"Trauma is, unfortunately, an integral part of the experience of marginalized and vulnerable populations. The trauma informed perspective provides a path for social workers to understand and address, at multiple levels, the experience of these populations. Challenging trauma at the structural level is a human rights imperative."
Addictions; interventions; child welfare; substance use disorders; substance use disorder interventions
Charles Syms, LCSW/ACSW, is a clinical associate professor who has been a faculty member in the University at Buffalo’s School of Social Work since 1998. Presently, his assignments include classroom instruction, primarily to students interested in the alcohol and other drug specialization.
Professor Syms has over 35 years of professional social work practice. His experience includes work in child welfare, domestic violence, forensic mental health and substance use disorders. He has held numerous positions, including child protection worker, child protection clinical consultant, prison psychiatric social worker, supervisor on an in-patient chemical dependency unit, domestic violence specialist and group leader, child welfare program director, and a leadership role in coordinating two community-based, university/public school collaboration violence prevention projects.
Additionally, Professor Syms shares his experience and expertise as a member of agency-based and professional advisory boards at the local, state and national levels.
A past National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) Minority Research Fellow, Professor Syms’s current teaching and research interests include the treatment of individuals with substance use disorders, particularly the impact of alcohol and other drugs on people with mental health problems and those involved with child welfare system, as well as extending education into the on-line environment.