Social Work Practice Fellows (SWPF)

A Professional Development Program for Social Work Supervisors of Direct Practice Across the Life Course

Social Work Practice Fellows

Overview

Limited to 25 social work supervisors. This fellowship program allows social work supervisors to honor their real world experience while engaging in interactive learning. There is a critical need for enhanced continuing education for social work supervisors. Social workers are often thrust into supervisory roles without the skills, knowledge, or support they need to succeed. This premier 36-hour certificate program features an advanced curriculum in terms of sophistication of content with a focus on some of the most complex issues that challenge MSW supervisors. This program is part of a multi-site initiative being coordinated by Adelphi University faculty with support from the Florence V. Burden Foundation and the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York.  

Dates and Times

Schedule - 8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. each day

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 - Day 1: Advancing Skills in Individual and Group Supervision - Khris Decker, LCSW-R, CASAC

Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 - Day 2: Teaching Social Work Assessment Skills - Steven Osterstrom, LCSW-R

Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 Day 3: Advancing Knowledge of Health Challenges Across the Life Course - Glenn Frost, LCSW-R, ACSW

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 Day 4: Advancing Knowledge of Mental Health and Substance Use Challenges Across the Life Course - Denise Krause, LCSW-R, and Barb Brontman, LCSW, CASAC

Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018 - Day 5: Building Capacity Among Staff for Effective Practice with Families - Laura Greene, LCSW-R

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 - Day 6: Furthering Ability to Confront Performance and Organizational Challenges - Khris Decker, LCSW-R, CASAC

Location: UB, Room 214, Parker Hall, 3435 Main St., Buffalo, NY

Eligibility, Requirements, Application, and Fee

  • Eligibility and Requirements: The participants selected for the program must be MSW-level social workers who are supervising social service workers from diverse settings.  Supervisees can include any number of MSWs, BSWs, or other social service staff, in any combination. Attendees are expected to attend all six program days as well as completing anonymous pre- and post-program surveys. (All survey data will be de-identified and reported only in aggregate. Your name will not be linked in any way with your responses to this survey.)
  • Application: Social work supervisors must apply for acceptance into the program. We will strive to bring together a diverse group of participants. Apply early. Based on the volume of applications, acceptance decisions will be made every 2-3 weeks until the program is full.  You can register and pay after acceptance into the program using the form emailed to you with your acceptance notification. Use the green button near the top of this page to open the program application.
  • Cost: Early bird discount price is $625 by 8/30/18; $700 after 8/30/18. No discount certificates are permitted to be applied to the program cost except for UB School of Social Work continuing education certificates issued to field educators valid for the time period 7/1/18 - 6/30/19.
  • Refund/Cancellation Policy: Full refunds, or credit letters if desired, will be issued to those who cancel within 10 working days before the first training date minus a $25.00 processing fee. No refunds after the start of the program.

Format and Participation

Limited to 25 social work supervisors. 

Visitor Parking Permits: Will be mailed to you prior to the start of the program.

Lunch: Lunch is on your own. There is a Tim Horton's in the building next door to the training site. Coffee, tea, water, soft drinks and light snacks will be provided. There is a microwave and refrigerator on site if you want to bring your lunch.

Format:

  • The curriculum is based on supervisory best practices and is delivered through face-to-face training with interactive group learning tasks and expert instruction. Instructors will create an engaging and dynamic setting. Group discussion and interaction will involve application of content for collaborative problem solving and solution generation.
  • This program capitalizes on a distinct conceptual framework for confronting the problems of population-focused and setting-specific silos of social work practice.  Cohorts will include supervisors from diverse settings who will be exposed to areas of knowledge that are important in all direct practice contexts.
  • Classes of no more than 25 supervisors ensures robust discussion, ample time to practice new skills, and peer support around supervision challenges.
  • 6 workshops are scheduled bi-weekly over three months to optimize the learning experience. 
  • Face-to-face workshops promote mutual aid and mentoring among participating supervisors and facilitates the creation of much-needed peer support.
  • The curriculum addresses a variety of situations that clients of all ages encounter including  substance use, family abuse and dysfunction, mental illness, and chronic illness. It achieves balanced attention to older adults, families, individuals, and children.
  • The curriculum is advanced in terms of sophistication of content and focuses on some of the most complex issues that challenge MSW supervisors and their social service staff members including cultural diversity and ethical practice.
  • Graduates of the training will join a growing network of Social Work Practice Fellows who will benefit from ongoing knowledge building and professional networking. Details about the opportunities for networking with be provided at the end of the program.

Descriptions and Learning Objectives

Overview: The focus of this program is on "direct practice"  and content appeals to a broad array of practice contexts. The curriculum focuses on clinical supervision as well as agency-based practice challenges, on casework, and mental health or other interventions. Content and activities are based on supervisory best practices and delivered through face-to-face learning with interactive group learning tasks and expert instruction. In this 6-day program, group discussion and interaction will involve application of content for collaborative problem solving and solution generation.

Schedule: Sept. 11, Sept. 28, Oct. 19, Nov. 1, Nov. 15, and Dec. 4, 2018. Time: 8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. each day.

Instructors: Instructors are listed in the Instructor section of this page. 

TITLES, DESCRIPTIONS, AND LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

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Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 - Day 1:    Advancing Skills in Individual and Group Supervision

This session teaches new supervisors and updates those who are experienced about the range of skills involved in individual and group supervision in an array of service contexts. Supervisors are guided in structuring regularly scheduled supervisory sessions in accordance with the learning styles of supervisees and the appropriate use of individual versus group meetings. Emphasis is placed on supporting staff in self-assessment with careful attention to diversity, inclusion, and equity issues within the service context.

Learning Objectives (Supervisory Best Practices):

1. Structure supervisory sessions in accordance with the learning styles of supervisees

2. Establish regular supervision meeting schedules (to promote continuity, workload management, worker autonomy, and clarity of expectations

3. Support supervisees in self-assessment of their practice strengths and challenges

4. Structure individual supervision sessions focused on issues that pertain to individual staff including their clients, community, and organizational concerns and needs

5. Structure group supervision sessions focused on common practice themes and situations (e.g., ethical dilemmas)

6. Facilitate conversations with supervisees about power and privilege, social identities, and their experiences with race, ethnicity, and culture

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Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 - Day 2:    Teaching Social Work Assessment Skills

This session presents a social work assessment framework for use as a teaching tool in enhancing the skills of social work staff. Included are a review of core content areas that need to be addressed, the appropriate application of research findings, and the steps to be taken in collecting, organizing, analyzing, and summarizing client data. Group exercises for enhancing supervisee assessment and interviewing skills are practiced as well as the objective use of assessment data to inform practice and set measurable goals.

Learning Objectives (Supervisory Best Practices):

1. Use a holistic social work assessment framework as a teaching tool to guide supervisees in collecting client data

2. Teach supervisees to systematically collect, organize, analyze, and summarize client data

3. Encourage supervisees to assess and document client strengths as a central theme in their work with each client

4. Help supervisees to recognize the influence of their own cultural biases (e.g., gender, race, age) on the assessment process and findings

5. Facilitate interactive training on interviewing skills to promote effective client-worker collaboration in data collection

6. Help supervisees to apply assessment findings in setting measurable goals with their clients

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Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 Day 3:    Advancing Knowledge of Health Challenges Across the Life Course

This session helps supervisors to support social service staff in using evidence-informed approaches to common illness-related challenges that confront clients across the life course. Included are care transitions, acute health crises, management of chronic conditions, navigating health and long-term care systems, and the intersections of these issues with cultural diversity. Supervisors explore techniques for supporting teams in service planning, health education, and health advocacy.

Learning Objectives (Supervisory Best Practices):

1. Review with supervisees the common illness-related challenges that confront clients across the life course (including care transitions, acute health crises, and navigating health and long-term care service systems)

2. Support supervisees in the ongoing assessment of client health and illness

3. Encourage and partner with supervisees to seek contemporary literature to better understand the health challenges confronted by clients (including chronic conditions ,developmental disabilities, and acquired disabilities)

4. Assist supervisees in planning to meet the health needs of their clients

5. Help supervisees to prepare for providing culturally-informed health education to clients

6. Support supervisees in empowering and joining with clients in health advocacy

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Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 Day 4:    Advancing Knowledge of Mental Health and Substance Use Challenges Across the Life Course

This session teaches supervisors how to support staff in planning to meet the needs of clients with mental illnesses and substance use across the life course through ongoing assessment of mental disorder symptoms and their potential impacts on clients and their families, building understanding of effective practice models as supported by research evidence, appreciating the complex nature of self-determination, and the intersections of these issues with cultural diversity.

Learning Objectives (Supervisory Best Practices):

1. Encourage and partner with supervisees in reviewing symptoms of relevant mental disorders and their potential impacts on clients and their families

2. Support supervisees in the ongoing assessment of signs and symptoms of mental illness and addiction among clients

3. Guide and partner with supervisees to evaluate what is known about the effectiveness of practice models currently used in agencies to address major mental health conditions and addictions from childhood to late life

4. Assist supervisees in planning to meet the needs of clients with mental illnesses or addictions (who often require more effort, time, advanced planning, and skill from their social service providers)

5. Work with colleagues and social service teams to identify models of service delivery for clients with mental illness or addiction that are supported by research and which fit with agency goals and structures

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Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018 - Day 5:    Building Capacity Among Staff for Effective Practice with Families

This session guides supervisors to teach supervisees a systems approach for assessing the diverse strengths, limitations, and needs of client families. It further guides supervisors to support staff in ethical practice and effective communication with client family members and family groups. Evidence-informed strategies for addressing complex and dysfunctional family situations involving abuse and violence, codependence, and caregiving challenges are discussed.

Learning Objectives (Supervisory Best Practices):

1. Encourage and partner with supervisees to pursue an evidence informed approach to practice with families

2. Teach a systems approach in assessing the strengths, limitations, and needs of the client’s family

3. Help supervisees understand the differential needs of older and younger families and their situations

4. Lead supervisees in practicing effective ways of communicating with family members, individually and in groups

5. Support supervisees in applying culturally competent and racially equitable approaches to working with older clients and families

6. Address ethical issues that arise in practice with families (family caregiving, family dysfunction, and family violence)

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Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 - Day 6:    Furthering Ability to Confront Performance and Organizational Challenges

This session highlights other challenges supervisors may face including supervisees’ performance problems, organizational challenges, and ethical dilemmas in practice. Supervisors will collaborate in exploring strategies for addressing these challenges and promoting worker self-care to strengthen worker wellness and retention. Participants will seek to integrate lessons learned throughout the program.

Learning Objectives (Supervisory Best Practices):

1. Communicate clearly and directly with supervisees about performance problems

2. Teach and partner with supervisees to recognize and respond to ethical dilemmas

3. Guide and partner with supervisees to identify practices which promote wellness among staff

4. Engage in my own supervision and ongoing professional development

5. Provide leadership within the organization to create a culture where supervision is sanctioned and necessary resources are allocated to assure staff learning

6. Assist supervisees in understanding their roles and the roles of other team members, administrators, and clients in achieving collective and individual goals

Instructors

Day 1: Advancing Skills in Individual and Group Supervision - Khris Decker, LCSW-R, CASAC, is the VP for Clinical and Program Development at Spectrum Health & Human Services in Buffalo, NY. He is also adjunct faculty and field liaison for the UB School of Social Work; serves as consultant/certificate program co-creator for the School’s Institute on Trauma and Trauma Informed Care; and provides an array of training, consulting, and supervision services to various organizations.

Day 2: Teaching Social Work Assessment Skills - Steven Osterstrom, LCSW-R, is currently a Senior Counselor for BestSelf Behavioral Health in Buffalo, NY. He is an instructor in the online social work program at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, as well as serving as adjunct faculty at the UB School of Social Work.  Steven brings strong skills and knowledge on social work assessment to this program.

Day 3: Advancing Knowledge of Health Challenges Across the Life Course - Glenn Frost, LCSW-R, ACSW, is a medical social worker at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY, and maintains a private outpatient mental health practice.  He is adjunct faculty and field educator for the UB School of Social Work. Throughout his social work career, he has worked with a wide array of clients across the lifespan including those who have been physically/sexually abused or experienced a life threatening illness.

Day 4: Advancing Knowledge of Mental Health and Substance Use Challenges Across the Life Course - Denise Krause, LCSW-R, is a Clinical Professor and Associate Dean for Community Engagement and Alumni Relations at the UB School of Social Work. Denise specializes in mental health, trauma, and solution-focused approaches to supervision and treatment. She works with the NYS State Office of Children and Family Services, county-level social service departments, and various voluntary agencies to train at the administrative, supervisory and direct service levels. Barb Brontman, LCSW, CASAC, is a social worker and clinical supervisor at the NYS OASAS Stutzman Addiction Treatment Center in Buffalo, NY. She has previously worked at Lakeshore- Behavioral Health-Lighthouse, Cazenovia Recovery Systems Turning Point House, St. Joseph’s Villa, and the NYS OASAS John L. Norris Addiction Treatment Center. Barb is a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) thorough NYS OASAS.

Day 5: Building Capacity Among Staff for Effective Practice with Families Laura Greene, LCSW-R, is the assistant department director in the Family and Community Services Department at Catholic Charities of Buffalo.  She is responsible for providing administrative, programmatic and clinical supervision to department supervisors and managers, and managing program development. Laura has years of experience working with family systems, including specialization in Multisystemic Therapy.

Day 6: Furthering Ability to Confront Performance and Organizational Challenges - Khris Decker, LCSW-R, CASAC, is the VP for Clinical and Program Development at Spectrum Health & Human Services in Buffalo, NY. He is also adjunct faculty and field liaison for the UB School of Social Work; serves as consultant/certificate program co-creator for the School’s Institute on Trauma and Trauma Informed Care; and provides an array of training, consulting, and supervision services to various organizations.

Completion Requirements

To successfully complete the SWPF  certificate program and become a social work practice fellow, participants are expected to:

  • Attend all 6 training days.
  • Complete pre-and post-program self-assessments of supervisory practices.
  • Participate in activities and discussions.
  • For CEUs, full attendance is required; partial credit is not given for partial attendance. A CEU certificate will be issued for each separate workshop.
  • Frameable certificates of completion will be presented at the end of the program to those who have become fellows and successfully completed attendance and participation requirements. You may miss one workshop and complete the make-up work and still receive the frameable certificate of completion.

Social Work and NYS OASAS CEUs Included

NYSED social work contact hours included. A separate contact hours certificate will be issued for each day of the 6-day program (6 contact hours per day).

  • NYSED: 36 live in-person hours for NYSED LMSWs, LCSWs,and LCSW-Rs. 
  • NYS OASAS hours: For social workers who also have a credential through NYS OASAS, approved hours for each day are listed below:
    • Day 1: 6 renewal hours for CASAC, CPP & CPS; 6 initial hours in Section 3 for CPP & CPS
    • Day 2: 6 renewal hours for CASAC, CPP & CPS
    • Day 3: 6 renewal hours for CASAC, CPP & CPS
    • Day 4: 6 renewal hours for CASAC, CPP & CPS; 6 initial hours in Section 3 for CPP & CPS
    • Day 5: 6 renewal hours for CASAC, CPP & CPS; 6 initial hours in Section 3 for CPP & CPS
    • Day 6: 6 renewal hours for CASAC, CPP & CPS; 6 initial hours in Section 3 for CPP & CPS

Testimonial

woman giving thumbs up

(A testimonial from the supervisor of a participant in the previous model of this program which focused on gerontological social work supervision, and utilized the same educational model and emphasis on supervision of direct practice.)

I am extremely pleased with the training and mentorship provided to one of our new supervisors…has proven instrumental to our supervisor’s effectiveness.” - Thomas Sedgwick, Director of Social Work at the NYU Langone Medical Center

Contact Us

For questions, contact us by email at sw-ce@buffalo.edu or phone at 716-829-5841.