Best Practices in Psychosocial Oncology:
NASW’s Strategies
to Educate Social Workers
Karyn Walsh, MSW, LCSW
National Assoc...
What is the NASW?
• The National Association of Social
Workers (NASW) is the largest
membership organization of
profession...
Educating Social Workers
• All social workers will come into
contact with clients who either have
cancer or are affected b...
NASW and CancerCare
• In 2004, NASW partnered with
CancerCare to create an online course
to educate social workers and
pro...
What is CancerCare?
• CancerCare is a U.S. nonprofit organization that
provides free, professional support services to
any...
Understanding Cancer: The Social Worker’s
Role
• The course was launched by NASW in
2004 and is available at no cost to ta...
Crisis Points in the Cancer Experience
• The online course explains what many
individuals affected by cancer
experience cr...
Knowledge, Skills and Resources
• The online course provides knowledge,
skills and resources that psychosocial
professiona...
NASW Standards of Practice
NASW has developed practice standards which
are available to social workers on our website at
n...
Basic Cancer Course Statistics
• As of October 8, 2008, more than
27,000 social workers and others in 80
countries had tak...
Training Social Workers in Face-to-Face
Workshops
• In 2005, NASW, CancerCare and the
American Psychosocial Oncology Socie...
Train the Trainer Workshops
• In 2006, NASW and CancerCare
selected and trained 20 (mostly
oncology) social workers to bec...
What about the Cancer Caregivers?
• In 2007, NASW and CancerCare
partnered again to create a second online
course for soci...
Best Practices in Psychosocial Oncology:
Professional Strategies
• Collaboration and networking among
psychosocial oncolog...
Social Work Resources
• NASW has several online courses
available for social workers at
www.naswwebed.org
• NASW’s website...
Funding for these Professional Education
Efforts
• The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation
has funded these psychosocial
profe...
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Best Practices in Psychosocial Oncology: NASW's Strategies

  1. 1. Best Practices in Psychosocial Oncology: NASW’s Strategies to Educate Social Workers Karyn Walsh, MSW, LCSW National Association of Social Workers Washington, D.C.
  2. 2. What is the NASW? • The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with 150,000 members • NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies
  3. 3. Educating Social Workers • All social workers will come into contact with clients who either have cancer or are affected by a loved one with cancer • For this reason, NASW strives to educate social workers across all practice settings about cancer and working with individuals and their loved ones affected by cancer
  4. 4. NASW and CancerCare • In 2004, NASW partnered with CancerCare to create an online course to educate social workers and professionals about cancer and the physical and psychosocial effects of the illness • The course was created by oncology social workers and funded by the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation
  5. 5. What is CancerCare? • CancerCare is a U.S. nonprofit organization that provides free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer: people with cancer, caregivers, children, loved ones, and the bereaved • CancerCare programs—including counseling and support groups, education, financial assistance and practical help—are provided by professional oncology social workers and are completely free of charge • Founded in 1944, CancerCare provided individual help to more than 100,000 people last year, in addition to the more than 1 million unique visitors to its websites
  6. 6. Understanding Cancer: The Social Worker’s Role • The course was launched by NASW in 2004 and is available at no cost to take • The course reviews basic aspects of cancer, including the different types, treatments, treatment effects, pain management and palliative care, pediatric and adult cancers, survivorship and end of life care • The course has a post test exam, provides 2.0 credits for social workers and has a course evaluation
  7. 7. Crisis Points in the Cancer Experience • The online course explains what many individuals affected by cancer experience crisis points where they are left feeling vulnerable, frightened and not in control of their health • These crisis points include the cancer diagnosis, the beginning of treatment, the end of treatment and returning to a normal life, being a survivor, cancer relapse, dying and death and bereavement
  8. 8. Knowledge, Skills and Resources • The online course provides knowledge, skills and resources that psychosocial professionals utilize when working with individuals affected by cancer • The resources are links to several organizations and online publications in recognized best practices in psychosocial oncology • The course uses several NASW Standards of Practice which help guide social workers in their professional roles
  9. 9. NASW Standards of Practice NASW has developed practice standards which are available to social workers on our website at no cost: •Code of Ethics •Standards on Cultural Competency and Indicators for Cultural Competency •Standards for Social Work Practice in Health Care Settings •Standards for Social Work Practice in Palliative and End of Life Care •Social Work Practice with Adolescents •Clinical Social Work Practice •Technology and Social Work Practice •Available at www.socialworkers.org/practice
  10. 10. Basic Cancer Course Statistics • As of October 8, 2008, more than 27,000 social workers and others in 80 countries had taken the online course, Understanding Cancer: The Social Worker’s Role • The course is updated annually with new information and resources
  11. 11. Training Social Workers in Face-to-Face Workshops • In 2005, NASW, CancerCare and the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) teamed together to create a face-to- face training for social workers based upon the online course and an oncology psychosocial curriculum • Working with six of NASW’s 56 state and territory chapters, CancerCare and APOS professionals educated social workers in a psychosocial oncology curriculum titled, Counseling Individuals and Their Loved Ones Affected by Cancer: A Strengths Based Perspective • More than 300 social workers received this initial face- to-face training
  12. 12. Train the Trainer Workshops • In 2006, NASW and CancerCare selected and trained 20 (mostly oncology) social workers to become trainers in the psychosocial oncology curriculum • These trainers, in turn, provided trainings across the United States to more than 400 social workers and professionals through NASW state chapters
  13. 13. What about the Cancer Caregivers? • In 2007, NASW and CancerCare partnered again to create a second online course for social workers and professionals who work with caregivers of individuals with cancer • The second course, Understanding Cancer Caregiving: The Social Worker’s Role, was launched in 2007 • As of October 8, 2008, more than 11,500 social workers in 80 countries had taken the course
  14. 14. Best Practices in Psychosocial Oncology: Professional Strategies • Collaboration and networking among psychosocial oncology professionals creates excellent education and support opportunities • Free online education reaches thousands of professionals quickly • Face to face trainings provide more intensive and comprehensive experiences on counseling and psychosocial services
  15. 15. Social Work Resources • NASW has several online courses available for social workers at www.naswwebed.org • NASW’s website- www.socialworkers.org • IPOS-http://www.ipos-society.org • CancerCare –www.cancercare.org • APOS-www.apos-society.org
  16. 16. Funding for these Professional Education Efforts • The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation has funded these psychosocial professional education activities

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