#MacroSW Chat 6/22/17: Self-Care for Sustaining Our Social Work Practice

View the chat archive.

Over several decades, social work and other helping professions have become increasingly cognizant that professional stress too frequently leads to burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma. These pandemic phenomena contribute to practitioner impairment, staff turnover, compromised services, risk management concerns, and professional crises. Attention to self-care is necessary for sustaining individual practitioners and our profession and essential for professional effectiveness.

Join us on Thursday, June 22 at 9 pm EST (6 pm Pacific) for the #MacroSW chat to discuss self-care co-hosted with media partner The New Social Worker Magazine (@newsocialworker)‏ and featuring guest experts:

Dr. Erlene Grise-Owens, Ed.D., LCSW, LMFT, MSW, MRE, Partner, The Wellness Group, ETC and co-author of  The A-to-Z Self-Care Handbook for Social Workers and Other Helping Professionals

@DrGriseOwens

 

 

Laura Escobar-Ratliff, MSW, CSW, Partner, The Wellness Group, ETC, Division Director, Centerstone of Kentucky

@LauraE_R

Focus on self-care requires acknowledging the interaction between micro, mezzo, macro, and even meta dimensions.  The emphasis on self-care as a core element of ethical and competent practice requires developing knowledge, skills, and resources. The A-to-Z Self-Care Handbook for Social Workers and Other Helping Professionals is for individuals, agencies, and educational programs to guide the development of self-care as a core aspect of professional practice.

Five Questions We’ll Explore:

  1. How do you define self-care?
  2. What are your successes, struggles, and strategies with self-care?
  3. In what ways do you integrate self-care in HOW you do your work?
  4. What are some connections between macro practice and self-care?
  5. What is one self-care commitment you will make to sustain YOUR social work practice?

Self-care is a lived experience. Dr. Erlene Grise-Owens was fired from a full, tenured faculty position, and simultaneously, Laura Escobar-Ratliff (and other colleagues) resigned from the same university. This difficult path required radical self-care, especially since this development was made public through media coverage of the comprehensive and censuring investigative report by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP’s) report. AAUP officially censured the university on June 17, 2017. Also, read Erlene’s recent blog post, Fired Up to Spark Self-Care.

Self-care sustains us, personally—and is essential to sustaining the profession of social work! We look forward to an engaged and important discussion with you about macro social work and #SelfCare!

Resources

  • The New Social Worker’s Self-Care Section, includes Eriene Grise-Owens’ Self-Care A-to-Z blog and other articles on self-care, The New Social Worker magazine
  • Self-Care Solutions: Facing the Challenge of Asking for Help, Liza Greville, MA, LCSW, Social Work Today
  • The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)’s Statement of Ethical Principles (approved in 2004) states: “ Social workers have a duty to take necessary steps to care for themselves professionally and personally in the workplace and society” (Article 5, Professional Conduct, #6)
  • NASW published in 2008 an Issue and Policy Statement on Professional Self-Care and Social Work The statement delineates key aspects for both individual and systemic attention. This compact and compelling statement on the crucial importance of self-care should be required reading for every social worker on a regular basis.
  • This blog post on Self-care and Organizational Wellness provides a succinct contextual understanding of the interactive nature of (micro) self-care and larger systems (e.g., teams, organizations, etc).
  • University of Buffalo’s online Self-Care Starter Kit hosted by Dr. Lisa Butler and colleagues.
  • The Wellness Group, ETC which provides evaluation, training and consultation to human service professionals and organizations.
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