Children & Families Connection

January 2020 Newsletter
Welcome to NASW-TN’s new e-newsletter. This is a monthly publication focused on supporting your work with children & families in Tennessee. Monthly issues are emailed to our members and shared with the public through our Facebook page and website. Each issue includes a theme for that month, the latest information and research related to children & families, as well as tools and resources you can use in your practice.
Social Workers: Generations Strong

Social Work Month in March is a time to celebrate the great profession of social work.
The theme for Social Work Month 2020 is Social Workers: Generations Strong.
The theme has various meanings. As we enter a new decade it is important to look back and honor the powerful, positive impact the social work profession has had on our society for generations.
We also want to spotlight the life-affirming work that social workers from all generations — from the Greatest Generation to the Z Generation — are doing. And since NASW is celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2020, Social Work Month is a great opportunity to remind social workers of the important work NASW has been doing for decades and the need to join.

Save the Date for Social Work Day on the Hill!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Happy New Year! Let's Celebrate 2020 with Self-Care!
Whether you are a student or a professional working in the field, self-care matters!

What is Self-Care?
Self-care is an essential social work survival skill. Self-care refers to activities and practices that we can engage in on a regular basis to reduce stress and maintain and enhance our short- and longer-term health and well-being. Self-care is necessary for your effectiveness and success in honoring your professional and personal commitments.
Aims of Self-Care
Self-care is not simply about limiting or addressing professional stressors. It is also about enhancing your overall well-being. There are common aims to almost all self-care efforts:

  • Taking care of physical and psychological health
  • Managing and reducing stress
  • Honoring emotional and spiritual needs
  • Fostering and sustaining relationships
  • Achieving an equilibrium across one's personal, school, and work lives
Each of us may differ in the domains we emphasize and the balance we seek among them.
NASW-TN Member Profile:
Carmen Reese Foster, LMSW, LSSW
Carmen Foster received her MSW in 2008 at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. For the last 12 years, she has worked for HopeWell Cancer Support (Baltimore), Metro Nashville Public Schools, Preston Taylor Ministries, and now the University of Tennessee. Her social work practice has primarily been focused on working with low-income children and families of color.

Contemplative Practices for Self-Care in the Social Work Classroom

Sherry Warren and Jennifer Chappell Deckert

Social work educators prepare students for the demands of the profession by teaching them the skills, knowledge, and values graduates will use in their work with various clients within the context of varied practice settings. It is crucial that we pair these educational objectives with techniques to take care of themselves as they experience the emotional, psychological, and physically taxing work of being with people whose life circumstances carry trauma, grief, and stress. This article illustrates how contemplative practices in the social
work classroom can facilitate self-care during and after the intensity of formal education and better prepare students for wellness in professional settings after they graduate. Specific examples of three contemplative practices used in the authors’ classrooms are provided as is
an illustration of student reactions to these practices. Precautions and safety considerations associated with intense personal reflection are referenced and resources for instructors and
practitioners are cited.


Kristen Lee, Ed.D., LICSW, is a professor of Behavioral Science at Northeastern University, and is the author of "Mentalligence" and "Reset." With more than 20 years' experience as a clinician, educator, researcher and parent, she speaks about her area of expertise: preventing and treating burnout.

Jessica McCoy Counseling

The Nashville Self-Care Series is a resource for each of us to hear how other women are taking care of themselves in the midst of busy lives and hard jobs. Each interview brings a new perspective because self-care looks different for everyone. I am excited to introduce this week's guest blogger, Lydia Burris. She is my favorite social worker and my sister. I cannot be more proud of the work she does for Nashville students and the school system. Social Work can be a heavy job and I am so grateful to hear Lydia's perspective on Self-Care and Social Work.

University of Buffalo School of Social Work

To develop your self-care plan, you will identify what you value and need as part of your day-to-day life ( maintenance self-care) and the strategies you can employ when or if you face a crisis along the way ( emergency self-care).

There is no “one-size-fits-all” self-care plan, but there is a common thread to all self-care plans: making a commitment to attend to all the domains of your life, including your physical and psychological health, emotional and spiritual needs, and relationships.

Think of your self-care plan as a roadmap -- with planned vehicle maintenance, travel activities and rest stops along the way.

Trauma Information, Training, Professional Organizations
Want to present on a social work topic in 2020?

We are currently developing our Continuing Education calendar for 2020 and looking for presenters!

Free civil legal help is available through resources provided by Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services.Visit or call 1-844-HELP4TN to talk to an experienced Tennessee attorney for free legal advice and referrals.
NASW, Tennessee Chapter helps support the inclusion of information on social services through this website.
Free, one-stop resource for TN families to raise healthy and happy kids. kidcentral tn features articles on health, education, development and more. It also includes a searchable directory for state-sponsored services for children &families.

The site is maintained by the Tennessee Commission and Children and Youth.
 Follow NASW-TN on Facebook!