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In this issue:

  • Fall Regional Conference
  • 2016 Chapter Elections
  • Upcoming Branch Meetings
  • 2016 Annual Conference
  • Committee Updates
  • Leadership Academy
  • Welcome New Members!

NASW Arkansas | Board of Directors | 2015-16

  • Peggy Tidmore-White, LCSW, President
  • Stephanie Christian-Carpenter, LCSW, Vice President
  • Annette Woodruff, LCSW Secretary
  • V. Ann Brown, LCSW, Treasurer
  • Tanya Brashers BSW, Student Representative
  • Brandon Higgins MSW, Student Representative
  • Elizabeth Fowler, LCSW, Central Branch Representative
  • Sunnie Rogers, LCSW, Central Branch Representative
  • Johanna Thomas, PhD, LMSW, Central Branch Representative
  • Patricia Wilkerson, LCSW, North East Branch Representative
  • Rita Collins, LMSW, North West Branch Representative
  • Brandi Schneider, LMSW, North West Branch Representative
  • Marie Jenkins, LCSW, South East Branch Representative
  • Jennifer Turner, LMSW, LAC, South West Branch Representative
  • Haleigh Trotter, LMSW, West Central Branch Representative

From the President

peggy tidmore white 3This new year for NASW Arkansas is off to an exciting start!

I want to welcome the new and returning members of the Board of Directors, representing all sections of the state. At our Board Retreat in July I saw some hard work taking place, as well as some fun time, as we began the process of planning this year’s activity. We have a goal of being more member-focused in an attempt to better meet the overall needs of our members. One result is the initiation of the one-day Fall Regional Conferences, to be held on two Saturdays in October in different parts of the state. There will be six CEUs offered, free of charge to NASW members, covering topics of interest previously identified by the membership. We also saw the inauguration of the Leadership Academy. Some dynamic social workers were selected and we are seeing some hardworking activity taking place towards gaining new skills and completing their key project. Additionally, I recently attended a fun networking event held by the Central Branch at the Old Chicago Restaurant in NLR, one held by the West Central Branch at Java Primo in Hot Springs. Look for announcements of upcoming events and regular meetings for other branches.

Planning is also underway for our Annual Conference, to be held March 30 – April 1, 2016 at the Wyndham Riverfront in North Little Rock. Our theme for the 27th Annual Conference is Social Work: With People, By People, For People. The Request for Proposals has been issued and can be found on our website. If you have an interest in being a presenter, or know of someone who might be a good presenter, or who wants to be an exhibitor, please let us know. For NASW members there are also opportunities for involvement on various NASW Committees, including Membership, Professional Development/Education, Legislative/Advocacy, and PACE. Please get involved! I look forward to working with you and tapping into the new energy and perspectives of our membership offers.

We have challenges before us, but also new opportunities to help our profession shine as we continue to advocate for positive change. At the national NASW level, there are some pending changes towards modernization of the organization. I will make you aware as these changes occur.

Continued blessings,

Peggy Tidmore-White, LCSW President, NASW Arkansas

Our Vision NASW Arkansas is committed to being the most relevant and visible force for social work professionals. We will impact the state of Arkansas and empower our profession through education, advocacy, and networking.

Welcome New Members!

  • Raven Moody
  • Gortrell Cox
  • Sonya Perry
  • Laura Jarrett
  • Adrienne Scott
  • Bentley Flint
  • Tangela Lewis
  • Iris Moore
  • Tiffany Turner
  • Yolanda Smith
  • Eboney Allen
  • Jeffery Morris
  • Justin Lee, Sr
  • Tiffani Thomas
  • Jimmie Bradley
  • Willie Fleetwood
  • Angela Moses
  • Sarah Carter
  • Amber Cummings
  • Kayla Brown
  • Pearlie Sherrod
  • Chance McMullin
  • Alexis Walker
  • Rique Tubbs
  • Staneka Speeks
  • Vickie Moore
  • Courtney Burnett
  • Michael Rogers
  • Censi Childs
  • Shanteka Dean
  • Robert Hinojosa
  • Kaci Cole
  • Kwamesha Moore
  • Robyne Woodard
  • Julie Mitzel
  • Launa Radford
  • Sherby Fitzpatrick

From the Director

holly barron 5New Year and New Opportunities July 1 marked the first complete year

I have been with NASW Arkansas, and what an honor it is to work for social workers across the state! Our chapter runs on a fiscal year, so each July 1 we welcome new board members. The board held its annual retreat in July and took on the charge to continue the good work already on track and to develop exciting new opportunities for you.

This year we are introducing our Fall Regional Conferences Series. You can find more information about the Saturday conferences coming up in October in this newsletter and online. This is our effort to thank our members on the state level and offer one more benefit for your membership.

Branch Representatives decided to host monthly networking meetings to bring social workers together to share resources and connect. Check out the dates and locations below.

Our new Leadership Academy officially began in July with an orientation, retreat, and workshop on transformational leadership. This group of dedicated social workers are developing a plan for a new program in Arkansas and they will present their findings at the 2016 Annual Conference.

It’s never a slow day at the office, but we are dedicated to bringing you vibrant and meaningful opportunities to advance your career and connect with colleagues.

I love meeting and hearing from our members. Please call, email, or drop by the Chapter office so we can get acquainted or if there’s anything we can to do assist you.

Yours truly,

Holly Barron, Executive Director

Branch Meetings

In an effort to bring more social workers together throughout the state, branch reps are hosting monthly networking meetings.

The meetings are for social workers, social work students, and other mental health professionals to network, learn about upcoming events, give input into what training and events they’d like to see in the area, and to nominate phenomenal social workers and agencies to be recognized in upcoming newsletters and conferences.

Upcoming meetings:

  • Central Branch – 3rd Thursdays September 17, 2015 at 6:00pm at Cantina Laredo 207 N. University Little Rock, AR 72205
  • West Central Branch – 2nd Thursdays October 8, 2015 at 6:30 pm Location TBD

Do you want to have a branch networking meet up in your area? Contact your branch rep or email

Spotlight On…….

Birch Tree Communities, Inc.,

Malvern Branch Birch Tree Communities is a non-profit organization serving adults with mental illness. It was founded in 1989 with a total of 36 members. There are now a total of 13 locations across the state serving over 400 members. The Birch mission is “A satisfying life in the community” and all employees follow a set of principles or intentions to foster a recovery environment. The intentions are: To be kind. To inspire hope. To respect and befriend men and women overwhelmed by life. To bring a measure of joy into every life we touch. To do no harm. To offer ourselves without discrimination. To be just. To serve with patience, persistence and forgiveness, not regarding symptoms of illness as evidence of failure. To create an environment in which dreams are born, encouraged and pursued. To be a beginning, not an end. According to SAMSHA, the recovery model includes a number of key principles which guide how staff serves members. These guiding principles include self-direction, individualized treatment, empowerment, a holistic approach, non-linear progress, peer support, respect, responsibility, and hope.

Malvern branch serves approximately 55 members with a person-centered and recovery-oriented treatment approach. Services offered include: rehabilitative day treatment; individual, group, and family therapy; crisis intervention; medication management; advocacy; and paraprofessional services. Psychosocial and peer led groups are held weekly to assist members gain independent skills as well as coping skills. Other groups and activities offered include weekly outings, art, creative writing, computer classes, supportive employment, spirituality, and many more.

“Spotlight” social workers and agencies are nominated and submitted by Chapter Branches. Contact your branch rep if you’re interested in nominating an agency or social worker to be considered for a Spotlight segment.

Continuing Education

In our ongoing effort to provide the social work community with opportunities to advance knowledge and meet licensing requirements, we invite you to join us at our Fall Regional Conference Series! This series will consist of one day conferences around the state, covering a variety of topics, and typically offering 6 hours of continuing education. Dates and locations can be found below. As an added benefit, NASW Arkansas members can attend 1 of the conferences for free!

Registration information:

  • *FREE to NASW Members
  • $90 – Potential NASW Members ($120 after 10/3)
  • $60 – Potential NASW Student Members ($90 after 10/3)

Pre-registration is required and payment is non-refundable. Space is limited at each location. *Registration fees will apply to NASW Arkansas members who wish to attend more than one conference. Space is limited based on location and early registration is encouraged. Registration is open online at

North West Arkansas Regional Conference

Saturday, October 10, 2015 Eureka Springs First United Methodist Church, 195 Huntsville Rd, Eureka Springs, AR 72632 6 CEUs presented by:

  • DSM-5—Dr. Erick Messias It happens a lot – And I’ve seen both ways: African American’s Perspectives of Domestic Violence in Northwest Arkansas—Dr. Valandra
  • Social Work Ethics Cases for Mental Health and Domestic Violence—Dr. Alishia Ferguson

Central Arkansas Regional Conference

Saturday, October 17, 2015 Junion League of Little Rock, 401 Scott Street, Little Rock, AR 72201 6 CEUs presented by:

  • Gang Violence Trends/Interventions—Steven Nawojczyk
  • Second Chance Program—Stephanie Christian-Carpenter, LCSW, Jodi Chalmers, Chris Burrow
  • The Seven Challenges—Margaret Robbins, LCSW and Peggy Kelly, LPC DSM-5—Dr. Erick Messias

South Arkansas Regional Conference

Saturday, October 17, 2015 El Dorado Conference Center – 311 South West Avenue, El Dorado, AR 71730 6 CEUs presented by:

  • Domestic Violence Court Proceedings and Victim’s Options and Services—Leslie Vestal and Bearlain Lewis
  • The Full Law Enforcement Response to Domestic Violence—Louis C. Roy
  • Recognizing Stalking among Members of the “Now” Generation—Whitney M. Gass
  • Victim Dynamics and Interventions—Pam Dennington

Serving on the Board

Opportunities to Give Back to the Profession

Have you been wondering how you could give back to your NASW community? Do you have strong leadership skills that could strengthen the mission of NASW Arkansas? If so, we have the opportunity for you!

It is time to fill important positions on the NASW Arkansas Board of Directors. Taking a leadership position in the chapter puts you on the cutting edge of the profession: you will be faced with making critical decisions regarding the future of your profession. You will meet other talented, ambitious people and have the opportunity to represent your colleagues. Please review the open board positions below and consider joining us.

President-Elect (one year term) Uses this year to prepare him/herself to fulfill duties of the president and works closely with current President to learn those duties. Upon completion of this term, President-Elect fills the President position for a two year term. May attend the NASW Annual Leadership Meeting.

Secretary (two year term) Responsible for minutes of Board of Directors and Executive Committee and nonfiscal records of NASW-AR. Undertakes other duties as may be assigned by President.

Treasurer (two year term) Responsible for the receipt, deposit, disbursement, and withdrawal of all chapter funds and renders quarterly financial statements to the Board and Executive Committee.

BSW & MSW Student Board Member (one year term) Represents the interest of BSW and MSW student members. Meets annually with 1-3 groups of students.

Nominating Committee (two year term) Develops a double slate of candidates for Chapter elections, meeting election deadlines as set in by-laws. Works with the Board and members to identify leadership roster. Submits suggestions for national nominations.

Branch Representative (two year term) Represents branch members and the Board to one another; conducts regular branch meetings; is a catalyst to generate activity in the branch; prepares reports noting branch activity and concerns for presentation at quarterly Board meetings.

Time Commitment Board of Directors must attend four annual Board meetings of one-day duration, and attend an annual retreat, typically held in July or August. Board members also represent NASW at functions throughout the year, such as at Conferences and branch meetings.

If you are interested in being a part of the leadership of your professional organization, contact a member of the nominating committee, executive director Holly Barron at, or go to our website to download the forms to be on the ballot.

2015-2016 Nominating Committee

Jenny Caldwell, LCSW Chair – Central AR

Rebekah Price, LCSW North West AR

Donna Taylor, LCSW South East AR

John Bolding, PLMSW North East AR

Chapter Committees

Program and Professional Development

Our Program and Professional Development Committee has been very busy! We have been working to plan regional fall conferences and are excited to present this new opportunity to Arkansas social workers! We have also started planning the 37th Annual Conference. The conference will be at the Wyndham Riverfront March 30, 2016 – April 1, 2016. Mark your calendars! Our theme for this year is Social Work: With People, By People, For People. This year’s conference theme challenges social workers to recognize they are leaders of working with a variety of people to provide knowledge, skills, and common values to help others identify strengths, overcome adversity, and fulfill potential. In this truly unprecedented time we cannot forget what we are here to do – improve the lives of people! We have been surveying social workers in Arkansas to get a better idea of what you want from the annual conference. We hope to take this information and use it to select presentations and keynote speakers based on your interests! At the conference, this will include the option to select from specialty practice tracks, focusing on specific evidenced based practices and areas of social work, in addition to a generalist track. The Request for Proposals is on its way to your mailbox and you can also find it on our website. Having a variety of general and specialty practice proposals will help us make the conference more successful. If you are interested in presenting, we encourage you to submit a proposal! Haleigh Trotter, Program and Professional Development Chair

Advocacy Committee

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program

NASW promotes loan forgiveness for social workers as part of our effort to improve working conditions, salaries, and other benefits for members of the profession and to ensure that consumers have access to qualified professionals. During reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) this fall, the PSLF Program and income-driven repayment plans face potential threats that include possible consolidation or elimination of these vital programs. It is critical for members of Congress to hear from social workers, students, and social work educators about the importance of these programs. NASW and CSWE have partnered on this issue with CSWE taking the lead and we urge you to reach out to your Congressional representatives to express support for these programs. Visit CSWE for advocacy tools and a draft letter to send to your members of Congress.

NASW Supports National Voter Registration Day on September 22

More than six million Americans did not vote in 2008 because they missed registration deadlines or did not know how to register to vote. On September 22 volunteers, celebrities and organizations will hit the streets and social media to tell people about voter registration. Visit the official National Voter Registration Day website to find out how you can get involved. To learn more about National Association of Social Workers government relations efforts visit NASW’s Advocacy Website.

Membership Committee


Now Through March 1, 2016

Take home the TROPHY and BRAGGING RIGHTS in 2016 for 3rd Annual NASW Arkansas Student Membership Competition. Your NASW membership puts you in the company of over 135,000 professional social workers and gives you access to cutting edge ideas, current information, high quality resources to inform your studies and work, and many other benefits that can advance your career. NASW membership provides you with a network of over 700 social workers.

NEW STUDENT members also receive a welcome gift.

WINNING SCHOOL receives trophy at the conference luncheon on April 1.


Join a Committee

We invite you to join your colleagues on one of our committees!

Program and Professional Development Committee

The charge of this committee is to assist social workers in acquiring continuing education by facilitating, planning, and offering quality continuing education programs and to contribute to the development and improvement of professional development opportunities.

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee develops, implements, and coordinates membership activities to ensure a diverse membership. The committee would benefit from volunteers who can spend time contacting current and potential members. The membership committee is the organizer of Social Work Month.

Advocacy Committee

The Advocacy Committee’s goal is to increase mobilization and involvement of social workers in policy and advocacy, identify and compile legislative issues to address that affect social workers or those served by social workers, develop advocacy training and tools, and plan Lobby Day.

The NASW Arkansas Leadership Academy was established by a board-appointed task force in 2014 with the intent to develop leaders who will act as positive change agents for the field of social work and their respective agencies. After recruiting from NASW Arkansas members, we are pleased to introduce the inaugural class of 2016. This class comprises social workers who have demonstrated a capacity for leadership and who have the potential to make a substantial positive impact on the future of the field of social work. The class began with Orientation in July, led by the Arkansas 4H ExCEL program. This group was eager to undertake the task of choosing a group project by using an organizational project management process and performing a SWOT analysis. The second meeting was at Mount Eagle Retreat Center to study Transformational Leadership and to present to the board of directors. The group is preparing for their third meeting where they will study Emotional Intelligence with Dr. Linda Pledger and The Art of Positive Communication with Dr. Julien Mirivel. Future meetings include a Grant Writing workshop, as well as learning from experts on Strategic Planning, Mentoring, Supervision, Policy, and Advocacy. The class will use the skills they are studying throughout the program to build relationships and work across agency boundaries, as well as to identify problems and generate solutions for critical issues facing social work. They have identified a significant problem facing social workers and are developing a plan to address the need. Join us at the 2016 Annual Conference when the 2016 Leadership Academy Class presents their findings and recommendations!