Organization: Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice in Social Work
Date: Thursday, May 8th, 2014
-Darlyne Bailey, Ph.D., Dean, Graduate School of Social Work & Social Research, Bryn Mawr College (firstname.lastname@example.org
-Terry Mizrahi, Ph.D., Professor, Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College (email@example.com)
-Mark Homan (via phone), MSW, Chair, ACOSA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
-Jenifer Norton, MSW, Staff, Special Commission (email@example.com)
For Immediate Release
The Future of Macro Social Work Education & Practice: A Step in the Right Direction (Article)
On Monday, April 21st, 2014 a significant meeting took place at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) headquarters in Washington, DC. Leaders from the Special Commission to Advance Macro Practice, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), NASW, and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) joined together in a spirit of collaboration to engage in discussion around the challenges facing macro social work practice and education and to seek ways all of the major social work organizations can work together to ensure that the future of macro social work remains strong.
The Special Commission, a national entity initiated by ACOSA with support from the Network for Social Work Management, was formed in the summer of 2013 to rectify the imbalance between micro and macro practice that was detected in Jack Rothman’s seminal 2012 report on the state of macro practice. It has been working to identify and take steps to address the perceived marginalization of macro practice within the social work field. The Commission is supported by over 50 Social Work Programs who are macro identified and close to 100 active faculty and practitioner allies. Opening dialogue among the leaders of CSWE, NASW, and ASWB around these issues represented one of the important steps it has taken to bring the major social work organizations together to take action. The April 21st meeting marks one of the exciting directions that the Commission will be moving in during its next phase.
All meeting participants acknowledged that the profession needs to promote and enhance macro practice in social work education and in the field. Outcomes of the conversation included agreement that the profession is grounded in the “person and environment” perspective, that education must prepare practitioners to intervene at all levels of this configuration, and that we must all work together in this effort. Meeting participants also agreed that “protection of the public” is a shared responsibility of social work educators, practitioners, and regulators. Action steps that emerged from the conversation include: CSWE will recognize the importance of macro representation at Faculty Development Institutes, promote macro topics at the Annual Program Meeting, and provide resources to programs to support the teaching of macro practice; NASW will explore utilizing the wide bandwidth of state chapters to bring these issues down to a more local, yet far-reaching level; and ASWB will commit to informing the ASWB Board about the collaborative work of the Special Commission and ASWB staff, to clarifying and providing accurate information about current licensure regulations and the ASWB examinations, and to participating in discussions on issues of social work regulation relevant to the Special Commission. The leaders of the Special Commission, CSWE, NASW, and ASWB have shown their clear support and willingness to take on these issues during this watershed moment for macro social work practice. [The Special Commission was represented by Co-Chairs Darlyne Bailey, Dean of Bryn Mawr’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, and Terry Mizrahi, Professor at Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work, of the Special Commission; Mark Homan, Chair of the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA); and Linda Plitt Donaldson, Professor at Catholic University of America’s National Catholic School of Social Service. CSWE’s President and CEO Darla Spence Coffey, NASW’s CEO Angelo McClain, and ASWB’s CEO Mary Jo Monahan.]
Front Row from Left to Right: ASWB’s CEO Mary Jo Monahan; Special Commission’s Co-Chair Terry Mizrahi, Professor at Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work; Special Commission’s Co-Chair Darlyne Bailey, Dean of Bryn Mawr’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research; Special Commission’s Linda Plitt Donaldson, Professor at Catholic University of America’s National Catholic School of Social Service.
Back Row from Left to Right: CSWE’s President and CEO Darla Spence Coffey; NASW’s CEO Angelo McClain; Special Commission’s Staff Jenifer Norton, MSW.