Home » TRU Social Work » TRU School of Social Work and Human Service students will share their research at the Congress 2019 in Vancouver.

TRU School of Social Work and Human Service students will share their research at the Congress 2019 in Vancouver.

Oleksandr (Sasha) Kondrashov

May 26, 2019

Six TRU School of Social Work and Human Service Students are invited to share their research with the National Social Work Community at Congress 2019 in UBC Vancouver on June 3-6.

Everyday TRU social work students will have an opportunity to share their knowledge. On Monday, June 3rd TRU students will attend the Student Committee Meeting 1 (click on each link to find out the time and location of the sessions) and share their views on the future of social work curriculum with other students across Canada. TRU students who attended Congress 2018 in Regina commented how satisfied they were to learn that TRU is among very few Schools across Canada that offer unique electives, such as Trauma-informed practice, International social work and the Directed studies courses that students can in collaboration with faculty design the course to suit their educational needs. TRU students also have the opportunity to practice their presentation skills regionally and internationally by attending, for example, BC political science regional conference and International Social Work Conference in Dublin.

TRU Social Work faculty and students will come together and listen to the first keynote given by the Senator Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard, a social work educator from Nova Scotia, and later will participate at the reception and first reunion opportunity where all TRU students, faculty, alumni and friends are invited to attend during the CASWE reception.

On Tuesday morning TRU student and CASWE student award winner Jill Coulter will share the Emerging Research on Culturally-Safe Sexualized Violence Response Services for International Students.  Jill will apply an intersectional feminist framework and an Anti-Oppressive, community-based participatory action approach to discover how to provide culturally-safe sexualized violence response services to international students in higher education institutions. TRU encourages students to conduct undergraduate research and recognize their work through the Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program (UREAP). Jill’s research includes an online survey and small focus groups with female and LGBTQ+ International student research participants from the three largest international, regional groups at Thompson Rivers University to discover what kind of SVRS international students would like to have available on campus.

On Tuesday during lunchtime TRU student Lanette LeWarne will share the poster to document the Neglect and the Overrepresentation of Indigenous Children in Care. Lanette’s research examines the definition of neglect within BC’s Child Family and Community Services Act (CFSCA) and its implications for Indigenous families living in poverty. Lanette recommends that a definition of neglect needs to be more extensive, includes the categorization of areas of neglect and recognizes structural issues that support assessment and investigation of neglect that is more effective in determining structural and individual risk.

On Tuesday afternoon TRU student Shauna Middleton will share research that demonstrates the Inadequacy of Suicide Prevention in Canada’s Arctic. Shauna’s work is a call for transformative action. Shauna found that suicidality among Indigenous peoples in Canada’s Arctic regions is a critical health issue that needs to be addressed immediately. The presentation will discuss the historical and contemporary contexts that have exacerbated the problem of poor mental wellness and lack of self-sufficiency among northern Indigenous communities and offer recommendations for action in solidarity with Indigenous peoples as experts through the Truth and reconciliation Calls to Action and culturally appropriate community-based services.

On Wednesday Shauna will go back to TRU to attend the convocation. We wish Shauna and the spring 2019 graduates all the success in the future. Keep sharing your knowledge and promote social work values in all your activities. For those students who will stay at the Congress they can attend the CASWE AGM, student committee meeting 2, and Oleksandr (Sasha) Kondrashov’s presentation on reforming social services CIDA funded project and the second reunion opportunity to celebrate 20 years of Canada-Ukraine partnership in social work education.

On Thursday morning Rayell Sellars-Sarnowski and Tiffany Gray will run 1.5-hour session and share their ideas on Bridging social work pedagogy. Rayell and Tiffany already attended Congress in 2018 and now will help conference participants to bridge the gaps within western pedagogies and indigenous ways of knowing within social work.  Rayell and Tiffany, through open dialogue, will discuss anti-oppressive, cultural competency, and Indigenous approaches within social work program. They will offer critical reflection and constructive feedback on how to improve social work education and to address the further “prioritization of western knowledge that continues today in Canadian universities.” Their suggestion includes the creation of relationships and reciprocity in challenging the hegemonic ways of being which have the potential to build solidarity and further social justice work, eliminating essentialism and honouring differences. The authors also suggest utilizing Self-In-Relations reflexive dialectical method or un-learning as a guiding principle in meaningful practice.

Carmen Saiad Shirabad, who also attended the CASWE conference in Regina, will share research on Transformative Action through Positive Social Work on Thursday afternoon. Carmen will be critically analyzing the common deficit-based approaches found within social work.  Carmen suggests that adopting a new perspective on social work based on positivity, strengths, and social supports can be fundamental in producing a creative generation of social workers who can implement transformative actions towards successful social justice. 

TRU social work students will voice multiple concerns related to different areas of social work practice, policy, education and research and provide ideas on how to implement changes that are consistent with professional values. If you are attending the Congress 2019, make sure you visit student’s presentations and support TRU social work students to promote social justice through transformative action.

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