Maribeth Swanson, Ph.D., and Linda Brinker, of the territorial social services department, along with Philip Hong, Ph.D., of Loyola University Chicago, were invited to deliver a presentation and participate in a poster session at the Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development held in Dublin, Ireland, this summer.
Their presentation, “Teams, Tools and Hope-Enhancement Strategies: A Multifaceted Approach to Impacting Poverty,” focused on the findings from the research studies conducted by Dr. Swanson and Dr. Hong on the tools, processes and outcomes of Pathway of Hope (POH), including the impact of increased hope and integration of spiritual care on positive movement toward increased stability and sufficiency. Their presentations generated rich discussion with Salvation Army personnel from Norway to Hong Kong who were interested in learning about POH.
Data from both studies found increased hope, as measured by the Herth Hope Index (Herth, 1991), was positively associated with increased stability as measured by the Self Sufficiency Matrix, as well as increased earned income and successful program completion. Learning objectives include understanding of the
• Evidence-based practices, tools and community-based collaboration that support effective case management;
• Organizational mindset, culture and practices that are vital for supporting case managers in attaining optimum results;
• Integral role of hope as a construct for supporting participants in overcoming barriers and achieving increased sufficiency and strategies for cross-cultural implementation.
The international conference drew over 1,000 social workers and academics and offered hundreds of presentations across a wide range of social service concerns. The International Headquarters program resources department hosted a kindred session for Salvation Army attendees which afforded an opportunity for sharing best practices and unique programs related to education, refugee crisis, and homelessness, as well as a time to reflect on the joy of serving Jesus through The Salvation Army.