Category Archives: Social Work Practice

#SWmonth and What We’ve Been Up To! #MacroSW chat 3/24/16 at 9pm EDT

This will be a good chat!  This post is reblogged from #MacroSW: Where Macro Social Workers Come To Connect. Original post here

(Summary of this chat can be found here..)

logo for 2016 Social Work Month, with the hashtag #SWmonth and the phrase "March is Social Work Month"Join us as we ask, “What have you done for Social Work Month?” We want to hear all about the observances that you social workers made or have plans for during the last week of #SWmonth.

We’ll offer a few of our own activities to start out the chat – and we ask you to share those photos, articles or other resources that will provide inspiration for next year!

Host: Pat Shelly @UBSSW

  1. Why is March the month chosen for Scoial Work Month?
  2. What did you do for Social Work Month?
  3. Did your employer observe Social Work Month in any way, or your social work students?
  4. Can you share your best times / ideas / activities for Social Work Month?
  5. Have you received or given any signs of appreciation – verbal or otherwise – because it is prime time to #ThankASocialWorker?
  6. Any advice for a great 2017 SW Month?

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Trauma-Informed Care – Join the #MacroSW Chat

by Pat Shelly

Note: A summary of the chat can be found here

All the new resources mentioned in the chat summary can be found below the list of suggested readings at the end of this post.

What: Macro Social Work Twitter Chat
When: Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015  at 9pm ET / 6pm PT
Why: Knowledge of trauma and its impact, assessment and treatment are essential to the future of social work practice, and social work education.*
How: Follow #MacroSW  (see here for live twitter chat tips by our chat partner @LaurelHitchcock)



During this #MacroSW Chat, we will be focusing on Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) and Social Work.

September 10 is the eve of the 14th anniversary of 9-11, which resulted in trauma to a nation, a city, communities, families and individuals; 9-11  (see #NeverForget_911) joined #OklahomaCityBombing as synonyms for “acts of mass murder by terrorists.”

This is also #SuicidePrevention Week. Trauma is obviously part of what both suicide attempt-survivors and suicide loss-survivors experience.

It’s been 10 years since #HurricaneKatrina devastated New Orleans.

Current traumas in the news include the #refugee crisis in Europe, and the ongoing issues of racist violence in the U.S. as seen in #BlackLivesMatter #SayHerName #Ferguson #Charleston.

Please join us, with our guest experts from the Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care, @UBSSW professors Sue Green @UBittic and Tom Nochajski @ubthn.

We’ll want to hear about your experiences with trauma-informed care and thoughts on how this enriches our profession.
*Knowledge of trauma and its impact, assessment and treatment are essential to
the future of social work practice, and social work education.
Check back on September 11th, when a summary – including a list of references and resources – will be posted.

Questions for discussion:   1. What is trauma-informed care? /  2. How does trauma-informed care (TIC) fit into macro social work? / 3. Have you had any experiences with TIC? / 4. What is already happening around TIC in social work and in the macro areas? / 5. What special training is needed to become a social worker / agency / policy that is trauma-informed?

The links and resources that were mentioned in the chat can be found below this reading list

Suggested Reading: (an incomplete list – we welcome your comments and additions)

Bloom, S.L., Farragher, B., Restoring Sanctuary: A New Operating System for Trauma-Informed Organizations, (2013) New York: Oxford University Press

British Colombia Provincial Mental Health and Substance Use Planning Council. (2013, May). Trauma-Informed Practice Guide.

Carello, J. and Butler, L. (2014). Potentially Perilous Pedagogies: Teaching Trauma is not the Same as Trauma-Informed Teaching. In J. Trauma & Dissociation.  Retrieved from:

Fallot, R.D. and Harris, M. (2009) Creating Cultures of Trauma-Informed Care: A Self-Assessment and Planning Protocol

Finkel, Ed. (2015). Problem-solving courts dig deep to acknowledge, and, sometimes, address trauma. ACEs Connection Network (April 16).

Harris, M. and Fallot, R.D., Eds. (2001). Using trauma theory to design service systems. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Kawam, E. (2015, Sept. 1). Trauma Informed Care and Social Work Education: A Case Study. Retrieved from:

Kusmaul, N., Wilson, B., & Nochajski, T. (2015) The Infusion of Trauma-Informed Care in Organizations: The Experience of Agency Staff. Human Services Organizations Management, Leadership & Governance, Volume 39, Issue 1, January 2015, pages 25-37.

Richardson, S.A. (2014) Awareness of Trauma-Informed Care. Social Work Today, July 2014

SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach (2014, July). Retrieved from:

SAMSHA. (2010). Creating a Trauma-Informed Criminal Justice System for Women: Why and How. Retrieved from:

SAMSHA. (2014, March). TIP 57: Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services. Retrieved from:

Singer, J. B. (Producer). (2013, April 29). An Overview of Trauma-Informed Care: Interview with Nancy J. Smyth, Ph.D. [Episode 80]. Social Work Podcast [Audio Podcast]. Retrieved from

University at Buffalo Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care (ITTIC) Resources on #Trauma, #TraumaInformed Care:
Trauma Talks at UB ITTIC

ITTIC’s expert Advisory Panel
You Tube Video’s podcasts at ITTIC
Resource Center:

Resources / Links that were recommended by Trauma-Informed Care #MacroSW chat participants:

Infographic on trauma and trauma-informed care:

Trauma-Informed Care: Top 10 Tips for Caregivers and Case Managers. By David Ott, Christina Suarez, LCSW and Kimberly Brien,  for Devereux Florida:

Top 10 Recommended Trauma-Informed Care Online Resources

National Center for Trauma-Informed Care at U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:

The National Center for Trauma-Informed Care (NCTIC), National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors:

Trauma-Informed Care. National Council for Behavioral Health State Association of Addiction Services

Trauma-Informed and Trauma-Specific Services. Addictions and Mental Health Services: (resources in and beyond Oregon)

Tarpon Springs, FL, first trauma-informed city, embraces messy path toward peace.

NASW Maryland Chapter’s 2015 Annual Macro Conference, Sept. 25:

Webinar- Building a Trauma-Informed Nation
Sept. 29 & 30, 2015
Free! Register at
Sponsor: The Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma

About the #MacroSW Twitter Chat Partners:

#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held bimonthly on Twitter on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). For more information, chat schedule, and chat archives check out

       Our collaborators include:

  • Association for Community Organizing and Social Administration (ACOSA),
  • Karen Zgoda, MSW, LCSW, Instructor of Social Work at Bridgewater State University,
  • Network for Social Work Management (NSWM),
  • Rachel West, The Political Social Worker,
  • University at Buffalo School of Social Work,
  • Sunya Folayan, MSW, ACSW, founder/executive director, The Empowerment Project, Inc.,
  • @SunyaFolayan
  • Laurel Hitchcock, PhD, Assistant Professor of Social Work, University of Alabama at Birmingham, @LaurelHitchcock
  • Kristin Battista-Frazee, MSW, Author and Marketing Consultant,

Advocacy in Albany: A Legislative Action Day

by Pat Shelly

On March 10, 2015, in the early morning hours, 19 intrepid MSW students and I headed for our state capitol in Albany.

Photo by Nathaniel Brooks for New York Times

Photo by Nathaniel Brooks for New York Times

Organized by the New York State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-NYS), we were on a mission to meet with our Senators and Assemblymembers to advance two very important issues.

Red backgroudn wtih white crown labeled NEW YORK DREAM ACT - NYDA - Tap into the Future

Logo: NYS Youth Leadership Council

The first task was to urge passage of the NYS Dream Act by the NYS Senate. The Assembly has already approved the bill.

This short video shows why this is so important:

The second item was to obtain increased funding for the New York Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program.



The funding request is to increase the current $1.2 million allocation to $1.7 million. At the present level of funding, only 32 social workers are able to receive the relief of up to $26,000 in educational loan debt.

After a dynamic morning session with tips from Karin Carreau, the Director of Policy for NASW-NYS, and encouraging words from its Executive Director, the NYS Social Work Education Association and the NYS Association of Deans of Schools of Social Work (major funders of this Legislative Action Day), we set off to our two meetings with our home district representatives. While most of the legislators were out of their offices at Assembly or Senate committee meetings, the staff assistants were cordial and receptive – and we know these individuals are important conduits of information and background research for the lawmakers.

The best part of the day for me? Hearing from our students about what they learned and what they thought about the experience of being advocates and lobbying on state-wide issues! Their impressions are recorded here:

Samantha Dupraw

“It’s difficult to feel you are making  a difference; any impact is potentially years in the future.
It would have been better to have time to talk in-depth with the legislator or staff person.
This was a really awesome learning experience – it was good to learn the etiquette, how things work, and just to be in this environment.”

Jack Kavanaugh

“I liked seeing how interconnected everything is – like the NYS Dream Act is tied in with the Education Tax Credit [in the Executive Budget]. It’s all intertwined. Why can’t we just walk in and just DO this [pass the Dream Act]? But of course we are told it’s not that simple.”

Razak Nzor

“This was useful for learning about, and for macro students. Legislators showed their interest. During my last meeting today, Julia Lang, the Legislative Director for Senator James Sanders, took us through the whole process and explained the difficulty when a bill – the Dream Act – is attached to another bill like the Education Tax Credit. This impressed me and helped me learn the process.”

Brittany Mitchell

“It was not too intimidating – I had just one meeting [most of us were scheduled for two]. I would like more practice for this. It was nice to see other social work students in action and to learn from them.”

Ashley Barnes

“I enjoyed talking to other social work students. It was really important to connect our own experiences and to put a face on what we are asking them to support. Legislators were very receptive and took our thoughts and stories into consideration.”

Angel Minuto-Regling

“I really liked that we worked together with other social workers – we had each others’ backs! It was so powerful; it showed how we collaborate and work together even if we don’t know each other.”

Jocelyn Bos-Fisher

“I liked learning more about macro social work. I’ve always been interested. It is good to see and hear how it’s all connected. The interface between macro and micro – it’s what’s great about our profession. It’s not all compartmentalized – it’s holistic in nature.”

Kyla Fallin

“The best thing about the day was being heard. Despite so many others present today lobbying on other things, I felt I was really heard. I will start being more cognizant and paying attention to what is going on in politics, because it DOES affect the social work profession. Advocacy is important!”

Theresa Schmidt

“It was really empowering to be actively involved in something you believe in, like the Dream Act, and that directly affects you – the Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program. Being able to put my personal story and experience in connection to a policy and show that there is a human element and not just words on paper. It made me feel that there is a opportunity to make real, lasting change.”

black and white picture of US Capitol Building with lettering on top saying "For Policy Makers"


Paula Cummings

“I got to meet students in other schools and programs. After talking with them, I feel even more grateful to be at UB [University at Buffalo] – not just because of the quality of the education but the cost! When talking about the Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program, students talked about their debt – it was just shocking. I’ve been to Albany before with other groups. This was very well-planned, It was an empowering experience.”

Jenna Carr

“I’ve only been involved in the political process on a small scale but today showed me it’s important and it’s not that hard to get involved. I think our legislators are a lot more approachable than we think they are.”

Sarah Richards-Desai

“I would just say I appreciate the apparent solidarity of social work colleagues from different backgrounds. I appreciate the energy and the advocacy of colleagues and the receptivity of the legislative staff during the meetings. Even though I did not speak directly with a Senator or an Assembly Member, it felt that the information I conveyed was taken seriously. I was a little bit disappointed that some students were not so well-informed – we need to keep educating ourselves about policy.”

Elizabeth Borngraber

“It reminded me of how powerful our sector can be when when united. It inspired me to continue a career in advocacy and policy.”

Marna Metcalf

“It’s about a learning process and how to ask for what you need and what you want, whether it’s from your government or from other decision makers. It showed me the importance of having the right data to support your argument.”

Greer Hamilton

“It made me want to learn how to be a better advocate and community organizer.”

Karen Aris

“It has empowered me to fight harder to change my world and the world of my clients. My supreme force will be the written word, because words aren’t forgotten. I researched and wrote down some facts about the Loan Forgiveness Program, like the number of retiring social workers, the need for more and more new social workers. The need will not be filled, so what will happen, who will care about society?”

Irene Culpepper

“Now is the time to put pressure on the New York State Republican Senators around the Dream Act. Maybe we can have all the social workers send an email to put pressure on them. Even if the meetings today were only 15 minutes, it was well worth the effort it took to get there to see the process in terms of being involved in future lobbying and support and to advocate in any way we can.””

Lenore Jakiela

“This experience is an empowering one – to see how macro social work can advocate for policies regarding micro social work. To see how the process works is amazing – to see it unfold personally, first hand. It helped you to understand how policy-making happens and how it affects us as professionals and also impacts out clients. I had a great time!”

Amy Asher

“It was inspiring to see social workers come together from all over New York State for a cause – two causes! As a future social worker, it was empowering. It was the first time I felt like an advocate for others. I loved it and I want to continue doing this. I plan on getting involved in NASW [National Association of Social Workers] and seeing what legislation to push for, to see what us social workers should be doing in the public sphere.”

UB SSW Students and staff in Albany for 2015 SW Student Legislative Action Day - Photo courtesy of NASW-NYS

UB SSW Students and staff in Albany for 2015 SW Student Legislative Action Day – Photo courtesy of NASW-NYS

Thanks to all these future policy-makers and influencers!

(UB School of Social Work @UBSSW is hosting the #MacroSW twitter chat on March 26, 2015 on “Advocacy in Social Work Practice: What, Why, How.”  Look for details here.)

As a social worker,  for what issues have you advocated? Are there other ways to influence policy in addition to addressing legislators? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Macro Social Work Matters: Twitter Chat

Blog TWITTERimage

UB SSW is a partner on new #MacroSW Twitter Chat-
Social Work Month Launch


The UB School of Social Work is taking part in a new collaboration to host semi-monthly Twitter Chats at #MacroSW on Thursdays at 9 p.m. EDT/EST (6 p.m. PDT/PST).

Fittingly, the chat is launched during Social Work Month. Blog swmonth2014

Macro social work practice matters: The first chat

The launch is on Thursday, March 13, at 9:00 PM. Rachel West, of the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA) will host; the focus is on the Rothman Commission and its findings of the state of macro social work.

Read more

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