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Elevating social work

This March, CARF joins the National Association of Social Workers in celebrating social workers

Elevate Social Work

By CARF International

On this blog, we often talk about topics important to CARF, like person-centered approaches, active and meaningful engagement of stakeholders, and commitment to quality improvement.

These concepts usually involve integrative services and approaching a person in a holistic way. In other words, we focus on many of the things that social workers have been advocating since the era of Jane Addams in the 1890s.

It is no wonder that CARF’s workforce is teeming with social work professionals.

Because social work is so woven into our DNA, we happily join the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), a longtime member of CARF’s International Advisory Council, in elevating and celebrating the profession of social work during Social Work Month. NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world and has been involved with CARF standards development for 20 years.

We spoke with a few CARF staff members, surveyors, and advocates to help spread the message of what social work means and how it relates to their work with CARF.

Susan ArcadiaSusan Arcadia, B.S.W., M.S.A., NHA, CARF Surveyor – Vice President of Operations, Lutheran Social Ministries of Maryland

“Social workers epitomize the core values of CARF. As resident advocates, social workers are continually striving for person-centered care, continuous quality improvement, and input from residents served. They work daily toward conformance in these areas, which not only strengthens the organization’s accreditation status but more importantly enriches the lives of the persons served, which is the overarching goal of our CARF standards. Happy Social Work Month!”

Angela BonaguidiAngela Bonaguidi, LCSW, LAC, MAC, M.S.W. – Director of Adult Outpatient, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus

“CARF is an opportunity to synchronize across disparate health and social service systems, through standards, in order to improve social determinants that impact a person served in overall health and treatment outcomes.”

Jed JohnsonJed Johnson, M.S.W., M.B.A. – CARF’s Managing Director of Aging Services

“Although my role at CARF is Managing Director for Aging Services, I know social workers interact with older adults and their family caregivers across all of CARF’s customer service units, not only through the constellation of aging programs. Their activities span from leadership and administrative roles to providing clinical support and guidance. They are advocates and change agents, and they spearhead research initiatives.

“I’m proud to have opportunities each and every day here at CARF to embrace, enact, and empower our profession’s foundational principles and values, such as promoting dignity and worth, celebrating diversity and difference, and supporting the inherent value of human relationships. This is reflected both in the accreditation standards themselves as well is in CARF’s day-to-day operations.”

Sandra KohtzSandra Kohtz, LCSW, CARF Surveyor – Consultant, Harmony Foundation, Inc.

“I am a social worker and received my bachelor's degree in 1976 and a master’s in 1981. I believe that the education we received was well rounded and allowed for the practice of social work in many different areas, including behavioral health and medical care. This degree has helped me as a surveyor to be able to use this multi-faceted information to go into facilities and survey them with a review of the system of the organization. This allowed for a holistic approach to each survey I do.”

Bonnie RockBonnie Rock, M.S.W. – CARF Resource Specialist for aging services programs

“My role as a resource specialist is to provide technical assistance regarding CARF standards and the accreditation process. Being a resource specialist fits nicely with my desire to practice social work at a macro level.

“As a macro-practice social worker, I am prepared with the knowledge, skill, and practice in the area of program planning and evaluation, administration, policy and advocacy, and community practice. Macro-practice social workers empower at a level that affects systematic change. As an organization prepares for CARF accreditation, it implements standards to elevate its business and service delivery practices, which include person-centered care, stakeholder engagement, and a commitment to quality improvement.

“Social work at the level of a CARF resource specialist allows me to be a part of an organization’s achievement of accreditation, and in turn I am assisting the organization to enhance the lives of their persons served.”

Debbi WithamDebbi Witham, M.S.W., J.D. – CARF’s Managing Director of Public Policy

“I think this is a very exciting time to be a social worker, particularly to be working at CARF. The values and work of the social work profession are especially important in efforts to revitalize health and social service systems. I am able to use my social justice roots and background in the social work profession to have a greater impact and role in policy.”

CARF thanks all social workers for your efforts to ensure a holistic and inclusive service experience for all persons in the community.

(Aging Services,Behavioral Health,Employment and Community Services,Child and Youth Services,Medical Rehabilitation)

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