Recent Submissions

  • The Dilemma of White Providers in Indian Country

    Hollingsworth, E. Hope (School of Social Work, 2023-11-29)
    The legacy of the European diaspora across North America is fraught with grim realities as it relates to the impact on indigenous populations long-residing here. Generational trauma related to centuries of systematic cultural dismantling has ravaged tribal populations. As an RN of Scots-Irish descent practicing in western Montana among the psychiatric and corrections populations, I have had the opportunity to witness the challenges unique to the predicament of providing care to the Native population for non-Native providers. Is it possible for members of the dominant, historically oppressive culture to provide care without re-traumatizing?
  • It Started with a Tweet Calling White Social Work Educators in: Building a Professional Learning Community

    Goldkind, Lauri; Slayter, Elspeth; Parga, Jennifer Ann; Shelly, Pat (School of Social Work, 2023-11-29)
    This narrative documents the beginning early stages of a collective called #SWEDUACTS. We are four White, female social work educators who over the last year have led the planning of a teach-in event held in October of 2020 and subsequent monthly drop-in, peer-led Professional Learning Community meetings drawing dozens of participants over the past nine months. We reflect here on how engaging in the planning and delivery of the drop-in sessions helps ground our commitment to anti-racist pedagogy as well as facilitates the capacity of other social work instructors to build their own capabilities as anti-racist social work pedagogues.
  • Conquering Chaos: Critical Reflections of Beginning Doctoral Education in 2020

    Woodiwiss, Jana L.; Graves, Brian D.; Pless, Jennie; Afroz, Fahmida; Dodd, Kasandra (School of Social Work, 2023-11-29)
    In a time of the COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest, and the tumultuous 2020 presidential election, our first-year PhD cohort reflects on beginning doctoral education. This collaborative autoethnography provides insight into our lived experiences during this time. Three major themes identified include: (1) unprecedented socio-cultural, economic, and political national context; (2) interpersonal connections with students and faculty; and (3) strategies to overcome challenges. Strategies include staying connected virtually, making the most of face-to-face time, meeting with professors during office hours, normalizing feelings of uncertainty, and asking for help. Implications for students and faculty are discussed in the forms of consistent and transparent communication. Ultimately, it is our hope that the critical reflections shared will be able to assist students and faculty in gaining insight into overcoming challenges in times of uncertainty beyond these specific events.
  • Reflections on Recruiting PhD Students: Change Happens from Within

    Fogel, Sondra; Nourie, Amy E.; Rosado, Stephanie; Gilyard Jr., Shelton (School of Social Work, 2023-11-29)
    The lack of diversity within the academic social work environment has enormous ramifications for the profession as this affects students, the curriculum, academic policies, research inquiry, and knowledge building for the field. The question is—how can this be addressed? One way to do this is for PhD directors/program chairs to recruit and form cohesive cohorts that represent diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds. This reflection includes a retrospective of the behind-the-scenes work and the lessons learned regarding the important process of recruiting a diverse group of students. This reflection speaks to the important issue of cohort cohesion: how this helps to support all students and their academic success. Finally, this narrative focuses on three social work PhD students from the University of South Florida as they started their precarious journey into academia in a year many would like to forget ever existed.
  • COVID Keepers: How the Pandemic Can (and Should) Transform College Teaching

    Sniatecki, Jessica L.; Randhare Ashton; Jennifer (School of Social Work, 2023-11-29)
    The COVID-19 pandemic thrust higher education into the seemingly overnight shift to remote instruction. The drastic increase in online offerings expanded course accessibility in ways that we never imagined, especially for students with disabilities. As we continue to adapt and shift to more hybrid and in-person interactions, it is crucial that we reflect on the insights and lessons that we have learned during this era and examine what we should retain even after the pandemic has become endemic. This paper synthesizes the observations, pedagogical strategies, and perceptions of two associate professors at a mid-size, public university in the northeast United States who shifted from in-person, synchronous instruction (pre-COVID) to fully online, asynchronous formats in the 2020–2021 academic year. We explore lessons learned and offer suggestions for preserving the approaches that resulted in improved course accessibility and flexibility. What are our COVID keepers?
  • Reflections on Working with Rural Migrant School Children and Their Families

    Rosario, Rachelle; Riebschleger, Joanna (School of Social Work, 2023-11-29)
    The aim of this paper is to relay the reflections of my experience as a Latinx school social worker and about my work with children and families identifying as rural and migrant. A de-identified real-life mental health crisis case scenario is provided. The case scenario contains the voices of a child and a parent living in a rural migrant camp. The content of the voices was paraphrased from the school social workers’ post-crisis contact with a high school student and her mother. Professional first-person content is the voice of the social worker. The case vignette is followed by a combination of the social worker’s observations and information drawn from the professional literature about challenges and opportunities for rural schools to provide culturally sensitive practices for migrant children and families. Specific practice recommendations are offered for working with rural, migrant youth, particularly pertaining to child mental health per the case scenario.
  • Latinx Social Work Students’ Well-Being Prior to and During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Feize, Leyla (School of Social Work, 2023-11-29)
    This is a reflection on social work students’ well-being before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This narrative was indirectly written by the students, as it is their interpretations of their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors derived from drawing their own mandalas daily for one month. It is a comparison of two stories of struggle, hope, and change during two different periods which were close in time, but far in reality.
  • Invisibility Matters: Adult Sibling Loss and the Complicated Grief Experience

    Sawyerr, Tangela C. (School of Social Work, 2023-11-29)
    Homicide is a word that unquestionably invokes visceral responses. For families who have endured this traumatic experience, the manner of death augmented by social determinants complicates grieving processes. This narrative uses Worden’s Four Tasks of Mourning to chronicle the author’s journey of complicated bereavement following the loss of a sibling.
  • Moving Towards an Abolitionist Praxis: Roots, Blossoms, and Seeds from an Occupational Therapy Doctoral Resident

    Wan-Lai Yue, Janis (School of Social Work, 2023-11-29)
    This essay traces my personal roots as an Asian-American woman with a father diagnosed with bipolar disorder and the impact of my lived experiences on my professional journey as a pediatric mental health occupational therapist. I highlight three exemplary client stories from my year as a doctoral resident at a community-based mental health agency that have furthered my critical analysis of our current child welfare system. Finally, I reflect upon the importance of collectively developing an abolitionist praxis as occupational therapists and health workers at large who are committed to building equitable systems of care that do not further harm structurally marginalized community members.
  • A Social Worker's Journey of Residing with a Military Member with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    Collins, Tara; Walsh, Christine; Tam, Dora (School of Social Work, 2023-11-29)
    This reflection explores my (Collins') experience residing with a military member diagnosed with military-related post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite being a social worker, I was unsure what was happening to my partner and myself following the diagnosis. With little supports and understanding from others about what I was facing, I felt completely defeated and hopeless as my own mental health plummeted to the point that I was also diagnosed with secondary PTSD. This paper reflects upon this journey while also sharing insight to help others in similar situations, researchers, and practitioners so that they are better equipped to address the concerns. The connection between healing the body, mind, and spirit was instrumental in my healing. It is hoped that through some of the strategies, and by demonstrating that healing is possible, hope will be instilled in others while also educating helping professionals on the impact of PTSD.
  • Reflections from the Editorial & Publishing Teams: Our New Publishing Home

    Bailey, Darlyne; Leisey, Monica; Netting, F. Ellen; McNally Koney, Kelly; Messaro, Beth (School of Social Work, 2023-11-29)
    Reflections Volume 29(3) includes an update from the Editorial Leadership Team and our new Publisher at Salem State University. We follow this update by recognizing how Reflections is built around an multidisciplinary community of reviewers, authors, volunteers, students, and educators engaged in the enterprise of supporting a platform for narrative writing and creative expression. In this General Issue we are excited to introduce 13 engaging articles in which stories about personal and professional relationships influence our sense of community and impact every aspect of our lives. Beginning with articles on personal interactions and experiences that form us, our authors take us into educational and practice settings in which it is imperative to form cohesive bonds that sustain us as professional helpers.
  • A Little Spice: Reflections on a First Visit After the Lockdown

    English, Sara J. (School of Social Work, 2023-11-29)
    Younger persons living in long term care often come to care due to a lack of support, including social support from family and friends, which is a result of frail, fragmented and fractured relationships. My dissertation explored the experiences of socially isolated younger residents—defined as persons under the age of 65—who lived in long term care, where policies and procedures focus primarily on caring for older persons. My connections to these residents was abruptly cut off during the early lockdowns, associated with COVID-19. When the nursing homes reopened, I began to visit again. The qualitative data from these visits were the foundation for a poetic inquiry. This poem is one of the results.
  • Nursing Home Social Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Reflections Behind the Mask

    Allen, Priscilla D.; Leff, Daniel (School of Social Work, 2023-11-29)
    The majority of COVID-19 deaths between 2020 and 2021 were older adults with compromised health. Nursing homes in the United States were the highest risk places for death caused by COVID-19 due to the physical vulnerability of residents, close quarters, and staffing shortages. Skilled nursing facilities are required to have trained social work professionals to meet the psychosocial needs of residents—made more severe as a result of the pandemic with visit restrictions, limited staff, and few incentives—yet the placement on trained social workers of incredibly high caseloads and expectations was only increased during the pandemic. Our article provides literature relating to social work wellbeing, recommendations from us the authors, and includes a first-person account of our daily work life to illuminate the complex and rigorous, psychologically demanding, and still too-little recognized role of the nursing home social worker as a key agent for change, problem-solving, and essential care.
  • Straddling the South African Two-School System During the COVID-19 Pandemic—A Reflective Narrative of How One Student Teacher Traversed the Changing Education Landscape

    Sars, Cindy; Laloo, Eugene (School of Social Work, 2023-11-29)
    The South African education system has been aptly described as a “two-school” education system. This description refers to one of the many legacies of apartheid, which resulted in one well-resourced school system that offers high quality education to one sector of the population, with the other under-resourced and generally struggling to achieve the same results. As part of my teacher training, I have worked in both systems. Straddling this dichotomous education system during the COVID-19 pandemic has given me valuable insights and has significantly contributed to how I envisage my career as a teacher. Through this narrative reflection I provide an account of key moments during my teaching practice module that contributed to my altered worldview. Entering the teaching profession during the COVID-19 pandemic proved very challenging, but ironically, it was this disruptive entry that has changed my worldview so that I now feel drawn to working in under-resourced schools.
  • Vol. 29 No. 3 (2023)

    School of Social Work (School of Social Work, 2023-11-29)
    Full version of Vol. 29 No. 3 (2023)
  • White Like Social Work

    Leverett Brown, Shena (School of Social Work, 2023-09-29)
    This essay joins personal narrative with an unpublished book review expressing my skepticism about current anti-racism rhetoric within social work programs and the performative actions that often accompany it. Here, I revisit a critique of the personal narrative written by anti-racism educator Tim Wise in White Like Me (2011) completed during course work in a doctoral program. I use my reaction to Wise’s reflection on his white privilege as material to explore and examine efforts to confront and dismantle systemic racism in social work programs and essentially throughout the profession. I challenge social work programs to think critically about the next steps towards their positions on anti-racism and their interactions with students, staff, and faculty. Finally, the conclusion summarizes the essay while offering opportunities for scholars to contribute to the conversation about dismantling, deconstructing, and divesting from racist ideology and policies in social work programs.
  • Resistance to the Academy: A Call to be a Disrupter

    Mitchell Dove, Lakindra (School of Social Work, 2023-09-29)
    This personal narrative provides an account of my path to academia as a Black woman. I recall the initial hesitation and resistance that I battled as a result of my observations, experiences, and uncertainty about my place in the academy. I discuss my non-traditional approach to securing a tenure-track position and how I have come to view my role and my presence within academia as a form of resistance to and disruption of racism. In this personal narrative, I present strategies that I have used to thrive despite racism and oppression, in addition to the challenges posed due to the pandemic. I also highlight the importance of amplifying the voices of Black women and women of color within the literature.
  • We Have Some Reconciliatory Work to Do: Kitchen Table Conversations Between Black and Brown Scholars in Canadian Academe

    Khan, Maryam; Wilson, Ciann L. (School of Social Work, 2023-09-29)
    This critically reflexive, conversation-based paper traces the lived intersectional experiences of systemic racism of two racialized women educators (Black and Brown-South Asian settler) at a Canadian university located on the traditional territories of the Anishnawbe, Haudenosaunee, and Neutral peoples. We discuss experiences of navigating whiteness in relation to “model minority” status and the discourses of diversity that permeate academe. We reflect on how racism, and specifically anti-Black racism and whiteness, are embedded in research. Some key questions we wrestled with are: How are the conversations about model minority status really about white supremacy and proximity to whiteness? How are Brown bodies played against Indigeneity and Blackness to further disenfranchise the latter and serve capitalist interests? How have academic institutions co-opted Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) policies to benefit the status quo? The spirit of the paper encapsulates the two authors’ building solidarity by resisting racist hierarchies enshrined within academia.
  • Reflections on the Climb to Promotion and Well-Being: Confronting the Discipline, the Department, and Drama

    Wade-Berg, Jennifer A.; Robinson-Dooley, Vanessa; Kennett, Naynette; Collard, Carol (School of Social Work, 2023-09-29)
    This article offers the narratives of four Black women in a department of social work at a research-intensive university. Through their eyes, attention is brought to the types of racial injustice that can exist and how each found a way to successfully navigate the experience. Using narrative from a critical race perspective, the authors hope that readers, especially faculty of color, can see themselves and find inspiration to navigate their own departments and daily experiences.
  • Changing the System While You Are in the System Is Not Easy: Creating Cultural Safety for Native American Students on Campus

    Devereaux, Turquoise Skye; Walker, Laurie A. (School of Social Work, 2023-09-29)
    As a Native American social work student and practicum supervisor, we describe a program evaluation at a campus Native American student services site and share insights on integrating Indigenous ways of knowing, cultural practices, and a justice orientation into identities and practices. We describe disseminating findings and student efforts to work within systems to make policy changes; however, changing a system—that constantly tells you that you (and who you are) are not meant to be there—while you are in the system is not easy. We describe key engagement concepts including microaggressions, stereotype threat, tokenism, resiliency, and survivance. We—as decolonizing social work scholars—provide a vision for how to move forward together in creating culturally safe classrooms, campuses, communities, and social work practices grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing and being.

View more