Criteria: The award for outstanding service shall be made to an individual social worker who is a member in good standing of a CASW Member Organization. It shall honour outstanding social work practice at the local, provincial, national or international level. It includes direct services, service on behalf of the profession, advocacy, social policy, social development, education and research. Nominations will be accepted from CASW Parter Organizations.
Ellen Oliver MSW, RSW
Ellen has been a practicing social worker primarily in Newfoundland and Labrador for 42 years. She completed her Bachelor of Social Work degree at Memorial University in 1977 and her Master of Social Work degree at the University of British Columbia in 1982.
Throughout her impressive career, Ellen has held many national and provincial leadership positions. While President of the CASW, Ellen was involved in the revision of the Code of Ethics, positioning the Association as a strong presence, a commentator on social policy and moving the board toward a policy governance model. Ellen also worked to advance the social work profession on the international level. This included presenting at the United Nations in New York speaking in recognition and celebration of World Social Work Day.
Provincially, Ellen has been actively involved in advancing the work of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers (NLASW). She has facilitated numerous professional education sessions, was an active member and co-chairperson of the Professional Issues Committee, the conference planning committee, the Promotion of the Profession Committee and the NLASW Children’s Issues Committee which was an initiative through the CASW.
Ellen retired in 2014 from the Memorial University of Newfoundland School of Social Work. While at the university, Ellen was instrumental in advancing the work of the Clinical Institute at the School of Social Work. During this time, Ellen took a lead role in developing the Family Services Program for the provincial child protection program. Ellen was also influential in the creation of the MUN second degree program and the BSW program for Nunatsiavut students – one example of her commitment to the importance of social work education for Inuit students.
Ellen has balanced her roles as educator, published author and researcher with her role as a strong clinical practitioner. For the past 30 years, Ellen operated a private practice providing counselling and consultation/education services. She has mentored, educated and inspired numerous social work students and social workers, and positively impacted the lives of countless individuals and families.
As a prominent leader in the social work profession, Ellen is widely recognized for her tremendous knowledge and expertise in social work practice. She was appointed as
Chairperson of the Child Death Review Committee by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2014 and was the first social worker to fill this position.
It is impossible to list all of Ellen’s professional accomplishments. Throughout her career as a clinician, administrator and educator, one thing has remained constant: Ellen has continued to inspire those around her and promote the social work profession with integrity, professionalism and great pride. Ellen’s commitment is unwavering; she has dedicated her career to advancing the social work profession ensuring that clients continue to receive the highest quality services. Ellen is a trail blazer in this exciting and challenging field and her genuine approach and exemplary leadership skills make her a deserving recipient of the Glenn Drover National Outstanding Service Award.
Dr. Mary Valentich
he Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2018 Glenn Drover Award for Outstanding Service is Dr. Mary Valentich.
Presented every two years to a social worker who is a member of a CASW Partner Organization, it honours outstanding social work practice at the local, provincial, national or international level. It includes direct services, service on behalf of the profession, advocacy, social policy development, education and research.
“We are thrilled to be honouring Dr. Valentich, as she embodies not only the passion and impact of the profession of social work, but also its diversity,” stated CASW President, Jan Christianson-Wood. “From grassroots, research and education, to policy and political settings, Dr. Valentich has worked in an incredible variety of roles in tireless pursuit of a better world for all of us.”
Dr. Mary Valentich began her career as a hospital social worker, joining the St. Patrick’s School of Social Welfare at the University of Ottawa in 1968, later transferring to Carleton University. She moved to the University of Calgary in 1976, taking the role of Assistant Dean of the Master of Social Work Program and later, Associate Dean of the Graduate Programs. She also spent three years as Advisor to the President of the University on Women’s issues, reflecting her particular interest in feminist practice and advocacy.
Outside of her formal employment, Dr. Valentich was a founding member of two rape crisis centres (Ottawa-1975 and Calgary-1976), founded an out-of-school program that still exists 35 years later, and numerous innovative educational courses and programs, in particular, in human sexuality, assertiveness at work, and professional boundary issues. She also helped found several grassroots groups active in influencing policy and the development of a just and equitable society, for instance, developing the University of Calgary’s first December 6th Memorial in 1990 and initiating what was likely the first Violence Awareness Week on a North American university campus in 1991.
“Dr. Valentich embodies the ideals of social work, fighting untiringly for women’s issues, bringing awareness and understanding around the diversity of human gender and sexuality, working to end racism, address climate change, promote assisted dying legislation and array of other issues that impact us all” added Christianson-Wood. “Her work as a social worker and educator brought institutional change in political spheres, and she has touched the lives of hundreds of students and community members throughout her diverse roles and positions. We are honoured to present her with the most prestigious award offered by the Canadian social work community.”
The national award was presented to Dr. Valentich during the Alberta College of Social Workers’ Annual Conference and Awards Luncheon in Edmonton, Alberta on March 23, 2018.
Dr. Glenn Drover
The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) has renamed its highest honour to The Glenn Drover National Award for Outstanding Service. Previously titled The CASW National Award for Outstanding Service, the award has been renamed in honour and in memory of the 2016 recipient, Dr. Glenn Drover.
“Academic, administrator, researcher, advocate, Social Worker: there are few people that have filled so many roles or played such an important part in furthering of our profession as Glenn Drover” stated CASW President Morel Caissie. Dr. Glenn Drover passed away at the age of 80 on December 28, 2015.
Dr. Drover was CASW President between 1983 and 1985, and served as Director and Dean of social work programs at Dalhousie University, Carleton University, and the University of British Columbia. In more recent years, he tirelessly devoted himself to providing research and consultation on CASW social policy and advocacy efforts. A determined advocate for social justice, he represented the ideals of the social work profession.
“Considering the breadth of his contribution, one of the most amazing things about Dr. Drover was his incredible humility,” emphasized Mr. Caissie. “Like so many other social workers quietly providing excellent service across Canada, he avoided the spotlight in favour of championing causes that mattered to him and lifting up others.”
In further recognition of his profound impact on the profession of social work, Carleton University has begun the Glenn Drover Memorial Bursary, which is now accepting donations in his honour.
“Beyond what he has done for our profession, we also recognize Dr. Drover’s contribution toward a more just and equitable society for everyone. He was a true champion for social justice, and devoted his life in service of humanity. We are honoured that our highest award will carry his name forward as The Glenn Drover National Award for Outstanding Service” concluded Mr. Caissie.
Minister Madeleine Dubé
Social Development Minister Madeleine Dubé has received the Canadian Association of Social Workers National Award for Outstanding Service.
The award is presented to an individual social worker who is a member in good standing of a member association. It honours outstanding social work practice at the local, provincial, national or international level. It includes direct services, service on behalf of the profession, advocacy, social policy development, education and research.
"It is an honour to receive this prestigious award from the Canadian Association of Social Workers," said Dubé. "Social work is my life and I am very pleased to be recognized by my colleagues throughout the country."
Before getting involved in politics, Dubé practiced social work in a number of fields including family therapy, individual and group counseling, and clinical specialist. She also lectured at l'Université de Moncton in the Addiction Certificate program.
"Madeleine Dubé has always demonstrated her commitment to the values and principles of the social work profession," said Morel Caissie, president of the association. "She is proud of her profession and those that know of her accomplishments are proud of her."
The national award was presented to Dubé during the association's annual conference held in St. Catharines, Ontario.
In June 2013, Dubé was recognized with the Raoul Léger Memorial Award from the New Brunswick Association of Social Workers for her significant contribution to the advancement of the practice of social work in the province.
Michael Ungar, M.S.W., Ph.D.
Michael Ungar is a Killam Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University where he directs the Resilience Research Centre that coordinates more than five million dollars in funded research in a dozen countries. That research is focused on resilience among children, youth and families and how they together survive adversity in culturally diverse ways.
He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on this topic and is the author of eleven books including The Social Worker (2011), his first novel. Among his books for professionals are Counseling in Challenging Contexts: Working with Individuals and Families Across Clinical and Community Settings (2011), The Social Ecology of Resilience (2012), and Strengths-based Counseling with At-risk Youth (2006). Michael also writes for parents and educators. Among his most recent works are We Generation: Raising Socially Responsible Children and Teens (2009) and Too Safe For Their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Teens Thrive (2007) which was the subject of a cover story in Maclean’s.
In addition to his research and writing, Michael maintains a small family therapy practice in association with Phoenix Youth Programs, a prevention program for street youth and their families, and was the recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Award for Nova Scotia in 2010. His work has been featured in numerous magazines (Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Today’s Parent) and newspapers (Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, USA Today) around the world, and he regularly appears on radio and television. He recently Co-Chaired the Nova Scotia Mental Health Strategy Advisory Committee, is a Board Member of the American Family Therapy Academy, and sat for six years as a member of the Registration Board of the Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers. His blog, Nurturing Resilience, can be read on Psychology Today’s website.
CASW is pleased to announce that Cindy Blackstock is the recipient of the 2010 CASW National Award for Outstanding Service. Blackstock received the award on May 30, 2010 at the opening ceremonies of the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) Annual Conference in Montréal.
A member of the Gitksan First Nation, Blackstock is the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (FNCFCSC). Overall, her work in child and family services has spanned over 20 years.
“Blackstock’s dedication to community and the advancement of the best interests of Aboriginal children is the hallmark of her contribution to strengthening First Nations cultures, knowledge and rights,” stated CASW President Darlene MacDonald. “She has been a passionate and tireless advocate for human rights in her pursuit of equitable treatment for First Nations children.”
Under Blackstock’s leadership, FNCFCSC, together with the Assembly of First Nations, successfully launched a historic human rights complaint against the federal government related to the long-standing pattern of unequal treatment of First Nations Children in the funding of services. Blackstock’s other impressive accomplishments include her service as both an Atkinson Foundation Economic Justice Fellow and a J. W. McConnell Family Foundation Social Innovation Generation Fellow. She is also Co-Director of the Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare and a Board Member of the National Aboriginal Youth Organization.