Social Work Practice Fellows (SWPF)

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

Overview

Limited to 25 social work supervisors. 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 two Adelphi University faculty with support from the Florence V. Burden Foundation and the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York. 

Dates and Times

Fall 2018 dates pending. 8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. each day

Schedule: Tentatively early September to early December, 2018. Six training days held approximately every two weeks.

Day 1: Advancing Skills in Individual and Group Supervision

Day 2: Teaching Social Work Assessment Skills

Day 3: Advancing Knowledge of Health Challenges Across the Life Course

Day 4: Advancing Knowledge of Mental Health and Addiction Challenges Across the Life Course

Day 5: Building Capacity Among Staff for Effective Practice with Families

Day 6: Furthering Ability to Address Performance and Organizational Challenges

Location: Buffalo, NY - specific address pending

Eligibility

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.  

Preliminary Description

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. The curriculum is based on supervisory best practices and is delivered through face-to-face training 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: Tentatively early September to early December, 2018. Six training days held approximately every two weeks. Some Saturday sessions will be part of the schedule.

Preliminary titles and descriptions (The learning objectives for each session will be added in March.)

Day 1:    Advancing Skills in Individual and Group Supervision

This workshop teaches new supervisors and updates those who are experienced about the range of skills involved in individual and group supervision. 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.

Day 2:    Teaching Social Work Assessment Skills

This workshop 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.

Day 3:    Advancing Knowledge of Health Challenges Across the Life Course

This workshop 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.

Day 4:    Advancing Knowledge of Mental Health and Addiction Challenges Across the Life Course

This workshop teaches supervisors how to support staff in planning to meet the needs of clients with mental illnesses and addictions 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.

Day 5:    Building Capacity Among Staff for Effective Practice with Families

This workshop 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.

Day 6:    Furthering Ability to Cconfront Performance and Organizational Challenges

This workshop 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.

Schedule and Format

  • Limited to 25 social work supervisors. 
  • Fee: $625 early bird discount and $700 regular price.
  • Application: When registration opens, you may apply to be considered for acceptance into the program.
  • Hours: The SWPF certificate program is a total of 36 training hours, provided in 6 full days scheduled approximately every two weeks. The fall 2018 dates are being scheduled. The time for each session is 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Lunch: Lunch is on your own. Coffee, tea, water, soft drinks and light snacks will be provided.

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. In this 6-day program, 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. Anticipated schedule is September to early December 2018.
  • 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 addictions, 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.

Application and Fee

  • Social work supervisors must apply for acceptance into the program. We will strive to bring together a diverse group of participants. A deadline for application will be announced when the application becomes available. Those accepted can register and pay after notification of admission is sent.
  • Cost: An early bird discount price of $625 will be available. $700 regular price.
  • 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.

Social Work CEUs Included

NYSED social work contact hours included.

  • 36 live in-person hours for NYSED LMSWs and LCSWs.
  • A separate contact hours certifiate will be issued for each day of the 6-day program (6 contact hours per day).

Instructors Needed

Instructors are in the process of being recruited. This is a special opportunity to give to a premier training program that that invests in and enhances the skills of current social work supervisorsin Western New York. If you have an MSW and are interested in teaching one or more of the workshops, please contact us at sw-ce-director@buffalo.edu. Experience in training, the workshop topic, and clinical supervision or direct practice supervision needed.  We also will create opportunities through meetings by conference call, video conferencing, and/or email group for all instructors  from multi-site offerings to connect with each other as well as with the Adelphi University School of Social Work faculty who developed this project. You will infuse the workshop you are teaching with your knowledge and experience to make it your own. We hope to offer this program every two years.

Listed below are the instructors hired so far and the workshops we still need instructors for:

Day 1: Advancing Skills in Individual and Group Supervision - instructor will be Khris Decker, LCSW-R

Day 2: Teaching Social Work Assessment Skills - instructor needed

Day 3: Advancing Knowledge of Health Challenges Across the Life Course - instructor needed

Day 4: Advancing Knowledge of Mental Health and Addiction Challenges Across the Life Course - instructor needed

Day 5: Building Capacity Among Staff for Effective Practice with Families instructor needed

Day 6: Furthering Ability to Address Performance and Organizational Challenges - instructor will be Khris Decker, LCSW-R

CEUs: As we are an approved NYSED State Board for Social Work contact hours provider, NYSED allows instructors to earn live contact hours for teaching for us which helps meet the requirements needed for your license registration renewal. Read #20 and #21 in the social work continuing education FAQs for these rules.

Completion Requirements

To successfully complete the SWPF  certificate program, 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 issued at the end of the program to those who attended all 6 days.

Testimonial

(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.