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ARISE named agency of the year at Spirit of Social Work Awards

ARISE Child and Family Service, Inc. will be named 2009 Agency of the Year by the New York State chapter of the National Association of Social Workers at the 2009 Spirit of Social Work Awards March 19 in Albany. The award is given to an agency which has demonstrated exceptional professional qualities.

{Q}"I'm honored we've been recognized. Our clinical staff are all excellent therapists and I appreciate that this award recognizes their hard work throughout the year," said Maryann Piazza-Toms, Director of the Child and Family Mental Health Clinic{Q}, who along with ARISE Executive Director Tom McKeown and other ARISE staff, will accept the award on behalf of ARISE.

In recent years, ARISE has expanded Child and Family Mental Health Clinic staff and services, both at their James Street office and in the community, offering services at a variety of schools and community centers in Onondaga County.

"We need to continue being a community partner and help the public learn about what we do," said Piazza-Toms.

While many people think of social workers as the case workers involved in child abuse or neglect situations, professional social workers are the nation's largest group of clinically-trained mental health specialists, and have required higher education degrees which include two years of supervised field work prior to earning their degree. All ARISE clinicians have at least a Masters degree in Social Work.

Social workers help people in all stages of life, and work in diverse places from schools, hospitals, and nursing homes to mental health clinics, Hospice care, and the justice system. They are often considered catalysts for change, and help people to identify strengths to become better-adjusted. They advocate for services on behalf of their clients and encourage their clients to become self-advocates. ARISE shares these goals, and as a non-profit Center for Independent Living, encourages people of all abilities to reach their full potential and fully participate in the community. ARISE's Child and Family Mental Health Clinic provides services designed to help people build on their own strengths so they can improve their quality of life.

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