Research on asset poverty discussed in Gazette

A front-page story in the Montreal Gazette Breaking the Poverty Cycle in Montreal mentions the latest poverty research by Professor David Rothwell. The story cites results from Rothwell's recent paper "Definition and Measurement of Asset Poverty in Canada" that estimates financial asset poverty in Canada was 53% in 2005.
For more information see the Social Development Research Group or read the paper here.

David Rothwell joined the School of Social Work in 2010 as an Assistant Professor.

Treatment of Black Families within a North American Family Therapy Conference

The conference will be held on Friday, April 25, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Institute of Community & Family Psychiatry (Amphitheatre), 4333 Cote Ste-Catherine, Montreal (Quebec).
For more information, please Boyd_Franklin_Conference.


Congratulations to Rick Goldman who was awarded the Médaille de Saint-Yves

On September 23, 2013 Pro Bono Québec proudly presented its Médaille de Saint-Yves to Me Richard Neil (Rick) Goldman during the Barreau’s Special Award Ceremony honouring Lawyers Emeritus.

Pro Bono Québec welcomes the generous contribution of Me Goldman and offers its most sincere congratulations!  For more information, http://www.probonoquebec.ca/en/

Rick Goldman has been lecturing in the School of Social Work for more than 20 years and currently teaches the course on Poverty and Inequality. 


It is with sadness that we received the news that Professor Peter Leonard passed away in Ottawa on Monday, September 30th.  Originating from England,  Professor Leonard came to McGill to become the Director of the School of Social Work in 1987 and was Professor until his retirement a few years ago. He was the author of many scholarly books on social theory and social work, a popular teacher with students,  a member of the Seebohn Commission on Social Services in the UK and founder of the School of applied Social Studies at Warwick university.   Much-loved in the social work community in Canada and internationally, his passing marks the loss of an intellectual very much representative of a progressive era.

A memorial service will be held in Ottawa on Sunday, October 6that the Central Chapel of Hulse, Playfair and McGarry, 315 McLeod at 3:00pm followed by a reception.

In memory of Professor Peter Leonard, McGill University’s flag will fly at half-mast on Monday, October 7th.



Homecoming Lecture 2013 -  Presented by Dr. Cindy Blackstock:  The Kagedan Lecture on Social Work and Human Rights.

"Growing up at home: real strategies to ensuring the safety of Aboriginal children"

This workshop describes the factors driving the over-representation of Aboriginal children in care and what can be done to address them.  The workshop will also highlight the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on First Nations child welfare as a leading strategy to ensure equitable and culturally based solutions can be implemented (www.fnwitness.ca).  

Please see The Kagedan Lecture 2013 to learn more.

To view the presentation slides, click here.


Congratulations to Adjunct Professor, Bill Ryan’s recent recognition by the Gala Arc-en-Ciel.


The School of Social Work is proud to announce Adjunct Professor, Bill Ryan’s recent recognition by the Gala Arc-en-Ciel in the form of a bursary created in his name. The Dorais-Ryan Bursary, with a value of $2,000, is awarded to a University student in the province of Quebec whose goal is to pursue a Masters or Doctoral degree with research in the area of the LGBT community. For further details on this bursary, please see Gala Arc-en-Ciel.


Welcoming the first international AKA (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc) Leadership Conference held from July 18-21, 2013.

We were very pleased to welcome the first international AKA (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.) Leadership Conference, which was held from July 18-21, 2013 in Montreal. The Director of the School, Dr. Wendy Thomson, was one of the panelists on a Saturday morning Citizens Forum on Global Social Issues and participated at a roundtable on the over-representation of black children in the Quebec youth protection system organised by the African-Canadian Development Prevention Network (ACDPN). The theme for AKA’s 2013 Leadership Conference was "Leadership and Service: A Timeless Mission." The Citizens Forum panelists were asked to share their insights into the experience of black Montrealers. In recognition of both the diversity of the black population of Montreal and the issues and challenges shared by our black sisters in the US, the panelists discussed the social issues and challenges Black Canadians face, including educational disadvantages, pay disparity, high unemployment and racial profiling; and identified a path for solutions that may help to address these issues, including best practices to strengthen Black families and their neighborhoods. 


The AKA is the oldest Greek letter sorority in the US,  established by African American women to promote opportunities and advance a progressive vision of community service as a tool to improve economic and social conditions.  Founded in 1908 at Howard University in Washington, D.C., this organization currently consists of over 260,000 college educated women in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Germany, Africa, Bermuda and Japan.   The School has made contact with colleagues from Howard University School of Social Work, and is exploring opportunities for ongoing collaboration.

For more information on the panelists, click here.

Congratulations to the 2013 Faculty of Arts Internship Award Recipients


The Faculty of Arts Internship Office is pleased to announce this year's recipients of  Internship Awards for Social Work are Valerie Dagenais, Alejandra Salgado Carvajal and Sandrine Lacrois-Sarradet.  For more information, see website at http://www.mcgill.ca/arts-internships/




Couple and Family Therapy Program – APPROVED

The School of Social Work is very proud to announce the approval of its Master’s Program in Couple and Family Therapy (M.Sc., Applied in Couple and Family Therapy)! This graduate program will be the first of its kind in a School of Social Work in Canada, developed in response to the recommendations made by the Trudeau Report “Modernization of professional practice in mental health and human relations”, December 2005; Law 21 and the Psychotherapy Permit Regulations adopted June 21, 2012.  For more information, click here. 


Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has been a great partner of McGill for many years, as president of An Najah National University. Most recently, he has served as Chair of the Board of PCAN - Palestine Community Advocacy Network, leading the way in expanding the use of rights-based community practice in Palestinian Communities. 

To read Jim Torczyner's article and full story, please click here or ICAN (International Community Action Network) website at http://www.mcgill.ca/ican/.

For Jim Torczyner's faculty profile, click here.


Congratulations to Shawn-Renée Hordyk, Recipient of the Munroe-Blum Award for Outstanding Contribution to Social Work

In recognition of (Former) Principal Munroe-Blum’s outstanding contribution to social work education and research during her appointment as Principal of McGill University, the School has established an award in her name to be given to a graduate social work student who best demonstrates exceptional achievement in introducing innovative social work practice; academic excellence; and a positive record of mentorship. For more information, click here

Job Talk:  Corrie Sirota, MSW (McGill), PSW - June 4, 2013

Corrie Sirota-Frankel, MSW, is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in issues of loss and bereavement. She has been a sessional lecturer at the School of Social Work of McGill University where she has taught Introduction to Practicum to undergraduate students for over 20 years. She has also taught Skills in Group Work Practice for 5 years at McGill and continues to teach this course at Beth Jacob Teachers College through College Marie Victorin. 

Corrie’s lecture entitled "Comforting the Mourner – Clinical Challenges for Social Workers” will focus on self-reflective practice with the bereaved and how one can accompany a mourner through the grief processFor more information, click here.

 Job Talk:  Karen Hetherington, MA (Psychoéducation - Université de Montréal) - May 22, 2013

Karen Hetherington completed her undergraduate degree in sociology and her master’s degree in psycho education at the University of Montreal in 1985. Karen ‘s career path has focused on mental health and the community. She has clinical, administrative and policy development experience in both the public and community sector. She acted as a consultant with the World Health Organization for over 16 years. In this capacity she worked with a NGO in Guatemala who recently published the Mayan equivalent to the Mental Health Diagnostic Manuel of Mental Disorders (DSM).   

The lecture entitled “Citizenship and Mental Health- New Strategies for Community Integration” will give a critical analysis of the mental health system and mental health interventions. It will also provide a reflective space to examine mental health initiatives in the area of mental health promotion.   For more information, click here.

Job Talk:  Shawn-Renee Hordyk, MSW (Western Michigan University), PhD Candidate (McGill) - May 21, 2013

Shawn Renee Hordyk is currently a PhD candidate in the McGill School of Social Work.  She has 18 years of clinical experience in which she worked in inpatient mental health settings, initiated a child and family therapy program in the context of a local counselling center, supervised social workers, consulted with community organizations, developed a private practice, worked in an early childhood setting, and created an education program in a women’s prison in Guatemala.  

Shawn Renee’s talk is entitled “Burnout Prevention in Social Work Education.” Drawing on both clinical experience and research findings, she will discuss burnout prevention strategies in social work pedagogy. For more information, click here.


Job Talk:  Pam Orzeck, MSW (McGill), PhD Candidate (Université Laval) - May 13, 2013

Pam Orzeck, MSW, is the coordinator of leading practices in caregiving issues at the CSSS Cavendish.  She has worked in gerontology for the past twenty years both as a front-line social worker and as a research-practitioner.  Pam acts as a consultant on various committees and boards related to social policy and clinical practice, and as well, chairs a networking committee for professionals working with caregivers. Pam is a member of the CSSS Cavendish Research Ethics Committee and is a founding member of the Canadian Caregiver Coalition. Pam has given trainings and lectures related to caregiving i.e.: palliative care and caregiving; post-caregiving and bereavement, and short-term counseling for caregivers. Pam has co-edited a book on caregiving practice, as well as co-authored articles on post-caregiving, employee caregiving and respite.  Pam is currently working on her PhD research related to post-caregiving.

The lecture entitled ”The Universality of Caregiving” will explore the caregiving trajectory and the challenges faced by caregivers in the current health and social service context.  For more information, click here.


Job Talk:  Marion Van Horn, MSW (McGill), PSW  - May 9, 2013.

Marion’s lecture entitled "Challenges to Clinical Practice in the Youth Protection Context," will examine a number of specific challenges including developing working relationships with mandated clients, intergenerational transmission processes related to trauma and grief, understanding denial, and the value of constant assessment to assess the risk and protective factors within families.  For more information, click here.

Congratulations to Bree Akesson, Recipient of the 2013 Faculty of Arts Graduate Student Teaching Award!

The School of Social Work warmly congratulates PhD student Bree Akesson on being selected as one of the three recipients for the 2013 Faculty of Arts Graduate Student Teaching Award. This award is designed to recognize outstanding teaching in the Faculty by graduate students.

Job Talk Series (#6): Dr. Sarilee Kahn - Apr. 17, 2013

In her talk entitled “Not this, not that:” The Experience of Muslims Seeking Asylum in the United States on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 2 pm in Wendy Patrick room (#118),  Dr. Sarilee Kahn presented results of a qualitative study focusing on the experience of 14 persons from Islamic societies in Africa and the Middle East who gained asylum in the U.S. on the basis of sexual orientation or gender.  Dr. Kahn completed her PhD in 2012 at New York University, following many years in clinical practice working with refugees and asylum seekers. Dr. Kahn’s research interests cover such areas as refugees and asylees, cross-cultural trauma and recovery, secondary trauma in humanitarian aid workers, and international social work practice and program development, etc. For further information, please click here.

Job Talk Series (#5): Dr. Gabriela Novotná - Apr. 15, 2013

In her talk entitled The Role of Lived Experience of Addiction and/or Recovery of Professionals Working in their Practice-related Decision Making on Monday, April 15, 2013 at 2 pm in Wendy Patrick room (#118), Dr. Gabriela Novotná presented the findings of her research on how the role of personal lived experience of addiction and recovery affects the decision making of administrators working in addiction agencies that serve women in Canada.  Dr. Novotná received her PhD in Social Work at the Wilfrid Laurier University in 2010 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Addiction Counselling (non-tenure-stream) at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Lethbridge. Dr. Novotná’s research interests converge at the intersection of practice in the field of addictions, translation of knowledge for evidence-informed practice and institutional theory. For further details, please click here.

Job Talk Series (#4): Dr. Rachelle Ashcroft - Mar. 27, 2013


In her talk entitled Social Work in Primary Health Care Research: Strengthening Health Care Systems on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 2 pm in Wendy Patrick room (#118), Dr. Rachelle Ashcroft provided an overview of how a social work lens has guided investigations in primary health care. Dr. Ashcroft completed her PhD in 2012 at Wilfrid Laurier University and is currently doing a post-doc at CAMH in Toronto. She has substantial social work experience in health settings in Winnipeg including working with diverse and marginalized populations. Dr. Ashcroft’s research interest is in health service delivery. For more information, please  click here.

Job Talk Series (#3): Dr. Nazim Habibov - Mar. 1, 2013

Dr. Nazim Habibov presented a job talk entitled Poverty Reduction & Social Security in Canada from Mixed to Neo-Liberal Welfare Regimes: Estimation from Household Surveys on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 12:30 pm in Wendy Patrick room (#118). Dr. Habibov is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Windsor. His teaching interests include social policy welfare development and analysis, as well as public program evaluation and research methods in the context of Canadian and international social welfare. For more details, please click here.

Job Talk Series (#2): Dr. Vandna Sinha - Feb. 25, 2013

Dr. Vandna Sinha presented a job talk entitled Community-based, Culturally Tailored Services for Children and Families: Structural Barriers and Pathways to Stable Implementation on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm in Wendy Patrick room (#118). Dr. Sinha is a (non‐tenure stream) assistant professor in the Centre for Research on Children and Families (CRCF) at McGill University. She completed a Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy, from Northwestern University, in 2006. For more details, please click here.

Job Talk Series (#1): Dr. James Mandiberg - Feb. 18, 2013

The first of a series of job talks at the School was held on Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 at 2:00pm in Wendy Patrick room (#118) with a talk entitled Identity Community Development for Stigmatized Populations by Dr. James M. Mandiberg from Columbia University.  Dr. Mandiberg’s research is in social entrepreneurship and social enterprise development among and for economically and socially excluded populations. For details, please click here.

Call for Application: MMEP's Summer Program in Jordan, Palestine & Israel

Expanding on the success of its pilot summer program in 2012, McGill Middle East Program (MMEP) will launch an expanded Summer Program between May and July 2013, which will run in Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. The 10-week Summer Program will give up to 36 North American students a unique experience in rights-based organizing with community centers in marginalized neighborhoods in the Middle East. Any students interested in the program should submit their application as soon as possible (the original application deadline of Feb. 18, 2013 was extended for a limited period). For further details, please visit MMEP's website or click here.

IHSP Seminar: Understanding the Role of Health Policy in Health Inequalities - Jan. 30, 2013

McGill Institute for Health & Social Policy (IHSP) 2012 - 2013 Speaker Series presents "Understanding the Role of Health Policy in Health Inequalities" on Wednesday, January 30th, 2013, 12:30-1:45 pm at 1130 Pine Avenue West. For the flyer, please click here.


TheSocial Statistics & Population Speaker Series - Jan. 30, 2013

The Social Statistics and Population Speaker Series presents in collaboration with the Centre on Population Dynamics “Fertility Transitions along the Extensive and Intensive Margins" on Wednesday, January 30th, 2013, 12:00-1:00pm at Leacock, Room 429. For the flyer, please click here.

Congratulations to Dr. Jaswant Guzder, Recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal!     

The School of Social Work wishes to congratulate Dr. Jaswant Guzder, well deserved recipient of the precious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of her significant contributions to her community. 

As Head of Child Psychiatry and Director of Childhood Disorders Day Hospital at the Jewish General Hospital, and Associate Professor of Psychiatray at McGill University, Dr. Guzder is a truly  exceptional woman  who has  made significant contributions in the area  of  mental health for children, families and trans-cultural psychiatry at a local, national and international level.
To learn more about this award, please click here.

Richard Silver Elected Director at Large of the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)


Richard Silver, an alumni of McGill, has been elected director at large of the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). Elections were held at the association’s fall business meeting, held in November 2012 in Springfield, Ill.
Silver is legal counsel for the Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et des thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec. He is both a lawyer and a registered social worker, and now holds the seat on the ASWB Board of Directors that is filled by a member of member board staff. He has volunteered with the association on various committees for a number of years, and most recently served by appointment of the president as the coordinator of New Board Member Training.


The ASWB is the nonprofit association of social work regulatory boards in the United States and Canada. Members include 49 states and Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands, and all ten Canadian provinces. The association owns and maintains the licensing examinations used in most member jurisdictions and is a central resource for information on the legal regulation of social work. ASWB’s mission is to strengthen protection of the public by providing support and services to the social work regulatory community in order to advance competent and ethical practices. Visit www.aswb.org for more information.