IU School of Social Work hosts Korean leaders in military social work

The Indiana University School of Social Work is hosting eight leaders in military social work from the Republic of Korea this week in an unprecedented meeting to discuss how the two countries deliver military social work.

Leaders from Koreian MilitaryThe participants from Korea include a professor of social work at a Korean university, members of military social welfare and veteran institutions, a leader of the Korean social workers association and social workers who work at mental health and social welfare agencies.

The trip was made possible after the group won a competitive grant from the Korean Association of Social Workers to visit different agencies in the U.S. that offer services for military personnel, veterans, and their families. The group’s interest after returning to Korean is to work to establish a new model of military social work in the Republic of Korea. The service organizations offer help for active duty military personnel and veterans, but there are no active duty social worker positions and the preventive programs are still building.

Dr. James Daley of the IU School of Social Work, who is considered a national expert in military social work in the U.S., was contacted by members of the group several weeks ago about the possibility of coming to Indianapolis.

Dr. Daley wrote and edited a book in 1999 called Social Work Practice in the Military (Haworth Press). Several years later, one of the members of the Korean group contacted Dr. Daley about translating his book into Korean so it could be used as a training guide in Korea. The two have corresponded back and forth and finally met in person this week.

“This visit is unprecedented as a group of military social workers defined as uniformed or civilian social workers serving military personnel, veterans and their families coming to the U.S. to interact about how the two countries deliver military social work,” Dr. Daley noted. Dr. Hea-Won Kim and Dr. Michin Hong of the School of Social Work also met with the visiting Koreans.

Michael Patchner, Dean of the IU School of Social Work, welcomed the Korean group on Monday, saying such a meeting “has never happened in the history of the world that we know about.”

Dean Patchner noted that Monday was Veterans Day, a day in the United States “to honor all those who serve in the military, who have given their time, commitment, their lives, so we can have a free democratic country and live in freedom. We honor those veterans for their sacrifices and the sacrifices of their families.”

“It is just very telling we are having this meeting beginning today to celebrate the work of all veterans.”

During the weeklong stay, the group is meeting with officials of Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation in Indianapolis, the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center, the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University, the American Legion National Headquarters and the Army National Guard Family Programs.

Press Release Contact:
Rob Schneider
(317) 278-0303