by Ron Begley, LCSW
“Who am I? Why am I here?” Admiral James Stockdale famously opened the vice presidential debate in 1992 by asking these questions. Last month, the NCSCSW Board had our second-ever retreat to plan out our goals for the next few years. Our purpose was to assess where we and the Clinical Society are now, and where we want to go from here.
The retreat was a reminder for me of why I joined the NCSCSW in the first place. To me personally, the NCSCSW represents the best and the brightest of clinical social workers in our area – smart, committed, caring professionals who love what we do and who want to help each other. The Board absolutely exemplifies that. If you haven’t met us yet, come out to one of our events and do so!
We have lots of ideas for action steps to start taking immediately. But in the background, we are also sharpening our sense of who we are and why we’re here.
What makes a clinical social worker “clinical”? Some definitions include assessment and clinical case management as activities of clinical social work. The North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board does not. We want to clarify our own definition of clinical, so we can stay focused on actions that are most helpful to you, our clinical social worker members.
We also want to make big strides in improving our diversity. Our profession itself has some challenges with diversity, and some clinical social workers feel they don’t have a voice. We want to do more to make our membership and our leadership more diverse and welcoming. Let’s help each other to do that.
We want to boost our advocacy efforts. Our resources are limited, so we want to find more and better ways to partner with fellow professional organizations to more effectively represent clinical social workers’ interests, in a time of constant churning change.
Clinical social work, regardless of what environment we’re working in, can be a lonely occupation. We are working to be in closer communication with you, more responsive, and to better serve as a resource for you. We want to build a sense of supportive community among us.
Who are we? An organized group of clinical social workers, working together. Why are we here? To serve the needs and interests of you and all the other clinical social workers in our state. And we are energized and excited to work with you as we move into the future, together.
Ron Begley is an LCSW is private practice in Cary, and is President of NCSCSW.
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The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by the NCSCSW