says Wulff pointedly, “but maybe you understand the socioeconomic and policy environment that is impacting that client – then I say you’re only half a social worker. If you go into that room and you’re a great practitioner but you don’t understand the big picture environment affecting that individual, then I say you’re also half a social worker. In this certificate, we focus on both.” The Couple and Family Therapy Certificate/Diploma Program has been designed for working professionals. Since the classes are offered online it’s a perfect support / education for busy social workers and helping practitioners based in remote communities. The first certificate begins in May; however, there’s a rolling admission, which means you can apply at any time to be ready for the first class in the spring. “We’ve heard from students who find themselves, suddenly, in the position of having to offer family and couple therapy,” says St. George. “They may have taken one course during their degree, but when they find themselves in a room with real families, they realize they would like to know more, so they can be more effective. I think this diploma offers real tools, real skills that can make a big difference in the careers of our students and the people they help.” The program is 100 per cent virtual. You can find out more about the program at fsw.ucalgary.ca/PC-CFT2 DONALD MCSWINEY is the manager of Communications and Marketing in the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Social Work.



Donna Bell, Ingrid Tenkate, Anne Bello, Alana Brown, Dorothy Jacques, and Program Chair Thalia Anderen.

LET’S GET DISRUPTIVE! This is a phrase often used at NorQuest College as a rallying dare to strive to be outstanding in whatever we do; and this is exactly what the Social Work diploma program is doing. This year marks the program’s ten-year anniversary of offering quality social work programming in the Edmonton area. We are proud to say we have had over 300 graduates since our inception and we look forward to being graced with more in the coming years.

ceremonies, spiritual and cultural guidance, customized student supports and as a social gathering place. If you’re in the area, this innovative Centre is a must-see.

We said “See you again soon” to Eugene Ip, DPhil, RSW, and Robert “Bob” Marvin, MSW, RSW, as they officially retired from full-time teaching in our program. These two trailblazing social workers have a great deal of humility but should also feel proud of their many contributions to the profession.

In the spirit of collaboration, we entered into a brokerage agreement with Bow Valley College to offer a Social Work diploma program in 2016 and this year was the graduation of the first cohort of 22 students under the strong leadership of the Program Coordinator, Thalia Anderen, MSW, RCSW. We look forward to our continued collaboration with Bow Valley College and watching future cohorts moving forward in their social work education journey.

Although Dr. Ip officially retired, he continues to support the program in a mentoring and advisory capacity. Bob’s work in the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council-funded ‘Research for a Better Life’ project was recently showcased internationally. Bob and the research team members presented at the Social Work Education and Social Development conference in Dublin, Ireland in July. In our efforts to meaningfully infuse multicultural and Indigenous content and content experts, we are enriched with the support of the college’s Indigenous Student Centre that recently opened in our new building in the downtown core of Edmonton. We are fortunate to have such an area where students can balance a strong academic foundation with Indigenous culture. We also have an onsite Elder available two days a week for Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners and staff as well as a space for

The ten year milestone also marks a change in our structure of the program commencing in the 2018/2019 academic year. As part of our continuous improvement, the Social Work diploma program will have first-year students entering practicum during their Winter and Spring terms.

It is exciting to celebrate our milestone with the support, guidance and encouragement of all the social work diploma programs and our stakeholders across this wonderful province. With the blend of our original faculty and our newest members, we all look forward to being disruptive in the coming years!

DONNA BELL is the Indigenous Program Chair of the NorQuest College Social Work diploma program.




Creating the Narrative for Our Work – Healing from the Inside Out BY BONNIE KOWALIUK, RSW, WITH FOREWORD BY TERESA WINFIELD, MSW, RCSW

Working in private practice comes with many challenges and opportunities. We’ve been sharing stories of practitioner ‘nightmares’ that many therapists can relate to. If you’ve been left wondering why anyone would want to start a private practice, we offer you this story of hope and resiliency from Bonnie Kowaliuk. I HAVE BEEN REFLECTING a lot in my work upon the term “practice” and what that means relative to my work as a mindfulness coach integrating music, mindfulness, psychotherapy and coaching into my clinical practice over the past eight years. Upon reflection and deep meditation, what has landed is this epiphany: that those of us who are wounded healers, light workers and clinical practitioners really are in a state of process, a state of supporting not only our clients but ourselves in the course/journey of our own transformation and evolution, as we walk our life paths exploring and discovering who we have been, who we are and who we want to become. Let me share a professional narrative about a client whom I walked with in her own personal journey of discovery and recovery. She was a married, middle-aged mother with a daughter 18


I came to discover that she was healing and helping me as much as I was helping her finishing high school. She suffered experiences of loss and trauma relative to her family of origin, and was dealing with depression, anxiety, general disconnection from her spouse and her work, as well as a virus accompanied by severe neurological issues. She was concerned about job security, personal worth and securing a family home that would meet her vision and needs for herself and her family. She worked with me for well over 12 personal clinical sessions using music-assisted mindfulness/psychotherapy to explore

that she was healing and helping me as much as I was helping her. Over the course of her inner journey, she was able to tap into her own internal resources, imagery and spirituality to help discover solutions and manifest dreams and personal goals. It also helped strengthen and build personal resilience to better manage her stress and illness, and expand her social network of positive connections so she did not have to be reliant upon only her family to support and carry her in times of need. Through the course of her sessions, she was able to manifest her ideal family home, reach out to her own cultural community and even begin to work more effectively with her husband to support the development of a business plan for his business. She became empowered and inspired by her capacity to resource within and uncover hidden gifts and potential that had been repressed and depressed. Through the support of the music, the therapeutic relationship and the creative process itself, this amazing woman was able to discover her authentic self and tap into her strong sense of spirituality and belief in the higher power to carry her through the struggles she was facing in her life personally, professionally and physically. I was honoured and blessed to witness her discovery and recovery. She was living proof that each human being has the capacity to heal from the inside out.

these issues. She was really struggling with how others perceived her, while her chronic illness was impacting her energy levels, self-image, sense of self and ability to cope with stress. As her guide, practicing and exploring this deep method of personal inquiry and exploration, I came to discover

BONNIE KOWALIUK is a Mindfulness Coach integrating prescribed music programs to support individuals seeking to be empowered to uncover their natural strengths, resources and gifts.


The Spider Web


requires many tangible and obvious steps be taken. These include supporting Indigenous social work students to be successful in their post-secondary education goals and indigenizing the social work curriculum so Indigenous ways of knowing and perspectives are honoured. This must be done, but I don’t believe there will be sustainable success doing this unless we are open to sense the less tangible – to be ready to assist whenever there is a vibration. The vibration could come from a social work student having prejudices toward Indigenous peoples or being ready to more deeply understand the residential school experience. The vibration could be between members of the campus community, whether that be with an instructor and student; two students; or faculty members in different departments. There must be We need to work an awareness and the resources to sense together through “a the vibrations and to help.

AT A CONFERENCE a few years ago, Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Wilton Littlechild shared an analogy of reconciliation. He invited us to imagine walking alone on the tracks of a railroad. For a short distance, he said, you will be able to balance on the rail but eventually you fall off. In contrast, if you walk with another person, holding their hand, you will keep each other from falling off the rail. You and the other person will be able to walk a longer distance because you are keeping each other in balance. Your spirit of cooperation, working together and understanding of each other brings a better result. So it is with reconciliation. In my language (Blackfoot), I look at reconciliation as “Akoo ka na ksi tso ko watsi yopa iissoo tsiika — iito mai ta kita!” In English this means, “We will be friends again in the future — believe in it!”

Truly internalizing and understanding tso tsi i ka ki maan” or As an “Espoom taah” or “Helper” in the reconciliation is like weaving an “ani to “combined effort" department of Child Studies and Social pisi” or “spider web” to create a path. The Work, I was brought in because there web is part of a much greater creation were vibrations. People (faculty, staff and students) are story as told by my older brother, Clement. The “ani to beginning to understand the importance of reconciliation pisi” teaches us to work together because a vibration in and the need to address the Calls to Action. I cannot do any one of the strands of the web usually signals trouble. it alone. We need to work together through “a tso tsi i ka It is our duty to sense the vibration and then go and help ki maan” or “combined effort.” We cannot walk on the resolve the challenges. railroad tracks alone because then we will fall off. We must I am a Blackfoot Elder from the Siksika Nation. I graduated walk on the railroad tracks holding each other’s hand. from Mount Royal University in 1994 with a diploma in Social Work. It never occurred to me that more than 20 years later, I would return to this campus, but the vibration was strong. Now I am honoured to serve as an Elder-InResidence at Mount Royal University. For me, the campus community is an “ani to pisi” – a spider web. At post-secondary institutions and for social work departments across Canada, truly answering the Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

ROY BEAR CHIEF is an Espoom taah (helper) at Mount Royal University, providing advice to all areas including the Department of Child Studies and Social Work in the Faculty of Health, Community and Education.







N A SOCIAL WORK CAREER that has spanned more than 30 years, Lena Dominelli, PhD, CQSW,* has seen many changes. As a groundbreaking activist in the area of intersectionality and a pioneer of green social work, she’s often been at the forefront. Jackie Sieppert, PhD, RSW, her fellow keynote speaker at the Alberta College of Social Worker’s 2019 conference, has practiced in a variety of social work areas during his more than 30 years in the profession, the last nine as Dean of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary (U of C).

Together, the two are well-placed to address the conference theme, Connection to Change: Evolution, Innovation, and Activism in Social Work. A professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling in the United Kingdom (UK), Dominelli has served in numerous leadership capacities, including as President of the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) from 19962004. She currently chairs the IASSW Committee on Disaster Interventions and Climate Change and represents the social work profession at United Nations discussions on climate change. 20


Her work in disaster interventions is what led her to a connection with U of C professor Dr. Julie Drolet, PhD, RSW, in 2009. At the time, Dominelli held a chair in Applied Social Sciences in the School of Applied Sciences at Durham University in the UK and co-directed the university’s Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience. Drolet was working on a project, Rebuilding Lives Post-Tsunami, and Dominelli invited her to present her research at the university. Dominelli and Drolet found themselves working together again in 2012 when Drolet was leading an international Social Sciences

and Humanities Research Council of Canada project, Rebuilding Lives Post-Disaster, and Dominelli was a co-investigator. Since then, Dominelli and Drolet have collaborated on publications, edited a book, contributed a chapter to the Routledge Handbook of Green Social Work, published peer-reviewed articles in journals, and presented at conferences. Last year, Dominelli invited Drolet to present at the Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, where the two represented the IASSW in the social work field. “She’s really phenomenal,” Drolet says. “I can’t say enough positive things about Lena and her work. I think it’s great that she’s able to come to the ACSW conference this year.” In her keynote, Dominelli will consider how green social work can help move the profession forward and become more relevant to contemporary concerns. Drolet describes green social work as a new paradigm for social workers to include the environment as an integral component of well-being. Dominelli will provide examples of what green social workers in disaster situations have done to renew the profession while remaining true to social work’s values of social justice and human rights. Drolet says the timing is right to have Dominelli deliver a keynote focused on green social work, given the role of natural resources in Alberta’s economy and the need to think about long-term sustainable development. In the past decade, Alberta has experienced significant disasters, including fires in Slave Lake and Fort McMurray, and the floods in the Calgary region.




“I think it’s an opportunity for us to see how, in Alberta, social workers can begin to adapt to the changing environment,” Drolet says. “I’m hoping by having her here, this will spark some new discussion around how we can better prepare social workers to meet these challenges, because we need to think about doing things differently.” Sieppert’s keynote will provide background about how social work in Alberta has changed since the early 1960s, when the Alberta Association of Social Workers (AASW) was formed. His talk will focus on the evolution and history of the profession in the province, including

the transition from the AASW to the Alberta College of Social Workers, which was created in the early 2000s. The ACSW’s first function is regulatory, to protect the public and make sure that social workers meet rigorous standards. The regulatory function exists in part “to ensure that people who call themselves social workers have the right training, knowledge and skills,” Sieppert says. Before the Health Professions Act (HPA) came into force for social work in 2003, “anybody could call themselves a social worker or choose not to,” Sieppert explains. The HPA protects the social worker title, and prohibits those who are not registered from identifying as social workers. Being a registered social worker means meeting educational qualifications, completing continuing competence requirements and following a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. “There is a value in that kind of stamp of approval,” Sieppert notes. In some ways, being a registered body has made it easier for the ACSW to fulfil another of its mandates: promoting the profession, a key component of which is “making sure that people know what we do,” Sieppert says. Changing from an association to a regulatory body “was really critical to moving the profession ahead for credibility, visibility, and actual professional standards. I think it’s really been a good journey for the college.” As social work has become more diverse, the profession’s profile has been raised. “Early on in my career, people would get a social THE ADVOCATE


work degree and it was unusual for them to say ‘I’m a social worker,’” Sieppert recalls. “They’d say, ‘I’m a therapist or a counselor or I work in probation.’ We weren’t as vocal about being social workers … I think there is a pride now that leads us to stand up proudly and say, ‘I’m a social worker.’” When the U of C opened its Faculty of Social Work 52 years ago, it was the province’s only degree provider. The university now delivers programs in Lethbridge,

Red Deer, Medicine Hat, Edmonton, and Grande Prairie. Two years ago, MacEwan University launched a Bachelor of Social Work program. The increasing number of social workers has helped to increase awareness of all the profession can do, in North America and abroad. In China, the government is investing in training hundreds of thousands of social workers “because they see the value in the profession from a community development standpoint,” Sieppert says, while in

the United States, there is a greater move for insurance companies to turn to social workers to provide mental health support “because people recognize that social workers do a great job in that area.” Another area in which social workers stand out is in activism. In the early 1980s, when Sieppert was a newlyminted social worker, he knew many social workers who were also activists. During the 90s and until fairly recently, he says, “We kind of moved away from that,” but the


DIGITAL STORYTELLING JACKIE SIEPPERT will lead a workshop about digital storytelling, a tool that can be used for advocacy, training, and new understanding. Sieppert was introduced to the concept more than a dozen years ago and the method “knocked my socks off,” he says. “The stories we create through the process are a remarkable social work tool. They have many uses and can be educational, therapeutic, and a tool for advocacy.” Sieppert has conducted digital storytelling workshops for youth who have been in foster care, youth transitioning from the child health care system to the adult system, and seniors in their 80s and 90s. One of his most memorable workshops involved homeless women in Calgary. To this day Sieppert shows one of the stories, about a woman named Bernita. “She had a life that any of us could have had: a husband, a home, kids and grandkids. Everything was working the way it should be, and then her husband got sick and passed away. She started to get short on money, she had roommates who weren’t good to her, and eventually she wound up homeless. At the end of the story she comes on screen and she says, essentially, this could happen to anybody, but she wanted everybody to know she has a right to be happy, she has a right to a home, and she thought it was important to say that.” The story was developed when Calgary was working on a 10-year plan to end homelessness. The video ends with a photo of Bernita and her family. “It’s been a really powerful reminder that we think of people who are homeless as individuals,” Sieppert says. “We rarely stop to think about the rest of their family, and how those relationships play out.”



I think there is a pride now that leads us to stand up proudly and say, ‘I’m a social worker’ pendulum is swinging back, in large part because of an increased need for advocacy around such issues as reconciliation, poverty, the #MeToo movement, and LGBTQ+ rights. In Dominelli’s description for her keynote presentation about green social work, she highlighted many of the challenges facing social work today: environmental degradation, climate change, migration, humanmade and natural disasters, and the long-standing ones of poverty and interpersonal violence. “Responding to the complex issues they pose is an imperative for practitioners in the 21st century,” she writes. “For this they need courage, professional confidence, solidarity, creativity, innovative

approaches, and service-user empowerment.” Social work has long been recognized as a profession that stands up for those who have been marginalized or oppressed. For many social workers, Dominelli’s work has provided an indispensable framework on how to help society’s most vulnerable. “I admire her because of her bravery and courage to explicitly name oppression and come up with strategies on how social workers can address, or help their clients address, the oppression and barriers they are experiencing,” says Darnel Forro, MSW, RSW. An instructor in the Social Work Diploma Program at Red Deer College, Forro has been inspired throughout his career by Dominelli’s scholarship. “I would describe her as a very brave, modern-day theorist and an educator who has a very in-depth understanding of issues surrounding the intersectionality of oppression, the interconnection of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, class, ability, and all the other factors in a person’s social location,” he says.

Social work has long been recognized as a profession that stands up for those who have been marginalized or oppressed The textbook “Anti-Oppressive Social Work Theory and Practice,” which Dominelli wrote with Jo


GREENING THE URBAN LANDSCAPE LENA DOMINELLI’S workshop, “Greening the Urban Landscape: Green Social Work Perspectives,” will look at social workers who work in urban environments, where often they take their surroundings as given. Participants will engage in exercises that consider the extent to which urbanism has impacted their practice and lives, and will involve them in formulating what might be good social work practice from a green perspective. Green social work considers the natural environment and looks at how to promote humanity and life within the planet in a more sustainable and holistic way, says Julie Drolet (pictured at right with Dominelli), a social work professor at the University of Calgary. It’s an important component to consider in disaster work, climate change, and sustainable development. “We have been treating the environment as just another resource that humans can exploit,” Drolet says. Social workers’ concerns about the environment aren’t new, but in the past the focus has been more on social dimensions. “We're starting to better understand the realities of climate change and environmental degradation and its harmful effects,” she says. “The closer you are to working with the land, the more you start to see these changes and how people are adapting and starting to cope.” Campling, had a profound impact on Forro, inspiring him to become a pro-feminist and anti-oppressive practitioner after earning his BSW.

one ever questioned how he, a man,

Before coming to Red Deer, Forro was a medical social worker with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, supporting women who were experiencing multiple stressors including antepartum and postpartum depression, social barriers and uncertainty about whether to continue with a pregnancy.

of Professor Dominelli,” Forro says.

“Lena Dominelli’s work was a foundational element that guided my practice and currently guides my teaching,” he says. During the more than five years Forro worked at a Winnipeg hospital, no

could counsel pregnant women from an ‘ally’ perspective. I’ve learned this through the writings “She is a brave author, a brave scholar, and certainly a brave social worker, and we need more people like her.” * Certificate of Qualification in Social Work

DEBBIE WALDMAN is an Edmonton writer whose work has appeared in publications including People, Parents, and Publishers Weekly. She also writes books for children. THE ADVOCATE



AFTER THREE DECADES as a registered social worker, Kari Welsh knows one thing for sure: you don’t need to work in a traditional setting — like a health care facility, a social service agency or a private practice — to help people improve their lives. Welsh is manager of volunteer resources at Glenbow Museum, an art and history museum located in downtown Calgary. “People often seek support in non-traditional ways. I knew within my first month [at the museum] that my social work background would be a real benefit to this position.” Welsh has been at Glenbow Museum for the last six years, but has followed an interesting career path to get here. She graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor’s degree in social work in 1988. “I knew a bit about social work because my neighbour was a social worker who worked with the deaf and hard of hearing. I liked that social work is a vocation as well as a degree and I could be working in the field right away.”




Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. I believe that art is instrumental to a healthy community. 24


After graduation, Welsh began her career in a shortterm position with the Kidney Foundation. From there she entered the world of youth justice, where she would spend more than two decades working with youth who were experiencing a number of unidentified issues, such as male-on-male abuse, the lack of community-based residential integration programs for females, and legislation which needed to be reviewed and revised. She started with the City of Calgary in its Youth Probation Office, then took on another youth justice role while living in Australia. Back to Calgary, Welsh joined Legal Aid Alberta’s Youth Criminal Defense Office where she stayed for about ten years. It wasn’t until a new opportunity came up with Ronald McDonald House that Welsh decided to make another move. This new volunteer coordinator role gave Welsh flexibility to balance her family life and personal interests with her work. Now in her role at Glenbow Museum, Welsh hasn’t looked back. “Working with volunteers gives me a different focus from traditional case managing, but it is still a supportive role. I use the resources I have to help volunteer team members fulfill their goals.” Welsh describes her role as the “intake hub” for volunteers at the museum. The museum’s departments request volunteer support through her. Welsh recruits and screens volunteer candidates, connecting them with volunteer positions within the museum.

“I work with all kinds of people. It could be someone who has volunteered at the museum every week for 35 years, or a high school student who is learning to balance a volunteer schedule with exams, or a young professional who volunteers at the museum and three other places as well.” Welsh also connects with other local organizations to find volunteers for special events at the museum. “I recruit volunteers through student and immigrant organizations to support Glenbow’s large special events. This is an ongoing task all year long.” Working with so many people in so many capacities comes with many kinds of responsibilities — from making sure government legislation is properly followed to making housing or logistical arrangements for volunteers. “[When] screening volunteers, there are a number of pieces of legislation to consider, such as employment standards for youth volunteering in the evening as well as adhering to the Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement,” explains Welsh. “I may assist [senior volunteers] with subsidized housing information as they transition due to retirement or increasing physical limitations during the winter. I have also contacted Access Transit to request appropriate zoning for dropping off volunteers who use wheelchairs.” It may seem like managing volunteers in an art and history museum is a very different career from social work, but Welsh points out there are many similarities. “A group of volunteers is really a microcosm of society. It’s similar to handling a case load. It’s a group of people who are different ages and in need of different resources. Working with volunteers is about working to

support people’s life experience, and help them find a healthy balance and wellness in their daily lives.” Welsh regularly offers all kinds of support to her team of volunteers, which keeps her very connected to her social work practice. “It could be emotional support; for example, a widow seeking out a volunteer role to help recover from loss … I support teens with employment readiness, connecting them with museum educators or leadership to discuss post-secondary program considerations. I support staff and volunteers with conflict resolution when disagreements arise.” When it comes to volunteering, Welsh doesn’t just talk the talk. A lifelong volunteer, Welsh has a personal volunteer interest in pediatric health. “My daughter has a neurodevelopmental disorder. She was diagnosed late with Social Communication Disorder when she was ten-and-a-half and she’s now 12-and-a-half. I’ve been a parent advisor in a pediatric hospital setting for the last eight years and have been on local, national and international committees for improving family-centred care … [My daughter] and I also volunteer for a community garden that supplies produce to women’s shelters.” When Welsh isn’t working or volunteering, she’s likely travelling. “At present, my husband lives and works in the States. My daughter and I travel once a month to connect with him in a major US city. It’s been a very positive experience for us and my daughter has become quite the frequent flyer!” As for Welsh’s future plans, she will continue her important work in the volunteer sector no matter where her personal life takes her. “I am grateful to work at Glenbow. My husband works

INDIGENOUS ACCESS PROGRAM Glenbow Museum is entrusted with extensive material related to the heritage and ancestry of Canada's First Peoples. The Indigenous Access Program provides First Nations, Inuit and Métis people with complimentary admission during regular museum hours. Preregistration is not required for this program. School groups are not eligible for this program. This program is made possible by the generous support of Scotiabank. in the museum district in Houston, so my hope is that one day, when we transition there, I will work or volunteer within that community...” “One quote I always use is, ‘Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.’ I believe that art is instrumental to a healthy community.”

SHAWNA DIRKSEN is a freelance writer based in Edmonton. She loves skiing in the winter and running outdoors in the summer, and can often be found on a spin bike in between. THE ADVOCATE


The Advocate Editorial Policy The Advocate is the official publication of the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) and is published quarterly for members of ACSW and other interested parties. The Advocate Editorial Board encourages submissions from all social work practice areas and perspectives, including: social work research, theory, practice, and education; professional affairs; social issues; the work of the College; member activities; continuing education and job opportunities; reviews of books, journals, and other media of interest to social workers.

Mental Health Recovery Practitioner Build on your previous education and experience in the health and human services field to support individuals and families facing mental health and concurrent disorders.

Articles of up to 1000 words and letters of up to 500 words will be considered, but publication is not guaranteed. Writing from social workers who are ACSW members will be given preference. Copy may be edited to fit the space available or for legal or other reasons. Please contact the ACSW office for full submission guidelines. Publication Schedule And Deadlines Spring issue: January 1 deadline for general submissions (articles, letters, etc.) January 15 for advertising Summer issue: April 1 for general submissions April 15 for advertising Fall issue: July 1 for general submissions July 15 for advertising

This flexible, 8-month post-diploma certificate program combines online and live classroom instruction and includes a 120-hour practicum.

Winter issue: September 1 for general submissions September 15 for advertising

Start in January. Apply today norquest.ca/mhrp

All Submissions The Advocate ACSW, 550 10707 100 Avenue NW Edmonton AB T5J 3M1 ATTN: Charity Lui: charity@acsw.ab.ca PHONE: 780-421-1167 TOLL-FREE: 1-800-661-3089 FAX: 780-421-1168

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The Advocate’s For Your Information section gives preference to Alberta-based educational opportunities and non-profit events for social workers. Send your submissions to Vicki Shaughnessy at vickis@acsw.ab.ca. Leading Change Summit February 19 - 21, 2019 Edmonton Presented by the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters, this summit will dig deep to generate creative solutions to end genderbased violence. www.acws.ca/leading-change-summit-2019 12th Annual Western Indigenous Consultation & Engagement February 19 - 20, 2019 Edmonton Join diverse perspectives from Indigenous communities, industry and government to discuss critical updates in policy & innovative ways to enhance your consultation practices. www.canadianinstitute.com/12thannual-western-indigenous-consultationengagement/ 11th Annual Autism Conference Day 1: October 22, 2018 Days 2-3: January 24 - 25, 2019 Edmonton This conference attracts the latest in autism research and science to Edmonton and has become the largest of its kind in Western Canada. www.childrensautism.ca/event/11th-annualautism-conference-dr-tony-attwood/

Managing Workplace Violence And Aggression Workshop

Canadian Association For Social Work Education 2019 Conference

January 22, 2019

June 3 - 6, 2019



The Continuing Care Safety Association has developed a program that addresses the effects of violence on staff, prevention and mitigation strategies, non-physical de-escalation techniques as well as response/ investigation procedures.

Save the date! Details still to come.

www.eventbrite.ca/e/managing-workplaceviolence-and-aggression-tickets47434799763?aff=ebdssbdestsearch 8th International Conference On Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder March 6 - 9, 2019 Vancouver

www.caswe-acfts.ca/conference/ 16th Hawai’i International Summit: Preventing & Treating Trauma Across the Lifespan April 23 - 26, 2019 The 16th Annual Hawai`i International Summit is a multidisciplinary gathering of professionals working together to tackle the major issues in fields dealing with violence, abuse, and trauma. www.ivatcenters.org/hawaii-summit/

This advanced level conference continues to bring together global experts from multiple disciplines to share international research. www.interprofessional.ubc.ca/initiatives/ fasd2019/ 1st Annual Indigenous Women’s Summit May 15, 2019 Vancouver



The summit will feature some of the most successful and influential Indigenous women across the country who have created and accomplished their set goals. Join us as we showcase real life stories of hardships, planning, action, set-backs and victories.

For the Spring 2019 issue of the Advocate is January 1, 2019



All editorial inquiries to Charity Lui Charity@acsw.ab.ca

For the Spring 2019 issue of the Advocate is January 15, 2019 Visit the ACSW Events Calendar to find more training, events and workshops, at acsw.com, Social Workers tab, Calendar of Events.

All ad inquiries to activitiesadmin@acsw.ab.ca




Season's greetings




Profile for ACSW

The Advocate - Winter 2018  

The Alberta College of Social Workers The Advocate is one of the primary communication means used to inform our membership of the College ac...

The Advocate - Winter 2018  

The Alberta College of Social Workers The Advocate is one of the primary communication means used to inform our membership of the College ac...

Profile for acsw