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Conservative Christian Social Workers

What is the Conservative Christian Social Workers’ Member Interest Group?

We are professional social workers who are dedicated to studying the Bible and finding ways to ethically integrate Christian faith into social work practice without compromising Holy Scriptures.

Our particular concerns as Conservative Christian Social Workers is how to lead:

1) compassionately when our clients, students, or professors come from a different (sometimes anti-Christian) worldview

2) competently with knowledge and unbiased research when the dissemination of this information is subjected to censorship by higher authorities

3) ethically when our world and SW profession assume that biblical convictions equates to unethical practice

4) biblically when our world and SW profession believe that truth is relative while limiting interpretations of one’s experience to what is acceptable or politically correct

Anyone who is interested in joining our group or getting more information can contact Kim Parker via email or call 713-291-2272.

Workshop Presentations by Members of the Conservative Christian Workers’ Group at NACSW Convention 2019 in Indianapolis, IN in November, 2019?

Workshop Title: Collaborative Strategy: Supporting the Local Church to Meet Human Needs.

Workshop Presenters: Michael Fleming, BSW

Workshop Abstract: Pastors are spread thin and are in great need of support to meet the needs of their congregations. How can we lighten the load for pastors and church ministries whose primary role is discipleship? Come and explore the dynamics of a ministry that provides direct support to churches in addressing poverty and crisis within their congregations.

Learning Objectives: As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Be equipped with effective strategies for agency collaboration with local churches to meet needs within the community.
  • This model of faith-based social work will offer participants an integrative perspective of social work practice with our call to evangelism.
  • This workshop will prepare professionals to take on a supportive role in the body of Christ while allowing the local church to assume the role of

Level of Presentation: Basic

Target Audience: Social Workers, Church Leaders, General Audience

Workshop Description and References: In Acts 6 we see the example of when the apostles were forced to regroup when they were confronted with the needs within their growing community. They were unable to personally address the conflicts arising over the distribution of goods and evaluate the many needs. That is not far from the current reality in the modern church.1 Tim. 5 also shows some details of how social work was done in the early church. We will address how we evaluate the needs of our guests and how we determine a plan for assistance from the lens of scripture. The Structure of the workshop will include three areas of primary focus; the scriptural foundations for Christianity in social work, Theory and approach and collaborative strategies.  We will be navigating factors which influence and perpetuate poverty and how New Hope   Ministries, a faith based social service agency, offers a bridge to stability and financial   independence. Whether the avenue happens to be through one of our workforce training programs   or our educational assistance programs, we are able to help to permanently change the reality for a struggling family. Our food program, Workforce training programs and financial assistance   are other avenues we will explore in our goal to curb crisis and help to stabilize a family as we work with them toward achieving their goals.   How do we engage guests on a spiritual level who come through our doors? What if they are not Christians, or practice another religion? Spiritual emphasis is key in New Hope’s outreach strategy which we maintain both on an individual level as well as in the public sector. We often come across guests who have been let down by church or have a distorted view of who God is. Tools will be provided to assist Christians in social work to navigate evangelism in the helping context and our role in connecting members of the community with the local church.  New Hope is known for its non-denominational approach to expression of faith and how we work in conjunction with our supporting churches to connect members of the community to their ministries. This workshop will expound on our work in collaboration with local churches while also addressing the needs of the community at large. Over the years New Hope Ministries has developed programs to  address root causes of poverty within our region that directly affect   members of local congregations. The workshop will go over in detail the structure of those   programs and the methodologies utilized in promoting participation within the community. One of the strongest strategies that New Hope emphasizes is accountability. Methods for maintaining accountability will be laid out for assuring the best possible outcome for the guest on their  road to stability. This will lead us in our conversation concerning how this inspires collaboration between New Hope Ministries and the church that has referred the guest to us for services.

Presenter Bio (s): Mike Fleming received a Bachelors in Social Work from Eastern   University in 2008. After graduating he moved to the Dominican Republic where he worked as a missionary for 3 years.  Mike returned to the States and began working as Therapeutic Staff Support with children on the autism spectrum. He connected with   New Hope Ministries in 2013 and has worked in several capacities with the organization before assuming his current role managing one of their centers. Mike is passionate about serving the poor and working with immigrant populations. He is fluent in Spanish and assists the organization in the translation of forms and helping guests who are Spanish speaking.   Although Mike has previously attended the conference this will be his first year as a presenter.

Workshop Title: Safeguarding The Future, Our Youth: Tackling Social Work Grand Challenge #1

Workshop Presenters: Amy Mitchell, MSW, LCSW

Workshop Abstract: “I believe the children are our future.” Though this phrase has become cliché, it is true – today’s children will outlive us to carry forth society. Adolescent access to marijuana, prevalence of adolescent mental health disorders and a dearth of guidance regarding healthy relationships are all factors which threaten healthy development for youth.

Learning Objectives: As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Articulate the current prevalence of adolescent substance use, mental health disorders & relational deficits threatening youth well-being & future life quality.
  • Describe the peer-reviewed literature of successful interventions and interventions that have not proven successful
  • Outline 2-3 practical suggestions for positively impacting adolescents in practice and society in general will be presented with implications for future social work   research

Level of Presentation: Intermediate; Advanced

Target Audience: Social Workers, Church Leaders, General Audience

Workshop Description and References: Although the impact of faith-based organizations (FBOs) has been well-document in units or outputs, the aspects of programs and services that drive behavior change or increases in self- efficacy are generally not well- identified, articulated or evaluated (Leeman, et al, 2015). To   capture the role of the faith community in the social service arena, evaluative research needs to provide data that encourages the use of FBOs as providers in a range of service delivery   (Zanis & Cnaan, 2006).   Process evaluation increases our understanding of key components of the diverse approaches and outcomes of services in these settings.  This presentation analyzes the scope and scale of a process evaluation constructed for the Ready for Life (RFL) program of Cherry Street Mission Ministries (CSMM) in Toledo, Ohio.  This systematic review of the construction and utilization of services a process evaluation –  was conducted over 8 months on the CSMM   RFL Program.   Cherry Street Mission Ministries was founded in 1947 by a couple who felt their calling was to provide people in need with “sustenance for the body and nourishment for the soul”.   Named for its location on Cherry Street in Toledo, the mission provided meals, housing, and the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the poor and homeless. CSMM has expanded from   providing basic services of food, clothing, and housing to include “purposeful and transformational mentoring through Biblically-based programs” including the RFL program that focuses on “positive life changes that allow individuals a path towards redemption and   revitalization.”  Generally, the scope and scale of FBOs activities can be generally categorized as: (1)  social services that usually focus on individuals as the unit of analysis (2) community   economic development that primarily focus on larger aggregates of individuals in neighborhoods   and regions and (3) community organizing with a focus on the development of human capital and the participation and political efficacy of individuals and local institutions (Fischer, 2004). One of the purposes of the process evaluation is to further CSSM’s understanding of their work   within these three categories.  Historically, CSSM defined its mission in number of persons served, and provided community   supporters with compelling narratives of individuals’ salvation and appreciation.  Within a new culture of public accountability and with expectations of more reliable and valid measure of   service delivery, CSSM is challenged to report the outcomes of RFL.  In addition, the evaluation sorted out service delivery as connected (or potentially   correlated) to community impact. Leadership at CSSM supported this evaluation as a strategy   towards evidenced based practice, as a means of reaching funders with data driven outcomes, and   to build partnerships and opportunities that assist in the coordination of  services for the community (Linnan & Emmons, 2012).

Presenter Bio (s): Amy Mitchell, MSW, LCSW received her MSW from the University of   South Carolina, Columbia in 2002 & is in her 3rd year towards a   PhD in Social Work at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in   Washington, DC. She presented two workshops in 2018 entitled “The   Use of Prayer as an Intervention for Clients Presenting as   Christian” & “On Christian Scholarship & The Future of Social Work   Research” (co-presenter).  She is an online adjunct professor of   social work (BSW and MSW programs) for Liberty University and CUA.    Amy has 30 years experience in church ministry leadership,   including 22 years as Director of Music Ministries.  She is a   Substance Use Therapist with Northwestern Community Services Board   in Winchester, Virginia and has been married for 31 years to the   Rev. Peter Mitchell, an Anglican priest.  Amy & Peter have two sets of twins: Samuel & Fiona (15) and Bruce & Anna-Justine (12)