By Chelsea Cooledge, RSW
As I write this article, the fall newsletter is starting to take shape and it appears that a common emerging theme is that of growing and learning as a professional. Professional development is key to our work at the College as it provides assurance to the public that social workers remain current in their knowledge, skills and abilities. The articles in this newsletter span a gamut of opportunities, from the knowledge base of the future generation of social work professionals, to responding to recommendations from a Coroner’s inquest. Coincidentally, this newsletter will also be published in the month of October; the month in which Registrant’s Continuing Professional Development submissions are due. Hint: reading these articles can contribute to CPD hours.
My own personal learning this year has been multi-fold. Every day I understand more about the nuances in the Social Workers Act and bylaws and their application to our work processes. I am continually acquiring new skills in management, HR and supervision, IT issues and strategic and operational planning.
One valuable piece of learning this year has been around the accreditation process for social work educational programs conducted by the Canadian Association of Social Work Education (CASWE) Commission on Accreditation and how this compares to provincial governmental structures. My awareness of systems and relationships within those systems has increased, particularly through a consultation process with provincial and national stakeholders and government. In this, I have also learned how detrimental it can be to forge ahead with one’s own agenda without consideration for those relationships and respect for due process.
With valued feedback from Registrants and Board members, I am also recognizing ways we can make small changes to our operational processes to increase transparency and consistency and to be more inclusive. I am humbled and grateful to be in this current position and to work with tremendously knowledgeable staff and Board members. Finally, I am looking forward to working with two new staff members who have recently joined our team, Matt Scott and Margaret Alala. You may read their bios and the wealth of knowledge they bring to the team in this newsletter. Welcome to Matt and Margaret!
Chelsea Cooledge, RSW
BC College of Social Workers