Friday, December 4, 2009

NASW Texas - More and More Resources for Members

NASW Texas is constantly updating their website to keep members informed about state-wide issues (policy) and about resources for professional development. The staff recently added very helpful information about the Social Work Reinvestment Act which is vital for the future of the profession of social work in Texas. This is a "must bookmark" website for social workers in Texas.

in reference to: National Association of Social Workers - Texas (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Positive Thinking

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'"

Saturday, November 21, 2009

One Sentence Journal 11/21/09

May all your weeds be wildflowers.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Two Sides of the Same Coin

The very passion that calls us to be social workers exposes us to be vulnearble, which makes the call to ethical self-care an absolute and fundamental priority for social workers.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One Sentence Journal 9/29/09

(Thank you Catherine Wehlburg!)


Friday, September 25, 2009


Check out this comment posted from a social worker who raises a great question - what are the boundaries for professionals who post their reflections on a blog?

"I love being able to read Eyes Opened Wider as well...makes my own experiences and feelings as a Social Worker in foster care seem a little bit less "abnormal". I feel like I can relate to 95% of the emotions and feelings that she faces..such hard stuff. I do have one question though as I have been reading some Social Work blogs. What are the "rules" about what is okay to share and not share in relation to confidentiality? As a Social Worker I feel dumb having to ask this, but I am always scared to write down any of my experiences and feelings, even if it is more about my reactions to the situations than it is about the clients themselves. Thoughts?"

This social worker is aware of the ethical responsibility to protect her/his client's confidence. So how do we do this while making sense of the crazy world of social work and its impact on us personally? Great question!

Self-care and self-awareness are essential to insure healthy social work practice. Blogs have become a natural extension of our professional network of support and offer a place for self-reflection that helps us to stay healthy and effective in our work with clients.

But, what are the "rules" about what we share on blogs? As with any communication, social workers are bound to protect our client's confidentiality. Period. For social work bloggers, any referene to a client MUST be carefully protected so that there isn't any way to connect the content of the blog to a person. Period.

Blogging is a conversation with an audience we don't know. But, it isn't any different with any other communcation we have outside of the protetion of our office. So, the same rules apply. What we write about on a blog need to be protected just as if we were talking with anyone outside of our office.

But the bigger point the commenter made needs to be reinforced and celebrated - "it is more about my reactions to the situations than it is about the clients themselves." Yes! Social workers who blog are reaching out to a wider professional community to make sense of our experiences to keep us healthy so that we can be competent in our work with clients.

Friday, September 18, 2009

You Must Read This

Friday afternoons are the opposite of my Mondays. Mondays are non-stop, high energy, and a bit chaotic. Friday's are simply slower, require less energy, and peaceful. This means I have some time to catch up on social work blogs. I wish I could describe a heart wrenching reaction as I read Eyes Wider Open posted 9/17/09 "From One Mothers Arms". Those who care about children, foster care, adoption, and child protective services must read her honest and thoughtful recollection of her experience. She gives honor to all parties: the birth mother and father, the foster mother, and her own experience in the story. If I were a mom who had to give up my baby, I would want a CPS worker with compassion and empathy as described by Eyes Opened Wider.

Eyes Opened Wider is an example of how a blog is a tool for professional self-reflection that is a part of our self-care plan to protect against burnout or compassion fatigue while also telling the tough stories of CPS with respect and compassion.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

One Sentence Journal 9/17/09

Friends help me to resolve difficult challenges, make safe places to search for options, and sweep away fears.

Monday, September 14, 2009

One Sentence Journal 9/14/09

Laughing DonkeyImage by jaxxon via Flickr

Monday's are so long and so busy there is hardly time to breathe, so my goal today is to take at least one deep cleansing breath each hour and to look for opportunities to give and receive the gift of laughter and good humor.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

One Sentence Journal

Michelle Martin has been a big source of inspiration for me in this blog. Her post "Professional Development Practice: The One Sentence Journal" is a great example. I will give this a try and tag each post with "one sentence journal" for so that I can keep track of them over time. I also want to try and post pictures with each - this is a big challenge but one worthy of the effort.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Two Problems

Today, I am facing two problems. First, a wonderful pile of books. Second, sending my son to Afghanistan.

1. The pile of books I hoped to read this summer is not shrinking. It is growing. My son (here is his blog) came for a quick 2 day visit before heading to Italy and then Afghanistan. We share a love for books, so we spent a long time in Barnes and Noble where we wandered and laughed - an amazing mental health time together.

2. Letting him go is next to unbearable. One way to do this is through distraction - Treat and I found a bunch of books to read. I found two I want him to read (Malcom Gladwell's Outliers and Tom Rath's Strengths Finder 2.0) and he found a cool work of fiction for entertainment worthy of a long haul trip to Europe in a few days. I found Glenn Beck's Common Sense and Richard Russo's Bridge of Sighs. Did I mention that I am also reading Katherine Howe's novel The Physick Book Diliverance Dane and David Sederek's When You Are Engulfed in Flames. The semester starts in 2.5 weeks. I am letting go of any expectation to have read all of these books and know that other books will certianly join the book pile (never ending).

The problem is clear. Too many books and not enough time. The bigger problem: letting my son go to the Army to do his job (defend our country), for which he is eminantly qualified and prepared to do in a very dangerous place.

There are no good solutions to these problems.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another Good Question

Last week, I was visiting the Tarrant Area Food Bank to see if we could place a social work intern with one of their social workers. TAFB's mission statement:

Tarrant Area Food Bank works to eliminate hunger in Fort Worth, Texas and 13

surrounding counties by providing food,education and other

resources to a network of hunger-relief charities

and their communities.

Did you know that 1/3 those served by TAFB are children? Read more here and get involved!

I was so impressed with the scope and nature of the important work done at TAFB, especially their Culinary Job Training program. After a very interesting tour of the facility, I
dropped in on the Executive Director. As we were chatting, he mentioned that his organization was beginning to explore how to use social networking tools, which immediately caught my attention. We talked briefly about how non-profit organizations can benefit from social networking tool and I told him about Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media, which offers amazing content on this topic. (Beth's Blog is rated #1 for good reason!)

This intriguing question of how to use social networking tools continutes to challenge me. Here's another great question - How do we know if we are using social netorking tools effectively? Micah Baldwin shares excellent ideas about measuring influence in his blog post on Mashable - The Social Media Guide. He says we need to understand what influence means and how to become influential first and then how to measure influence in social networking. This helps me find ways to improve my use of social networking tools and gives me more evidence to share with skeptical colleagues who are not quite sure if Twitter, Blogs, FaceBook, etc have a place in social work. I'd love to hear your thoughts - see Comments below!

Monday, July 27, 2009


Yesterday I returned from a wonderful vacation to Ruidoso New Mexico where we escaped the hotter than an oven Texas summer heat. I wish I had Emeril's smell-o-vision to share thearoma of pine needles in the NM mountain air. Mmmm! We enjoyed the Ruidoso Arts Festival and geocaching as well as eating lots of great food and playing/learning bridge (my family loves to play cards!).

Today, as I watched the washing machine churn through the pile of dirty laundry, I listened to NPR and tried to read all of the blogs and websites I normally read every day. As I digested all of this digital and audio media, the theme of ethics (or the lack thereof) emerged. Then I heard a story on NPR "Mom Bloggers Debate Ethics of 'Blog-Ola" and I groaned as mom-bloggers cross the ethical line.

With mothers controlling upwards of 80 percent of household spending, it was only a matter of time before mommy bloggers, and now Twitterers, were reviewing and promoting products and services.

Companies from Wal-Mart and Kmart to Ragu and Michelin tires work with mom bloggers, and in some cases, Gumbinner says, lines are being blurred.

The lines are blurred. Sounds like the ongoing ethical reality of social work practice as applied to the digital world. How do we establish ethical social work practice in the Web 2.0 world? How do we live up to the CSWE Core Competency
Educational Policy 2.1.2Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice. Social workers have an obligation to conduct themselves ethically and to engage in ethical decision-making. Social workers are knowledgeable about the value base of the profession, its ethical standards,and relevant law. Social workers

recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide


make ethical decisions by applying standards of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and, as applicable, of the International Federation of Social

Workers/International Association of Schools of Social Work Ethics in Social Work,

Statement of Principles;

tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts; and

apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions.

At the end of the report, I heard about Blog With Integrity - then I nodded my head in approval, visited the link, and signed the pledge.

Everyone who reads blogs (or any source of information) needs to praactice critical thinking. Blog of Integrity is a great tool for critical thinking. How do you critically evaluate blogs or digital meda?

Friday, July 10, 2009


Yesterday, I worked on updating our Learning Agreement to reflect CSWE's new Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. As I worked on the form, I was able to reflect on the wisdom and value of these new standards. Each of the ten core competencies has sub-parts that gives enough detail about what social work is all about but isn't bogged down in minutia. For example, check out the third core competency:

Educational Policy 2.1.3Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments. Social workers are knowledgeable about the principles of logic, scientific inquiry, and reasoned discernment. They use critical thinking augmented by creativity and curiosity. Critical thinking also requires the synthesis and communication of relevant information. Social workers

distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom;

analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation; and

demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues.

I thought, "How our students will demonstrate this competency?" which then led to "How do I demonstrate this competency?" I have multiple sources of knowledge - my professional library, access to social work journals, etc - but what about practice wisdom? My traditional sources of practice wisdom
have been my network of colleagues who share their ideas about best-practices when I run into them, mostly in the office or at conferences, or via email or listservs. Recently, I have found blogs by social workers and others to be a new and vibrant source of practice wisdom. Blogs offer me a place to "use critical thinking augmented by creativity and curiosity." The blogs I follow introduce me to new professionals who share honestly about how they are dealing with the many challenges that come along with being a social worker. They are creative and inspire me to be curious; they make me laugh and cry; they make me think and reflect in a different way about social work. My professional network of sources of practice wisdom has grown exponentially.

Every morning, I love to read the local newspaper from front to back (I generally skip the Sports and Business sections). I scan for stories related to social work and often clip out something to post by my office door (poverty, child abuse, social welfare policy). Now, after reading the newspaper, I check out my favorite blogs that come via RSS to my email and then I check Social Work Blogs to see what has been posted recently. I have learned the value of leaving comments and have been learning how to establish appropriate boundaries in my digital world just like I do in my physical world. What a wonderful way to start the day!

But, I still haven't answered the question, "How do social work students demonstrate this core competency?" Maybe I have?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Check out antiSWer's comment to "Adequate is fine."
Judging student competencies is very difficult for some supervisors. My last practicum supervisor and I had lengthy conversations about the matter. The line between "meeting" and "exceeding" expectations wasn't clear to them. For example, in the area concerning understanding policy, they thought it had to do with how many policies I had memorized, rather than having an understanding about policies and how they impacted the work. It was very frustrating.
Frustrating indeed! Nothing kills our motivation to learn and grow more than unclear expectations. This also is a precursor to burn out and compassion fatiuge. This also points out the importance of social work faculty establishing clearly stated ways of measuring competence. I see the bigger challeng: keeping the focus on learning and not get caught up in the grading process.
How do you set standards that are good enough for yourself and others? How do we keep our eye on the process of learning and growing and not get caught up in the details of the way we are evauated?
Photo credit: by ShellyS

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Adequate is Just Fine

Competency is the new focus in social work education, thanks to the new Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) put out by CSWE in February. Since then, all accredited BSW and MSW programs are working to move from "objectives" to "competencies" across the curriculum. This is a great move forward for the profession of social work.

One aspect of the new EPAS is the requirementthat programs define the "practice behaviors" that students have to demonstrate to meet the 10 major competencies. Additionally, programs have to set criteria to measure these practice behaviors across the curriculum. This means we have to set a scale and define the range from inadequate to good to excellent. Not an easy task. This raises the question, what is "good enough"? Good enough for Jane Addams? Good enough for President Obama? Good enough for the clients our graduates will serve?
American social reformer, Jane Addams
Visual Thesaurus defines competence as "the quality of being adequately or well qualified physically and intellectually." Adequate. Hmm. VT defines adequate as "having the requisite qualities or resources to meet a task." This definition intrigues me and makes me wonder how we respond to the term "adequate." In my experience, adequate is not good enough.

But why not? Adequate is "enough, decent, and equal." It is also "fair to middling, passable, and tolerable."

This reminds me of Voltaire's wisdom, "The perfect is the enemy of good."

Brandis, a social worker who graduated a year ago, asks a similar question in her blog,
What do you need to feel successful? I know the question is about what I need in order to feel successful, but when I began to think about my answer to that question, I was more interested in whether I actually feel successful right now, and if I do, what is it that does or doesn’t make me feel that way…
She ends with this thought. " I have a picture of where I’d like to be professionally when I’m “settled,” and I’m not quite there yet."
Just not there yet. I like that! Brandis post speaks to me in many ways and reflects an honest, healthy awareness of an ongoing journey of life long learning. She also illustrates how she is dealing with paradox and has found that "thin line" of grace between the tension of adequate and excellent.

But that isn't what our culture preaches. We in the United States live in a culture that expects excellence now, which is "the quality of excelling; possessing good qualitys in high degree; an essentail and distinguishing attribute of something or someone." So how do we say that adequate is good enough but seek to find excellence? Here are more questions: How do social service organizations promote excellence but accept adequacy? Can social service agencies motivate staff for excellence given the tight budgets and policy limitations given to the provision of services? How do we include the client's voice in the evaluation of performance regarding adequate or excellent? When is the enemy of perfect getting in the way of our work?

These are important questions to consider. Let me know if adequate is good enough - or not.
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Friday, June 26, 2009

Professional Organizations

I signed up to follow the National Association of Social Workers on Twitter and Facebook a few months ago mostly out of curiosity to see how social networking would work in the professional world.

This morning, NASW posted this link to the Social Work Career Center with lots of excellent resources for such as examples of resumes and cover letters, how to prepare for an interview, social work salaries, and more. I will add this to my list of resources for seniors who are job hunting and for juniors who are applying for internships in social work agencies. It is also useful for those who are seeking to move up or find a new position. This is one example of why I value my membersh in NASW.

Another reason why I value my NASW membership is the opportunity to networ

My social Network on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter...Image by luc legay via Flickr

k with local social workers. Most of us stay busy in our agencies, trying to keep up with the never ending workload, and rarely have the opportunity to meet with colleagues at any level from local, state, national, or international. Because I am an active member of the Tarrant County unit, I have made important connections across the community that I would not have been able to make on my own. The richness and diversity of my professional network makes me more effective as a social worker.

There are just a few reasons why I value my NASW membership. I hope you are connected and active in professional organizations like NASW. Let me know what organizations you are member of and how that has contributed to your effectiveness in the field of social work.
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Favorite Websites & Blogs

After reading the newspaper this morning, I spent time checking out the most popular websites posted on Delicious. "Delicious is a social bookmarking service that allows users to tag, save, manage and share web pages from a centralized source. With emphasis on the power of the community, Delicious greatly improves how people discover, remember and share on the Internet."
I first discovered Delicous back in January 2009 and have since saved 119 web sites there. Reflecting on what they say about what is important to me is interesting and speaks to my curiosity and love for learning. Like the books I treasure and the time I love spending with the daily newspaper, the wisdom and creativitiy that is shared on the internet feeds me in a different way that has come to be an important part of my daily routine. I appreciate everyone who takes time from the busy world to share their thoughts and ideas with the world (and me). So here just a few web sites I have book marked with the number of times each has been book marked in parenthesis:

cloud connected,Image by ashley rose, via Flickr

My current favorite is Map the Fallen by Sean Askay. Here is a quote - note the word "connect."
"This Memorial Day I would like to share with you a personal project of mine that uses Google Earth to honor the more than 5,700 American and Coalition servicemen and women that have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have created a map for Google Earth that will connect you with each of their stories—you can see photos, learn about how they died, visit memorial websites with comments fr

Frosty Morning WebImage by foxypar4 via Flickr

om friends and families, and explore the places they called home and where they died."


These and other web sites have infuenced and contribute to my ongoing life-long learning process. I love to learn! Where do you spend time in the webosphere?
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Friday, June 19, 2009

What? My life and paradox?? Yep!

Today I had the privilege of participating in a Courage and Renewal North Texas workshop led by Elaine Sullivan and inspired by Parker Palmer. What a wonderful time to step out of my noisy, busy, world for the whole day to reflect on "Paradox: Embracing Complexity in Life and Work."

Throughout the day, I discovered and unpacked new concepts such as
  • Paradox
  • Thin Line
  • Polarities
  • Tension of Opposites
  • Formation
I struggled with and was inspired by hearing poems spoken in different voices and then reflecting on the meaning and discovery of the themes within. I created my paradox in art that revealed the bridge or "thin line" in my life experience that challenged me to be brave. I met amazing women who shared so honestly their paradoxes. I saw how Parker Palmer's vision of teaching works by watching Elaine "teach." Structure and pace. Focus and relationship. Concept and process. Making space for growth. Silence. Space. Letting go. Trust.

We each possess a deeper level of being however,which loves paradox.
It knows that summer is already growing like a seed in the depth of winter.
It knows that the moment we are born, we begin to die.
It knows that all of life shimmers, in shades of becoming that shadow and light are always together, the visible mingled with the invisible.
Excerpt from “Paradox” by Gunilla Norris

I tried to take a picture of my Mandorla but my camera did not meet my expectations so you are spared from kindergarten "show and tell."

Today's experience of renewal and focus was an amazing gift.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Comfortabe with Paradox

I had time today to visit a lot of social work blogs and others as well. I didn't have an agenda or a clear purpose, and I didn't realize the amazing journey I had started until I realized hours had vanished and I had only scratched the surface. When I stumbled on Social Work Blogs, I found an amazing listing of all current social work blogs and the recent posts. What a great resource and source of inspiration for those who are new to blogging in social work. There a LOT of social workers who are sharing their stories in the blogosphere!

Along the way I posted several comments and signed up to follow several blogs. As I read these blogs, I was struck by the variety of
  • blogs design (use of color,format, photos, font)
  • themes (clinical social work, self-reflection, new social workers, adovacacy, blowing off steam)
  • simplicity vs complexity
  • length of posts
  • frequency of posts per month
There were many commonalities as well, but the one that struck me hardest was how social workers are constantly dealing with ambiguity and paradoxes. As much as

Paradox Logo, 2003Image via Wikipedia

we try to systmatically work with clients, there is never a clear path to walk with our clients towards goal attainment. In fact, if we do stumble upon an easy case, we stop and scratch our head and wonder, "What's going on here? What am I missing?" Easy and clear are not terms that are common to social workers. This is one of many realities of the social work that shapes our personal and professional lives every day. The "grist for the mill" in all of the social work blogs I read today touched on this reality in one way or another - which was drew me into reading and commenting on all of those blogs today.
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Celebrating Flag Day

Today is National Flag Day, and to celebrate, I posted our flag outside our front door. It made me think of the men and women who are social workers on active duty in the US military, and colleagues serving as civilians in the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs. Did you know that there are 17,728 social work postions in the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs? If you are looking for a job with the federal government, go to USAJOBS - The federal government's official job site.

Check out these facts from Social Work Jobs in the Federal Government:
  • Social Workers are in high demand at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to support troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The number of positions at the VA increased by more than 650 from 2005 to 2006. Click here to read articles on Help Starts Here's Web site about Social Work.
  • In the Department of Defense, the Army, Navy and Air Force each have 200-900 social work jobs.
  • The Forest Service (In the Department of Agriculture) employs over 400 people classified as “Social Services Aid and Assistant.”
  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs contains the majority of social work and social services positions in the Department of the Interior. The National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service each contain an addional twenty positions in social services.
  • The Indian Health Service provides the majority of positions in social work and social services in the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • The National Institutes of Health (part of the Department of Health and Human Services) employs more than forty people in social work.
Thank you to all who work and serve our country as social workers in the federal government!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quote for June 10, 2009

There is in us an instinct for newness, for renewal, for a liberation of creative power. We seek to awaken in ourselves a force that changes our lives from within. And the same instinct tells us that this change is a recovery of that which is deepest, most original, most personal in ourselves.

– Thomas Merton

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


My colleague and friend, Harriet, sent the article posted below and I love it! I am forwarding it to my friends via email and sharing it here as well. I am inspired by the overall message that I need to hear over and over - "Keep things in proper perspective!" Today, #2 is important to me as I face a pile of projects that loom large in my life. Which of these resonates with you?

Some worthwhile, reasonable, uplifting thoughts herein.
Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio . "To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written." My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?".
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

It's estimated 93% won't forward this. If you are one of the 7% who will, forward this with the title '7%'. I'm in the 7%. Remember that I will always share my spoon with you! Friends are the family that we choose for ourselves.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Quote for May 9, 2009

I can't lie around and be lazy. I am a Thing-Finder, and when you're a Thing-Finder you don't have a minute to spare...The whole world is full of things, and somebody has to look for them.
-Pippi Longstocking

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In the Zone for Self-Care

How do we know when we have practiced good self-care?? How do we know if we haven't? If we are self-aware (see Standard #2 of the NASW Standards for Cultural Competence for details), we will have a lot of clues and signals that tell us we are in trouble or are "in the zone." I have read a LOT of books and journal articles about when we are in trouble (burnout, compassion fatigue, secondary post traumatic stress), but I have not read much about the positive side of good self care.

What are the clues that we are doing well or "in the zone" for healthy social work practice? Here is my big clue: The last time I woke up at 3:00 am and couldn't go back to sleep was so long ago I can't tell you exactly when it was.

When I started this post, I imagined having a long list of clues. Hmmm. Not that easy. This will be a work in progress. Share your clues that you are "in the zone" and doing well.

P.S. I just discovered Amy Baird's Life in Brief blog (what a great example of how a Web 2.0 social worker). Keep up the good work Amy!