Exchanging Best Practices
(UPDATE June 2020: We are optimistic that a Scholars Project can be offered in 2021 -- watch this space for updates!)
(UPDATE May 2020: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CODA Social Work Scholars Project will not be held in 2020. Many of the student participants from past years of the project are now working and volunteering tirelessly in their home communities in Northern Ireland, bringing services, supplies, and companionship to others. The organizers of the project – on both sides of the Atlantic – applaud you for your energy and dedication, and we all look forward to resuming this program next year. Stay well!)
CODA, Inc., Oregon’s oldest not-for-profit opioid treatment agency, first hosted students from the Queen’s University School of Social Sciences, Education, and Social Work in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the summer of 2014. In the years since, the CODA Social Work Scholars have continued to bring their enthusiasm, intellectual curiosity, and exemplary work ethic to this thriving project. Student travel has been supported each year by grants from Queen’s University and by the student participants themselves.
The students from Queen’s are training to serve a population that faces the same addiction/mental health conditions that CODA encounters in Greater Portland, with the additional challenge of addressing the effects of trauma following generations of unrest and violence in Northern Ireland. They are eager to learn more about behavioral health and social justice in the United States and to share their unique experiences with their counterparts here.
The demand for research, teaching, and evidence-based treatment in the addictions field is growing and it is global. The CODA Social Work Scholars Project believes that collaborations crossing geographic, political, and economic boundaries have the best potential for success.