Diversity Informed PRACTICE

Silberman SSW in collaboration with the Institute for Infants, Children and Families, JBFCS

Tonia Spence, LCSW, MS Ed and Rebecca Shahmoon Shanok, LCSW, PhD | Thursdays 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. | May 1, 8, 15; June 5, 12 | $275 | Course code: SWDIV

Location: JBFCS, 135 West 50th Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues)

There is an urgent need for service providers to learn effective ways to work with individuals and families from backgrounds different from our own. Additionally, across numerous service sectors, there are disparities in access to care, service utilization, and attrition that are linked to aspects of diversity including ethnicity, race, gender identification and socio-economic status. How do we do work effectively knowing these disparities exist? What can we do to better engage diverse populations and how can we use the diversity awareness model to guide our interventions?

By nurturing a confidential, safe space for self- and other-exploration, we will endeavor to extend our abilities to speak across differences. In taking on — and uncovering — differences and misunderstandings with integrity, openness and grace, it is our hope that everyone will benefit and our abilities to help others will grow.

Using scripts of actual, complex case situations, this five-session seminar will bring to life working-across-difference issues. We will identify core concepts for engaging diverse populations and enhancing diversity-informed practice.

Learners will:

  • Focus on deep listening skills.
  • Become familiar with at least three core concepts related to diversity-informed practice.
  • Gain greater familiarity with the concept of historical trauma and understand how historical trauma may affect engagement with service providers.
  • Understand how a diversity awareness model guides practice.
  • Gain in awareness of self and other.
  • Become familiar with some new and fine materials in these domains.

About the Instructors:

Tonia M. Spence, LCSW, MS Ed, is Director of Clinical Services at the Child Development Center (CDC) of JBFCS. She returned to CDC after being on faculty at the Yale Child Study Center (YCSC) where she served as a clinician in its Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic (OPC) and did a year in their Post Graduate Fellowship.  She holds a Masters in Special Education from Bank Street College of Education and a Masters in Social Work from CUSSW. She has been a middle school teacher in NYC public schools, a Special Education Itinerant Teacher for the CDC and YAI. She has also trained and worked at CDC as a clinician for 4 years working with children ages 3-12 and their families. Prior to accepting her current position, Ms. Spence spent a year in the Post Graduate Fellowship Program at YCSC-OPC.
Tonia serves on the board of the NY Zero-to-Three Network and is active in JBFCS’s Confronting Organizational Racism Initiative and various caucuses that address anti-racist issues.  Her organization has been establishing Racial Competencies as part of its staff training. 

Dr. Shahmoon Shanok is founding director of the Institute for Infants, Children & Families, JBFCS, which reaches young, underserved children and their families with transdisciplinary, model  services,  post-degree  training  for  providers  of  all disciplines and state-of-the-science consultation to government, systems and agencies. Rebecca is founder, past co-president, and active member of the NY Zero-to-Three Network. With degrees and experience in clinical psychology, social work and early childhood    education,    she    has    extensive    experience    in psychoanalysis  and  infant  mental  health  and  is a pioneer  in  integrating  mental health consultation and services into childcare and Head Start programs.  Rebecca lectures and consults throughout North America and abroad and has been widely published.

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*All participants are required to pay a one-time $20 registration fee each semester.