President's Report October 2005



President's Report-October 28 2005

CASW Representative Status:

Since my update about the identification of issues with our process for selecting our CASW representative, Rod has contacted Karen Smith, ACSW legal counsel, and she is in the process of looking at the minutes of our September and October meetings as well as relevant e-mails to help sort this out for us.  The executive group will be meeting with her November 10.  Rod and Linda Golding will be at an Association of Social Work Boards meeting in Detroit Michigan next week so I doubt that I will have anything to report until after our Nov 10 Executive meeting. 
Thanks for your patience as we work this out and learn what we can from the mistakes that have been made.  I think all of us have the best of intentions and just need to continue to learn from our errors so that we do not continue to make the same errors. 
Meeting with Maria David-Evans, Deputy Minister of Children Services (October 27):

I had what I think was a productive meeting with Maria in relation to beginning a discussion about the profession and our presence in Children Services.  Maria invited me to notify her appointment's person when I am in going to be in Edmonton in an attempt to have ongoing discussions with her about the issues and concerns we have as a College.  Jessica sent me information she has collected from our ACSW children's issues committees which helped inform my discussions with Maria.  The need for Ministry support for professional development and professional supervision were two of the items we discussed.  The overall issue of workplace conditions in terms of case load size and complexity of cases as well as quality of supervision were also touched on.  We have agreed to continue the discussion about workplace conditions and supervision at our next meeting.  At some point I would like to bring with me representatives from our committees but that may be difficult if I cannot plan on a meeting enough in advance.  I will see what I can do to encourage Maria to actually plan a meeting with the Chairs of our committees,  perhaps in addition to the ongoing more informal meetings with me.
Meeting with Area Coordinators-October 27:

The Area Coordinators met in Edmonton for their second annual planning session and Rod and I attended to represent ACSW staff and Council.  After dinner with the Coordinators we each presented.  I presented an outline of some of the results from our September 16 and October 21 Planning Days work (the PowerPoint slides are being sent with this report).  I just highlighted the process and examples of what we discussed.  Much of what I highlighted is not on the PowerPoint but I used the points on the PowerPoint to go more in depth in terms of themes that came up.  I also brought up the need to have an aboriginal voice and did not got into detail but did report that we spent the morning of the 21st talking about issues Council has experienced in struggling with incorporating an aboriginal voice in our Council processes. 
I ended the presentation with an invitation to the coordinators to take the eight goals we finished our September meeting with and see if they could come up with four or fewer goals.  I did not share the four goals we came up with October 21.  The following are the points they brought out that we can include in our December 16 work:
  • Education of other disciplines/professions about who we are and what we contribute to "teams" is increasingly important in the multi disciplinary environment we are working in.  We are often part of teams that do are ill informed about the value we bring to the team.
  • Employers in particular need to be educated about who we are as a profession and what this means in terms of professional judgment, responsibility and supervision
  • Advocacy should be up front and visible…it is good that we are involved in coalitions but we need to have a public, visible voice that people come to identify as social work in relation to social issues and social policy---many said they missed not "hearing" or "seeing" social work in the news.  Someone said that by the College being public it provides support for individuals to take positions.
  • We should highlight our "successes" as a profession…our work should be viewed as exciting, important and significant.  We should tell our "story" throughout the year, not just during social work week.  It was suggested that if this required spending resources on ads in newspapers it is something we should do…
  • They would like to see more "grass roots" involvement…there was mention that this is something they could work on during the planning day October 28.
Final Thoughts on the Meeting:

This was an excellent opportunity to meet our colleagues throughout the Province.  There was some discussion about competency and Elaine let them know that Alison was on the agenda to share the results of the competency survey on the 28th and they could have a fuller discussion at that meeting.  By focusing on our September 16 work and subsequent goals while providing the opportunity to give me their thinking to take to our December 16 meeting I found that people became energized.  Lina and Debra from Peace River said that they were going to see the SWOT analysis process with their group to help focus on directions they can take in Peace River.  I made a commitment to travel to Peace River and deliver two workshops at the A level on building capacity to learn online (they said that many of their colleagues wanted to take advantage of online offering but were reluctant to do so because they did not feel competent in using technology).  The other area I offered to provide a workshop on is ethical decision making.  I will give them an update on the Council and then delivery one or two workshops depending on my time.   I have offered the same service to the other area coordinators and my hope is that they take me up on this. 
Finally, note that the points they raise for inclusion in our final planning work supports what we came up with as promotion of the profession and being a social work voice on social issues/policy were clearly directions they would like ACSW to move on.
Future Meetings (this is what I am aware of at this point knowing other meetings will probably
come up): 
  • I am working on setting up a meeting with Health Minister Iris Evans or her Deputy hopefully in the next few weeks. 
  • Those of us who are on the committee to review a decline of registration will be preparing for that meeting which takes place the morning of the 10th before our executive meeting. 
  • John Mould, chair of ACSW professional education board, has asked to meet with the executive group for lunch on the 10th before our afternoon executive meeting to clarify the role of that committee and its relation to Council given past difficulties John has encountered when presenting committee recommendations to Council.

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