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Public activities at ASU
Northeast Arkansas Social Work Month conference and awards ceremony
scheduled for April 2
The Department of Social
Work and the College of Nursing and Health Professions will host the
fourth annual Northeast Arkansas Social Work Month conference and awards
ceremony on Friday, April 2, in Centennial Hall at ASU’s Reng Student
Services Center/Student Union, 101 N. Caraway Road, from 8 a.m. until 12
noon. The topic of this year’s conference is Narrative Therapy from a
Strengths Perspective. This conference provides continuing education
units (CEUs); participants will receive certificates of attendance for
two contact hours. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and a welcome will be
given at 8:30 a.m.
The keynote speaker for the conference is Dennis Saleebey, DSW, Professor
Emeritus of Social Welfare at the School of Social Welfare, University of Kansas. His
keynote presentation, "Narrative Therapy from a Strengths Perspective,"
will begin at 9:30 a.m.
Dr. Saleebey is an internationally renowned pioneer of the strengths perspective.
He is the author and editor of five editions of “The Strengths
Perspective in Social Work Practice,” and he is also the author of the
widely used text, “Human Behavior and Social Environments: A
Biopsychosocial Approach,” as well as five additional textbooks. He has
written widely and presented nationally and internationally to
multidisciplinary groups of health care professionals and human service
providers. During the last twenty-five years, he has been involved in a
number of strengths-based community outreach projects in Fort Worth,
Texas, Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kansas. He was also the Lucy
and Henry Moses Distinguished Professor of Social Work at Hunter
College, New York, for the 2002-2003 academic year.
At 11:15 a.m., the presentation of awards will begin. Awards will be
presented for Social Worker of the Year, Student Social Worker of the
Year, Public Citizen of the Year, and Agency of the Year. A Lifetime
Achievement award will also be presented. This year’s conference seeks
to examine and learn how informed approaches to narrative foster more
effective service delivery to individuals, families, and communities,
thus improving outcomes. The conference will also highlight
applications of the strengths perspective in the context of narrative
therapy in order to create collaborative work between clients and
providers for successful outcomes. According to the University of Kansas
Web site, the strengths model has been used in helping adults with
severe and persistent mental illness, people struggling with alcohol and
drug abuse, seriously emotionally disturbed children and their families,
older citizens, children and adults in the justice system, neighborhoods
and communities, and it has also been used as a framework for policy
analysis and women’s concerns among others.
The use of narratives to collect and interpret qualitative research data
is well established. All professionals from multidisciplinary
programs—for example, social work, nursing, sociology, education,
biology, medicine, and international studies—recognize the importance of
carefully listening to and meaningfully interpreting individual
narratives. The application of a professional collaborative
client-centered narrative inquiry as a therapeutic tool remains limited,
yet is evolving.
After attending the conference, participants will be able to (1) develop
a professional approach to narratives and make respectful,
client-appropriate narrative inquiries; (2) explore, examine, and
contextualize narrative information meaningful in order to understand
clients’ experiences and situations; (3) identify available, but often
under-recognized, strengths in the clients’ situations and environments;
and (4) think critically about and use a strengths approach in
collaboration with clients for outcome planning.
Registration is free, but participants are asked to sign up before the
conference. Print a
registration form at
mail it to: Attn: Ms. Jennifer Short, Spring 2010 Social Work
Conference, P.O. Box 2460, State University, Arkansas 72467.
For more information, contact
Dr. Gauri Bhattacharya, conference chair, associate professor, and
director of ASU’s Bachelor of Social Work program (firstname.lastname@example.org)
at (870) 972-3676.
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