Northwestern social work representatives attend NASW conference; Decker accepts top organizational award for Freedom West

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Northwestern social work representatives attend NASW conference; Decker accepts top organizational award for Freedom West

March 30, 2016

Social Work Reps
Attending the conference is (From left) Dr. Kylene Rehder; Frannie Pryor, NASW-OK president-elect; Jynelle Martin; Connie Schlitter, NASW-OK president; Brittany Stewart; Chasity McFadden; and Marcie Sierra.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University social work faculty and students recently attended the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) 40th Annual Oklahoma State Conference held at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Norman.

Northwestern was represented by social work seniors, as well as Dr. Kylene Rehder, social work program director and chair of the department of social work. Students in attendance included Chasity McFadden of Waukomis; Jynelle Martin, Marcie Sierra and Brittany Stewart, all of Enid.

The key note speaker for the conference was Dr. Angelo McClain, NASW’s chief executive officer, who presented “Social Work: Paving the Way for Change.”

During the conference, social work practitioners and students had the opportunity to attend more than 20 different workshops covering topics such as ethical technology, treatment of substance abuse disorders, self-care, Oklahoma health care, risk management, narrative therapeutic approaches, intimate partner violence, suicide prevention, crisis intervention, community development, mental illness, co-occurring disorders and traumatic treatment modalities.

Professional social workers are found in every facet of community life and help people overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges: poverty, discrimination, abuse, addiction, physical illness, divorce, loss, unemployment, educational problems, disability and mental illness. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), professional social workers are the nation’s largest group of mental health services providers.

Decker receives award Dr. Kay Decker, executive director of Freedom West Community Development Corporation (middle), is presented with NASW-OK Social Services Organization of the Year Award by Connie Schlittler, NASW-OK president (left), and Mary Jo Kinzie, NASW-OK executive director (right).

During the NASW-OK Awards banquet, Freedom West Community Development Corporation (FWCDC) was honored as the Social Services Organization of the Year. Dr. Kay Decker, executive director of FWCDC, was presented with the award. Decker also serves Northwestern as a professor of sociologyand chair of the Department of Social Sciences.

NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with 132,000 members. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), social work is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States.

To learn more about Northwestern’s Department of Social Work, contact Rehder at kdrehder@nwosu.edu or (580) 327-8135.

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