2019 OASW Beverley Antle Leadership Award Recognizes Dr. Faye Mishna
Presented at the 2019 OASW AGM
Dr. Faye Mishna is an exemplary member of OASW and OCSWSSW through her work as a social work educator, researcher, practitioner and leader. She has been the Dean of the Factor-lnwentash Faculty of Social Work (FIFSW) for the past decade and holds the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Chair in Child and Family (2005-2020). She has taken a strong stance on providing ethical and competent practice by social workers within a social justice framework. Specifically, she has led the way in helping develop social work competencies through simulation-based learning to improve the practices of social workers, ensuring that the public receive the best evidence-informed services by social workers. She has made significant contributions to social work practice through this competency-based curriculum, together with her deep commitment to working with children and their families. Her work has involved developing approaches for children with various disabilities – a highly vulnerable population. As well, she has done extensive research in bullying and cyber-bullying and holds an international reputation for her investigations, publications and education in this area.
Faye has a long history of both direct practice experience and advocacy activities. When the current provincial government cut funding to the Provincial Child and Youth Advocate's Office, she pushed to have this decision repealed by responding (collectively) with a statement of alarm and concern. She also rallied, along with OASW and other social workers, to ensure that social workers were included as significant service providers in the Ontario Mental Health Act and the recently passed Psychotherapy Act. Faye served on the committee to establish the Professional Development Fund for Social Workers and Social Service Workers, working with OASW to advocate for this necessary support to social workers. She continues to be a strong and steadfast advocate for children with learning disabilities building on her work at lntegra where she was a counsellor and later Clinical Director, and a Board member. As well, she has done ground-breaking research on bullying, and later cyber-bullying, of vulnerable children and youth. She has produced over one hundred publications and many more live presentations to disseminate her work to a broad audience of helping professionals and academics locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. Additionally, Faye is an outstanding citizen in the various communities within which she works. She sits on review committees, planning committees and various Boards, and has participated in countless activities to support the academic and social work community.
Faye has been a constant supporter of OASW over the years in many ways, ensuring that OASW has a voice at the table with the Ontario Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work, seed-funding and providing resources for the important SCOPE Pilot ED Project, providing assistance with OASW’’s recent report: A Snapshot of Social Work in Ontario: Key Indicators for Sustaining a Critical Profession and hosting a reception to celebrate the work of Joan Mackenzie Davies and the achievement of the passing of the Psychotherapy Act.
Faye’s colleague, Dr. Ramona Allagia, stated: “I have rarely seen someone with such a strong allegiance to the profession of social work in its various roles of counselling and advocacy”. As well, her leadership of the University and the FIFSW in advancing the role of social work in society at large has been admirable. She has put social work "on the map" in unique ways, spotlighting the multiple roles social workers inhabit and their invaluable contributions to individuals, families, and communities.