King's welcomes new Campus and Community Social Worker
October 6, 2021
King’s is pleased to welcome (or rather, welcome back) Emily Carrothers BSW ’13, MSW ’16, King’s new Campus and Community Social Worker.
One of many initiatives that Student Affairs has rolled out for the Fall 2021 term, Carrothers will work to assist at-risk students in partnership with the School of Social Work. She will be developing proactive wellness supports for the King’s community including presentations on a range of topics related to mental health.
“I think that this position shows King’s commitment not just to our students, but to our broader community, recognizing that, with a campus social worker, we can attend to gaps in supports and services creatively for everyone,” says Carrothers.
Having worked at the intersections of individual mental health, community supports for families and children, and crisis for 14 years in London, Carrothers felt that the role of Campus and Community Social Worker would allow her to work with individuals with complex needs and continue her work in community. “I believe inherently in the strengths that social work brings in practice at a community level,” says Carrothers.
Gathering stats from the new position, she will discover more about the needs of King's students and build preventative programming, based on what issues emerge. The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected the mental health of young people and the needs and supports will need to be aligned.
“I hope to have King’s students feel supported wherever they may be, whether they need help in the community or on campus,” Carrothers says.
Carrothers has already begun to help co-ordinate a speaker’s bureau, allowing King’s faculty to bring in experts on different wellness topics. Such initiatives will better serve the whole King’s community by responding proactively to issues and be present for students and the campus community when there is a need which falls outside of traditional supports or involves a complexity requiring the navigation of multiple systems, both on campus and in the community.
The new position will be valuable both to Accessibility, Counselling and Student Development (ACSD) and the School of Social Work. It allows for more supports for students who might require help that falls outside of individual counselling, accessibility counselling, or career counselling. This position links supports for students with the community. Carrothers will assist with supporting students with complex and intersecting needs, including issues like gender-based violence, housing, food insecurity, and accessing mental and physical health care. “This position allows us to consolidate where the help is coming from, which means a clearer and quicker path for student support,” says Carrothers.
At the same time, Carrothers will offer clinical supervision for BSW and MSW students in placements in community in agencies where there is not a social worker in-house. She will also offer field education and clinical oversight for the SAFE program. The SAFE program is a partnership with the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB), which offers free counselling from BSW and MSW students for parents and guardians of TVDSB elementary-aged students who may be struggling. This program was developed by Mary Kay Arundel, Field Education Coordinator, and launched with the help of team members in Social Work in January 2021.
Carrothers says it is well-known that when children are struggling, the whole family system often needs supports. The SAFE program is one of the first of its kind to partner directly with a school board to attend to the needs of the whole family and she hopes King’s can continue to establish the SAFE program as a leader not just in London, but provincially. Increased capacity for clinical supervision of placements in community in agencies without social workers will allow for BSW and MSW students to work in more spaces and reach more community members. “This means that our community as a whole can have more access to social work supports, particularly in smaller or more grassroots agencies and programs,” says Carrothers.
Carrothers began studying at King’s in September 2009. After much perseverance, she received her BSW in 2013 and her MSW in June 2016. She reflects on her time as a student at King’s as “a period of deep growth.”
“I appreciated the small size of King’s and the depth of both the direct practice and research expertise of the Professors in the School of Social Work. Both my BSW and MSW from King’s are in generalist practice, which has prepared me well for direct practice at both the individual and community level,” says Carrothers.