Kutztown University to Host Social Work Community Forum

15th Annual event slated for March 30

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KUTZTOWN, PA (02/15/2018) The Kutztown University Department of Social Work will host its 15th annual community forum on Friday, March 30, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. in Schaeffer Auditorium. This year's topic, "Family in Environment: Part II-Addictions," raises awareness of issues surrounding substance use disorders and effects on families in the social environment. It is part two of a three-year series. Community leaders, agency executives, policy makers, social workers, human services professionals, alumni, faculty, staff, and students will participate in the day-long event.

Presenters will include Dr. William Santoro, Substance Abuse Physician Specialist; Dr. Jean Bennett, Regional Administrator of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); Douglas Tieman, President and CEO of Caron Treatment Centers; William Stauffer, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance (PRO-A); Geoffrey Kolchin, Program Analyst with Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency; and Johanna Byrd, ACSW, executive director, National Association of Social Workers Pennsylvania.

A panel question and answer period will be held from 11:15 - 11:45 a.m. and from 3:30 - 4 p.m. (media welcome).

The annual $1,000 Diversity Prize, a competition cash award funded by the Social Work faculty in recognition of undergraduate and graduate level social work students who excel in celebration of diversity, will be presented.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has issued a statewide health disaster declaration in response to the incidence and prevalence of substance use disorders in the Commonwealth (specifically, opioid use disorders), now a public health emergency. According to SAMHSA, the Department of Health and Human Services awarded a $26,507,559 grant under the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis to Pennsylvania, considering it among the worst states in the nation. With emphasis on the family as the most important social institution and in recognition that alcohol and drug addiction affect the whole family, experts will identify and promote best practices that will enable social workers and other professionals to serve as catalysts to develop action plans and strengthen alliances across the practice continuum in this region.

Up to six continuing education credits (including 3 ethics credits) will be available for licensed social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors. Poised to respond to the changing needs of the region, the Department of Social Work (BSW, MSW, DSW) at KU aspires to create opportunity for individual fulfillment and societal contribution for all citizens of this rural, urban, and suburban region.

For more information, please contact Dr. Sharon Lyter, Forum chair, KU Department of Social Work, at 610-683-4235 or lyter@kutztown.edu.