For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop

Continuing Education Workshops Celebrating the Work of Our Ph.D. Alumni

On Friday, October 6, the School of Social Work will host afternoon workshops presented by four of our Ph.D. alumni whose research makes direct connections to practicing professional social workers and youth workers. Attendees will receive 1.5 CEUs for each workshop they complete. CEUs will be provided for those in full attendance of the workshop; no partial CEUs will be awarded. The cost is $15 per workshop. Please email or call 612-624-3694 with any questions.


1:00–2:30 p.m. Workshops

The Use of Culturally Responsive Assessment Approaches in Work with African American Families Experiencing Polyvictimization

Valandra, Ph.D., M.S.W., LCSW
Assistant Professor and Program Director of African &African American Studies, University of Arkansas
(Valandra's bio)

Workshop Description: This workshop will provide an overview of the Multi-systems Life Course (MSLC) and Afrocentric Intergenerational Solidarity (AIS) perspectives. The perspectives will be used to illustrate culturally-responsive policy- and direct-practice assessments and interventions with African American families experiencing poly-victimization.

Ethical Frameworks for Social Work Practice with Muslim and Arab Refugees

Jennifer Simmelink McCleary, Ph.D., LMSW
Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota Duluth, Department of Social Work
(Simmelink McCleary's bio)

Workshop Description: In 2016 almost 39,000 Muslim refugees entered the United States, representing a record of admissions during a time of elevated anti-Muslim political rhetoric and public sentiment. Anti-Muslim attitudes and policies can affect refugees’ ability to successfully resettle and contribute to decreased health status. Given the current social and political moment, there is an ethical imperative for social workers to engage in resistance to anti-Muslim sentiment and the encoding of Islamophobia in resettlement policy. This workshop presents a discussion of the current sociopolitical context of resettlement of Muslim and Arab refugees and an exploration of the ethical imperatives for social workers to engage in anti-racist advocacy within this current context. Participants will utilize case studies to consider a professional ethical framework through which to view social work practice with Muslim, Arab, and other refugee communities who experience racism and religious intolerance.

3:00–4:30 p.m. Workshops

Promoting Well-being and Relational Permanence in Child Welfare

Annette Semanchin Jones, Ph.D., M.S.W.
Assistant Professor, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, School of Social Work
(Semanchin Jones's bio)

Background: Children and youth need caring adults to provide a safety net of financial, social and emotional support. Youth in out-of-home care often come into placement with connections to adults who are important in their lives; yet, many of these connections are lost while youth are in care. We know that disrupted social networks in a child’s development can lead to many negative outcomes across well-being domains. Research also indicates the many benefits for children and youth of being connected to supportive adults, including improved physical and mental health, educational and employment achievement, and social skill development. Unfortunately, many former foster youth indicate they had little say in maintaining the most important relationships in their lives.

Workshop Overview: This presentation will highlight current research on the importance of social connections for children in the child welfare system. The presentation will also focus on the following: 1) discussion of the development, adaptation, and use of the Youth Connections Scale (YCS); and 2) strategies to support the successful path to permanency for children and youth in out-of-home care. The YCS is a measure of connectedness of youth to caring adults, originally developed for older youth ages 15 to 21 who were in out-of-home placement. The YCS was developed in partnership between the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare and a local child welfare agency, Anu Family Services. The YCS is used to assess the different domains of youth’s connectedness, including the number and strength of connections to caring adults, and the types of support perceived by the youth (Jones & LaLiberte, 2013). The YCS has also been adapted and pilot tested for use with children ages 9 to 14, with a new tool called the Youth Connections Scale – Child Version (YCS-C). The YCS is also currently been adapted for use with youth with developmental or intellectual disabilities. These assessment tools help to fill a gap in the field, to help guide practice and evaluation of efforts to build supportive networks for children as young as 9 who are in out-of-home placement. The presenter will highlight strategies for implementing these tools in a variety of settings.

Child welfare and youth-serving agencies have begun efforts to strengthen youth connections, and a growing number of agencies are using the YCS to guide assessment and service-planning for youth. This presentation will also highlight strategies that foster parents and child welfare agencies can use to help youth adapt to foster care and later transition to adulthood, with the goal of promoting socio-emotional well-being for children and youth. Specific strategies and promising models of practice will be introduced.

Best Practice in Community Based Indigenous Research on Trauma and Resilience

Iris PrettyPaint, Ph.D., M.S.W.
Vice President for Indigenous Knowledge Transfer, Kauffman & Associates, Inc.
(PrettyPaint's bio)

Workshop Description: The purpose of this 90-minute presentation is to identify how to develop, maintain, and sustain equitable engagement with tribal communities. The objectives of this presentation are to identify best practices with American Indian or Alaska Native communities on trauma and resilience. These best practices include understanding the definition and importance of tribal sovereignty and cultural factors to consider when engaging with tribal communities.

Tribal communities face significant health inequalities; however, tribal communities also have significant strengths and sources of resilience. The intent of this session is to share knowledge and encourage advanced knowledge of effective strategies with Native communities to collaboratively improve health equity and research on trauma and resilience.