Course Description

This two-part course is designed for those working in the field of substance abuse, policy makers and those in fields connected with substance abuse such as child protection workers. 
Topics covered will include:

  • Questions around harm reduction: Range of options typically:• Needle exchanges; Safe substances; Substance substitution; 
  • Policy barriers, including questions of legalization
  • Place of practitioners in the policy debates
  • Access to treatment barriers and implications for clinical practice - Policy and public opinion barriers; Telling a different story
  • Treatment Burnout
  • Mothers, substance abuse and child protection
  • Indigenous Issues will be presented with Anishinaabe social worker Desi Lindstrom

Course Details

Course Learning Outcomes:
  1. Analyzing barriers that preclude clients gaining needed accesses and supports for harm reduction and cessation goals.
  2. Skill building for advocacy to policy makers regarding community, client and system needs.
  3. Link clinical and policy actions with the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
  4. Reconsider and challenge the structural barriers for mothers seeking supports for themselves while not risking their connections with their children.

Our instructor, Peter’s work is diverse and looks at assessment methodology in child protection - as well as addressing problems of cultural bias, particularly as it relates to Indigenous Peoples. Recent projects have included the voice of the child in child welfare hearings and the good enough standard for assessing parents. Other current research includes the intersection between courts and people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder; Intergenerational trauma and FASD; Indigenous knowledge; and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. He is a Registered Clinical Social Worker and an approved Clinical Supervisor. He is also a Professor of Social Work at Mount Royal University.


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