In April 2011, the NASW HIV/AIDS Spectrum Project held a Training of Trainers (TOT) for fifteen social workers from around the United States. TOT graduates are ready to present workshops in their own communities addressing two areas:
1) medication adherence, with HIV/AIDS as a case study; and
2) clients with HIV and mental health diagnoses and/or substance abuse.
The goal of the HIV/AIDS Spectrum Project is to provide the necessary HIV practice skills for people working in the social work, health, behavioral health, and substance abuse fields to enhance and promote culturally competent practice with individuals, families, and communities affected by HIV/AIDS.
Here is a brief comment from one of the fifteen social workers selected to participate in the 3 day training:
When I walked into the TOT the first evening I new instantly this was going to be a process that would influence my practice, my agency, and those we serve for the better. The amount of experience, knowledge, and passion surrounding me was both inspiring and rejuvenating. This project allowed me and others the opportunity to stretch ourselves in areas needing improvement as well as receive feedback from leaders in our field. Everyone was down to earth allowing for easy conversation, discussion, and learning.
After having learned so much I am now challenged with delivering this message to those working in Indiana. I am approaching this challenge with a great sense of pride, humility, and determination. This project is a perfect avenue to disseminate new information for this ever changing disease and infected/affected population. I am indebted to my peers for sharing their expertise and I am elated to be part of this project of professional social workers.
To learn more about the NASW HIV/AIDS Spectrum Project and the role of social work in HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment, go to: http://www.socialworkers.org/practice/hiv_aids/default.asp. For HIV/AIDS information, go to: http://www.helpstartshere.org/health-wellness. To take an on-line course focused on HIV/AIDS, go to http://www.naswwebed.org/.