Baylor Social Work Instructor Wins Prestigious National Award

Jan. 29, 2002
News Photo 180Sheila Bates

Sheila Bates, a field instructor in Baylor University's School of Social Work and a supervisor at Child Protective Services in Waco, has been chosen as one of three recipients of the national "Heart of Social Work Award." She will be honored Feb. 26 at the Council on Social Work Education national conference in Nashville, Tenn.

"This is the first time I have won a national award, and I am still trying to soak it in," Bates said. "This is a great feeling. I probably won't believe it until I am recognized at the conference."

"Shelia Bates is the field instructor every director of field education wants and needs on board," said Helen Harris, lecturer in social work and director of field education. "She cares passionately about social work education and about the profession of social work. She is uncompromising in her dedication to ethical practice and sets high standards for students, but she also is eager to learn and grow as a professional and seeks supervision and consultation for herself. When the community needs a social worker to step up, Shelia can be depended on."

A field instructor since 1998, Bates supervises students who intern at CPS as part of their social work curriculum. This semester, she is supervising three students, two in the graduate program and one undergraduate.

"Basically, I am responsible for helping students develop and enhance their social work skills," Bates said. "I think it is fun to help the students. It takes me away from the stress of dealing with abuse and neglect all the time."

Bates has master's degrees in sociology and social work administration from Baylor and the University of Texas at Arlington, respectively. Since 1988, she has been at Waco's CPS, where she is responsible for child safety and decisions of investigations and family preservation. Additionally, she lends her social work skills to other community agencies, including the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children, the Freeman Center and a local halfway house. She also teaches an integrative seminar in the social work graduate program.

The "Heart of Social Work Award" is not Bates' first honor. In October, she was named Texas Field Instructor of the Year at the National Association of Social Workers Texas conference.

Baylor's social work program requires undergraduates to complete 480 hours of field education in their senior year. Graduate students complete 480 hours their first year and 490 hours their concentration year. More than 100 field instructors, who must be licensed social workers, supervise Baylor students.

For more information, contact Harris at (254) 710-6233.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?