Social Work Conference Emphasizes Need for Self-Care

Social Work ConferenceThe importance of public health social workers during the pandemic was underscored at the 2021 Social Work Conference, “Social Workers Are Essential,” September 15 at Alabama State University’s J.G. Hardy Student Center Ballroom in Montgomery.

Alabamians are in an unprecedented crisis dealing with COVID-19, and the conference emphasized that the neglect of self-care by social workers can result in their diminished resilience and capacity. Challenges for social workers often come from working with clients to meet their needs for intervention services, especially with limitations as a result of COVID-19.

Timely topics on the agenda included the following presentations from professionals outside the department:

Pause: Crisis Leadership and Self-Care
Jennifer Blair Foster, M.Div, Heritage Baptist Church, Minister of Family Discipleship and Administration

NASW Code of Ethics: From 1960 to Now
Dr. Onick.O. Lewis, MSW, EdD, Troy University, School of Social Work and Human Services

Who are You? Remembering Who You Are As a Social Worker
Kai Mumpfield, LICSW, PIP Alabama Board of Social Work Examiners, Chair of Board and Director of Field Education, Alabama State University

Also addressing the group were State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and Brent Hatcher, Director of the Office of Human Resources, who spoke on the topic: Supervision and the Development of Values and Responsibilities.

State Social Work Director Bill Kennedy noted that due to the pandemic special recognition of individual social work professionals did not take place again in 2021.

(Photo Caption: Jennifer Blair Foster speaks about practices to help meet the many demands of public health social workers.)