January 24, 2019 12:41 am
Updated: January 24, 2019 12:48 am

U of C recognizes Lethbridge social work agencies

WATCH ABOVE: The University of Calgary held an event Wednesday afternoon to honour about two dozen agencies that help train and educate the next batch of social workers. The institution's social worker program has a location in Lethbridge and has seen many of its graduates go on to work in the community. Kyle Benning has more.


Dozens of Lethbridge agencies were honoured by the University of Calgary on Wednesday for the important role they play in social work education and the work they do to make Lethbridge a better place to live.

Twenty-five local groups were given plaques for offering work placements to students and giving them hands-on experience in social work.

“Each of my practicums, I’ve been able to learn more and more about what is available to any population, homeless people to students, so it’s really important,” said fourth-year student Hollie Proulx.

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“They’re teaching the next generation of social workers so to have that acknowledgement, to have it in your establishment to show people that I teach social workers here and to be proud of that is something that is really important.”

READ MORE: Official with Lethbridge Family Services breaks down where city’s newcomers are coming from

U of C’s satellite campuses in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat have educated many social work students, but the agencies give them hands-on experience, and many of the graduates decide to continue working in southern Alberta.

“The graduates that they have created stay here. They are part of this community, they are your neighbours and they help support others in the community. I’m really proud of that and proud of what the faculty of social work has done here in the Lethbridge community,” said the program’s dean, Jackie Sieppert.

READ MORE: Project Connect helps hundreds of Lethbridge’s most vulnerable residents

Lethbridge Family Services was just one of the organizations recognized, and its CEO is looking forward to having more students.

“We’re so proud to have this acknowledgement. For us, it’s really an affirmation of our commitment to be a learning organization,” Sandra Mintz said.

The university said there are hundreds of social workers in the city working in a number of facilities, including hospitals and schools as well as child protection and mental health organizations.

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