Announcing Our 1st SSWNetwork Forum: Loyola SMHAPP Students Sharing Their Expertise All Week With You
Hello SSWN friends: This project has been in the works here at SSWN and our SSWNetwork for a while now, and I’m so excited to share it with you today. Starting in December, all of our current Loyola School Mental Health Advanced Practice Program (SMHAPP) students will be “hosting” a week on our site, sharing information about their SMHAPP project work and responding to crucial issues impacting K-12 schools and school mental health practice. I’m thrilled to kick things off with Ryan Hurley and Penny Williams-Wolford, 2 Illinois SSW and members of the 4th SMHAPP cohort. Here in their own words is what they’re going to be doing this week in this “SMHAPP SSWNetwork Takeover,” along with some further biographical information about these two mighty school clinicians. Take it away, Penny and Ryan!
“This week, we will be exploring the use of seclusions/isolated time-outs in schools across Illinois in response to the November 19th Chicago Tribune article, “The Quiet Rooms.” Throughout the next week here at SSWNetwork, we’ll first explore the original article, connect over some of our own personal experiences within our own districts here in Illinois but also throughout the rest of the world, look at some state and national best-practices around the use of isolated time-outs (including highlighting Illinois’ own recent policy changes), and then consider what interventions are currently being utilized in various education settings.
Along the way to help us do all this, we will post lots of helpful links to articles and resources about this topic, so that by the end of the week you are feeling informed and equipped to reflect upon the use of seclusion in your own school mental health context. Please consider joining us at SSWNetwork this coming Saturday, December 7, 2019, at 9:00 am (CST) for a live chat, where we’ll recap the week’s discussions and share additional information about these pressing issues.”
SMHAPP Forum Leader Bios:
Ryan Hurley, MSW Spring Brook Elementary School, Naperville, IL, graduated from Aurora University in 2012 and has since worked as an elementary school social worker in Naperville, IL. His professional interests include exploring the confluence of trauma, attachment, and mindfulness to connect students and their families to a meaningful sense of wholeness and healing. You could follow him on social media, but it would be pointless because he’s only on it to enter contests to win free guitars (he hasn’t yet).
Penny Williams-Wolford, MSW, LSW, is a School Social Worker and Early Intervention Developmental Therapist. This is her second year working as a School Social Worker at a school in the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Penny earned her Master in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago and a Master in Child Development from Erikson Institute. She earned her Master of Education from National Louis University while working as a preschool teacher and director of her own child care program. Penny has over 23 years of experience working with children, families, and individuals in Early Childhood Education as an instrument of encouragement and guidance. Penny’s teaching experience included working part-time adjunct at Triton Community College.
Penny’s personal and professional life includes a commitment to assisting individuals with special needs and their families. She enjoys working with children, families and in the community. Penny feels it is a privilege to be part of a school system to assist children with their social-emotional development. She understands the many nuances of having a family member with special needs, including the emotional and advocacy aspects of the process. Penny desires to work alongside families to help them in their journey towards preparing their child for their future. She volunteers in many ways to give back to her community.