Center Announces Major Spring Conference

The gap between practice and research was an important reason for the founding of our Center, and it will be the focus of a major Center sponsored conference to be held on March 8, 1991 at Columbia University. The Conference title is Practice and Research: Bridging the Gap," and it will have several unique features. An invitational meeting of approximately 150 leading professionals, it will include approximately equal numbers of practitioners and researchers, to allow for a real dialogue. Subjects for attention will be substantive and central to the field such as social work effectiveness and social work assessment. There will be publication of major papers and conference discussions. The Conference is being supported by a generous grant from the Virginia and Leonard Marx Foundation.

Conference leadership will be given by three main speakers, discussants, and workshop leaders and rapporteurs. In the morning session Professor Juliet Cheetham, Director of the Social Work Research Centre at Stirling University, Scotland, will speak on "Evaluating Social Work Effectiveness". Professor Cheetham is a leading British social worker, who formerly taught at Oxford University. She has authored and edited a number of books, and has served on the Royal Commission on Race Relations. The discussant for her paper will be a distinguished American social worker, Dr. Gary Rosenberg. He is senior Vice-President of Mt. Sinai Medical Center and Edith J. Baerwald Professor of Community Medicine (Social Work), Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

The second major speaker will be Professor Carol H. Meyer, of the Columbia University School of Social Work, who will speak on "Social Work Assessment", and explore questions about its empirical base. Dr. Meyer, formerly editor of Social Work, has written widely on social work issues and practice theory. The discussant for her presentation will be Professor Marsha Martin of the Hunter College School of Social Work, who is known for her seminal work with the homeless.

The closing speaker for the conference will be Professor David Austin of the University of Texas, who is the Chair of the NIMH Task Force on Social Work Research. He will discuss the Task Force concerns with practice research.