Fayetteville State University Professor Kimberly Hardy Works to Strengthen the Link Between Faith and Social Work

Dr. Kimberly Hardy
Dr. Kimberly Hardy

When Kimberly Hardy was working on her doctor of philosophy degree, she was selected to speak at a Society for Spirituality and Social Work conference.

While she was there, she attended seminars that helped her understand the role of spirituality in social work. The organization continued to play an important role in her career until it became defunct about four years ago.

Now Hardy, an assistant professor at Fayetteville State University’s School of Social Work, is leading an effort to resurrect the society.

“I think once it’s back, it’s going to be great for the field,” she said.

The effort started when Hardy talked with several colleagues who had been members in the group. They agreed that it should be restarted, she said.

“It left a great void,” she said.

The organization, which included practitioners and scholars, helped social workers learn how to focus on the faith of their clients, regardless of spiritual perspective, Hardy said. Social workers honor the clients’ cultural beliefs without becoming experts on the religion, she said.

“You take them at their level of belief,” she said.

The group working to restart the society is contacting former members and plans to launch a website next month. The organizers hope to hold a conference in 2020, Hardy said.

“I think bringing it back will be incredibly important,” she said.

Hardy also is a member of the North American Association of Christians in Social Work, which focuses on that faith tradition. She serves on the organization’s board.

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SOURCE: Steve DeVane 
The Fayetteville Observer