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President’s Message – January

January 28, 2014

It is hard to believe that we are already one month into the winter term.I hope everyone had a restful holiday season and you are ready to engage in the various tasks that demand your time and attention. CASWE-ACFTS has been very busy since my last message.

I have attended the Dean’s and Directors semi-annual meeting; met with some Deans and Directors from Quebec Schools; participated as an invited guest in the American Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) conference in Dallas, Texas; spent several days at the National Office working and meeting with the staff; chaired the November two day face to face BOD meeting; facilitated a variety of conference calls; when possible, visited various Schools; and responded to many, many e mails!  It remains a joy and a privilege to be engaged in these activities on your behalf:  I continue to learn from all of you.

The members of the Board of Directors, the Commission on Accreditation, the Editorial Board of CSWR, the staff of the National Office, and many CASWE-ACFTS members are collectively engaged in a variety of Working Groups and Committees.

The VMPA Working Group developed a revised statement of Vision, Mission, Principles and Activities that was approved by members of the BOD in late November.  A survey is currently being designed to solicit member feedback on this statement- this will help us clarify our priorities over the next few years.  Please take time to respond to the survey when it comes to an INBOX near you.

Another Working Group is revising the bylaws so that we are in compliance with federal legislation.  The proposed changes will come to the AGM in May of 2014 – more excitement.

A group of Carleton students, under the auspices of the National Office, are conducting a small research study to gather feedback on the implementation of the 2012 Accreditation Standards and Procedures. If you have undergone accreditation with these ‘new’ Accreditation Standards and Procedures, you will soon be contacted to offer feedback, most likely in a survey format. 

The Educational Policy Committee is being re-invigorated.  There will be at least two members from the Commission on Accreditation, the Board of Directors, and the general membership.If you are interested in this work please get in touch with the National Office.

The intersection of the three sectors of social work (education, regulation, and practice) continues to be at the forefront of our work. It was interesting to learn how our American colleagues are addressing this intersection, specifically in relation to the development of competency based educational accreditation standards.  They have whole heartily embraced competency based standards as a way to “protect the integrity of social work education”.  In contrast we have tended to see competency standards as a potential challenge to educational integrity. [It is important to note that the competency standards adopted by CSWE differ from those practice competencies adopted by the Canadian Council of Social Work Regulators (CCSWR).]

We are taking a twofold approach in relation to inter-sectorial collaboration.  We are maintaining our opposition to the competency profiles as developed by CCSWR and are asserting our jurisdiction in the accreditation of University level social work programs. But we are also working collaboratively with representatives of the other sectors via conference calls, meetings, and the organization of a joint session at the May 2014 conference.

Planning for the May 2014 conference is well underway and the web site has a lot of information regarding program and registration. This year the conference is jointly sponsored between CASWE-ACFTS and CASW-ACTS so it will provide a unique opportunity to meet with our practitioner colleagues.Please sign up to join us in St. Catharines.

All members are invited to contact the National Office, me, or other members of the BOD to bring forward any suggestions or concerns.  It is your Association- tell us what you think we should be addressing.

See you in May

Carolyn

Carolyn Campbell, PhD
President, CASWE-ACFTS