April 16, 2020 – I hope this message finds you well and that you are managing during these difficult times. The last few weeks have been demanding, requiring adjustments for all of us in all aspects of our lives. As a faculty member and researcher, I have been dealing with the pressures and stressors of finishing one academic term and preparing for another within the context of suspended/modified field placements, teaching online and pausing some research projects. As a father, I am juggling full-time remote work from home and supporting my children with their online schooling (luckily my wife is extraordinary and is much more adept than I in this home-schooling role).
I also worry about my extended family, particularly those vulnerable to Covid-19. It’s a challenge! I try to keep in touch with them by phone and online. My mother, who lost my father last year, will not be able to count on us this year for our traditional visit to the maple sugar bush. She was so looking forward to this activity with her grandchildren. It all feels like quite the challenge–it’s also trying and tiring!
During this time of upheaval, the Association is reacting and adapting to the needs of our members: staff now work remotely, site visits are postponed, field placement requirements have been revised, and the annual conference has been cancelled. Our staff is now working diligently to shift to an online AGM on June 3rd. I am particularly grateful to all those Association members who have joined together virtually these past weeks to help plan for our programs and activities; this behind the scenes work is crucial to our Association.
Social work is an inspiring profession and, more than ever, the role of our profession is being promoted as an essential service. CASWE-ACFTS school graduates are part of the planning and provision of services during the Covid-19 pandemic on all fronts. These are unprecedented times that require creativity, support and cooperation to surmount the challenges we are facing and will continue to face for some time.
On behalf of CASWE-ACFTS I would like to acknowledge the work being performed by social workers and urge all of our members to be safe, to support one another and their communities, and to accept the support of others. Perhaps there is some comfort in knowing we are all in this together. Somehow, we will emerge stronger from this experience—we will take away lessons that will transform the way we do things and the way we see things for a long time to come.
I trust things will be okay.