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HCDE Student Travel Report: Society for Social Work and Research Conference

Poster presentation that I presented for work that is part of my dissertation.

By John Fowler, HCDE PhD student

January 2023

From January 11 – 15, I had the opportunity to attend the annual Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) conference in Phoenix, AZ. I was able to present three pieces of research over the course of the conference. One of these was a poster presentation on the topic of online discussions and feelings on permanency for people with lived experience in foster care. The work from this presentation will be one of the chapters in my dissertation. This presentation gave me a great opportunity to connect with other researchers focused on issues related to the transition to adulthood out of the foster care system. The other two opportunities to share my work were through oral presentations of work that I contributed to as a Research Assistant on Dr. Angelique Day’s team at the UW School of Social Work. One of these presentations was an evaluation of an online foster, adoptive, and kinship parent training program. The other presentation was an evaluation of a navigator program to assist kinship caregivers in Washington state with accessing benefits and services. Both oral presentations gave me a chance to connect with other researchers interested in these important areas of the child welfare system.

Title slide of an oral paper presented by my research team.

In addition to these opportunities to present my work and informally connect with other researchers, I also took advantage of several Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings as a way to expand my circle. I attended one SIG meeting on the transition to adulthood and another on foster youth and higher education, both particularly relevant to the topic of my dissertation. At both SIG meetings I was able to share a tool that I have designed and created as part of my dissertation that should be particularly relevant to the interests of the other SIG members. Through this, I was able to solicit feedback on the tool from the population it was intended to serve, which should be very helpful for completing my dissertation. I am very grateful to have been funded to attend the 2023 SSWR conference. The ability to share my work and connect with like-minded researchers will be invaluable to my work going forward.

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The Mary B. Coney Endowed Fund, named in honor of Emeritus Professor Mary Coney, supports HCDE students by funding costs associated with travel to conferences and international workshops. Your support of this fund enriches the HCDE student experience and enhances HCDE's influence in the field.

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