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The School of Social Work turns 50!

We’re planning a year’s worth of events and activities: connections and re-connections among alumni, celebrations of the wisdom and talent of alumni and instructors, and opportunities for remembering, reflecting, and reimagining futures for the School and for social work and its projects.

Mark your calendars! November 9-10, 2018 is the School of Social Work's anniversary weekend.

We are delighted that Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard will be the keynote speaker at this event.

Senator Thomas Bernard is a highly regarded social worker, educator, researcher, community activist and advocate of social and institutional change. A professor at the Dalhousie School of Social Work and founding member of the Association of Black Social Workers, she has taught and studied anti-racism, anti-oppression, equity and diversity, and worked to further citizen engagement in Canada’s political and legislative processes.

An official invitation and registration will follow once all details of the weekend are confirmed. 

Free Lectures

John Clarke, Professor Emeritus, The Open University, United Kingdom

Professor Clarke is a key contributor to the study of contemporary social policy, known for bringing cultural analysis to bear on policy scholarship. We are delighted that he will join us during this anniversary year as a Hooker Distinguished Visiting Professor, hosted by the School of Social Work and the Institute for Globalization and the Human Condition.

Professor Clarke’s free public lectures are part of McMaster’s Socrates Project.

Socrates Project

Click on the title for details and to register.

Austerity and After? Policies, Politics and Ideologies Monday March 19, 1.30 – 3pm in L.R. Wilson Hall Room 1003, McMaster University

Angry Publics and New Politics: making sense of populism, nationalism, authoritarianism and more Tuesday March 20, 12 – 2pm in L.R. Wilson Hall Room 1003, McMaster University

Making Policy Move: the problems and possibilities of policy-in-translation Wednesday March 21, 1.30 – 3pm, One James North Room 204 (in Jackson Square)

Contesting Citizenship: people, places, politics Thursday March 22, 2.30 – 3.30pm in Hamilton Hall Room 302, McMaster University

Remaking the public in public services: contested identities, institutions and relationships Thursday March 22, 4.30 – 6.30pm, One James North 206 (in Jackson Square)

3Voices in Child Welfare

Successful first event! The Sally Pearce Palmer Conference Series

The first conference of this series, held February 22-23 at McMaster, involved service users, service providers, and academics/ researchers/ traditional knowledge keepers working together for better child welfare. The conference paid particular attention to Indigenous, Black and other voices that tend to be underrepresented in the way child welfare is currently imagined and delivered. The conference was well attended and felt to be a great success!  The Conference committee is currently reviewing feedback and starting plans for the second conference which will take place in approximately 18 months!

3Voices Conference

The Sheila Sammon Award for Excellence in Field Education

Thank you for submitting your nominations!

This Award was established in 2016 in recognition of Professor Sheila Sammon’s outstanding contributions to social work practice and field education over almost three decades: in the School of Social Work at McMaster, in the Hamilton community, and in her leadership in social work education provincially and nationally. The Award is conferred annually on a Field Instructor who has made exceptional contributions to social work students’ learning and professional development and to the School’s field education program and who, in doing so, extends Sheila’s commitment to skilled, ethical, wise and just practice. The selection criteria are here.


The Award recipient will be announced at the Field Recognition Breakfast happening on Friday April 20!

More Information

'Open Classes'

Over the next several months we will welcome all field instructors and community partners to attend current social work classes, to mark the Anniversary year.

• An Open Class at One James North will focus on critical, ethical leadership in social services and communities 
• An Open Class will be held at Six Nations in collaboration with Six Nations Social Services 

We are looking forward to marking the anniversary with you this year!

The McMaster School of Social Work 50th Anniversary Planning Team:

Janice Chaplin ’97, Faculty member and Coordinator of Field Education
Lorraine Chapman ’71 
Bonnie Freeman ’05, Faculty member & Chair of the Circle of Indigenous Social Work Action

Marlene Dei-Amoah ’93
Saara Greene, Faculty member and Chair of Undergraduate Studies
Tara La Rose, Faculty member
Tammy Maikawa ’06, Administrator
Salomeh Mohajer ’06 

Rufaida Mohammed, final year BSW student

Jordan Perreault-Laird, MSW student
Chris Sinding ’94, Faculty member and Director 
Jennie Vengris ’04, Faculty member & Coordinator of Field Development and Support
Lisa Watt ’17, Sessional Instructor