NASW participated in the Council on Social Work Education’s 59th annual program meeting, held Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 in Dallas.
More than 2,000 social work educators, professionals and leaders attended the conference, titled “Global Social Work—The World Is Here.” Attendees had the opportunity to network and participate in presentations, workshops and discussions on a variety of topics, including advocacy, job searching and research statement writing.
NASW President Jeane Anastas, NASW Social Work Policy Institute Director Joan Levy Zlotnik and NASW Senior Governance Associate Kelsey Nepote participated in the meeting, speaking about child welfare policy, and NASW’s Feminization of Poverty conference, which Anastas organized in 2013.
Zlotnik and Howard University doctoral student Jessica Pryce presented a poster session called “Status of Title IV-E Training Funding in BSW and MSW Programs: Impact on the Child Welfare Workforce.”
The training provision of Title IV-E of the Social Security Act has been a major public funding source supporting both staff training and the opportunity for current and prospective employers to earn BSW and MSW degrees. Using these federal funds to support social work education has been instrumental in educating a new generation of social workers to pursue child welfare careers.
Highlighting the Social Work Policy Institute’s efforts in child welfare, Zlotnik spoke on a panel during the Child Welfare Track meeting which focused on sustaining a national movement to promote professional social work in child welfare.
“One of the largest tracks in this social work meeting now is child welfare,” Zlotnik said. “Discussions took place at the CSWE annual program meeting about new traineeship and leadership opportunities in child welfare that recently were funded by the Children’s Bureau, and how social work education programs will be able to apply for these funds to address state and local workforce issues.”
Anastas and Nepote highlighted NASW’s 2013 “Feminization of Poverty Revisited” conference, which re-examined the term “Feminization of Poverty,” a phrase coined by social worker Diane Pearce in 1978. More than 100 women leaders and advocates attended the conference in Washington, D.C., last March. Featured guest speakers included Gloria Steinem, iconic visionary of the women’s movement; and Tina Tchen, White House chief of staff for the office of the first lady.
“The Feminization of Poverty is unfortunately still relevant today,” Anastas said. “In our goal to further disseminate the important information and discussions that took place at the March 2013 symposium, we found the APM platform to be a great opportunity to reach social work educators. The profession has an important role in combating the disproportionate affect poverty has on women.”
Women’s committees give joint presentation
Representatives of the NASW National Committee on Women’s Issues and the CSWE Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education gave a presentation titled “Is There Still Room for Women in Social Work’s Global Era?” at the CSWE Annual Program Meeting last fall.
The presentation examined success strategies and the emerging issues affecting women in social work education and practice, across generations, and within the global community.
“It’s important that the voices of women came together from a collective space within the profession,” said Tricia Bent-Goodley, chairwoman of the NASW National Committee on Women’s Issues and a professor at Howard University.
Saundra Starks, associate professor at the Department of Social Work and director of the Family Resource Program at Western Kentucky University, moderated the presentation. Starks, who is a member of both committees, said there is strength and value in having the two organizations come together to address the issues women face in the social work profession and in social work higher education roles.
“We wanted people to feel the sense of the partnership and we wanted the presentation to provide some clarity as to the current issues that women still experience,” she said. “These include promotions, validation of work and research done, and having a degree of respect in the profession overall.”