Social work conference to examine children and families in rural communities

“Children and Families in Rural Communities” is the theme of the 2019 Bowling Green State University Social Work Conference. Hosted by the College of Health and Human Services social work program, the event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. March 1 at Wood County Job and Family Services, 1928 E. Gypsy Lane Road in Bowling Green.

BGSU’s Peggy Adams, social work program director, and Matt Molnar, social work instructor, originated the conference and looked to BGSU students for help. Molnar’s students aided in developing the theme, the topic areas, recruiting speakers, finding the venue, and creating marketing materials for the conference.

All discussions are open to the public and will be beneficial for anyone interested in supporting children and families. Social workers can earn continuing education credits toward license renewal by attending.

The conference will consist of four panel sessions led by local professionals with expertise in the topic areas.

In the “Child Abuse and Neglect Assessment and Reporting” session, participants will learn about the scope and limits of child welfare agency responsibilities, the risk assessment used to determine service delivery, and the mandated reporting laws, especially regarding drug use.

Panelists will include Brandy Laux, assessments supervisor at Wood County Job and Family Services; Tiffany Kime, children’s services supervisor at Henry County Job and Family Services; and Angel Young, district social worker at Bellevue City Schools.

The second session, “Significance of Trauma and Providing Trauma-Informed Treatment,” attendees will hear about the physiological changes in the brain due to the impact of trauma, learn to recognize varying types of trauma and how they impact people differently, and identify interventions to assist clients in developing healthy coping skills.

Panelists will include Pam McKinley, early childhood mental health consultant at Children’s Resource Center; Melody Fryling, bereavement coordinator at ProMedica Hospice’s Clyde office; and Angie Patchen, project AWARE program manager at Wood County Educational Service Center.

Participants in the “School-based Bullying and Violence” session will learn how to recognize risk factors associated with all types of bullying and school-based violence, understand current prevention efforts attempting to prevent bullying and school-based violence and how to develop an action plan when professionals identify risk factors during assessment with clients.

Panelists include Young, Cassandrea Tucker, school social worker at Fremont City Schools; and Kyle Clark, director of prevention education at Wood County Educational Service Center.

In the last session, “Impact of Substance Abuse on Families in Rural Areas,” attendees will become more aware of current policies impacting service delivery of addiction services in rural areas, recognize the prevalence of substance use and abuse as well as the economic impact of addiction on communities and families in rural areas, and understand current evidence-based models for treatment of addiction and where to find such treatment.

Panelists include Aimee Coe, director of community programs at Wood County ADAMHS Board; Milan Karna, Wood County Prevention Coalition coordinator at Wood County Educational Service Center; and Francesa Leass, behavioral health consultant at the Wood County Health Department Community Health Center.

Find more information the Social Work Conference and register.