Posted in News, Social Work

Graduated with Masters of Social Work Degree, University of Calgary, Alberta

Since the spring of 2015 I had been attending Distance Learning with the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada to complete my Masters of Social Work Degree in June 2017.

Studies in this Clinical Master’s program focused on Child Welfare and children’s trauma-informed studies. My practicum and Capstone summary specialized in Child Advocacy Centres addressing child sexual assault and severe physical abuse and neglect.

A secondary field of study was the Supervision of social workers, creating contracts for learning and practice allowing agency goals being met with professional development co-occurring.

As an experienced Casework Supervisor in a Child Welfare agency since 1999 my skills have grown considerably over time, reaching a much higher level of understanding and practice since completing a Masters of Social Work Degree.

I look forward to continuing my Social Work career and contributing to society by assisting vulnerable persons as best I can using my personal and professional skills and abilities. Thank you.

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Posted in Writing

Ladislao José Biro, how did he invent the ballpoint pen?

The Biro, later to become the Bic ballpoint pen.
The Biro, later to become the Bic ballpoint pen.

Who was Ladislao José Biro, how did he invent the ballpoint pen and how did it help in World War II?

László József Bíró, was born on 29 September 1899 in Budapest in what was then Austria-Hungary.

He was a sometime journalist, painter and inventor who was frustrated with fountain pens blotting and smudging. He got the idea on a visit to a newspaper printing press, which used quick-drying ink and a roller.

“It got me thinking how this process could be simplified right down to the level of an ordinary pen,” he later said. The rest is history!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/09/28/who-was-ladislao-jose-biro-how-did-he-invent-the-ballpoint-pen-a/

Posted in Social Work

Building trauma related social work skills.

Building trauma related skills while incorporating how we can each balance our lives and the social work we do comes from a wide array of opportunities available to us to build our skills in working in trauma, how we support ourselves and each other doing this challenging work. I am striving to be better prepared now to continue learning how to assess trauma, how to encourage the steps of healing and how to provide ongoing after/care supports through a number of resources currently available or I can advocate to have created in the future.

Discovering my own experiences and journeys of trauma throughout my life, using the lessons trauma-informed practice can provide, has made the journey personal for me. I like that in addressing my own trauma related experiences I have from my past allows me to create stronger helping hands rather than being aloof or emotionally detached from myself. This allows me to experience the best outcomes in working as a social worker when I am able to experience or empathize with my clients. It’s more genuine, honest and real, to share our ‘human understandings’ with others to encourage, model or support others to try challenging their areas of concern, it builds less isolation and encourages the development of a social safety network to assist all of us build our lives into what our potential can offer.

When we attempt to integrate a trauma-informed practice process with our own personal journey, it makes us one with the process; allowing us to see ourselves interwoven with all humans experiencing trauma. Tosone, Nuttman-Shwartz, & Stephens (2012) talk about the relational nature of trauma (232), or shared trauma in large trauma events where both parties experienced similar events as in large weather related events and draw a clear line between this and a clinician self-disclosing their personal trauma experiences attempting to build empathy or rapport with a client. This can create a tension in the therapeutic relationship, as Tosone, et al. stated “…the clinician, whether or not disclosing her own childhood trauma, may mistakenly assume she understands the client’s reactions based on her own personal experience. It is incumbent upon the clinician to ensure that her selective self-disclosure is in service of the client’s best therapeutic interests, not personal need.” (233).

My own personal thoughts about trauma have over the past years been drawn to reflect on the citizens of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. These folks have experienced the most grievous form of trauma; unending civil war, misery and starvation where murder of young men and sexual violence is used to defeat one tribal group, as conquering armies have done throughout history. At a more global level, I don’t know what a whole nation can do to heal and survive the trauma they’ve experienced over the most recent years. Children growing up in war, orphaned, starving – all from their own countrymen. How does a nation heal? Nelson Mandela had a vision for a country torn by civil war to heal. It must start with political decisions to seek peace.

Tososne, C., Nuttman-Shwartz, O., & Stephens, T. (2012). Shared trauma: When the professional is personal. Clinical Social Work Journal, 40(2), 231-239.

Posted in Featured, Social Work

Comfort Dogs Head To Orlando To Help Families & Victims Heal

(ANIMAL NEWS/SERVICE DOGS) Following the horrific nightclub shooting Saturday night, Chicago comfort dogs are headed to Orlando to help families & victims heal.

Source: Comfort Dogs Head To Orlando To Help Families & Victims Heal

Posted in News

Calgary Premiere of the documentary “Swift Current”

Tonight attended the Calgary Premiere screening of the documentary “Swift Current”, a powerful conversation of child sexual abuse in organized hockey in Canada. Sheldon Kennedy went on to star in the NHL for three teams but carried the terrible memories and trauma of sexual abuse by Graham James, a Junior hockey coach while playing for the Swift Current Broncos as a teenager. http://www.swiftcurrentdoc.com/

SWIFT CURRENT – Official Trailer from Marcel Herman Films on Vimeo.

Now, Sheldon Kennedy is a strong vocal advocate for standing up for children who are being abused, giving them a voice and inspiring people around the world to take action to stop child sexual abuse and get services and resources to children traumatized by child sexual abuse. See more about Sheldon Kennedy and the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Center in Calgary Alberta, Canada. http://www.sheldonkennedycac.ca/

Calgary Flames Foundation lead sponsor. http://calgaryflamesfoundation.com/