The KU School of Social Welfare formally named and championed the Strengths Perspective in 1989. Since then, it has been a hallmark of our school and it has had widespread impact on the profession, though it is often misunderstood and misapplied. This presentation provides a clear framework of values and ethical guidelines for strengths-based practice in the context of professional history and the current context and opportunities for culturally humble, inclusive, and holistic practice. The presentation applies this framework to spiritual strengths assessment in clinical social work and mental health settings. Examples of ethical dilemmas and recommendations for their resolution will be examined. Dr. Canda will engage participants in discussion about their own experiences with strengths-based practice, including addressing spiritual diversity, and how the framework and recommendations provided might be utilized in their practice.


Learning Objectives

  • Understand the origin, history, and current applications of the Strengths Perspective in clinical social work and mental health settings.
  • Understand a framework of values and ethical guidelines for strengths-based practice.
  • Apply to practice recommendations for a culturally humble, inclusive, and holistic approach to spiritual strengths assessment, including resolution of related ethical dilemmas.
  • Identify and engage with resources for their ongoing self-care, professional development, and innovation within their practice settings for ethically appropriate strengths-based spiritually sensitive practice.


Cost: $39.00


CEUs: 3 Ethics hours


Time: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm



Edward R. Canda, PhD, is Professor Emeritus and Coordinator of the Spiritual Diversity Initiative in the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas. Dr. Canda’s research, teaching, and service address connections between cultural diversity, spirituality and resilience in relation to health, mental health, and disabilities. He has been engaged with innovations in strengths-based research, theory, and practice since 1989, especially as applied in clinical social work and mental health settings. Dr. Canda has been a Visiting Researcher or Professor in South Korea at Sungkyunkwan University and the Academy of Korean Studies and in Japan at Ritsumeikan, Doshisha, and Kansai Universities. He has more than 200 publications and has conducted about 240 presentations in the United States and in many other countries, especially in East Asia and Central Europe. Dr. Canda is currently a scientific advisor for strengths-based spiritually sensitive practice in the Czech Republic. His most widely cited books are Spiritual Diversity in Social Work Practice and Contemporary Human Behavior Theory. In 2013, he received the Council on Social Work Education’s Significant Lifetime Achievement Award for innovations on spirituality through scholarship and education.


Registration closes at 3 p.m. (CST) the day before the event.


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Live Presentation: On-Line via Zoom.

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