CASW Distinguished Service Award

The CASW National Social Work Month Distinguished Service Award is given yearly by the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) on the occasion of the National Social Work Month, to an individual or group of individuals selected from their membership by each CASW Partner Organization. Some provinces may choose to submit nominations less frequently. The criteria for nominations is established by the provincial/territorial organizations.

2019

Dr. Jill Brown

Manitoba College of Social Workers

Dr. Marion Brown, MSW, PhD, RSW

Nova Scotia College of Social Workers

Holly Uvilluk

Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada

Holly was raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut and New Brunswick. She pursued post-secondary education at St Thomas University in New Brunswick, and then later at the University of Northern British Columbia to earn her Bachelor of Social Work.  Holly returned to the north to start a family and embark on her career path.  She has worked with the Department of Family Services over the past 4 years, as a Community Social Service Worker.  She has worked with individuals and families in the community, building strong relationships with those she supports.  Holly has been instrumental in reviving the Foster Parent Association and has given time and attention to developing programming for children in care. She has tirelessly volunteered on weekends to coordinate activities for children at the local elementary school gym.  Her strong work ethic and exuberant personality have made her a pillar within her Family Services team, and a trusted support to those she serves.  Congratulations to Holly, the deserving recipient of this year’s Distinguished Service Award.

 

Kelly Cooper

Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada

Kelly is a long time Yukon social worker who has worked in both direct practice as a probation officer and victim services worker as well as in addressing larger issues such as how the Yukon will respond to and support an aging population.  For the past thirteen years, Kelly has been privileged to manage an amazing team of social workers at the Senior Services and Adult Protection and leads this team in an effective, supportive and overall excellent manner according to her staff.  Kelly sometimes takes on secondments which are generally aimed at developing a program or policy in her area of expertise. 

Kelly enjoys mentoring practicum students and instructing the Bachelor of Social Work Social Work and Aging course at Yukon College and has presented to the students many times as a guest.  She supports her team to take on practicum students as well. Kelly is ethical, competent and engaged! For 5 years she supported the Canadian Association of Social Workers as a journal reviewer and editor.  Kelly believes collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and traditions are key for individuals, families, and communities to grow.  Kelly has resided in Yukon for 33 years and continues to passionate about developing policies and programming that will support Yukon’s aging population, and in her spare time has fun puppy wrangling.

 

Kimberly Azyan

British Columbia Association of Social Workers

Kimberly has practiced social work for nearly 30 years and is recognized from within and beyond the social work profession as a distinguished, humble, visionary leader gifted with the ability to practice at all levels – individual, team, community, policy, and legislatively - simultaneously to best serve the interests and enhance quality of life with and for people in vulnerable circumstances. She is recognized as a relentless champion for the rights of adults with intellectual disabilities in BC. She was involved in the downsizing of Woodlands School and the move of residents to community. She led the Woodlands Class Action Project at the Public Guardian and Trustee where she has been a manager and Executive Director of Services to Adults since 1994. She is steadfastly committed to ensuring redress and quality of life for people served by the PGT for whom PGT is committee of estate, litigation guardian, and most recently in relation to the ex-gratia payments as bare trustee – guided by the voices of those who cannot speak for themselves and social work ethics and values. 

 

Kimberly played an integral role in the implementation of BC’s Adult Guardianship legislation and has trained and consulted on this legislation internally, throughout the province and nationally. She is well known for infusing the implementation of the law with a social worker’s commitment to personhood, citizenship, and social justice. 

 

Kimberly served the profession of social work well as a Board member of the BC Association of Social Workers from 2007 – 2010.  In addition, in 2004 Kimberly received the UBC Alumni Achievement Blythe Eagles Award for volunteer leadership in recognition of her work as President of the Alumni Board of the UBC School of Social Work from 1997-2008.

 

Congratulations Kimberly!

Mona Romaine Elliott, MSW, RSW

Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers

The recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Award for 2019 is Mona Romaine Elliott MSW, RSW.  This award recognizes her significant contribution to the social work profession.

Mona holds a Bachelor and Master of Social Work degree from Memorial University.  Over the past 35 years, she has contributed substantially to both management and clinical practice primarily in youth corrections, mental health/ addictions and long-term care.

Mona began her career in 1984 with the Waterford Hospital in St. John’s before moving to the Department of Social Services where she worked as a social worker in Bonavista and as the Regional Coordinator in Harbour Grace. In 1994, Mona was hired as the first Mental Health Therapist with the Bonavista Health Care Complex. She proceeded to develop and expand the community based mental health program in that community becoming the Regional Director of Community Mental Health.  Her work during this time led to her unofficial title as the “Founding mother of mental health services in Bonavista”.  She expanded the scope of her responsibilities when she became the Director of Integrated Community Health Services responsible for all community-based services within the Pennisulas region.  Mona then proceeded to a commitment to long term care services in the province through the positions of Program Manager and Director of Long Term Care.  She recently retired from the position of Regional Director, Long Term Care, Eastern Health, a position which she held for the past two years.

Mona has provided leadership within the social work professional community.  She served as the President of NLASW from 2014-2016 and spent a total of seven years on the board of directors serving initially as Eastern Representative then President Elect (2012-2014) and Past President (2016-2018). She has been a field instructor for both MSW and BSW students at the Memorial University School of Social Work and a mentor to many social workers. 

Mona has been active in community initiatives especially in the areas of violence prevention and youth corrections. She served as the co-chair of the Eastern Region Committee Against Violence for several years. She developed the Bonavista Area Alternative Measures program and has been a leader and mediator with Youth Justice Committees for over twenty years.  She also found time to volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross Disaster Management program.

Throughout her various capacities, Mona is a social worker with a strong sense of identity with and passion for this profession. She is a true leader who exemplifies social work values on a daily basis.  In addition to her excellent social work skills, competence and knowledge, Mona brings warmth, compassion and humour.

Social workers in Newfoundland and Labrador congratulate and extend best wishes to Mona Romaine Elliott, recipient of the 2019 Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Award for this province.

 

 

 

Natalie Bieberdorf, BSW, RSW

Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers

 

Natalie received her Bachelor of Social Work Degree from the University of Regina in 1989. Originally from Estevan, Natalie moved to Yorkton to begin her career in Social Work with the Department of Social Services. In Yorkton, Natalie worked in various programs including Income Security and Child Protection. She then moved to Weyburn and worked for eight years as a Supervisor of Child Protection with Social Services. In 2006, Natalie made the decision to take a position with Sun Country Health Region (now Saskatchewan Health Authority) as Director of Therapies, Patient Counselling and the Acquired Brain Injury Program. While she manages a number of social workers, Natalie also has other professionals in her department including Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Adult Speech and Language Therapists and the Falls Coordinator (a position she advocated for and helped to develop). This was a less traditional area for a Social Worker to manage and Natalie has excelled here while using social work principles in all of her interactions. A social work colleague in another department shared this- "I have gone to Natalie for advice regarding ethics issues and she has provided me with sound advice. She is always very approachable."

Natalie accepts new challenges and is open to hear new ideas or opportunities for improvements. Natalie played a crucial role in supporting her staff to develop new programs such as the Pulmonary Rehab and Cardiac Rehab programs which target Chronic Disease patients. Natalie is also supporting her department's involvement in a dementia initiative with the University of Saskatchewan.  Called RaDAR, this program brings a team of allied professionals together in rural and remote communities for early intervention and diagnosis of people with suspected dementia.

Natalie has also been active in her community. She was a founding member and volunteer with Big Brothers and Sisters and Victim Services in Yorkton. Natalie is involved with the Habitat for Humanity Board and is on the Family Selection Committee in Weyburn. She also served on the Sun Country Regional Health Board for over four years.

In 2010, in her position as a director, Natalie missed the daily contact and interactions with a social work community and recognized that other social workers may be feeling the same way. She initiated discussions with social workers in the community and the idea of forming a branch was born. Natalie led this initiative and in 2011 the South East Branch of SASW was formed. Natalie served as the first Branch President and has been elected into this position every year since. The South East Branch has been active with regular meetings, organizing education events and celebrating Social Work Week.

Natalie has been and continues to be an inspiration to her social work colleagues and is also respected by her management co-workers and staff from the various professional groups she manages. She has forged new trails and been a role model for many.

 

 

Phyllis Mawdsley

Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada

Phyllis Mawdsley has had a 40-year career as a Social Worker in the Northwest Territories, as a front-line Community Social Service Worker in the regions of the Beaufort Delta, the Deh Cho, Hay River and Fort Smith. As a generalist social worker in small northern communities Phyllis has had hands on experience working in child protection, community and family services, mental health, community corrections, income support, and family violence. Her passion has always been working directly with the children and families she serves.

Phyllis was active in opening the first alcohol and drug treatment centre in Inuvik in 1978, in the development and operation of the first Northwest Territories women and children’s safe shelter in Fort Smith in 1987, and she also instructed and supervised many Aurora College Social Work practicum students. She also has significant leadership experience at the management level in social programs, most recently as the Chief Operating Officer for the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Fort Smith Region from 2014 to her retirement this year, as well as active participation in territorial-wide initiatives, including the working group of mental health chronic disease management and the child and family services information system renewal.

Phyllis holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta (1978), a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Victoria (2002) and a Master of Social Work degree from Dalhousie University (2006).  She completed her certification with the Justice Institute of British Columbia as a Conflict Resolution Mediator (2017) and as a Family Mediator (2018).

Phyllis plans to remain in Fort Smith, NT and let life lead her on to the next adventure. She is honoured to have had such a diverse career as a northern social worker that has provided her spectacular opportunities to meet and work with so many amazing people. She summarizes her northern social work career saying, “Working as a social worker in northern Canada is a profession that I would highly recommend.  It has been a very humbling experience working with northern Indigenous people where I have learned a great deal about the impact of colonization and the importance of truth, reconciliation, and self-government for Indigenous people moving forward.”

 

Richard Gregory

Photograph of Richard Gregory

Alberta College of Social Workers

We are honoured to recommend recognition of Richard Gregory through the Canadian Association of Social Workers, Distinguished Service Award.         

 

Richard regularly expresses his pride in being a social worker for over 30 years.    He has worked in both the child welfare and the young offender systems, he has worked with youth and families in crisis at a runaway and homeless shelter and with families of children with special needs.  In Calgary, Richard was a sessional instructor in the Social Work Program at Mount Royal University.  He was the Coordinator and instructor in the social work diploma program at Medicine Hat College from 1998 to 2015 and served as Department Chair – Health and Human Services. 

Richard has also contributed many hours and years of volunteer work, including 19 years with HIV and AIDS.  He was president of the board for the HIV Network in Medicine Hat for six years and was the president when they opened the harm reduction program in Medicine Hat.  He has been the chairperson of the Social Development Advisory Board with the City of Medicine Hat, on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Shelter, and was one of the Human Rights Advisors at Medicine Hat College for 13 years.  He served as secretary for the Canadian Association for the Prevention of Discrimination and Harassment in Higher Education (CAPDHHE).  Richard has been a strong advocate for equality and social justice.   In Calgary he was very involved with the gay community and was one of the organizers of the first gay pride parade in Calgary and lobbied for the inclusion of sexual orientation as a protected right in Alberta.     In 2013 Richard received a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee award in recognition of his volunteer commitments. In 2016 Richard received a Hero Award from the Chinook Foundation of Calgary in recognition of his endeavors in advancing the quality of life for GLBTQ people.   Richard was presented the Sunny Andrews Award from the Association of Social Work Boards for outstanding regulatory social work board service in November 2016. 

With a decade of service to the Alberta College of Social Workers, Richard's service to his profession has been outstanding and his commitment steadfast.  Richard has been a Member at Large, Treasurer, Vice President and President.  He has completed volunteer terms of over 10 years on the Council of the Alberta College of Social Workers.   Through service on numerous committees year after year, he has worked to uphold the principles and strength of the profession of social work. He has worked to foster good working relationships with social work educators and members of legislature.  He is well known in social work education and social work advocacy circles as a strong supporter of the role that regulation and registration of professionals plays in serving and protecting public while strengthening the profession.  He actively participates in national and international organizations including the Canadian Council of Social Work Regulators, the Canadian Association of Social Workers and the Association of Social Work Boards.

Richard's leadership on the ACSW Council and in the social work community in the Province of Alberta has been appreciated and recognized by colleagues for his understanding of leadership at governance levels as well as leadership within grassroots advocacy for our province and country’s vulnerable citizens. Within his leadership roles his value for strong ethical principles and values shine.

"Over and above" perfectly describes his caring and commitment to engaging, collaborating and serving with others to the betterment of the social work profession and of our communities.  

 

The Council of The Alberta College of Social Workers

Sigrid Rolfe, RSW

PEI Association of Social Workers

Sigrid Rolfe, RSW was presented the 2019 CASW Distinguished Service Award. Sigrid has just retired as the Executive Director of the PEI Rape and Sexual Assault Crisis Centre, after 13 years.  Sigrid also served on the Premier’s Advisory Council on Family Violence Prevention and the PEI Child Sexual Abuse Advisory Committee.  In 2014, her work in family violence prevention (with that of Dr. Philip Smith) was recognized by the Muriel McQueen Ferguson Foundation. She has been an authorized social worker in private adoptions for 18 years, contributing to the growth of many island families. Sigrid also spent 16 years as a caseworker at Big Brother Big Sisters PEI, and worked in child protection in both Summerside and Halifax and in mental health in Winnipeg, where she graduated from the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba.  Sigrid humbly embodies the passion for social justice and the dedication to service found in our profession.

Valerie DeLong, BSW, RSW

New Brunswick Association of Social Workers / L'association des travailleurs sociaux du Nouveau-Brunswick

Valerie Delong is a Consultant for Child Welfare and Youth Services in Social Development, New Brunswick. Valerie has worked as a front-line social worker in many program areas, including Child Protection and Adult Protection, prior to becoming the Provincial Consultant for Family Supports for Children with Disabilities, Children’s Resource Services, Birth Parent Services, and Open Custody. She is also the Coordinator for Provincial Complex Case and the liaison to the Foster Families Association and the Group Home Association. Through her work, Valerie has had a vastly positive impact on the children of New Brunswick. In addition to having worked as a social worker for over 30 years, Valerie also finds time to volunteer in her community and has been a valued member of various committees with the NBASW, including the Bylaws Committee and as Fredericton Chapter President. Valerie is known for being humble and selfless and never hesitating to help a person in need. She confronts injustice and unfairness head on, accepting these challenges as part of her responsibility to the profession and as a caring human being. Valerie exemplifies social work values in her everyday life and is a role model for many social workers in the field. It is with honour that we present Valerie Delong as the recipient for this years Distinguished Service Award.

2018

Calgary and Area Social Workers for Social Justice

Alberta College of Social Workers

Calgary Social Workers for Social Justice are an ACSW member interest group working towards social justice and social change in Calgary, provincially, and federally by increasing the visibility of social justice issues and systemic solutions by supporting, educating and encouraging social workers to be social justice advocates.  In support of these goals the group shares knowledge, ideas and action plans at monthly meetings, hosts speakers and workshops, and has an active policy sub- committee whose members represent the group on key community actions.   The group has a small communications team that shares information on events that promote social justice. 

 

The group have continuously focused on poverty elimination.  They took a lead role in advocating for the introduction of Basic Income in Alberta.  Having joined a steering committee of some of the major organizations in Calgary that support this policy, the group engaged in building community awareness and support. Many other efforts have been directed to help alleviate poverty, including maintenance of the low-income transit pass, approval of secondary suites, support for the increase in minimum wage and pressing for an increase in social assistance rates.  The group followed the work of the Child and Youth Advocate and the responses of the Ministry of Children’s Services to the concerns raised in his reports.  They supported the progressive steps of government, including the Minister of Education’s defence of LGBTQ+ rights in schools; including attending a rally in support of not outing students. 

 

In addition, members of the group hosted an Anti-Racism, Anti-Colonization and Social Justice Learning Series in partnership with the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary; Alberta Network of Immigrant Women, Migrated Social Workers for Indigenous Social Justice and Alberta Men’s Network. This five-part experiential and relational learning series was a response to the rising tide of emboldened racism in our Canadian context.  There was a focus on Indigenous and intercultural exchange, knowledge sharing, the critical retelling of his/herstory, learning/unlearning, accountability and relationships.
 

Erin Beckwell, BSW, MSW, RSW (SK)

Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers

Erin is a social worker who has spent her career working in the areas of health, education, and community development. She is particularly passionate about community engagement, anti-racist education, harm reduction, and trauma-informed care. 

 

She currently works a Knowledge Translation Specialist and Policy Analyst with the Public Health Observatory in the Saskatoon Health Region, and as a Sessional Instructor with the University of Regina Faculty of Social Work. In 2014 she founded Nourish YXE, a community-based group that works to promote body acceptance and weight-neutral approaches to health and challenge weight stigma.

 

Originally from Treaty 4 Territory in rural Southwest Saskatchewan, she now lives in Saskatoon (Treaty 6 Territory & Homeland of the Métis) with her wife, Lisa.

 

Jan Wood

Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada

Jan Wood is a long time Yukoner who has dedicated her career to improving the quality of life for vulnerable people, including children and adults with disabilities, the elderly and those who experience substance abuse. Jan has worked in a number of settings, including the Child Development Centre, the Association for Community Living, Teegatha'Oh Zheh Society, the Thomson Centre and now Yukon Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services. Jan is a graduate of the Yukon College BSW program and demonstrates integrity and respect in all aspects of her work. Her passion for supporting marginalized populations toward being included in the community and building partnerships amongst supporting agencies has been the drive of her everyday work. As a Social Worker and former, part time Instructor in the Early Childhood Program at Yukon College, Jan has mentored many students and new grads about the value of meeting people where they are and supporting them in the next steps towards a more positive well-being.

Jan is an active member of the ASWNC Board of Directors with no plans to retire.

Korrina Harvey

Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada

Korrina was born in Yellowknife, NWT, and has lived in various other communities within the NWT, including Pine Point, Hay River. Kugluktuk, Nunavut is her home community. She is a single mother of three children, ages 17, 14 and 12. “I am the oldest within my adopted family and the youngest in my biological family, so I have the best of both worlds. I chose social work in hopes of assisting people when they cannot understand policies and procedures, after my own difficult experience with family lawyers and mediators. Also, to allow my children to realize that if you set your mind on any goal it can be accomplished with an education and enough self-respect as regardless of your race. I have enjoyed the experience and meeting knew people along the way.” Korrina attended Nunavut Arctic College where she earned her diploma in the Human Services/Social Work Program. She has previously worked as a Community Social Service Worker in Rankin Inlet, and as a Justice Worker and youth counsellor in Kugluktuk. She is currently acting as the Child and Family Services Supervisor in Cambridge Bay. Colleagues describe her as being well-organized, reliable and compassionate in her interactions. Korrina enjoys fishing and working on sewing projects. “I love being outdoors as it very calming to the mind and soul.”

Lyla Andrew, MSW, RSW

Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers

The recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Award for 2018 is Lyla Andrew MSW, RSW. 

Lyla grew up in Toronto and graduated with a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto in 1977.  After graduation, she was keen to pursue a path where she would be challenged and grow.  This led her to accept a two-year placement position with Frontier College working with the women in the Innu Community of Sheshatshui, Labrador to establish a day care.  This decision to move to Sheshatshui in 1977 changed the course of Lyla’s personal and professional life.  When she arrived, she was committed to genuinely listening and learning about the Innu culture and felt privileged to have this opportunity. She came to love the Innu way of sharing with neighbours and the strong sense of commitment to one another. She met an Innu man who would become her husband and together they raised four children.  For the past forty years Lyla has committed her personal and professional life to working side by side with members of this community. She has witnessed the pure joy when people go to Nutshimit (out on the land) and the transformation which occurs with the opportunity to do so.

Throughout her social work career, Lyla has worked with both the government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Innu Government.  She was employed as a social worker with the Department of Social Services in Sheshatshui and Davis Inlet.  She held various positions with both the Innu Nation and the Sheshatshui Innu First Nation including Assistant to the President and mentor to the Health Commission Director.  For a decade, she was the Regional Director and Zone Manager with the Child, Youth and Family Services Program. Lyla was involved with the transition of child welfare services from the Labrador Grenfell Healthy Authority to the Department of Child Youth and Family Services (later the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development).  During this time, she worked on many initiatives to keep children safe and protected while doing everything possible to keep children in their home communities.  Since 2015, Lyla has been the Child, Youth and Family Services Community Liaison Social Worker with the Innu Round Table Secretariat. In her current role, she is part of a team working towards devolution of child welfare services from the provincial government to the Innu Nation.

Lyla has challenged non-Innu systems to utilize a lens which acknowledges differences and focuses on access to services which are culturally based.  She advocates for equal treatment and protection from the injustices the Innu have experienced. She has participated in many forums to improve working relationships and to explain how legislation, policy and practices can be improved.  Lyla has volunteered with the NL Association of Social Workers.  Most recently she was instrumental in the development of the NLASW Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice (2016).  This document is built on the foundation that social workers have an ethical responsibility to demonstrate cultural awareness and sensitivity while enhancing competence to work with people from diverse cultures. 

 

Lyla Andrew exemplifies the values of the social work profession.  This award recognizes her commitment to sharing her knowledge, skills and abilities in a way which is respectful and makes a difference.  Social workers in this province extend our congratulations and best wishes.

Melanie Abbott, RSW, MSW

British Columbia Association of Social Workers

While balancing a large caseload, facilitating groups, and completing EMDR training, Melanie recognized there were limited services for our local transgender community. Instead of referring clients to a provincial website and suggesting they seek services in elsewhere, Melanie figured out a better plan. She connected with resources in the lower mainland, developed and continues to facilitate a Transgender Support Group, and is certified to complete hormone assessments. She is currently training to also complete gender affirmation surgery assessments. Melanie will be the only person north of Prince George with the ability to complete these assessments which makes her an asset to northern practice. In order to adapt to client need, she has made her support group accessible by teleconference for those living outside of the community. Terrace is lucky to have Melanie is a local professional but she reaches beyond our city limits to ensure those who need support, have the same opportunities across the north.

Michael Whitlock, MSW, RSW

PEI Association of Social Workers

Michael is being recognized for his outstanding work, excellent leadership and diligent effort in making a difference in mental health, especially during difficult times.  He has enriched the lives of others, not only his clients but also his colleagues as well.  His co-workers describe him as positive, supportive, committed, creative, and determined.  They describe him as an excellent team worker and an outstanding role model.  Michael has been a social worker since 1990.  He holds a BSW from Saint Thomas University and an MSW from Carleton University.  
 
Michael is a long-standing member of the PEIASW, and a past member of the NBASW, including a term as an NBASW Chapter President.  He is a past Chair and Vice Chair of the PEI Social Work Registration Board and member of the PEIASW's  Professional Development Committee.  He has been responsible for leadership in the implementation of numerous client-centered initiatives in mental health, child protection, and social work education.  He has been a Community Mental Health Supervisor with Health PEI since 2004.
 

Sandy Bay Child & Family Services

Manitoba College of Social Workers

For over a decade, Sandy Bay Child & Family Services has played an important role in cultivating positive change in Manitoba’s child welfare system. Its promotion and implementation of innovative approaches to child welfare has resulted in significant policy shifts and reform across the child welfare spectrum, from funding initiatives to policy and standard changes.

Sandy Bay Child & Family Services has demonstrated leadership through its progressive programs, projects and partnerships including its customary care community model, post-secondary education supports to indigenous children in care and its indigenized core training model. Its steadfast commitment to family preservation and support has resulted in positive outcomes for children and families provided with collaborative and culturally sensitive social work services.

In fulfilling its mandate, Sandy Bay Child & Family Services has demonstrated a commitment to public accountability, ethics and excellence in social work by ensuring child welfare services within its organization are delivered by registered social workers dedicated to practicing in accordance to recognized professional standards of practice and ethical guidelines in the interests of the public.

The Manitoba College of Social Workers is pleased to honour Sandy Bay Child & Family Services, including its staff and Board of Directors, as the 2018 recipients of the CASW Distinguished Service Award.

Susan Fitzky

Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada

Susan has come to the profession of social work through a life long commitment to social justice and advocacy. She has worked in the field of child welfare, from direct frontline practice to a practice specialist role with the Department of Health and Social Services. Most recently, Susan has been an instructor at Aurora College, where she has focused her efforts on engaging in reconciliation in education and transformation of child welfare system. Susan has a deep commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commision's Calls to Action and continues to focus her work in that spirit.

Susan inspires critical thought to our current child welfare system with her students and helps them to envision an effective system that aligns with the TRC Calls to Action. She has revitalized the relationship with NWT and Prairie Child Welfare Consortium and sits on this group as a representative of our territory with hopes to transform child welfare services in the north. When Susan presents on the topic of child welfare transformation, you can feel (and sometimes see) her passion, deeply felt responsibility and recognition of the changes that need to be made; in her voice and in her tears when presenting, those emotions are tangible to whomever is listening.

Susan also sits on the Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada where she is one of three NWT Directors.

 

Wendy Keen MSW, RSW

Wendy Keen receives the Distinguished Service Award.

Nova Scotia College of Social Workers

The council of the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers has awarded Wendy Keen the CASW Distinguished Service award. Throughout her years of service, she has demonstrated the best of social work practice. Her empathy, pursuit of social justice and dedication to social work has lead Wendy to many parts of Canada, where she has brought her talents for organizing and engaging organizations.  Wendy, as a Registered Social Worker has been the Executive Director of a women’s shelter and in 2009 retired from the Department of Community Services as a District Manager. Wendy served as Executive Director of Family and Children Services for several years, where she demonstrated leadership in the support to families in the community. In addition, to her many contributions to the communities that she serves Wendy has served on council and the Board of Examiners of NSCSW (previously NSASW) since 1982 and has worked tirelessly to promote social work and ensure that the profession continuously works to demonstrate strong ethical standards. Wendy is very deserving of this award and the Council of the College is very privileged to award it too Wendy for her distinguished service to the profession of social work.  

2017

Andrea Reid, MSW, RSW

New Brunswick Association of Social Workers / L'association des travailleurs sociaux du Nouveau-Brunswick

Fred Nelson, MSW, RSW and Megan McLeod, MSW, RSW

Manitoba College of Social Workers

In February 2016, experienced Social Workers, Fred Nelson and Megan McLeod, agreed to delay their retirement plans to assist in the development and implementation of interdisciplinary services related to Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID).  Mr.  Nelson and Ms. McLeod quickly and competently began providing clinical support  to the MAID  team and its clients, navigating  through  uncharted  territory in their  effort  to  ensure that  patients  and clients  were both  informed  of their  rights and all of their  end of life treatment options, while respecting the inherent  worth  and dignity of all individuals and supporting client self-determination and autonomy.

Both Mr.  Nelson and Ms. McLeod are exemplary social workers, demonstrating skilled ability to show compassion, empathy and commitment to assessing and addressing the non-physical elements of distress.  They both put the patient and family first while being balanced and cognizant of their own needs, supporting each other, the multiple team needs and the needs of the community.

Geoff Hood, BSW, RSW

Nova Scotia College of Social Workers

Geoff Hood resides in Halifax with his partner and two year old son. He is a Graduate of Acadia University where he completed a B.A. in Sociology and Philosophy. It was through these early studies that he first became interested in Ethics and Social Justice. He went on to complete a B.S.W. from Dalhousie University. Geoff began his career working at the Kings Regional Rehabilitation Center, where he supported the well-being of both children and adults living with developmental and mental health related challenges. These early opportunities to practice in supportive alliances and meaningful connections with service users helped solidify his long-term commitment to social work practice.

Geoff has gone on to provide services to children and families at risk through his work in the child welfare sector. Geoff’s efforts have focused on addressing the complex socio-political issues that impact the needs of children and families. His practice has focused on child wellbeing and family centered interventions designed to empower service users and build resilience. Geoff has recently moved into a position with Staff Training with Child Youth and Family Supports, a division of the Department of Community Services, which has allowed him to provide new social workers with up to date training in order to further their skills.

In addition to everyday practice, Geoff has contributed time to foster the learning of social workers entering the field. Geoff has provided field instruction to students completing their B.S.W. program at Dalhousie University, and has provided Candidacy Supervision for newly practicing social workers. Geoff has also worker as a member of the Dalhousie Alumni Association (2006-2009.)

Further to this, Geoff has made a significant contribution to social work practice in Nova Scotia. Geoff served on Counsel for the NSASW (now NSCSW) while chair of the Ethics and Standards Committee (2008-2010) and again after becoming the chair of the Board of Examiners (2014-2016.) Geoff has also chaired the Complaints Committee on behalf of the Board of Examiners. Geoff also served on the Child Welfare Interest Group.

Geoff has worker with both the Board of Examiners and the Counsel to move the NSCSW forward under a new operating model designed to strengthen the profession while focusing on the protection of the public.

Ian Shortall, MSW, RSW

Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers

The recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Award for 2017 is Ian Shortall MSW, RSW.  This award recognizes his significant contribution and unwavering commitment to the social work profession provincially and nationally.

Ian holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Memorial University and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto.  Over the past 31 years, Ian Shortall has contributed substantially to both clinical and management practice.  He began his career as a child and adolescent mental health clinician and family therapist, later moving to the positions of division manager within the health care system and Professional Practice Co-ordinator for social work with Eastern Health.  Throughout these years, he maintained a clinical private practice. His current role is the Director of the Employee Assistance and Respectful Workplace Program with the Public Service Commission, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Ian exemplifies the values of the social work profession on a daily basis.  He is described as “professional to the core” bringing competence and integrity to both his clinical practice and his leadership roles.  Ian approaches every person and situation with respect and fairness working tirelessly to support clients and guide the many social workers and students whom he has supervised.

Ian has provided leadership within the social work professional community.  Throughout the 1990s he volunteered his knowledge and skills to the NLASW Professional Issues Committee providing ethical consultations to social workers in practice serving a term in the role of Chair.  This committee received the CASW Distinguished Service Award in 1999 for significant contribution to social work in the province.  From 2006- 2008 Ian Shortall was the President of the NL Association of Social Workers spending a total of six years contributing initially as President Elect (2004-2006) and later as Past President (2008- 2010).  These years were times of significant growth and change for NLASW which included transition to new legislation.  Throughout the process, Ian’s steady leadership and support was of tremendous value to the board of directors and staff. Following his term on the NLASW board of directors, Ian served two terms on the board of the Canadian Association of Social Workers (2010 – 2015). While serving on the board he also contributed to the CASW Private Practice Interest group.

Ian continues to be an inspiration to all who have the pleasure of working with and learning from him.  His colleagues at the provincial Public Service Commission state: “He models competent, professional practice and will inspire you to do your absolute best.  He will support you when you struggle and celebrate with and for you when you succeed.  Ian was operating from a strengths based perspective in his leadership long before we were calling it that” 

Social workers in Newfoundland and Labrador congratulate and extend best wishes to Ian Shortall, the recipient of the 2017 Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Award for this province.

Pamela Miller, BA, MSW, Ph.D

British Columbia Association of Social Workers

BCASW is pleased to announce that Dr. Pamela Miller is awarded the BC CASW Distinguished Service Award for 2017. Pam is known as an insightful and effective leader, a strong advocate for the profession of social work, and a kind, generous, humble, and compassionate person. Her lengthy social work career focused on teaching and a scholarly interest in eLearning and use of information technology in practice, ethical decision making, community development, and leadership in human services.

A strong commitment to professional social work practice and the promotion of the profession led Pam to serve at the executive level in two provinces.  Pam served as Vice President of the BCASW from 2008 to 2009, President from 2009 to 2011, and Past President from 2012 to 2016. Prior to moving to BC from Alberta in 2008, Pam served as an elected member of the Alberta College of Social Work Council from 2001 to 2003 and as President of the Alberta College of Social Work from 2004 to 2007. Pam's leadership skills and recognition among her peers led her to the role of Chair, Canadian Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work from 2009 to 2012.

During her time on the BCASW Board, Pam facilitated the Association's engagement in lobbying the Government of British Columbia to:

  • Increase housing options for people with complex health care needs,
  • Restore the BC office to combat trafficking in persons,
  • Include the use of social workers through WorkSafeBC,
  • Increase social assistance rates, and
  • Heed recommendations made by the Representative for Children and Youth in BC.

Pam's contributions to practice are evident in the dozens of scholarly publications and delivery of professional development workshops. Her publications include an article describing the benefits of online chatting for single moms (2007), a book on ethical decision making in social work (2012), and an article on leadership in social work (2011).

Pam retired as a full professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Victoria in 2016.

Vanessa Rankin

Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada

This year’s theme for National Social Work month is more than fitting for our nominee, Vanessa Rankin.  Vanessa has, without question, demonstrated the ability to motivate and create change within our Association following a challenging period.  Vanessa innately and professionally encompasses the core values and principals of social work practice; modelling on an ongoing basis to the members her passion for the profession and what it stands for.

Vanessa, without hesitation, has always stepped to the forefront, taking on roles and responsibilities beyond her requirements and worked tirelessly to promote the profession across all three territories, with this year having all Board positions filled in all three territories.  Vanessa is engaging, energetic and remains at the forefront of social justice issues in the north.  We would like to honour Vanessa for her leadership, dedication and her “Power to Empower.”

2016

Anne Mothersill

Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada

Anne Mothersill, MSW, RSW (BC) been a social worker for over 30 years. She started her Social Work Career with Alberta Family and Children Services in 1983. She moved to Whitehorse, Yukon in 1995, where she worked for the Yukon Territorial Government, Family and Children services from 1995 to 2015. Initially she worked as a Social Worker and then as a Supervisor of a Family Services Team for the past ten years. She has worked primarily in the area of, child protection in areas of guardianship, foster care and adoption. She has always been keen to train staff and students, both as a competency based trainer for the Core Child Protection Training and as a Practicum Supervisor for BSW students.  She has supervised many of the BSW students in their Practicum Placements at Family and Children Services. Many of the students became colleagues and peers. She retired in June 2015.

Anne started teaching as a Sessional Instructor at Yukon College/University of  Regina BSW program in 2003 and has taught Social Policy (SW 469)  and Human Growth and Development  (SW 421) and Introduction to Social Work (SW 200).   She has served as a board member as a Director for the Association of Social Workers of Northern Canada and sits currently is a member of Yukon College President’s Committee on BSW Programming. Her other interests include travel, music and being in the great outdoors.

Carol Ross

British Columbia Association of Social Workers

Carol Ross has been a stalwart, patient, and effective voice on behalf of BC’s children and families for many years.  Her social work history began in 1969 and crosses three provinces (Ontario, Alberta, BC) where she honed her skills and cemented her commitment to ending poverty, violence against women and children, and all forms of discrimination and oppression. This work included adoption social work, family therapy, child protection case work, feminist organizing, developing The Advocacy Centre in Nelson and finally as ED of Parent Support Services Society of BC.

Carol created an approach to child protection advocacy that was innovative, collaborative, family inclusive and successful. She has researched Child Protection Advocacy; Law and Kinship Care; and Child Protection Advocacy Best Practice as well as developing programs and resources identified.

Carol continues her advocacy work through her role as Child Protection Lead for BCASW. Carol is recognized by members, coalition partners, media, and government as an expert and advocate for children and families.

Charmaine Wight

Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers

The recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Award for 2016 is Charmaine Wight MSW, RSW.  This award recognizes her significant commitment to the social work profession and her contribution to the field of mental health and addictions in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Charmaine graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Memorial University in 1986 and a Master’s degree in 2000. She began her career as a social worker with the Salvation Army Wiseman Centre in St. John’s which at that time was an emergency housing shelter for young men.  This position was the beginning of a thirty year career focused primarily in the field of addictions and mental health.  Initially working in direct practice then assuming positions such as Regional Addictions Services Coordinator with Drug Dependency Services for the Central region, Manager of the Mental Health Program for Central Health and most recently as the Regional Manager of Community Supports and Residential Services.   She has been committed to the advancement of services in her areas of practice by extending her roles to include being co-chair of both the Committee Against Family Violence and the Mental Health Accreditation Team.  She gives of her time to the community and to the profession.  For the past twenty years she has been an active member of the Committee Against Family Violence and for the last decade an active member of the Salvation Army Advisory Committee.  Charmaine has been the NL Association of Social Workers representative to the Canadian Association of Social Workers Health Interest group working to address social work and health care issues at a national level.    

Throughout her career Charmaine has been dedicated to mentoring and supervising, providing field instruction for social work students and supervising many social workers.  Charmaine has a solid understanding of the profession.  She integrates social work theory and practice and is noted to be a skilled supervisor assisting supervisees to grow professionally with a clear focus on the needs of clients.  The nomination for the CASW Distinguished Service Award was put forth by her staff which is a testament to the high regard in which she is held by those who work with her on a regular basis.  Her nominators state “As our manager Charmaine inspires us to be the best that we can be through living by example.  She has very high standards for her practice, striving for the best possible outcomes…she has a way of simplifying the most challenging tasks…She is an inspiration to our team, our community and represents the profession of social work with honour and pride!”

Charmaine Wight is truly a “distinguished” social worker and a credit to our profession.

Darlene MacDonald

Manitoba College of Social Workers

With more than 30 years of experience in child welfare, Darlene MacDonald is a skilled and steady leader known for her professional, fair, and collaborative approach to improving the lives of children, youth, and families. Her depth of knowledge of the child welfare system stretches from frontline work, through increasing levels of management responsibility, and to her current role as Manitoba’s Children’s Advocate, a position she has held since 2011. Darlene has not only dedicated her career to improving outcomes for families, but she also continually strives to create healthy work environments for her staff members and values innovative solutions in both service delivery and staff support.

Respected by colleagues across the country, Darlene has held leadership positions at the national level including serving as president and then board member of the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW), president of the International Federation of Social Workers – North American division (IFSW), as a board member of the Child Welfare League of Canada (CWLC), as a member of the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA), and of the Manitoba Institute of Registered Social Workers (MIRSW) and its successor, the Manitoba College of Social Workers.

Heather Fikowski

Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada

Heather Fikowski, MSW, RSW is a Social Work Instructor in the Health and Human Services Program at Aurora College, Yellowknife/North Slave and she represents the Northwest Territories (NWT) on the Executive of the Canadian Rural Health Research Society.  Heather has lived and practiced social work in the NWT for the last 14 years and she also maintains a clinical social work practice in Yellowknife. She is a strong advocate for social justice issues in the NWT and is a current member of the Coalition Against Family Violence NWT and the Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada. Her research interests include women’s issues, family violence, and rural and remote social work practice. As Co-Academic Investigator of a five year (2011/2016) Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funded qualitative research project, titled “Rural and Northern Community Response to Intimate Partner Violence”, Heather is breaking the silence on intimate partner violence in our Northern communities. She brings a critical social work lens and an action oriented approach to this research with the goal of utilizing the results to share information, increase awareness and affect social policies to help move toward non-violence in Canada’s North. Heather has presented her research findings in all three Territories, in Edmonton, AB at the Canadian Rural Health Research Conference and in Oulu, Finland at the Congress for Circumpolar Health. She has also been invited to present at the Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development 2016, to be held in June, in Seoul, Korea where she will bring a Canadian and Northern perspective to the discussion of the theoretical and practical issue of “Promoting the Dignity and Worth of People”. 

Mary Beth MacMillan & John MacMillan

PEI Association of Social Workers

Rina Arseneault

New Brunswick Association of Social Workers / L'association des travailleurs sociaux du Nouveau-Brunswick

Rina Arseneault has been the Associate Director of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research since November 1993. She has a Masters in Social Work and is a Registered Social Worker. From 2001 to 2003, she worked in the Psychiatry Emergency Services and at the HIV/AIDS Clinic at the Ottawa Hospital.

She is recognized as an activist and educator on women issues. She has organized numerous training opportunities and workshops. She contributed in the development of the 8-course credited UNB Certificate Program in Family Violence Issues and she has also taught courses in the program.

Her experience includes extensive work with community - organizations, individual researchers, government agencies, the media and victims of violence. In 1997, Rina was honoured with the NB Advisory Council on the Status of Women Recognition Award for her contribution to improving the status of women in New Brunswick. In 2002, she received the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation Award, for her work in violence against women and family violence. In 2014, Rina was appointed to the Order of Canada.  The Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. 

She is recognized for her contributions as a researcher, activist, author and educator working to end family violence. Rina currently resides in Fredericton, NB with her husband Dan. She loves to spend time with family especially her five beautiful grandchildren.

Shawna Hoyte

Nova Scotia College of Social Workers

Ms. Hoyte has contributed to the fabric of Nova Scotia and Canada for over forty years through her work with individuals, families, communities, grassroots organizations and government. The focus of her practice is social justice and access to justice on behalf of the marginalized, disenfranchised, low income and oppressed people of our society. She brings a unique approach to her work as a social worker because she is also a practicing lawyer and utilizes the law to provide a very holistic approach to challenges faced by those she works with and on behalf of. In 2008, she argued the case of L.T.H. at the Supreme Court of Canada which focused on the rights of youth and changed the procedural practices of police authorities in Canada when interviewing youth. As one of nine members of the National Task Force for equality in hiring in the Federal Government Treasury Board of Canada, Ms. Hoyle assisted in the strategic work plan entitled, Embracing Change: Hiring Visible Minorities in the Federal Public Service. Shawna was recently appointed by the Premier's office of Nova Scotia to sit as the African Nova Scotian Community representative on the Council of Parties for the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry to investigate the historical abuse of former residents of the Colored Home.

Shawna continues to contribute to social work practice in Canada as an educator. She has taught at the Dalhousie School of Social Work (DSSW) in Cross Cultural Studies. She redesigned the social Work and Law course which she teaches on campus and as a distance course with BSW students from coast to coast. She is often called upon as a guest speaker and lecturer for other courses at the DSSW, as well as, being an Agency Field Advisor to both BSW and MSW students since 2003. Shawna has practiced social work as a clinician at the IWK Health Centre since 2006. She recently assisted with the redesign of the IWK Emergency Department — Emergency Mental Health and Additions Services crisis/psychiatry assessment tool. Shawna has presented on numerous occasions, over many years, at both National and local Social Work Conferences on issues of child protection, youth criminal justice, human rights and family services. She is a published researcher and writer on a number of topics and runs a small private practice in Dartmouth NS. Ms. Hoyte has been a volunteer Board member to many organizations and has held positions of responsibility such as president of the Board of Directors for the Community Justice Society of Halifax.

Additionally, Ms. Hoyte was a member of the Board of Examiners and the Discipline Committee of the Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers from 2007—2009. She is currently a member in good standing with the NSASW. Shawna holds the distinguished Queens Counsel designation as a lawyer and is a member in good standing with the Nova Scotia Barrister's Society and is a member of the Canadian Bar Association.

2015

All past and present MASW and MIRSW Members

Manitoba College of Social Workers

Alphonsine Saulnier

Nova Scotia College of Social Workers

Carole Bryant

Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers

Frank Bulger

PEI Association of Social Workers

Glen Schmidt

British Columbia Association of Social Workers

Lynn Sparks

Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada

Mary Bishop

Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada

Rachel Hollingshead

Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada

Suzanne Brake

Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers

2014

Albert Gauvin

New Brunswick Association of Social Workers / L'association des travailleurs sociaux du Nouveau-Brunswick

The Board of Directors of the NBASW is proud to nominate Albert Gauvin for the CASW Distinguished Service Award. Albert Gauvin is a retired social worker and a member of the Restigouche Chapter of the New Brunswick Association of Social Workers (NBASW). Prior to retiring, in 2007, Albert had a remarkable social work career in the hospital field and, on different occasions, he served on the Board and several committees of the NBASW throughout his extensive career.
 
Early in his career, Albert was Head of the Social Work Department of the Campbellton Hospital and, at one point, headed the Social Work Departments of two hospitals, before ending his career as Head of the Social Service Department of the New Campbellton (NB) Regional Hospital. In addition to overseeing the implementation, the planning and the management of the department, he was also responsible for the professional supervision of the social workers on his team.
 
He was passionate about management and professional ethics, and he successfully guided and motivated a good number of social workers to take up one of our profession's specializations in the areas of health care and palliative care. Albert was an exemplary force in the development and coordination of end-of-life social services.
 
He is a leader who is able to share his extensive knowledge, all the while being proud of promoting the social work profession. He holds several certificates in management and supervision and sees it as essential to continue learning in this ever-evolving profession.
 
Throughout the years, Albert demonstrated his devotion to the advancement of our professional association by serving on its Board for more than 12 years; by sitting on the Management Committee for more than 7 years; by serving 2 terms on the Disciplinary Committee, and presiding over several disciplinary hearings.
 
Despite his passion for dogs, woodworking and gardening, he is so devoted that, even in retirement, he once again joined the Board of Directors of the NBASW as Director of his chapter, Chair of the By-Laws Committee and Member of the Management Committee. He also served on the Complaints Committee for a long period and his involvement has been deeply missed since his term expired in the spring of 2013.
 
He was the recipient of the Social Worker of the Year distinction in 2001 and of the Raoul Léger Award in 2002. Albert remains a driving force for all social workers in the Province. His charisma and dynamic personality are but a few of this accomplished social worker's assets. Congratulations, Albert!

Barb Nimco James

Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada

Charles Alexander Fraser

British Columbia Association of Social Workers

Chuck has been married to Dr. Tina Fraser for 36 years.  They have six children and seven grandchildren.  As a Foster Family they had 77 children in their care over 28 years.  Chuck was a railroad conductor for 20 years where he volunteered 15 of those 20 years on the BC Rail Employee Assistance Program.  When the railroad was downsizing Chuck left and followed another track into higher learning. He received a two year diploma and was later accepted into UNBC and received a BSW and MSW in Structural Social Work.

Chuck has been a frontline social worker in First Nations communities, healing camps, group homes, universities, custody centers, and an ally connecting stakeholders, families, service providers, thus providing a safety-net around vulnerable people.  He has been a candidate in two provincial elections; a union representative, and has sat on community boards. The Section 9 Pilot project was proclaimed and is called Youth Agreements, the front runner for Agreements with Young Adults.  He has instructed in the social work program and has been a guest in many classes. Chuck has been involved in advocacy organizations locally, nationally, and internationally.  Chuck recently retired from Youth Forensics after eight years.  He writes social justice poetry and has now gone into private practice.  He still remains hopeful for a just and civil planet to prevail. Peace and Love.

Diane Molloy

Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers

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”

J. Richard Hazel, MSW, RSW

Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers

Richard has had a tremendous career in social work, spanning some 46 years. He is held in high regard by both his collogues,  clients and agencies he served. 
 
Richard was born in Prince Albert, SK and graduated from Riverside Collegiate in 1964. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan and almost immediately started his social work career as child welfare worker in rural Saskatchewan.  After a short stint there, Richard enrolled in the Maritime School of Social Work, Dalhousie University, graduating with a Master of Social degree in 1973.
 
During his career, Richard filled an impressive variety of roles, including a Child Welfare Worker, Family Services Supervisor, Adoption Coordinator, culminating as the Executive Director of the Family and Youth Services Division of Saskatchewan Social Services.
 
 Upon his retirement from Saskatchewan Social Services in 2002, Richard became the Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers in which capacity he ably served until his retirement in 2013.  SASW flourished under his leadership. During that time, the association’s policies, procedures were updated/revamped and its standards or practice were revised to be more in keeping with current professional standards.  Of particular mention, is Richard’s work with the Ministry of Social Services to have The Social Workers Act amended to reinstate the ability of social workers to diagnose in Saskatchewan.
 
During his tenure with SASW, Richard brought a balanced approach to national issues and his opinions were consistently sought and valued by both provincial and national colleagues. Richard’s leadership, within Saskatchewan, and across the country, has influenced in a very positive manner the public profile and the reputation of the social work profession.
 
SASW recognizes Richard’s instrumental role in the creation and development of the Canadian Council on Social Work Regulators (CCSW) as well as his contribution to social work regulation in general, and specifically his participation as chair of the Resolution & Standards Committee for the  Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).
 
Richard is a gem of a social worker. He has served his profession and his community with integrity and skill. 

Jill Hannah-Kayes, BSW, RSW

Manitoba College of Social Workers

It is with great pleasure that the Manitoba Institute of Registered Social Workers awards Jill Hannah-Kayes, BSW, RSW for the 2014 CASW Distinguished Social Worker award for Manitoba.
 
Jill joined MIRSW and MASW in 1998, one year after graduation with her HBSW from Lakehead University. She served on the MIRSW Board of Directors as Western Manitoba Representative from 2005 - 2008.
 
After 32 years of working in health care, Jill will be retiring at the end of February 2014 from her career as a Mental Health Worker for Mental Health Services for the Elderly (MHSE) in Brandon.
 
Excerpts from Denise Logeot’s letter of nomination:
 
“Jill has tirelessly devoted herself to her clients. She can be often found working in the rural areas to support the elderly and their families, supporting, advocating and linking them with the resources that they need. Jill’s gentle nature and skilled helping have assisted countless individuals in many difficult and often isolating situations.
 
Jill has been a long-time supporter of MIRSW. She was a board member and encouraged myself as a student to join MIRSW in 2006 to support the profession. In 2008 when she concluded her term on the Board, Jill recruited and supported myself to be a board member. Jill has been a mentor to many young Social Workers over the years and has been a long time supporter of the Social Work Profession Act, often stating she would not retire until the Manitoba College of Social Workers was in place.
 
I do not know of a more deserving recipient of this award than Jill. Particularly after so many years of service, Jill deserves the recognition of the profession of Social Work in Manitoba and South-Western Manitoba.”
 
Excerpts from nomination support letters:
 
“Jill has been an integral part of the MHSE team in Brandon. Her kindness, compassion and commitment to her clients have been witnessed by many of us who have had the opportunity to work with her. Jill also takes the opportunity to share the Social Work perspective on a team often heavily represented by nursing. We agree that we do not know of a more deserving recipient of this award than Jill.”

Margaret Kennedy

PEI Association of Social Workers

  • BA in Sociology from James Madison University
  • MSW from Case Western Reserve Univerity
  • Currently, PEIASW representative to CASW Board of Directors
  • Past President of PEIASW
  • Currently employed as Provincial Director of Community Mental Health and Addiction Services (with responsibility for in-patient and out-patient programs and facilities across PEI)
  • Currently Director responsible for the Mental Health Act of PEI (a Ministerial appointment)
  • Has provided and continues to provide numerous Professional Development presentations
  • Author and contributor to various Social Work and related publications
  • Previously employed in various consulting, curriculum development, instructing and Human Resources roles for various organizations in her Ohio and Texas.
  • Has instructed courses on PEI, on behalf of Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Received Awards regarding Outstanding Teaching at Case Western Reserve University & Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Practitioner and Myer-Briggs Personality Type Practitioner
  • Critical Incident Stress Management practitioner
  • Previous Regional Director of Child, Youth and Family Programs, with responsibility for Child Protection, Speech Language Pathology, Public Health Nursing, Obstetric and Paedictric services at Prince County Hospital, and a local Community Health Center
  • Previous Regional Director of Family Services, with responsibility for Addiction Services, Community Mental Health, and Child Protection
  • Previous Policy Analyst for Home Care and Palliative Care, within PEI Dept of Health and Social Services
  • Previous Family Services Consultant with Veterans Affairs Canada, designing  a case management model for work with veterans and their families
  • Previous Regional Co-ordinator and Provincial Manager of Community Mental Health and Addictions Services, with responsibility for in-patient and out-patients programs and facilities
  • Margaret enjoys yoga, biking, traveling, her husband David.  She also enjoys her Blackberry so much that she named her beloved cat "Blackberry"

Phil Matusiewicz

PEI Association of Social Workers

  • BA in Applied Social Sciences from Concordia University
  • MSW from Carleton University.
  • Currently, Registrar of the PEI Social Work Registration Board and actively involved in the Canadian Council of Social Work Regulators.
  • Currently employed as Executive Director of PEI's Family Violence Prevention Services
  • Previously employed throughout his career in front-line and supervisory positions in Child Protection, as well as Provincial Co-ordinator of Adolesent Services for Child and Family Services and Regional Director for Child and Family Services.
  • He also held positions as Director of Primary Health Services and Director of Community Services. In these positions he held responsibility for various programs such as Housing, Public Health Nursing, Addiction Services, Speech and Audiology, Community Nutrition, Environmental Health, Dental Health, Provincial Diabetes Program, various Community Health Centers, Disability Support Program, Emergency Measures Organization, Home Care, Child Protection, and Financial Assistance.
  • He was also involved in the implementation of the Best Start Program on PEI, which is an early intervention program for at-risk families with children under 3 years of age.
  • Currently an active member of the Charlottetown Rotary Club.
  • Former Secretary and Vice-President of PEI Association of Social Workers.
  • Previously a Board member of Sport PEI, and Vice-Chair of Eastern School Board.
  • Past Secretary of Child Poverty PEI committee (which was part of a national campaign)
  • Past Chair of a local chapter of the Canadian Council on Children and Youth, and the Canadian Child Welfare Association.
  • Past Chair of a Community Board for Project Discovery, an alternative training and employment program for disadvantaged youth. This continues to be used within the School system today.
  • Previously President of a local Boys and Girls Club.
  • Enjoys photography and a variety of sports.

Sharon Murphy

Nova Scotia College of Social Workers

Sharon has a long career in social work during which she worked in the mental health field and volunteered to a great extent.  She was active in the NSASW, particularly in the social justice realm.  She was involved with council for about 20 years and chaired the social justice committee for five years.  She has done much advocacy work on poverty and family violence issues.

Sharon has a strong reputation amongst the social work community for her passion and commitment to social justice.  She has been a tireless advocate for disadvantaged people writing opinion pieces for the media, researching social problems and participating in various Boards and coalitions.

Sharon chaired the Amherst Poverty Action committee for 15 years and was on the Board for the Transition House for 18 years. She was on the Board for the Cumberland African Nova Scotian Association and the Board for Family and Children’s Services.  She represented Nova Scotia on Canada Without Poverty for six years, and also on the Canadian Council on Persons with Disabilities.

More recently, Sharon has been a member of the Community Coalition to End Poverty in Nova Scotia; the Community Advocates Network; Halifax Solidarity, and Kairos.  Kairos works on issues for poverty and the environment.  She is on the Board of the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia, and of the Basic Income Canada Network.  She recently received the Courage to Give Back Award from Family S.O.S.  Sharon also volunteers with serving meals at churches twice weekly.

As Sharon has demonstrated immensely her capacities for compassion, leadership, high ethical standards and commitment to social justice; has furthered social work in her social action and community organization work; and has served the NSASW on Council and in Committee.  She amply fulfils the requirements for the Distinguished Service Award.

2013

Barbara Whitenect, TSI

New Brunswick Association of Social Workers / L'association des travailleurs sociaux du Nouveau-Brunswick

Le prix pour service insigne de l'ACTS est décerné à une personne membre de la profession du travail social au Canada en reconnaissance d'une contribution exceptionnelle au domaine du bien-être collectif. Il est difficile de penser à quelqu'un de plus méritant de ce prix que Barbara Whitenect.
 
Barb a obtenu un baccalauréat en travail social de la St.Thomas University en 1991ainsi qu'une maîtrise en travail social de Carleton University en 1992. Elle est membre en règle de l'ATSNB depuis 1992. Elle joue un rôle actif au sein de l'ATSNB depuis 2007, dont elle a d'abord été vice-présidente.  Elle en est aujourd'hui présidente et la représente sur la scène nationale et internationale, étant active au sein de l'ACTS, du CCORTS (Conseil canadien des organismes de réglementation en travail social) et de l'ASWB (Association of Social Work Boards). Elle a joué un rôle clé pour amener l'ATSNB à adopter son premier énoncé du champ de la pratique. Barb s'identifie comme travailleuse sociale à chaque occasion qui s'offre à elle. Elle a contribué à la formation d'étudiants en travail social, tant en enseignant à la St.Thomas University qu'en accueillant des stagiaires dans son milieu de travail. Barb occupe actuellement un poste de directrice au sein du ministère de la Santé du Nouveau-Brunswick; elle est rattachée à la Division des services de santé mentale. Ses nombreuses habiletés et ses connaissances font que Barb est souvent sollicitée par ses pairs pour participer à divers projets un peu partout en province et même au niveau national. Elle est une grande leader pour les membres et le personnel de l'ATSNB et son implication soutenue a permis à notre Association d'atteindre un niveau supérieur en lien avec des enjeux administratifs et des relations de travail constructives sur le plan politique.
 
Barb est une fière représentante du travail social; elle est vouée à l'avancement de la profession et constitue une source d'inspiration pour bon nombre d'entre nous. C'est pourquoi elle est une candidate idéale pour le Prix d'excellence pour service insigne de l'ACTS 2013.

Deana Gill, MSW,

British Columbia Association of Social Workers

Deana Gill, MSW, has demonstrated social work values and humanistic values consistently for 18+yrs in a variety of settings. She began her career as a social worker on Vancouver Island where she enjoyed the challenges and rewards of providing clinical and front line services across program areas with MCFD, prior to moving onto the leadership team, focusing on employee and organizational development.  After 14 years of public service, Deana stepped into the role of National Senior Manager of Learning and Development with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), where she positively influenced the corporate world with her humanistic values through an array of people development initiatives.

In 2011, Deana founded Dream Master Enterprises Inc. to pursue her passion to support organizations undergoing growth and transformation. She specializes in top-of-the-house organizational/people development, training, evaluation and strategic planning. 
Deana has proven success to move organizations/teams forward by developing capacity to provide client-centric services. She brings tools from the corporate world and marries them with warm, social work values.  She has worked with First Nations all over BC in a strength-based, respectful manner and is known for her charity initiatives that use sport as a vehicle to promote health and hope. Deana has been an advocate for social justice by fostering hope and positive change in people, organizations and communities.  Deana is a proud member of Kirkpatrick Partners and is Gold Level Certified.

John Tozeland BSW, RSW

Manitoba College of Social Workers

It is with great pleasure that the Manitoba Institute of Registered Social Workers nominates John Tozeland for the 2013 CASW Distinguished Social Worker award for Manitoba.
 
John joined MIRSW and MASW in1974, two years after graduation from the University of Manitoba. He served MIRSW as President in 1982-1983. John maintained membership in both organizations for the past thirty-nine years, serving on the MASW Private Practice Committee.
 
For the past four decades, John has a record of innovative and outstanding professional Social Work service.
 
While John’s extensive training made him a valued therapist, he has always sought to go further, reaching into the community, creating groups and programs when existing services fell short. In particular, what we believe merits acknowledgement with this award, is that he has taken his hard earned skill set to not only clients in the Manitoba community, but to a broad range of others in the service provider community. His work exemplifies how the Social Work profession can be used to provide leadership in sharing skills with other professions and other service providers.
 
Since 1982 John has taught between five to nine classes per year, with a range of less than ten to more than twenty participants. Our estimate is that 2000 people, generally helpers and healers in our community, have been provided an opportunity to overcome limitations in themselves, to share with peers, and to refine their skills that help them transform the lives of their clients.
 
John’s work has been recognized internationally, providing training in Dubai, Richland, Washington, Texas and London and Stonehenge in the U K. In Davis Inlet, John led healing groups after an epidemic of suicides ravaged the community.
 
Like many good Social Workers, John’s experience comes from serving mainstream organizations, including many ages, cultures and social classes of people, and some of the hardest hit client groups. He recognized the limitations of his skill set. Taking the challenge of providing the best service possible, John searched out and refined the tools he could bring to empower these vulnerable clients. John seeks to equip people with a belief in themselves. He teaches methods to overcome trauma, injury, fear, hurt and the limitations placed on people by their circumstances. In addition, he expanded his work, sitting on a Private Practice committee for MASW, and established his own company, Trance Action Consultants. As well, he founded a holistic multidisciplinary healing center.
 
John Tozeland has been leading trainings in the fields of Hypnotherapy and Neuro-linguistic Programming since 1986. John is an internationally known transformational therapist and trainer. He believes learning and growth happen in a relaxed, fun atmosphere. John is certified as a NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) Trainer. In addition, John is a Certified Time Line Therapy™ Master Trainer, and a Certified Hypnotist by the Manitoba Hypnotists’ Association and the American Board of Hypnotherapy.  
          
John’s intensive training in the ancient native shamanic traditions of Hawaii has proven invaluable in his quest to join others in healing the world. John acknowledges and recognizes the importance of the human spirit and it’s connection to the mind and body. He believes that inside each of us is a magical essence, that when tapped has the power to transform your life. All of John’s work is focused on empowering individuals to connect with this essence. Recognizing the importance of integrating Body, Mind & Spirit.
 
As have many of his peers in the Social Work profession, John has sought to find the spirit of each of his clients, no matter how challenged their situation. He studied Eriksonian hypnotherapy, beginning the life long learning toward methods that tap into the individual’s potential for transformation, and keeping current with more recent studies of the plasticity and power in the human brain. He studied and certified in methods that used the skills of Neuro-linguistic programming and hypnotherapy.  His respect for cultural diversity and other traditions led to his work with a shaman of the Huna tradition (Pacific Islands) and earned what would be the equivalent of a Native North American Pipe carrier designation. 

Karen McGrath BSW, MBA, RSW.

Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers

The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers is pleased to announce that the recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Award for 2013 is Karen McGrath BSW, MBA,RSW. 
 
Karen graduated from Memorial University with a BSW degree in 1975 and at the time of nomination was employed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Central Health.  Her colleagues assert that throughout the variety of senior leadership positions which she has held, “Karen has been first and foremost a social worker striving always to exemplify the values of the profession and demonstrating excellence in leadership”.  
 
Her career path has focused on a variety of areas of social work practice beginning as a program director at the YMCA/YWCA working with individuals, groups and communities.  This experience shaped her commitment to citizen engagement.  She has contributed significantly to the area of mental health having been employed in director positions with the Waterford Hospital, St. John’s in programs such as Work Therapy, Volunteer Services, Therapeutic Recreation and Community Care and as the CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association in Ontario.
 
In 1995, Ms. McGrath graduated with an MBA and combined her social work and business education to provide senior leadership to mental health, public health, human resources and health information management programs in Newfoundland and Labrador.  She held the positions of CEO of Health and Community Services St. John’s and Health and Community Services Central. In 2007, Ms. McGrath was appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer, Central Health, responsible for delivery of all health services in the region including hospitals, long term care facilities and community based programs.  She retired from this position on January 31st, 2013. 
 
Karen has maintained a strong social work identity throughout her career.  She provided field instruction to approximately 40 social work students and mentored many colleagues.  She was actively involved with the Newfoundland Association of Social Workers in 1975 working with a group of dedicated volunteers to promote the profession and advocate for social work regulation.  Karen served two terms as President of NLASW in 1992 and 2000-2002.  Throughout the past thirty-five years, she has been an active volunteer with several community organizations, most recently as the President of the Kiwanis Club, Grand Falls-Windsor.
 
She continues to lend her experience and knowledge to other health care organizations throughout Canada through her work with Accreditation Canada.   Karen states that her social work degree aided her understanding of who she is as a person.  “The core of who I am is a social worker; everything else was built from that”.   Karen McGrath continues to contribute greatly to her profession and to the populations and organizations that have the good fortune to work with her thus illustrating the essence of the Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Award. 

Sandy Little, Janice Wiens and Dana Jennejohn

Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada

Sandy Little, Janice Wiens and Dana Jennejohn steered the Association of Social Workers of Northern Canada for close to a decade. They have worked tirelessly at meeting the challenges of developing a Professional Association which brings together social workers in isolated communities stretched across three time zones, as well as supporting their own Territorial initiatives in promoting the development of the field of social work.
 
Janice Wiens, based in Whitehorse has built the BSW program (in the Yukon) and is a leader in ethics, standards, and social work education as well as providing leadership on the ASWNC board. 
 
Sandy Little has been a tireless worker for the ASWNC and in getting the regulatory mechanism for Social Work turned into a reality in NWT resulting in the NWT Social Work Act coming into effect January of 2012. 
 
Dana Jennejohn, is a leader in the Social Work program in the Yukon and has service in many capacities on the ASWNC board.  She continues to be a leader in the Yukon’s movement towards regulation of Social Work.
 
We would like to honour this group of Social Workers in their leadership in the practice and development of Social Work in our region.

Tod Augusta-Scott, MSW, RSW

Nova Scotia College of Social Workers

Tod Augusta-Scott, MSW, RSW is known internationally for his work with domestic violence and narrative therapy.  He has spent almost 20 years as the coordinator of Bridges – a domestic violence counselling, research and training institute in Nova Scotia, Canada.  He has taught at Dalhousie School of Social Work and continues to be a guest speaker at the School on a regular basis.  Tod is on faculty at the Hincks Dellcrest International Training centre in Toronto.
 
Tod has presented his work in every province and territory in Canada.  He has created a group manual for working with men who have abused that has been officially adopted by the Departments of Justice in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and the Northwest Territories.  He also works nationally as a consultant to the Canadian Domestic Forces on the issue of domestic violence.  Tod has co-developed the Canadian Domestic Violence Conference and the Winds of Change Therapy Conference, which are presented every two years.
 
Tod has also presented his work internationally in Asia, Europe, British Isles and North America.  He has numerous academic publications.  He is the co-editor and contributor to the critically acclaimed book Narrative Therapy: Making Meaning, Making Lives (Sage Publications, 2007).  Along with working for other academic journals, Tod is a regular reviewer for the Journal of Systemic Therapies, Canadian Journal of Counselling, and Canadian Social Work.
 
Tod has created a cutting edge model of practice in the Men’s Intervention Sector in Nova Scotia.  As a social worker, he applies a social justice approach to his work and is well respected in the field as an expert in Narrative Therapy.  He has initiated many new approaches to working with people who have been affected by family violence and professionals in the field highly respect him as a person and as a social worker.
His interest in Narrative Therapy has also led him to publish academically as well as participate in CBC radio documentaries on the colonial history of Atlantic Canada.  Particularly, he is interested in what people choose to remember and how this influences their identities and relationships with others.  Tod lives with his wife and two young children in Halifax.  He enjoys playing music and sailing off the coast of Nova Scotia.

Will MacDonald, BA, MSW

PEI Association of Social Workers

Will MacDonald received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from University of PEI and his Masters of Social Work Degree from Wilfred Laurier. Prior to his career in Social Work, he had a career in the Military and was stationed in Germany and Cyprus.

Will was involved in the establishment of the 1st Social Work Act for PEI, and has previously been a member of the Executive of the PEIASW. He was also a part of a Committee of the PEIASW which was previously recognized for a public education piece they created regarding Elder Abuse.

Will has worked the spectrum from front-line Social Work to Provincial Director within various areas, such as Child Welfare/Protection, Continuing Care, and Income Support. He has also worked within Mental Health at McGill Center, Catholic Family Services, and Family Service PEI, and is currently working at Hillsboro Hospital. He has also previously worked at Veterans Affairs Canada.

Will has been involved with many non-profit Boards such as Anderson House and Tremploy, and currently is a member of the PEI Social Work Registration Board. Will has 4 children (2 sons and 2 daughters) and many grandchildren. His 2 daughters have followed in his footsteps and are also Social Workers. PEIASW congratulates Will and thanks him for his long-standing efforts and contribution to the Association and the Profession of Social Work.