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Florence Ackey, (L) Executive Director of Refugee and Migrant Women's Initiative, receiving recognition as the Tampa Bay Unit 2020 Social Work Organization of the Year from her colleague, Janet Blair. 

Dawn Brown (L), University of South Florida, receiving recognition as the Tampa Bay Unit 2020 Social Work Educator of the Year from her colleague, Melissa Thompson.


(Updated 3/19/20)

Friends and Colleagues, 

How is everyone doing? 

I don’t know about you, but I am being inundated with notices and announcements and breaking news. There are the all important emails and video chat collaborations with our employers, especially for those working from home. Then there are invitations to online activities, Watch Parties, Webinars, etc. Are you like me, feeling the need to retreat and separate; to slow down thoughts, breathing, and activities; and to prioritize mental and physical health care?   

With the Pandemic, the rescheduling and/or cancellation of our best laid plans for celebrating social workers and our social work profession around Florida and around the country, comes this unprecedented opportunity to practice self care as we care for the ones in our care.  

At your request, the very first workshop convened by the NASW Tampa Bay Unit was a workshop on self care. May I remind us of the salient point in Dr. Luis Rosa's workshop. Dr. Luis asked us to ponder the main question, What are we doing too little of?  As crises erupt all around us, this may be the perfect time to increase our practice of the following and in so doing, improve our mental and physical health:  

  • Sit with ourselves.
  • Know ourselves (values, needs, habits, motives, attitudes, strengths). 
  • Take time for ourselves. 
  • Practice self-compassion. 

As you hunker down and deal with the consequences of the Pandemic, please continue to do your part to prevent the spread of the virus. Heed the recommendations and mandates of the elected officials and the professionals advising them. Please, do your best to:

  • Practice social distancing. 
  • Wash your hands more often. 
  • Not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Use your best judgment in your decisions to avoid congregating in person in large groups and to venture outside your homes.  
  • Most importantly, take care of yourselves and each other. 

I encourage each of us to check in with each other; that is, say hello every once in a while.  We will adjust as things change. We all will grow as social workers, individually and as a profession, as a result of this current crisis.

I will be back at a later date to honor the recipients of our Social Work Month awards with a proper tribute. You will not want to miss checking out some photographs from the Tampa Bay Unit Social Work Month event, held on March 4 at Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, Tampa, Florida. 

All the best to you and your families.

Sharon Barber
Tampa Bay Unit Chair

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As always, feel free to submit your ideas to make our Tampa Bay Unit better. If you have ideas or wish to volunteer, please contact Sharon Barber at

Tampa Bay Unit Awards



There are no local events planned at this time.  Please visit the Events page for other opportunities.


Sharon Barber - Unit Chair

Chapter Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identification (CCNLI)
Stacy Kratz 

Political Action for Candidate Election (PACE) Committee 
Mary Martinez-Drovie

Social Media


Brittany Peters 

491 Board Liaison
Susan Infanzon

Chapter Supervisory Task Force
Nancy Gordon
Susan Infanzon


Stacy Kratz

MSW Representative

Alexandra Pellot, USF 

BSW Representatives

Haydee Davis, Saint Leo University