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The master class capitalizes on national talent to create an interactive forum for the discussion of current topics of concern to human services practitioners in Arizona. The Linda Haskell Memorial Master Class on Current Social Events Fund was established by Rose and William Haskell to honor the memory of their daughter Linda, a social worker.


Suzy Braye
Professor of School of Social Work
University of Sussex, England, U.K.

A Long and Winding Road: Social Work, Law, and The Challenges of Child and Elderly Protection

Friday, November 15, 2013
Registration: 9:30 a.m.
Lecture: 10 a.m - Noon

University Club of Phoenix
39 E Monte Vista Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85004

Suzy Braye is Professor of Social Work at the University of Sussex, England. She is a qualified social worker with experience in children’s services, mental health and work with older people.  In her academic appointments she has held programme, departmental and school management roles. Currently, she is Editor in Chief of the European Journal of Social Work.

She has written widely on the relationship between law and social work. Other research has included family support for disabled children, older people’s care, child and adolescent mental health, the outcomes of professional education and, most recently, four studies in adult protection – one on the governance of multi-agency networks and three on self-neglect, human rights and mental capacity.  In her teaching she has drawn upon a range of pedagogic principles to inform and develop effective approaches to professional education. She uses group-work extensively as well as problem-based learning, virtual learning environments and online resources. Her work is always informed by underpinning values of empowerment and participatory practice.

Her views are summarized best in her own words.  She believes that social workers occupy tough professional territory, where complex evaluations of safety, risk, well-being and independence must be made.  Their decisions have a high public profile, and their judgments are subject to intense examination and political debate. Their decision-making journey encounters challenges - rocky terrain, un-signposted crossroads, adverse climates and only partially glimpsed destinations well beyond the horizon.  They must seek the right path, and follow it right, even where there is no right way. Suzy has devoted much time to research and disentangle these complexities.

Dear Friends of the Linda Haskell Master Class,

We are delighted to welcome Suzy Braye to Arizona to the Linda Haskell Memorial Master Class.  The complexities of the relationship between law and social work in many spheres of practice but particularly in child and elderly protection work have recently puzzled not only practitioners but legislators.  We have witness many legislative commissions and inquiries that review problematic, and usually unsuccessful decisions in these sectors.  In thinking about this master class, Suzy Braye has commented that “law is often assumed to provide a clear set of rules, a map, which if followed produces good outcomes”.  Professor Braye suggests that the dialogue goes something like: “ ‘If only (said the chair of the enquiry) social workers had done what the law requires them to do, this child would not have died’ “ or “  ‘Surely (said the coroner) somebody could and should have done something to prevent this older person’s death in such shocking condition’ “, and so on and so forth.

In this lecture Professor Braye will argue that accusatory statements about the role social workers have played in certain cases often represent a simplistic and falsely comforting perspective.  She will explore the more contested roles that legal rules play in social work.  She will draw attention to circumstances in which law supports and facilitates the realisation of the ethical goals of practice, but will also discuss circumstances in which law is either silent or even incompatible with professional social work mores.

Given the current challenges to social work practice in Arizona and the nation, Suzy Braye’s lecture will offer a wonderful opportunity to review, discuss and reflect upon practice dilemmas in an open environment.  Our Arizona discussants, as usual, will highly elements of the topic that are particularly relevant to our milieu and add a very unique local note. We are looking forward to a wonderful master class.

Sarah Buel
Clinical Professor of Law,
Founding Director of the Diane Halle Center for Family Justice,
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University


Sarah Buel is a Clinical Professor of Law, previous Director of the Ruth McGregor Family Protection Clinic, and founding director of the Diane Halle Center for Family Justice at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.  She is an internationally known victim advocate. She came to Arizona after 14 years as a clinical professor at the University of Texas School of Law, where she was co-founder of the U.T. Voices Against Violence program and the U.T. Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Ms. Buel has served as Special Counsel for the Texas District and County Attorneys Association.  She was also a prosecutor in Boston and Quincy, MA. As a domestic violence survivor, Professor Buel has been committed to improving the court and community response to abuse victims.  As a working mother she excelled when she graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1990. There, she founded the Harvard Battered Women's Advocacy Project, the Harvard Women in Prison Project, and the Harvard Children and Family Rights Project.

She has been a member of the American Bar Association's Commission on Domestic Violence and is co-chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section's Women in Criminal Justice Committee. Professor Buel has published more than 35 articles and book chapters, and written amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She is currently writing a book for NYU Press, Rethinking Abuse: A Positive Rights Approach to Gender-Based Violence.  She is most proud of her son, Jacey, a lawyer who is education director for a youth entrepreneurship center where he teaches indigent, high risk youth how to start and run their own businesses.

Meg Fenzi
Social Gerontologist
Prescott, Arizona

Ms. Fenzi is a Social Gerontologist in Prescott, Arizona. She has been an administrator for dementia specific residential settings; she has done program and service development including personnel training  for work force in Assisted Living and LTC settings; she has also practiced as a Yavapai County Superior Court investigator in guardianship cases, and has been an adjunct faculty member at Yavapai College.

She holds a Master of Science degree in Gerontology from the University of Arizona, and a Non-Profit Financial Management Certificate from the Lodestar Non-Profit Center at Arizona State University. Ms. Fenzi is an active member of several national, state and local organizations in the aging network and currently serves as the Northern Arizona Regional Director for the Alzheimer’s Association. Her advocacy for alzheimer's patients has been apparent as she serves on the Arizona Alzheimer's Task Force. She wil speak for the needs and issues of not only of urban but also of rural Arizona.