Contact: Kawana McGough, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing
The College of Arts and Sciences Department of Social Work offered workforce and development training this summer - Project Forecast. Project Forecast is a specialized program crafted to support current and aspiring child-serving professionals in making informed decisions when dealing with childhood trauma situations. As a child welfare workforce development special project, it holds immense promise for enhancing the skills and knowledge base of students and professionals in social work.
The initiative's leader is Dr. Maya Martin, LMSW, Assistant Professor, certified trainer, and licensed social worker. "Leading this initiative is important to our professional and current workforce of social workers to provide the trauma-informed care information to assess better the client's situation for trauma-informed prevention, intervention, and treatment services," she said.
Other training team members were adjunct professors Febreu Holston, LBSW, MSW, Mary Wilson, LMSW, and Dr. April Jones, LMSW, Department Chair of Social Work. Dr. Jones. "It is important that trauma-informed practice is at the forefront of training students, behavioral science professionals, and community members that are often the first responders to child abuse and neglect incidents to stop the abuse of this vulnerable population," said Jones.
Participants were allowed to engage in their workshop exercises, which included a scenario assessment and an interview with the clients. Ultimately, participants began to understand the work of social workers and other first responders to child abuse and neglect.
Anita Norma, a community member, shared the training was informative, particularly with the client avatar, bringing the scenarios to a real-world experience. "This training will be useful to the community as my husband is a pastor, and this will allow us to know how to respond so that we can recognize the warning signs so child abuse and neglect don't go unnoticed to stop the victimization."
"I believe more reports of child abuse would be reported for people in the community who took the training. The case scenarios were insightful, and facilitator Holston made us think critically and more in-depth about the client's situation," said Danetta Evans, campus staff member.
Project Forecast has the potential to significantly contribute to the growth and effectiveness of child-serving professionals. Its specialized focus on childhood trauma equips attendees with a unique skill set that is crucial in today's complex social work landscape.
In addition to the training, the Department introduced a summer youth camp. The Inner Monologue Sneaker Art Project, a project about youth personal awareness, self-reflection, and mental wellness, posts the traumatic experiences that may have brought them into the care of the child welfare system.
Artist Keith Mascoll and his wife Roxanne Mascoll, a clinical social worker, were the facilitators for your summer camp and used the unique "Look, Listen, Breath, Close your eyes Meditation" activity designed to unite participants and allow them to leave the energy of the session in the room as they participated daily. This project was spearheaded by the Department of Social Work adjunct professor, Ms. Dekara Daniel, LMSW, and social work students to enhance the wellness of the youth and serve as firsthand learning for students, and the week ended with a celebration of writing on their Nike shoes with a monologue shared out as group closure.
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