In the fall of 2016, the College successfully ran its seventh series of Educational Forums in Thunder Bay, Dryden and Windsor.
The Educational Forums included a College update, keynote address and buffet lunch. The events provided learning and networking opportunities for members as well as local social work and social service work students.
Part of the Glenda McDonald Educational Series, the Educational Forums began in response to members who wanted to stay connected to the College but were unable to attend the Annual Meeting and Education Day (AMED) in Toronto. The objectives of the Forums are to:
- Provide a tangible benefit of registration.
- Offer opportunities for members to network with colleagues and make new contacts.
- Increase the College’s visibility with, and connection to, its membership.
Thunder Bay and Dryden Educational Forums
Members from across northern Ontario came to participate in the Thunder Bay Educational Forum, held on October 4th, and the Dryden Educational Forum, which was held on October 5th. The Thunder Bay Forum attracted approximately 90 members and students, while 21 members participated in the Dryden event.
Lt.-Col. Suzanne Bailey, MSM, CD, MSW, RSW, was the keynote speaker in both Thunder Bay and Dryden. Participants found Suzanne’s presentation, Resilience and Well-Being, to be very engaging.
“Suzanne’s presentation style is clear, informative and approachable,” said one member. “The content was on point and resonated with me and a colleague, sparking much conversation afterwards.”
Members also appreciated having the College host the Educational Forums in northern Ontario. One member stated: “I was very happy to learn the College would be coming to a northern location! We often feel out of the loop in our area so it was wonderful to have this opportunity locally.”
Windsor Educational Forum
The Windsor Educational Forum was held on October 27, 2016. The event was very popular for both members and students, with a total of 78 attendees.
Susan Blacker, MSW, RSW gave the keynote address. Her presentation, Understanding the Role of Palliative Care: What Social Workers and Social Service Workers Need to Know, explored the palliative care approach, with a focus on supporting family caregivers. Susan shared information about helping families navigate the system of palliative care, and practical tools for identifying caregiver risk factors. Those who responded to the post-event survey agreed that Susan’s presentation was both relevant and valuable.
“The information was helpful for future use when dealing with clients who may be diagnosed with a terminal illness. It also may be relevant to use the material for caregiver support.”
Educational Forums helpful in fulfilling CCP learning goals
The post-event survey results showed that 85% of members found the Forums to be helpful in fulfilling their Continuing Competence Program (CCP) learning goals.
A member wrote: “I was unexpectedly involved in a palliative care case last year and felt somewhat unprepared. I realized I needed more education in this area. I was thrilled that OCSWSSW offered this educational opportunity. Ms. Blacker was so informative and compassionate. I gained so much knowledge and validation of feelings I had experienced, and I now know where to find the best resources available.”
The feedback the College received will be very helpful when planning the next series of Educational Forums in 2017.
The College would like to thank all those who participated in the Thunder Bay, Dryden and Windsor events, and to extend a special thank you to our keynote speakers Suzanne Bailey and Susan Blacker.
We look forward to connecting with members at new locations in 2017.
Photo above: At the Windsor Educational Forum, from left to right: Susan Blacker, RSW; College Registrar Lise Betteridge, RSW; College President Beatrice Traub-Werner, RSW.