The recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Award for 2014 is Diane Molloy BSW, RSW. This award recognizes her commitment to the social work profession and her profound service to children and families in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Diane graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Memorial University in 1983 and began her career as a frontline worker in the income support and child protection programs. Throughout her social work career to date, she has also worked as a social worker at Mount Cashel, as a counsellor with Choices for Youth, a contractual assessment worker with Unified Family Court and since 2003 she has held the position of Executive Director of the Newfoundland & Labrador Foster Families Association. From each of these different positions, Diane has demonstrated the same great commitment and deep passion for improving the quality of life for children, youth and families.
An impressive group of nominators and supporters describe her work as “excellence in excess of required level of performance, delivered with powerful results. The integrity of her professional practice is evident in all her actions, achievements and the well deserved reputation she has garnered along the way”.
As a young social worker during the difficult time of the 1990s when the disclosures of sexual abuse at the former Mount Cashel brought international focus and incredible pressure, Diane earned a reputation of courage, fortitude and an impressive commitment to her clients. From that experience she brought insight and clarity to laying the foundation for the award winning service program Choices for Youth. Diane’s focus on the importance of that organization respecting and engaging the voices of youth was instrumental in its development. She operationalized these concepts in a meaningful and sustainable manner.
Diane’s work with the NL Foster Families Association which began in 2003 has been equally impressive; always rooted deeply in social justice with a clear and practical vision of better service delivery. She has rebuilt the NL Foster Families Association into a thriving, engaged organization with active chapters across the province and has lobbied tirelessly for improvements to the foster care program that better support children in care and their foster families.
Diane is an enthusiastic supporter of her community and her profession. She has served on many committees and boards including Waypoints and the NLASW Children’s Interest Committee. Since 2005, Diane has been a volunteer with Street Reach, a grassroots outreach service guided by the principles of harm reduction. She has been a field instructor at the Memorial University School of Social Work and has been actively involved in teaching and research initiatives. In addition to creating educational opportunities and support for social work students, she has created joint educational opportunities for social workers and foster parents through her organization of successful provincial and national conferences.
Diane is a deserving recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Award because in the words of her colleagues “Diane represents the best of who we are as a profession”