Caring for ALL people - regardless of their ability to pay. 

LCS Celebrates National Professional Social Work Month
By Mary Jo S. Hoard, MSW, ACSW, LCSW

        Lutheran Counseling Services joins agencies all over the world offering congratulations to The National Association of Social Workers celebrating sixty years as the premier organization guiding professional social workers. Using the theme "Social Work: Forging Solutions Out of Challenges", NASW plans to promote the month of March by asking members to submit videos, execute spoken-word performances, create posters or supply photos showing how social workers have helped individuals, clients and communities create solutions and positive change out of challenging issues.
        Professional social workers have completed college with either an undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Social Work), graduate degree (Master of Social Work) or a doctorate degree (Doctor of Social Work) and are trained to respect the dignity of all peoples and improve the social conditions of our communities, the nation and beyond. Social workers provide services in many settings - schools, hospitals, social service agencies, mental health facilities and on military posts.  Florida NASW Chapter president, Billy Spivey, summed up the mission of the profession ..."professional social workers tackle some of the toughest challenges facing our society. In every city and every community they develop solutions to make mental health and health care more available, to reduce poverty, to eliminate injustice and discrimination and to protect vulnerable children and adults from harm". Social workers contribute at all levels of society working with individuals, families, schools, universities, non-profit agencies, and government offices to mediate conflict, foster positive relationships and create hope and opportunity for people in need.
        Throughout March 2016 we will celebrate National Social Work Month and all the social workers who proudly represent the profession. 
Successful Educators Workshop

On Wednesday, March 2, the therapists from LCS led workshops on a variety of issues that teachers or professionals may encounters in their school or classroom. Holy Cross Lutheran Academy in Sanford hosted the event and 50 teachers, principals and other church workers attended. 

We are grateful to Holy Cross Academy for opening up their doors for us and to all of our attendees. 

We are hoping to keep offering opportunities like this for educators and church workers. 
Meet Our Social Workers

         Megan Miessler is a graduate of the University of Central Florida where she earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees. She has been employed at LCS as a clinical social worker since 2007. She is the coordinator of the school counseling ministry program and sees clients at the Spirit of Joy, Lake Mary, St. Luke's and Oviedo satellite offices. Megan's expertise is in the areas of women's issues, individual and family therapy, play therapy and treating clients who suffer from depression and anxiety. Megan recently served as a called Director of Christian Education at Orlando's Trinity Lutheran Church. She and husband Matt are the parents to three of Rick and Kristi Armstrong's six grandchildren (son and two daughters).
          An LCS part-time employee since 1990, Mary Jo Hoard graduated from the University Of Kansas School Of Social Welfare in 1972, moved to Orlando and began her career as a psychiatric social worker. Mary Jo has served the community as a therapist and program manager focusing on mental health and children as well as teaching for many years as an adjunct instructor at the UCF School of Social Work. She is a qualified clinical supervisor and currently holds the position of clinical coordinator at LCS and travels to satellite locations at the Woodlands Church in Clermont and Hope Lutheran Church in Lady Lake.  Mary Jo works with children, adolescents, adults, families and couples. She is widowed and the mother of two grown sons. 
LCS in the Community 
  • Liz Yantorni is leading a group called "Accepting Change" at the Plymouth.  They talk about learning how to handle the unexpected changes that we face throughout life (i.e. financial, health, losses, relationship changes). 
  • Liz Yantorni and Angie Majors are doing a two-part group at the Plymouth called "Making the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life" where they focus on how to live your life differently. 
  • In February, Megan Miessler led a workshop for AISF at Holy Cross in Lake Mary. The workshop was for Early Education Administrators on how to respond to students going through difficult times. 
  • Megan Miessler led a workshop in March for teachers at Trinity Orlando that focused on how to recognize burnout in self and co-workers and how to respond. 
  • Dr. Armstrong presented on "Transitions in Ministry" and was available for "conversation and consultation" to the New Missionaries Orientation for 2 days in March in St. Louis for the LCMS  
  • In March, Dr. Armstrong presented 6 hours of training in Healthy Congregations for a congregation in transition and will return for another 6 hours in April.
Interesting Facts on Social Work
  • Social workers help people in all stages of life, from children to the elderly, and in all situations from adoption to hospice. 
  • Professional social workers are the nation's largest providers of mental health services. 
  • More than 600,00 people in the United States hold social work degrees.
  • The need for social workers is expected to grow twice as fast as any other occupation, especially in gerontology, home healthcare, substance abuse, private social service agencies, and school social work.
Isaiah 53:4-6
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned-every one-to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 

Have a blessed Holy Week and Easter! 
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