2010 DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD

Michael Ungar, Ph.D., RSW The Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers is proud to have nominated Dr. Michael Ungar for the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) Distinguished Service Award for 2010.

Since 2007, Dr. Ungar has been a Full Professor at the School of Social Work at Dalhousie University in Halifax.  He is an internationally recognized expert on how resilience is demonstrated by children and youth when faced with adversity, as well as how different cultures define success in life and work.

"Michael Ungar, Ph.D. is the author of 9 books and more than 70 articles and book chapters. His works include: The We Generation: Raising Socially Responsible Kids; Too Safe for Their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Teens Thrive; Counseling in Challenging Contexts; and Strengths-based Counseling with At-risk Youth. He has practiced for over 25 years as a Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist with children and families in child welfare, mental health, educational and correctional settings. Now a University Research Professor, and Professor at the School of Social Work, at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, he leads an international team of resilience researchers that spans more than a dozen countries on six continents."(1)

In a conversation with Dr. Ungar, he explained that the Resilience Research Centre (RRC) was formed in 2003 at Dalhousie University when it was realized that several small research projects could be combined into a larger research centre supported with a competent staff that could assist in obtaining research funding and training for professionals.

"Resilience research involving children, youth and families looks at the health-enhancing capacities, individual, family and community resources, and developmental pathways of vulnerable children and youth, who against all odds, manage not only to survive unhealthy environments, but thrive.  Dr. Ungar, Principal Investigator with the RRC, has suggested that resilience is better understood as follows:

'In the context of exposure to significant adversity, resilience is both the capacity of individuals to navigate their way to the psychological, social, cultural, and physical resources that sustain their well-being, and their capacity individually and collectively to negotiate for these resources to be provided in culturally meaningful ways'.

Dr. Ungar elaborates that this definition shifts our understanding of resilience from an individual concept, popular with western-trained researchers and human services providers, to a more culturally embedded understanding of well-being. Understood this way, resilience is the result of both successful navigation to resources and negotiation for resources to be provided in meaningful ways"(2) .


Mike has been an active social worker from his early days of direct practice in the field of child protection in Nova Scotia and in a supervisory capacity with the provincial government of Prince Edward Island and eventually to his connection with youth throughout the world. He is highly respected by students and colleagues, but more important is his respect for youth and their capacity to reach their potential. He has remained true to his roots and is never too far away from important social work ideas.

Dr. Ungar was a keynote speaker to over one hundred social workers who attended a Professional Development workshop at the 2004 Annual Convention of NSASW. There, he introduced his colleagues to the concept of resilience and addressed policy implications of pathways to resilience among children in Child Welfare, Corrections, Mental Health and Educational settings.

He is committed to high practice standards in social work and for several years has been appointed to, and served on, the Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers’ Board of Examiners, a registration and disciplinary body for the profession in Nova Scotia. He brings to the Board a balanced and realistic view of social work in the 21st  century. He has volunteered to serve on two of the Board's discipline panels and offers thoughtful consideration to the decisions made there. Of his work on the Board, he states: "As a 'reluctant academic' it is important for me to remain connected to practice and the Board of Examiners provides an opportunity to maintain a grounding in the practice and ethical issues facing practitioners".

In addition to his research and writing interests, Dr. Ungar maintains a small family therapy practice for troubled children, youth and their families. He lives in Halifax with his partner and their two teenaged children. Check out Mike's blog in Psychology Today at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/nurturing-resilience  .

 

The Distinguished Service Award was bestowed on Dr. Ungar by Cathy Crouse, President of NSASW, at a reception celebrating Social Work Week held at the Nova Scotia Archives, University Avenue in Halifax on March 24, 2010.

_______________________________

[1] . Excerpted from the Resilience Research Centre website at: http://www.resilienceproject.org/index.html )

[2] . Ibid.


Ron Stratford Memorial Award

Barry Moore, MSW, RSW Barry Moore, MSW, RSW is the 2010 recipient of the Ron Stratford Memorial Award. Barry Moore has been employed in the field of human and social services for the past 30 years. Born in Sydney, N.S., Barry attended Sydney Academy, Xavier College and Mount Allison University before completing his Master of Social Work degree from Dalhousie University. Upon completion of his Masters, Barry was employed with Family Service of Eastern Nova Scotia as the coordinator of public education, clinical social worker and later as director of the Family Life Department. He also was employed in the area of adult mental health as a clinical social worker and later as director of the Mental Health Clinic in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. Barry worked as a child protection social worker as well as a director of the Sydney district office of the Children's Aid Society of Cape Breton - Victoria before joining the teaching staff at the University College of Cape Breton where he served as a Chair of the Problem Centered Studies, interim Dean of the School of Community Studies and Student Services and continues to teach as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Problem Centered Studies.

Barry was instrumental in developing the courseware as well as teaching in the Diploma in Social Services offered through UCCB. This diploma was designed to meet the needs of students applying for a BSW degree as well as those students who are currently working in the area of social services with an undergraduate degree, but not wishing to further their education immediately following graduation.

In the past, Barry was an integral part of the UCCB / Dalhousie Social work program, allowing local students access to the program offered in Halifax. As well, he was instrumental in developing the partnership between UCCB and the Maritime School of Social Work that provided a joint Bachelor of Social Work Program for people employed in the Cape Breton area without them having to travel to Halifax. Barry was also active in the development of the Father John G. Webb Social Work Scholarship that is presented annually to a BAGS student who displays a high level of academic achievement and commitment to social work values.

Barry has sat on various boards and committees including the Board of Children's Aid Society of Cape Breton - Victoria, Homosexuality Awareness and Research Committee (HARC), Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers, Inter-agency Committee on Family Violence, Advisory Board for Rankin Memorial School (Iona), past president of Big Brothers - Big Sisters of Cape Breton and reviewer for The Social Worker.

Through his commitment to the field of social work, Barry Moore has provided direct practice to countless clients over the past three decades. Through his commitment to the field and interest in advancing the practice, he has influenced countless students to pursue a career in social work. He continues to contribute to the field of practice through the profession of teaching and counselling students in their chosen field of practice of social work. His varied career and continued dedication makes Barry Moore a deserving recipient of the Ron Stratford Memorial Award.

(Barry Moore was nominated by his brother, Paul Moore, BACS, BSW, RSW who is a Child in Care Worker at the Children's Aid Society of Cape Breton-Victoria.)


 

David William Connors Memorial Award

Wendy Street, BSW, RSW Wendy Street, BSW, RSW is the recipient of the David William Connors Memorial Award for 2010. Wendy was nominated by two of her co-workers, Philip Patey, BSc, BSW, SWC and Kari Trethewey, BSW, SWC, who practice in the child welfare field.

Wendy meets all of the criteria for this award. She has been a front-line protection worker for over eight years and over that time, she has consistently demonstrated that she is an invaluable employee to our organization.

Wendy goes above and beyond the call of duty to meet her clients' needs through accommodating and prioritizing families' needs in any way possible. Wendy assists clients with their basic needs, such as transportation, as well as their emotional needs through providing time for people to tell their stories and feel heard and understood.

Wendy also demonstrates a never-ending spirit of caring, empathy, respect and dignity to co-workers as well as families that she works with. She is a very skilled advocate for others' needs, often prioritizing her needs as less important in order to ensure that people are supported. Wendy's role as an advocate is admired and valued within the organization. She consistently demonstrates and articulates the ability to see a person's worth and abilities and recognizes that change is possible within families that it is often challenging to envision or that others would not necessarily see the same.

Wendy has definitely endeavored to bring about lasting change for people in hardship and focuses on the importance of family and relationships within the family system. Wendy also works diligently to support and train new workers, despite the hardship and impact that this has on her own workload. She takes on additional work responsibilities that other workers are hesitant to consider, without hesitation or question.

Wendy is a very gentle and kind person and her nature extends to beyond the realm of what is reasonably expected. Wendy is always willing to do a favor for a co-worker without the expectation of the favor being returned.

Wendy also demonstrates a never-ending spirit of caring, empathy, respect and dignity to co-workers as well as families that she works with. She is a very skilled advocate for others' needs, often prioritizing her needs as less important in order to ensure that people are supported. Wendy's role as an advocate is admired and valued within the organization. She consistently demonstrates and articulates the ability to see a person's worth and abilities and recognizes that change is possible within families that it is often challenging to envision or that others would not necessarily see the same.

Wendy has definitely endeavored to bring about lasting change for people in hardship and focuses on the importance of family and relationships within the family system. Wendy also works diligently to support and train new workers, despite the hardship and impact that this has on her own workload. She takes on additional work responsibilities that other workers are hesitant to consider, without hesitation or question.

Wendy is a very gentle and kind person and her nature extends to beyond the realm of what is reasonably expected. Wendy is always willing to do a favor for a co-worker without the expectation of the favor being returned.

As a personal tribute by Wendy's co-workers Kari Trethewey said; "It has been an honour and privilege to work side by side with Wendy over the last four years and I can say with confidence that she is the reason that the majority of workers at this organization enjoy their job and the team atmosphere that Wendy creates and supports."

Philip Patey, spoke about Wendy as his Candidacy Supervisor: " Wendy is the model of what a Candidacy Supervisor should be, knowledgeable, caring, comforting, aware, empathic, unassuming, strength's focused and most of all, a friend in the truest sense of the word… I strive in the early stages of my career to follow the examples set by Wendy and take her guidance to develop my own framework from which I practice social work and strive to help those I work with meet their needs and fill the gaps in their lives in the way that Wendy has in her career and life."


Ken Belanger Memorial Award

Members of the Youth Project The Ken Belanger Memorial Award was presented to the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youth Project. The group was formed in 1993 and at that time the Project consisted of two social support groups; one for young gay and bisexual men and one for young lesbian and bisexual women. Within a matter of months, the groups had grown. Some of the youth began going to schools to speak about homophobia and share their stories. The project was housed and supported by Planned Parenthood Nova Scotia. With the help of the community, the dedication of its founders, the passion of the youth and the support of Planned Parenthood the Youth Project flourished beyond its limited beginnings.

In 1996, the Youth Project were the Parade Marshalls for the Halifax Pride Parade.

In 1998, the Youth Project would receive operational funding for the first time from Health Canada. The Youth Project along with three other groups in Canada: Montreal, Moncton and Kamloops were funded under a project called Safe Spaces aimed at increasing supports for LGBT youth in Canada. This funding brought the Youth Project staff and a promotions budget. Services increased from social support groups and some workshops to counselling and a full time education program aimed at schools, community groups and professionals. Also in 1998, the Youth Project hosted a conference for students who wanted to start Gay Straight Alliances, leading to the first GSA in Nova Scotia at Millwood High School.

In 1999 & 2000, thanks to Health Canada, the Youth Project took an historic trip to Montreal Pride. Moncton, Montreal and the Youth Project joined together for five days of fun and festivities. In the winter, Moncton, PEI and the Youth Project joined together for a weekend of skiing.

In 2001, the Youth Project received funding from the United Way of Halifax Region. A relationship that remains strong today. The Youth Project would later receive the United Way's Community Spirit Award as well as Human Rights Award.

In 2002, the Youth Project became its own organization, leaving the protective wing of Planned Parenthood and flying out on its own. In order to maintain the strong youth focus, the Youth Board was created as part of our structure. The Youth Project became an independent non-profit charity run by two boards. Also in 2002, the Youth Project received a grant from Human Resources and Development Canada to purchase a house. This would become the Youth Project's permanent home. And finally in 2002, the Youth Project received funding from the Nova Scotia Department of Health, which would later be picked up by the Nova Scotia Department of Health Promotion and Protection.

In 2008, the Youth Board voted to remove lesbian, gay and bisexual from the front of the organization's name. This was in response to the fact that transgender was not in the name and that there were many other youth who identified with other labels. Instead of making the name longer, they voted to make it shorter, becoming The Youth Project, working with youth around issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Youth Project is now a multiservice organization with four staff members and has many events and programs occurring throughout Nova Scotia.

The Youth Project provides supportive counselling for youth who want to talk to someone about sexual orientation or gender identity. Their support coordinator is available to listen, provide information and help youth get more support. They can provide support to families as well. If you want to get some questions answered, are experiencing harassment, are confused about who you are, about coming out, need help, or just want to talk, they are there.

The Youth Project provides weekly programs which are relevant, dynamic and innovative. This support allows LGBT youth to feel supported, connected and safe.

The Project offers excellent materials for youth, families and caring adults and professionals.

The project has packages full of articles, information, and pamphlets available for:

  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth
  • Transgender youth
  • Parents of lesbian, gay and bisexual youth
  • Parents of transgender youth
  • Multicultural information
  • Social workers, guidance counsellors, youth workers, etc. 

This is just a brief overview of the support and services offered by The Youth Project which can be found on their website ( http://www.youthproject.ns.ca/ ). Like Ken Belanger, they have dedicated themselves to being a powerful presence in the lives of LGBT individuals.

The Youth Project has, and continues to play an essential and life transforming role within our community.

The Youth Project was nominated for the Ken Belanger Memorial Award by Timothy Crooks, BSW, RSW, Executive Director of Phoenix Youth Programs.

(Much of the preceding information comes directly from The Youth Project website)

 

NSASW AWARDS CRITERIA

CASW DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD

In conjunction with the celebration of National Social Work Week, the Board of the Canadian Association of Social Workers presents Awards on behalf of recipients as selected annually by their Provincial or Territorial Association.

CASW and NSASW Criteria For Nomination:

1.       The nominee is to be a Registered Social Worker who is a member in good standing, or a working group of members in Good Standing.

  2.         The nominee or working group has made a substantial and unique contribution to the field of Social Work in the province of Nova Scotia and, therefore, contributed to Social Work in Canada through;

  •   demonstrating such qualities as compassion, leadership, creativity, initiative and high ethical standards.
  •   furthering social work in the area of direct practice, program/service development, community organization, social action, research, teaching or writing.

  3.         The Nominee has served as a member of the Council of the NSASW or has acted in a position of responsibility for the Association.

  THE FREDA VICKERY AWARD:

The Freda Vickery Award is given every second year to a member of the Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers, who has been a member for at least two consecutive years, and who fulfills the following Award criteria:

  • A member of NSASW who upholds the ethical standards and values of social work,
  • who has displayed imagination and creativity in his/her professional work, and
  • who has given his/her professional skills to the community at large.

KEN BELANGER MEMORIAL AWARD:

The Ken Belanger Memorial Award is presented every second year in memory of Ken Belanger who distinguished himself by speaking out against oppression and exploitation. This award alternates with the Freda Vickery Award The award is presented to a Registered Social Worker who:

  • has demonstrated an explicit and unfailing commitment to pursuing social justice and to challenging oppression in its many forms;
  • is recognized by the social work community as practicing social work with a high level of caring, responsibility, integrity and ethical standards;
  • has broken new ground working for, and behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons;
    and/or has demonstrated a particular concern for gay and lesbian youth.

RON STRATFORD MEMORIAL AWARD:

This award is presented in memory of Ron Stratford, a dedicated social worker committed to a holistic perspective emphasizing prevention and community development. It is awarded annually to a resident of Nova Scotia who:

  • through volunteer efforts makes a significant contribution to a preventive or community-based social service program, or
  • is involved in research surrounding a preventive or community-based social service program, or
  • makes an outstanding contribution to establishing and/or sustaining a self-help group, or
  • functions as a consistent and strong advocate for expanded preventive or community-based social service program.

DAVID WILLIAM CONNORS MEMORIAL AWARD:

The David William Connors Award, in memory of David’s gentle manner and care for others, is presented annually to a front line social worker who has shown the following attributes:

  • has demonstrated a desire to go beyond the call of duty to meet clients’ needs;
  • has shown respect, caring, empathy and dignity in all aspects of his/her work;
  • has displayed through direct practice a basic belief in each human being’s personal worth and ability; and
  •  has endeavored to bring about lasting change for those in hardship, particularly youth.


Each nomination for any of the above awards must be accompanied by:

  • Name, address, phone number and current position of nominee.
  • A letter of support from the nominator.
  • A second letter of support from an individual or group who has direct knowledge of the contribution of the nominee.


Nominations for all the above awards will be accepted until February 28th Please send to:

Robert Shepherd, Executive Director, NSASW,
1891 Brunswick Street, Suite 106, Halifax, NS B3J 2G8
(902) 429-1790. Fax: (902) 429-7650
E-mail: robert.shepherd@nsasw.org