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Twenty Social Work Seniors Travel to Canada!

February 28, 2010

Above: UW Social Work class tours the Strathcona Employment Assistance Services

By Morna McEachern

Students visit Native Education College.

On February 10, twenty seniors from the Bachelor of Social Work program took a trip to Vancouver, B.C. to visit Canadian social service agencies and compare approaches to social services in Canada and the United States as part of a course I teach with Stan de Mello. We were hosted at the Strathcona Employment Agency, an agency that serves Chinese and other Asian immigrants and refugees. We then had a walking historical tour of Chinatown, before heading to the Native Education College, which has a variety of courses from high school completion to practical trainings, to post-secondary courses by and for Aboriginal Canadians. The final agency we visited was S.A.F.E.R. (Suicide Attempt Follow-up, Education and Research), which has operated since the 1970’s, where we learned about their unique therapeutic approaches, supported by Health Canada and effective in preventing many further suicide attempts. The day ended with a wonderful dinner at Kathmandu Café, where the owner practices political activism—an important element of social work—through food.

Stan de Mello, Social Work, has been offering an annual student study-in-Canada opportunity to undergraduates in the School of Social Work since 2005.

Morna McEachern is a lecturer in the School of Social Work. Her primary research focuses on comparing Canadian and U.S. sexual health education policies and their relationship to teen pregnancy in both countries.

This study-in-Canada program was supported, in part, by funding from a Canadian Studies Center Program Enhancement Grant, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.