School of Social Work and Human Services

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Sydney Weaver

Sydney Weaver

Instructor , Not Currently Teaching

School of Social Work and Human Services

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Biography

Dr. Sydney Weaver, MSW, PhD has worked with illicit-drug-using mothers and fathers in child welfare and addictions services for many years: in direct service; policy analysis; research and teaching.  Her research has focused on critical analysis of health and social services and policy in relation to marginalized peoples using substances, with the aim of improving outcomes for families. She has developed and conducted training for social workers in best practice with substance using parents; has taught at UBC, VCC and NVIT, and currently works directly alongside women struggling with problematic substance use. 

Education

Ph.D., University of British Columbia

M.S.W., University of British Columbia

B.S.W, University of British Columbia,

B.G.S., Simon Fraser University

Teaching Philosophy

My theoretical approach is critical; anti-oppressive; collaborative and aimed at social justice. I foreground an intersectional, decolonizing structural analysis and prioritize the practical application of this analysis. I view the goals of social work as transformative. 

Research Interests

Principal Investigator 2012 

ACCELERATE BC FUNDED: MITACS/BCMHARN FUNDING Challenges for drug-using mothers with children in kinship care. Qualitative study aimed at defining experiences of mothers and service providers in relation to access and custody when children are place in kinship care. 

Co-Investigator (Doctoral study) 2009-2012 

University of British Columbia, School of Social Work Father involvement in maternal harm reduction services. My doctoral research, a qualitative study, pertains to fathers’ experiences of exclusion/inclusion in harm reduction maternity services. 

Researcher/Project Coordinator May 2009-2011 

Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users and Women’s Health Research Institute Healing Ourselves: Mothers’ Recovery from Grief and Loss. Coordinator of qualitative research project with DTES drug-using mothers, aimed at developing a toolkit for mothers experiencing grief and loss from child apprehension. 

Co-Investigator, May-November 2009 

ACCELERATE BC FUNDED: MITACS/BCMHARN FUNDING Left out:’ Father exclusion in maternal harm reduction services. Conducted a funded, mixed methods pilot study of my doctoral study. 

Presentations

2012 

  • “Feeling on the outside”: Father exclusion in maternal harm reduction services. Social Work and Social Development 2012: Action and Impact, Stockholm Sweden (Oral presentation). 

2011 

  • Drug-using mothers’ experiences of grief and loss related to child removal. Society for the Study of Social Problems, Annual General Meeting, July 2011. Las Vegas, Nevada (oral presentation). 
  • Challenges for drug-using mothers with children in the care of family members. Harm Reduction 2011: ‘IHRA’S 22nd International Conference.’ International Harm Reduction Association. International Harm Reduction Association. Beirut, Lebanon (poster presentation). 
  • Father engagement in maternal harm reduction services. Future Perspectives on Intervention, Policy and Research on Men and Masculinities. Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec (oral presentation). 

2010 

  • “Left out:” father exclusion in maternal health services. ‘Harm Reduction 2010: IHRA’s 21st International Conference.’ International Harm Reduction Association. Liverpool, U.K (oral presentation). 
  • Healing ourselves: Mothers recovering from grief and loss in the DTES (co-author). ‘Harm Reduction 2010: IHRA’s 21st International Conference.’ International Harm Reduction Association. Liverpool, U.K (oral presentation).

2009 

  • “Find out different things:” Substance-using mothers and child protection workers respond to a drug-focused risk assessment tool. Mothers Gone Mad: Motherhood and Madness Oppression and Resistance Conference. Association for Research in Mothering, New York, New York, May 2009 (oral presentation). 

2008 

  • “Find out different things:” Substance-using mothers and child welfare workers respond to a substance use risk assessment tool. British Columbia Association of Social Workers Fall Conference, Vancouver, BC (poster presentation). 
  • Shame reduction: Best practice with substance-using mothers. Legal Services Society, Aboriginal Family and Child Protection Conference, New Westminster, BC (oral presentation). 
  • Effects of state intervention in a harm reduction maternity unit. 19th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug-Related Harm, Barcelona, Spain (accepted, poster presentation, declined). 

2006 

  • “Work with me:” Training for best practice with substance-using mothers. International Strengths Based Strategies, Hyderabad, India, oral presentation 
  • Shame reduction: Best practice with substance-using mothers. 17th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug-Related Harm, Vancouver, BC, oral presentation 

2005 

  • Shame reduction: Best practice with substance-using mothers: Child welfare worker training. British Columbia Association of Social Workers Fall Conference, Vancouver, BC, poster presentation 
  • Shame reduction: Best practice with substance-using mothers. Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission Conference, Edmonton, Alberta, poster presentation. 

2004 

  • Shame reduction: Best practice with substance-using mothers. Ministry of Children and Family Development Policy Analyst Branch, Victoria, oral presentation. 

Publications

Weaver, S. (2017) (in press). ‘A secure place in a real community:’ illicit drug users in the small city. In   Walmsley, C. & Kading, T. (Eds.) Power and Possibility in the Small City.

Weaver, S. (2013). "Left him in the dust:" Father exclusion from maternal harm reduction services. Retrieved from UBC CIRCLE: https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0073994

Weaver, S. (2009). How risk assessment compromises child safety. In Perspectives, 31, 9.

Weaver, S. (2009). An enlightened approach with substance-using mothers. Editorial, Perspectives, 31, 9.

Weaver, S. (2007). `Make it more welcome:' Best practice child welfare work with substance-Using mothers (Chapter 6). In S. Boyd & L. Marcellus (Eds.), With Child: Substance Use During Pregnancy: A Woman-Centred Approach. Halifax: Fernwood. 

Weaver, S. (2007). Shame reduction: A model for training child welfare workers on best practice with mothers who use substances. In N. Poole & L. Greaves (Eds.), Highs and Lows: Canadian Perspectives on Women and Substance Use. Toronto, ON: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. 

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