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March 2019 School of Social Work E-Newsletter
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UBC Okanagan
School of Social Work Newsletter 

Welcome Message from Director, John Graham 

I’m very excited for what 2019 has to hold for our School.  We have seen a record number of exceptional applications to our MSW Program and the current students have been extremely engaged and enthusiastic about the opportunities of the program.  

On Feb 8, at the request of the students,  I presented my experiences over the last 25 years of funded international development/social work research in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Egypt, China, Malaysia, and several parts of the Caribbean and Latin America.  Students were also interested in learning about the teaching in this domain I did for several decades, principally at the University of Calgary. 

Because of the success of this presentation the School will host the upcoming presentation on International Social Work on March 29 in ASC 460. The presentation will feature myself, Dr. Sophia Anderson, Dr. Aamir Jamal, and Sue Rooks, BComm. Sue has over 10 years’ experience with Oxfam International UN and AU Offices, New York City, and Save the Children UN Office New York City and Toronto offices – in addition to a lot of direct experience in international development field work in such countries as Ethiopia.  Sophia is a trained medical doctor with a PhD in public health, who has extensive international development experience in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Western Hemisphere, including much work with the United Nations. Aamir Jamal is a former PhD student of John’s who is associate professor and director, International MSW Program, University of Calgary.  Much of the March 29th event will be based on the practical things students will need to know to get a first job in international development work. 

Celebrate Social Work Week! 

In British Columbia, March 10-16, 2019 is Social Work Week.  Our School of Social Work is proud to celebrate this incredible profession and the diverse ways in which Social Workers make a tremendous impact on society. The videos of our Social Work faculty were created with the special intention of welcoming our current students into this fulfilling career!   Click on the text below to view the videos 
Register Now for Real People, Real Impact with Guest Speaker Dr. Jennifer Charlesworth
Social workers make a real difference in the lives of people, families and communities across the country. Every year in March, Canada celebrates the important contributions of these social justice professionals.

March 14, 2019 from 12:00 – 2:00 pm.

Rotary Centre for the Arts, Kelowna BC

Register at realpeople-realimpact

Guest speaker, Dr. Jennifer Charlesworth, BCs Representative for Children and Youth.

Dr. Jennifer Charlesworth PhD, is British Columbia’s Representative for Children and Youth. Dr. Charlesworth has worked in the B.C. social and health care sectors since 1977 including; front-line child welfare, social policy, program management and executive roles within government.  In 2006, Dr. Charlesworth transitioned into the non-profit sector and became the Executive Director of the Federation of Community Social Services of BC.

Rachelle Hole,
UBC Okanagan 2019 Researcher of the Year

Rachelle Hole, an associate professor at UBC Okanagan’s School of Social Work and Co-Director for the Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship has recently been awarded the 2019 Health Researcher of the Year.  

With a career spanning over 20 years working with individuals with physical and developmental disabilities, Rachelle has focused her research on the socio-cultural practices that promote inclusion and equity. She has a particular interest in participatory research methods and strives to work directly with communities to empower participants.  Her most recent work, the Transiting Youth with Disabilities and Employment (TYDE) project, was awarded $1.3M in federal funding, involves working directly with community groups to help prepare youth living with intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorder find meaningful employment later in life.

Rachelle has also been highlighted at the UBC Spotlight on UBC Research in Ottawa on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.  This event featured four UBC faculty members’ and their research: Professor Lori Daniels from the Faculty of Forestry, Professor Timothy Kieffer from the Faculty of Medicine, Professor Pai from the Faculty of Science, and our UBC Okanagan Faculty member form the School of Social Work Associate Professor Rachelle Hole.   Dr. Hole’s spoke on the UBC Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship and the Transitioning Youth with Disabilities and Employment Project. In addition, DVC & Principal Deborah Buszard and Dean Gordon Binsted highlighted the other great work happening at UBC Okanagan especially within the Faculty of Health and Social Development.

 Student Activities on Campus  

MSW students at UBC Okanagan participated in Thrive Week and organized an exciting art exhibition called the Tree of Empathy. 

"The Tree of Empathy invited students and staff to learn about empathy and to add to the tree with words of their own. Participants could then take some words of empathy if they felt that it resonated for them. This initiative proved to be a great success and many students provided some great feedback!" said Manmeet Singh Saran, a student in the advanced tract.  The tree was later taken down at the end of the term and the 'leaves of empathy' hang on branches which continue to live on in the offices of staff and faculty!"  Please go to
Thrive Week is a UBC wide initiative to focus on Mental Health and Mental Wellbeing of students on campus, Thrive Week was October 29th - November 2nd 2018,  This year was the first time MSW students have participated in their very own initiative for Thrive Week!

Graduate Profile - Ryan Hendricks

Ryan Hendricks is a graduate of the BSW 2006 and MSW 2010 programs and is currently completing his PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies, (with supervision by the School of Social Work Associate Professor Dr. Rachelle Hole).  Ryan  is a Registered Clinical Social Worker with the BC College of Social Workers and provides individual psychotherapy in private practice and community mental health settings in the Okanagan area.  His practice focuses on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for anxiety and depression and he has extensive experience working in the field of adolescent and adult mental health. 

While completing his PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies, Ryan studied the intersectional bio-politics of belonging manifest in his experiences of disability. He found that racism, sexism, classism, sexualism, and ableism shape stories about belonging to justify claims over the conditions that sustain human life. This research illuminates the way thinking and speaking about who belongs and how they belong justifies inequality between human beings. 
Over the next year or so, Ryan will continue to provide individual psychotherapy and he will focus on publishing important findings from his research. In the long-term, Ryan will extend his interest in the intersectional bio-politics of belonging into new research areas."

Faculty Profile - Andrew Kerr   

Adjunct instructor and MSW alumni, Andrew Kerr, is a 2018 Graduate of the one year advanced program and currently teaching SOCW 564 (Trauma-Informed Clinical Social Work).  The course focuses on the knowledge of trauma and its relevance to assessment and treatment in clinical social work practice.  

Andrew is also a social worker leading the Kelowna Mobile Injection Site. Andrew works for Interior Health as the Team Leader for supervised injection and opioid agonist treatment (OAT) services at Kelowna Mental Health & Substance Use services. He is also involved with some of the regional work being done in response to the BC opioid overdose public health emergency.

Recently the localized consumption site was featured on Global News and Andrew was interviewed on his role with the site and his experiences with the program. Visit the video here B.C.’s supervised consumption RVs a ‘safe haven’

Mental Health Clinic

The Social Work Mental Health Clinic is the only one of its kind in Canada – and it is a leader in training future mental health professionals who will set high standards of health care in BC. Families who participate in the Clinic play an important part in this training. They not only receive services from the Clinic, but they also make a significant contribution to their community.

Our child and youth services are offered for no fee and are not time-limited.  We utilizes evidence-based clinical assessments and interventions.  We take a collaborative, family-oriented approach
and allocate multiple clinicians to work with each family, thus being strongly team-based

The clinic has recently been featured on the UBC Okanagan O Stories.  The stories feature students, Faculty, alumni and community partners who are turning vision, cooperation and courage into meaningful results. To learn more about how the clinic is an empowering space, where support and mentorship is made-to-measure click here 

The Society of Social Work Conference Update

The annual conference for the Society of Social Work Research, was held from January 16-20, 2019 in San Francisco, CA. The SSWR Annual Conference offers a scientific program that reflects a broad range of research interests, from workshops on the latest quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to symposia featuring studies in child welfare, aging, mental health, welfare reform, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS.   Two School of Social Work faculty, (Shelley Ben-David and Sarah Dow-Fleisner) attended the conference and presented.  To find out more on their presentations please click on the links below.

Shelly Ben-David Sarah Dow-Fleisner

Thank you to our Field Education Partners 

On behalf of the School of Social Work, and especially the Field Education Office, we wish to express our deepest gratitude to all of our Field Education Partners and Instructors for the quality placement that you have offered to our Master of Social Work students this past term. We recognize the time and dedication you have provided to help support our program.
The field education experience involves the dynamic collaboration of three parties: the student, the Field Education Instructor and the Field Education Office from the School of Social Work. When our students are out in the community practicing social work skills and values, they are incredibly appreciative of the opportunity they are being provided. The School of Social Work is extremely grateful and appreciative of the time and contribution all of our community partners have provided. Without the time, effort and expertise of Field Education Instructors such as yourself, students would not receive this crucial part of their social work education.
When you help to educate social workers, you contribute to the profession and to society that has the capacity to influence countless lives. It is on this basis that we wish to sincerely thank you for your personal and professional contribution to the School of Social Work.

Service Day 2019 

This year, a brand new Task Group has been created with the objective of giving back to our community! Every spring we hope to have a Service Day where all  Social Work students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in a full day of service projects in Kelowna.

The School of Social Work’s Annual Service Day, was initiated in the fall of 2018 after our Field Education Coordinator had some insightful conversations with our Field partners. Our local community has given so much to our School of Social Work by providing wonderful Field Practicum’s that we are really looking forward to having the opportunity to give back to our community!

Stay tuned for exciting updates of our inaugural service day in April and for opportunities to be the recipient of the service next year.

Visit the new FHSD events calendar

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Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC Okanagan · 1147 Research Road · Kelowna, Bc V1X 0A1 · Canada

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