Master of Social Work Student Hosts NASW and MSLC Presentation at Hanoi, Vietnam Non-Profit

Coins for Change
Kelly Dundon

Coins for Change

Kelly Dundon, a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam, this past winter break to give a presentation on the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics, and the Multi-systems Life Course (MSLC) perspective at Coins for Change in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Coins for Change (C4C) is a non-profit working on behalf of disenfranchised single mothers and their children. Their mission is "to empower women with skills and resources to overcome social and economic challenges." Since 2015, the women-led organization has engaged with 30,000-plus single Vietnamese mothers through a variety of free programming including case management, English classes, parenting courses, life skills training and fair-trade economics.

Dundon's presentation was two-fold including an overview of NASW ethics and values with specific implications for engagement, assessment and evaluation, and an introduction to applying the MSLC perspective to illuminate social and economic barriers that uniquely affect single mothers and children.

The MSLC perspective was developed by faculty at the School of Social Work at the University of Arkansas over 15 years ago with the purpose to advance social work practice at the micro, mezzo and macro levels. The MSLC perspective is useful in addressing the needs of individuals, families, groups, communities and societies, and the complex identities and systems therein. Another unique component of MSLC is its attention to addressing issues of social and economic injustice.

The presentation was received by a team of on-site case managers who further adapted and modified its content to reflect the cultural values and customs of Vietnamese single mothers. As a result, the training has become a core curriculum for incoming and existing workers who serve C4C clients. New practitioners will take part in a video training provided by Kelly which uses C4C case studies to highlight the application of the NASW Code of Ethics and MSLC perspective.

It is anticipated that the video training will be received by an additional 15 case workers in Vietnam and impact 100+ new, incoming clients per year. This is the first partnership between the School of Social Work and Coins for Change, and Dundon intends to continue work with the agency including another site visit in 2020.

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