PRESENTERS Session Titles – Abstracts – Biographies (in Program order) Concurrent Session Concurrent Session 2 WORKING TOGETHER Presenter Name Page No. Link to Page Skills Workshop – W3 Pamela Cohen 2 Link Skills Workshop – W4 Susan Hannifin-MacNab & Marcie Uehara Herring 3 Link Long Paper – L5 Associate Professor Lulama Qalinge 4 Link Long Paper – L6 Raelene Councillor 5 Link Long Paper – L7 Dr Jan Richardson 6 Link Long Paper – L8 Prof essor Robert Bland 7 Link Ky lie Laughton & Nadell Campbell 8 Link Debbie Walsh, Emma Collins, Rhona Haining & Amanda Humphreys 9 Link Amanda Nickson 10 Link Linda Lennie 11 Link Kate Hooke 12 Link Melanie Field-Pimm 13 Link Raeleene Gregory 14 Link Chris Laming 15 Link Mark Furlong 16 Link Short Paper – Stream 4 Short Paper – Stream 5 Short Paper – Stream 6 CONCURRENT SESSION 2 – W3 PAMELA COHEN Title Leading Groups In Medical Settings Abstract This workshop will invite you to develop your group leadership skills and so increase your effectiveness as a social worker in a hospital or other health setting. The potential for group programs in these agencies is extensive. Cardiac rehabilitation programs, for example, exist in nearly all hospitals or their associated community health centres. All types of rehabilitation units should consider including group sessions in their structure, as should units which treat people with cancer (including children), diabetes, HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, respiratory problems and many other disorders. It is common in such areas for educational programs to be highly structured and didactic. This reflects a hierarchical medical culture which leads to an authoritative style of imparting health and lifestyle information. However, coping with the impact of serious illness or achieving lifestyle change depends on harnessing the potential our clients have to help each other. Improved facilitation of group discussion enables this potential to be developed. Both mutual support and mutual demand depend upon a well-functioning group. Social workers have a unique contribution to make to group programs in health settings. Unfortunately though, it is common for social workers to feel unprepared by their university courses to undertake the role of a group leader. Group leadership comprises a complex set of knowledge and skills and training in this area takes considerable time and effort. This workshop will serve as an introduction to these important skills including: beginning the group session, establishing operating procedures, essential points for facilitating meaningful discussion and dealing with fears and death anxiety in the group. Biography Pamela Cohen is the social worker supervisor at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney. She has 22 years experience of leading group sessions for hospital patients. She has taught group work for 12 years at the University of NSW as well as in a variety of other tertiary settings. She runs seminars and courses nationwide in both group leadership and the psychosocial aspects of cardiac disease. CONCURRENT SESSION 2 – W4 SUSAN HANNIFIN MACNAB & MARCIE UEHARA HERRING Title Health And Wellness Across The Ages: An Interactive Gender-Specific Program For Girls And Women Abstract This interactive workshop will provide a working model (and a wealth of curriculum ideas and information!) for those who work with females- pre-teen, teen and adult. The "Girls' Health and Wellness Program" curriculum was originally developed as a one-half credit course for teen girls in alternative education settings on the island of Oahu. The Health and Wellness Program touches upon six core areas of female health and wellness- Intellectual, Physical, Spiritual, Emotional, Social, and Life Planning- and incorporates students' unique needs as females. The program includes sessions such as: Decision Making, Multiple Intelligence, Values Clarification, Substance Abuse and Sexual Health, Cultural Identity, and Stress Management. The curriculum was pilot-tested in collaboration with Coalition for a Drug Free Hawaii and numerous social service organizations and alternative learning schools on the island of Oahu. The "Girls' Health and Wellness Program" curriculum was recently modified to suit the needs of another group of womenadult mothers caring for children with disabilities. The "Health and Wellness for Mums" program has been integrated into The Shepherd Centre's weekly support groups for mums caring for children with hearing loss and multiple disabilities. Participants have benefitted from classes tailored to meet their specific needs as parents. Their program includes se ssions such as: All About Me, Ecomap Your Life, Draw it Act it Sculpt it, Wellness BINGO, Time Management and Networks of Support. The curriculum has been incorporated at four Shepherd Centre sites in Sydney. Gender-specific guidelines for female programming are applied to all curriculum implementation. Guidelines include small class sizes, a safe environment for participants, addressing women's health through a holistic framework, providing hands-on learning activities and cooperative learning strategies, acknowledging the importance of relationships for women by supporting positive peer connections, and reinforcing the active role women have in their own learning and lives. Biography Susan Hannifin-MacNab has a Masters in Social Work and a Bachelors in Primary Education, and is currently working in Sydney as the Family Counsellor for The Shepherd Centre, an auditory-oral early intervention centre for deaf and hearing impaired children. Over the past 14 years, she has worked with children in the foster care system, taught physical education and health to primary school students, counselled abused and neglected teens, facilitated camp programs for disadvantaged youth and led numerous support groups and parenting classe s. Marcie Herring was born and raised on the Hawaiian island of Oahu and she brings a unique understanding of culture and diversity to her work with youth and families. She has a Bachelors Degree in Education and a Masters in Counselling and for the past decade has been running gender-specific programs for girls through Coalition for a Drug Free Hawaii. She has developed and facilitated numerous Health and Wellness groups for disadvantaged girls- girls living in the foster care system, living on the streets, and in female correctional facilities. Marcie is currently writing an inspirational book for teen girls entitled, "Swim With Your Current". CONCURRENT SESSION 2 – L5 ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR LULAMA QALINGE Title Using Group Work To Facilitate Building Knowledge And Strengthening Community Participation Abstract As social workers continue to search for relevant indigenous methods to serve communities, the concept of 'Letsema' (Volunteerism) as echoed by President Mbeki becomes more and more appropriate. The presentation/ workshop will focus on how 'Letsema' as an integral part of group work can be utilized by social workers to facilitate building knowledge and strengthening community participation through using indigenous knowledge syst ems. This is taken from the point of view that the social group work method is one of the most convenient and easiest methods to apply in an African context since groups are commonly used in African communities to resolve varied individual, familial and community problems. For example, it is common practice for most black people experiencing marital and family problems to discuss such problems at an extended family group meeting under the guidance of a traditional leader before reaching out for professional help. Biography Professor in Social work. Area of interest is in working with groups and empowering rural women. CONCURRENT SESSION 2 – L6 RAELENE COUNCILLOR Title Looking Through The Eyes Of The Rainbow Serpent – Working Through The Issues And Challenges Of The Stolen Generation Abstract During the 20th century large numbers of Kimberley Aboriginal children were removed from their families by the government and put into institutions or foster homes. Because of this policy, many people lost contact with their families and their country, and have become known as the Stolen Generations. The Link-up Service has been set up to help people who were taken away to find their families and meet up with them again. When Europeans arrived in the Kimberley with their sheep and cattle, Aboriginal people were often driven away from their own country, killed or goaled for killing stock, or forced to work. Many people had nowhere to go. The government’s answer was to set up ration stations like Moola Bulla and Violet Valley where Aboriginal people could be sent to live and work in return for food and clothing. With the idea of protecting Aboriginal people from some of the worst abuses, the church began to set up missions where people could live and work, and learn about Christianity. The government encouraged the missions in this work. Under the WA Aborigines Act 1905, it became illegal for Aboriginal women to live with non-aboriginal men, and any children of mixed race could be taken away to institutions and missions. By 1958, about 25 percent of all Kimberley Aboriginal adults and 45 percent of all Kimberley Aboriginal children were living in missions. In the late 1950’s, the WA Government set up town hostels for Aboriginal children, where they could stay while they went to school. Those children who were considered to have a suitable home were allowed to go home during the holidays. Other children lived permanently at the missions and hostels. This system continued in the Kimberley until the 1970s. Many Kimberley Aboriginal babies were adopted or fostered by white families all over Australia. In 1995, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission held an inquiry into the separation of Indigenous children from their families. Members of the Commission came to the Kimberley, (Western Australia, Australia) and over 400 people attended hearings in Broome and Halls Creek. Many Kimberley Aboriginal people gave stories and submissions to the inquiry, as a result of the inquiry, Stolen Generation working groups were formed in each major Kimberley town. In 1996, The Kimberley Stolen Generation Committee was formed, with representatives from all the working groups. Since then, the Committee has carried out activities and projects that acknowledge the experiences of members of the stolen generation, and help them to come to terms with it. The committee also helps Aboriginal people of the stolen generations to search for and find their families. The committee was incorporated in 2001 as the Kimberley Stolen Generation Aboriginal Corporation. The purpose of this presentation, is to describe the Kimberley Stolen Generation Aboriginal Corporation, Kimberley Linkup Service issues and challenges and identify some of the effects that has impacted on Stolen Generation people in the Kimberley. ‘Looking Through The Eyes Of A Rainbow Serpent’ we will see how the stolen generation issue has had a personal effect. It will also identify that this program has worked well, and what Kimberley Link-up Service hopes to achieve in the future. Biography I am a Karrajarri woman from the West Kimberley region of Western Australia (WA) from my Grandmother and mother's side, and have connections with my father and grandfather side, that is Naaguja Warangkarri (Mid western area of WA). I am the mother of four children, am the holder of a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Aboriginal Community Management and Development. Also have a Diploma in Aboriginal Family and Community Counseling. My current position is Senior Link-up Caseworker for the Kimberley Link-up Service that comes under the Kimberley Stolen Generation Aboriginal Corporation based in Broome, WA. CONCURRENT SESSION 2 – L7 DR JAN RICHARDSON Title Effective Consultation In Remote Communities: A New Perspective On The Language We Use Abstract Asked if she is going to vote for women to be on the community council, the traditional Aboriginal woman replies ‘I don’t want to be on the Council’. Why would she answer a generalised question by personalising it? Margaret Bain’s recently published research helps to explain. It is because of differences in the use of abstraction – a radically new insight. Bain debates this difference between traditional Aboriginal and Western cultures, and highlights key dissimilarities in world views, the languages that express them, and the ramifications for contemporary Australia of this difference. Where traditional Aboriginal culture relates to the concretely real, Western culture delights in the hypothetical. This means that Western-enculturated professionals who try to consult in a traditional community about issues such as the need for housing in the next five years, aspirations for development, or violence, alcoholism, training needs etc can elicit very different responses to a similar discussion in a Western community. In fact the Aboriginal community discussion is likely to be unhelpful, not because the community people are in any way unable to communicate in English but because questions generalised rather than grounded in the specific are misunderstood. Frustration and anger that arise from these communications that-do-not-communicate have led many Aboriginal people to claim ‘White men are liars’ (the title of Bain’s book). Bain’s research provides new insights into how carefully-crafted interactions can produce positive intercultural communication. Achieving this can deliver social justice in a way not understood before – a just-in-time contribution to the Indigenous rights agenda. Biography From 1968 and for nearly 20 years, I worked in and for Indigenous communities in remote areas of NT and Kimberley, WA. I then taught community work and community development at the Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University) for 13 years, much of which was in the Aboriginal faculty. In Alice Springs I met Margaret Bain and explored her startling research. I resigned from CDU to care full-time for my husband. CONCURRENT SESSION 2 – L8 PROFESSOR ROBERT BLAND Title Promoting Inclusion And Empowerment Through A Junior Sport Project - Basketball Can Change Your Life! Abstract This paper reports on Active8 - a project to promote inclusion and empowerment among primary school children in a marginalized community. In Semester 2, 2005, a small group of social work students from the University of Tasmania worked with the staff and students of two local schools. The aim was to engage students in an organized sporting competition with the aim of building self-esteem and social skills among the students. The students undertook training in coaching, and then worked with four teams to prepare them for a local basketball carnival. The sporting project provided a positive point of engagement with the students, their parents, and the school. It provided a new connection between the University and the local community. The project will highlight the many positive experiences enjoyed by the students over the project. The project illustrates the potential for primary prevention in mental health, and alternative self image for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The paper will report on the plans, implementation and outcomes of the project. The presentation will use extensive multimedia images covering the training, games, and follow-up with the students. Biography Robert Bland is Professor of Social Work at the University of Tasmania. He has a long-term interest in mental health and social work practice. Robert coaches junior basketball teams in his spare time. Robert Pearce is a 4th year student at the University of Tasmania. Robert has extensive experience in youth work. CONCURRENT SESSION 2 – STREAM 4 KYLIE LAUGHTON & NADELL CAMPBELL Title A Case Study In Working Together Abstract Mary Brown is a 36 year old Aboriginal Woman pregnant with her 6th child. All of her older children are in the CEO’s care and living in Alternative Care. Mary cannot read or write, she has memories of being raised within the Stolen Generation, and she is estranged from some of the members of her extended family. Her relationship with DCD is strained, at best, and she has grave concerns that she will lose the care and custody of this child as soon as the baby is born. Early in her pregnancy, she walks in, unannounced, to the Social Work Office at the hospital, and asks for help. This short paper will cover the steps taken by Health and DCD staff to establish a positive working relationship, enabling Mary to locate stable accommodation, maintain the care of her child and establish better links with her children in care. Issues that will be covered include Communication, Sharing Information, the role and use of Joint Interviewing, the establishment of clear working boundaries and guidelines for delegation of action. The session is intended to be interactive, and will include feedback from both agencies on the pros and cons of working together in the Best Interests of the client. Biography Kylie Laughton is a Senior Social Worker with Swan Kalamunda Health Service with 12 years professional experience. Kylie has worked in a variety of settings, including Dept for Community Development, Adult Mental Health Services, and Health. In 2001 she was awarded an AASW Award of Excellence, in recognition of her work with Families in Emergency Departments. For the last two years, she has worked at Swan Districts Hospital in Emergency Medicine and Maternity. Nadell Campbell has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Science. She has worked at Dept for Community Development for one and a half years. Nadell was employed by the Narrogin Office of DCD for 12 months before taking her current position as Field Officer at the Midland Office of DCD. DEBBIE WALSH, EMMA COLLINS, RHONA HAINING & AMANDA HUMPHREYS Title Working Together: A New Direction For Teamwork In An Acute Care Hospital Setting Abstract Acute Assessment Units (AAU) were introduced into the health care system in the UK in the 1990s as a re sponse to the steady rise in acute medical admissions and the need to manage complex medical patients more effectively. The AAU at Sir Charles Gairdiner Hospital (SCGH) was developed along the same lines and since 2001 has demonstrated improvements across a range of parameters. The aim of the SCGH AAU is to focus on acute care in an environment which has dedicated social work staff to coordinate effective discharge planning. Whilst social work in tertiary hospitals everywhere is responding to demands for reduced length of stay, the difference in AAU practice is the fast turnover of patients: a maximum stay of 72 hours, 18-24 new patients in a 24-hour period and 60% of patients are discharged home directly from the AAU. The AAU has a seven day a week Allied Health Team comprised of senior clinicians in all disciplines. Social Work is a crucial member of this Allied Health Team, screening all patients admitted to the unit. Advanced clinical practice is essential; the senior social workers operate autonomously and as the primary facilitators for discharge from hospital and effective teamwork. The 7-day service is job-shared by three part-time social workers who have developed a system of communication, teamwork and ability to cross-manage complex medical patients and their psychosocial problems. The fast pace and high turnover of patients can put workers at risk of compassion and role fatigue. However, the social work team at SCGH ameliorates these effects with flexibility, a positive team environment and support. The AAU has been the recipient of several awards, including the Baxter Award which recognises excellence in teamwork on an international level. This presentation will explore the evolution of a new social work service and discuss the day to day issues faced on the ward. Biography Amanda Humphreys is Senior Social Worker Section Head at SCGH, managing the team which includes the AAU. Having started at SCGH as a new graduate, she has worked in all clinical areas and spent some time working in the UK health system. She is inspired and challenged by the marketing of social work, and job-sharing the management of a busy team. Debbie Walsh has been at SCGH since graduating and working in many areas until taking a leadership role as the inaugural AAU weekday Senior Social Worker. She maintains her interest in bereavement issues. Rhona Haining, having originally worked in the Justice field, has worked in a variety of health areas and is currently a Senior Social Worker in the AAU, offering a weekend service. Rhona’s interests and skills lie in the realm of family and systemic functioning. Emma Collins is also a Senior Social Worker in the AAU, with experience in a broad range of health and mental health areas, and she continues to be interested in the interface of chronic mental health issues in the acute health setting. AMANDA NICKSON Title Exploring Peer Supervision In Virtual Teams In Rural And Remote Australia Abstract Background The value of supervision is such that regular professional supervision is required by the Australian Association of Social Workers for social workers to maintain Accredited Status. It is also a requirement in many workplaces. It is well documented that in some organizations and particularly in rural and remote locations, social workers have difficulty accessing professional supervision due to the isolated positions they hold. Definition of Terms Peer and group supervision in virtual teams refers to a team or group whose members work together to explore and reflect their own and each others professional experiences by supporting, analysing, planning and hypothetically testing the changes in their professional and /or personal life of each other through telecommunication, while they are spatially separated by geographical distance. A virtual team is “a collection of individuals who are geographically and /or organisationally or otherwise dispersed and who collaborate via communication and information technologies in order to accomplish a specific goal. This definition means that virtual teams have a common goal and rely on technology, yet they have to deal with dispersion on a variety of dimensions” (Zigurs, 2003). There is currently a significant gap in the literature when looking at these two factors together (virtual teams and peer supervision). This paper looks at current practice in peer supervision of social workers in rural/remote areas, with the added variable of using technology. The paper will draw on the progress of research currently happening trialing models of peer supervision across Aust ralia as part of a twelve month trial. Biography The presenter, Amanda Nickson, has over 20 years social work experience, the majority of those years having been in rural, remote and regional Australia. She has worked in child protection, community development, health, Defense, Centrelink and private practice and is currently employed as a Lecturer, Field Education Coordinator, for the School of Social Work and Community Welfare, James Cook University, Townsville. She is doing her PhD in "Exploring Peer Supervision in Virtual Teams in Rural and Remote Australia" CONCURRENT SESSION 2 – STREAM 5 LINDA LENNIE Title Working Together With "The Other Half": The Development And Evaluation Of A Dad's Group Within A Residential Child And Family Setting Abstract This presentation will focus on the development and evaluation of a unique group for fathers. Karitane provides a residential service for families in NSW with children aged 0-4 years, with most families accessing the service for sleep and settling routines. The social worker in Karitane works within a multidisciplinary team, and provides individual, couple and group based interventions. ‘T he Other Half’ Group was developed in 2005, and involves co-facilitation between a male enrolled nurse and a female social worker. We commenced the group as we believe involving fathers directly in the service provides a more holistic approach to family life. This presentation will discuss how we developed the program to include fathers, and the challenges faced in engaging men. The main themes of each group relate to practical parenting skills, transition to parenthood, strengthening attachments between fathers and their children, supporting partners and effective communication, and Postnatal Depression issues for both women and men. Evaluation of the group will also be discussed, including completed evaluation forms and qualitative feedback. Case studies will be used in the presentation to illustrate examples. I will also discuss future goals for the direction of the group. ‘The Other Half’ Group is an example of working together in partnership, including; working together with fathers in partnership with mothers and children, working together in partnership with all professionals in the Karitane agency to involve fathers, and working together in partnership with other agencies to promote father involvement. Biography I graduated from University of Sydney in 2000, with a Bachelor of Arts/Social Work. I worked in community mental health from 2000-2004. I have also worked in the UK as a social worker in a locum position in Social Services. I commenced my current position as a social worker at Karitane, a tertiary child and family health service, in 2005. I have been co facilitating ‘The Other Half’ Group for fathers on a weekly basis since 2005. I am interested in strengths based social work, and practice within an attachment framework. KATE HOOKE Title The Parent Toolbox: An Effective Strategy To Provide Support And Information To Parents With A Young Child With A Disability Abstract This presentation explores the experience of parents who participated in The Parent Toolbox, a one-day seminar using a mutual aid approach, being run by The Spastic Centre in rural and regional NSW for parents and carers of young children with a disability to orient them to the world of disability service. The 19 parents who participated in the Coffs Harbour Parent Toolbox, held in March 2006 were asked to complete five standardized outcome measures (Family Support Scale, Carer Strain Index, Family Functioning Scale, Perceived Stress Scale 10 Item, Family Resource Scale) prior to participating in the seminar. Parents were then asked to complete the same five standardized outcome measures two weeks after the seminar. Pre and post outcome measure results were then compared with the evaluations of six other Parent Toolboxes run in Rural and Regional NSW and explored in the context of available mutual aid research Parents repeatedly reported how valuable Parent Toolbox was in providing them with the opportunity to meet with other parents in a similar situation and to learn more about available services and service provision models. Parents’ comments about the group work experience were consistent with some of the outcome measure findings and with published research on mutual aid. This research indicates that mutual aid is a valuable strategy to support and build the competence of parents of children with additional needs (Soloman, M. et al 2001, Adesida, O et al 1999). Feedback from parents in combination with the use of selected outcome measures and published research all indicate that mutual aid groups with an educational component are an effective way to support parents of children with additional needs. References Adesida, O. & Foreman, D., A Support Group for Parents of Children with Hyperkinetic Disorder: An Empowerment Model, Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry Vol. 4, No. 4, 1999. Solomon, M., Pistrang, N. & Barker, C., The Benefits of Mutual Support Groups for Parents of Children with Disabilities, American Journal of Community Psychology, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2001. Biography Kate Hooke, The Spastic Centre’s Consultant for Social Work, plays a pivotal role in guiding the organization in its responsiveness to the social issues faced by people with disabilities, their families and carers. Additionally she is responsible for identifying, designing and delivering many of the mentoring and professional development opportunities offered to Spastic Centre social workers and family support workers. Kate was awarded an Honors degree in Social Work in 1993, and has been working at The Spastic Centre for the past 5 years. In 2004 Kate completed post graduate qualifications in Adult Education and Training and subsequently has a strong interest in incorporating principles of adult education, particularly using an experiential interactive approach, into her work. Kate’s area of special interest is the design and provision of mutual aid groups for parents of children with additional needs. Kate’s other areas of interest include using a community development approach to support parents of children with disabilities, the use of outcome measures in family support, exploring strategies for supporting fathers and siblings. MELANIE FIELD-PIMM Title Connecting Communities: Families Of Offenders Resource Kit (FORK) Abstract The impact of a relative’s imprisonment is very much a hidden issue within our community due to the shame and stigma that family members experience. Studies highlight the trauma, grief and distress experienced particularly by the children and the resulting impact on their behaviour. This paper demonstrates how the focus of 'FORK' is on early intervention for "at risk" children of prisoners and their families. It strengthens service response to these families by including the local service providers in identifying the families’ specific needs within their local community and participating in the development of a practical tool that will provide information for parents, community agencies and schools about: • • • • The correctional system and the impact of imprisonment on prisoners’ families, Identifying "at risk" behaviours among prisoners’ children, Strategies for working with these children, Resources available to assist these children. Training is provided for local government and community agencies and school who may encounter prisoners’ families and their children. Long term outcomes will aim to reduce the incidence of intergenerational crime by supporting children to develop their own personal resources and increasing the capability of the family’s coping resources. Working in partnership with local agencies and integrating existing resources will build community capacity and provide a selfsu staining program of support and assistance for prisoners' families. Biography Melanie is a social worker who spent 10 years working in the field of family homelessness with Melbourne Citymission. Throughout this time Melanie worked with many families who were coping with a relative in prison or the main carer themselves was incarcerated and was involved in the development and management of a new MCM program working with women who were leaving prison. Melanie has been with VACRO since August 2005 in developing services with a specific focus on the families and children of offenders and presented a paper at the 2006 Reintegration Puzzle Conference on the provision of counselling support for the children of offenders. CONCURRENT SESSION 2 – STREAM 6 RAELEENE GREGORY Title Too Close For Comfort? The Adoption And Management Of Personal And Professional Role Boundaries For Health And Welfare Practitioners In Rural Victoria Abstract Over the past five years re searchers at the University of Ballarat have been undertaking projects focusing on issues around health and welfare practice in rural and remote settings. These projects have contributed to our understanding of the experience of practitioners in rural Australia, and raised further questions for consideration by the field. This project grew from that research. The aim of the study was to develop a theory that explained how rural health and welfare practitioners experienced the personal and professional role boundary issues implicit in their daily lives. The theory that emanated from the study suggested that this group of professionals dealt with those issues through a process of se nsitive decision-making and strategic behaviour. The key concepts informing that process were those of valuing belonging, nurturing relationships, and feeling confident in one's work role. This qualitative project, which utilised focus groups and interviews, facilitated open and public discussion of what is often unspoken - the challenges presented by living and working in rural communities, often in contentious professional roles. The participants were health and welfare practitioners, the majority of whom were employees of four industry partner agencies within the Central Highlands, Grampians and Wimmera regions of Victoria. This paper describes the findings of the study and substantiates the notion that intensive exploration of personal and professional role boundary issues has value for all players in the rural and remote human services field. By furthering our understanding of the experience of health and welfare professionals, our education, planning and employment decisions will be better informed. The overall potential to improve access to health and welfare services for rural and remote Australians as a re sult of these novel insights is a significant contribution to our professional knowledge base. Biography Raeleene is a PhD candidate with the School of Behavioural and Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Ballarat. She is also a sessional teacher in the BA (Rural Social Welfare) Course at UB. Raeleene is a social worker who has worked in sexual assault and mental health practice in rural Victoria over many years, and her research interests centre on practitioner issues in rural health and welfare practice. CHRIS LAMING Title A Constructivist Approach To Challenging Men's Violence Against Women Abstract This session/paper looks at a constructivist approach to challenging men's violence against women and children. It encompasse s asse ssment, group work, and a collaborative integrated model of intervention between agencies, police, and child protection services. Biography Chris currently teaches in the Social and Community Welfare course in the Gippsland campus of Monash Uni. In 1994 he started the SHED Project in Moe, a men's behaviour change program, and has recently completed his PhD research about that project. MARK FURLONG Title Promoting The Quality Of "Significant-Other" Relationships In Casework Abstract Traditional and radical authors agree that strengthening the autonomy of service users is a primary aim in casework. The current paper seeks to balance this emphasis on individualism by suggesting that the relational aspects of the self also require particular attention, a proposition that is supported by an argument that proceeds in three steps. Firstly, recent theoretical work will be introduced to advance the premise that the self can be understood as “relational”, as well as “autonomous.” Secondly, a summary is offered of the research which concludes that a strong social network, or in the more recently favoured terms, that “social connectedness” and “attachment”, is protective of health and well-being. Building on these two ideas, it is then suggested that it may be important for caseworkers to promote the quality of interdependence and connectedness of those service users we work with irrespective of their presenting problem and the practitioner’s preferred method and assigned practice role. Biography Mark Furlong is a Senior Lecturer at La Trobe University where he co-ordinates the "Interpersonal skills" and "Diversity" sequences. Mark worked for many years in direct practice positions, particularly working with child abuse and longer term conditions, such as mental illness and acquired brain injury. His research interests focus on relationally-based practice, how "shame, stigma and other-ing" relate to social diversity and the relationship between structural and post structural approaches.
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