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Women’s College to shape the future of social work

Oct. 3, 2011

Women’s College to shape the future of social work
(back row from left)  Marlene Duarte Giles, Professional Advisor, Social Work;  Karen Gold, Social Work Education Coordinator; Eileen McKee, Assistant Dean of Field Education, Faculty of Social Work (front row)  Heather McPherson, Vice-President, Patient Care & Ambulatory Innovation, WCH;  Faye Mishna, Dean, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work

Another joint venture can be added to the list of affiliations between Women’s College Hospital (WCH) and the world-renowned University of Toronto (U of T). The partnership between the hospital’s Social Work Education Program and U of T’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work has the potential to revolutionize the way social work is taught and practised.   

“This collaboration is a valuable addition to our hospital’s education initiatives,” said WCH’s social work education co-ordinator, Karen Gold. “It builds on our long history as a teaching centre for the faculty of social work.”

Funded by the Bertha Rosenstadt Trust Fund in Health Research, the project provides U of T social work students clinical placements at WCH for three years. These placements will incorporate arts-based education, which uses narrative writing and the arts to help students reflect on their practicum experiences and their clinical interactions – a new and innovative way of looking at professional practice. These group supervision sessions will be piloted in the fall.   

“Social work students will receive an enhanced and hands-on learning experience as well as the skills necessary to be leaders and innovators in their field,” says Heather McPherson, VP patient care and ambulatory innovation. “This is the shared goal of both Women’s College and the University of Toronto and we’re delighted to see it explored through this initiative.”

For U of T’s assistant dean of field education, Eileen McKee, the advantages are numerous.

“Not only does this open the door for future placement opportunities for students, but it also allows us to strengthen and deepen our affiliation with Women’s College Hospital, while contributing to the education of future social work professionals.”

To learn more about the ways WCH educates health professionals, click here.

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