Social Service – Southern California
by Lynn James –
A record 120 attended the recent Southern California Division Social Services Conference, held at the Pasadena Tabernacle Corps. The conference featured a variety of speakers and explored vital social service issues.
Steve Allen, divisional Social Services consultant, addressed the opening keynote session by reporting on current trends and practices involving Salvation Army program units around the division.
Gordon Bingham, territorial Social Services secretary, highlighted welfare reform. “Welfare reform is not new to the Army. In the early 1800s, England passed the Poor Law Reform, which served as a catalyst for the Army to participate in issues that helped humankind and changed society. We need to face the current welfare reform with the same creativity and commitment.”
Also commenting on that same issue, Lt. Colonel Alfred Van Cleef, Divisional Commander, stated “The Salvation Army is committed to work with and through welfare reform, offering the same quality of service as before.”
Delegates were offered a choice of three tracks, with workshop topics ranging from domestic violence and time management to public health issues and boundary setting. Presenters included Van Cleef; Captain Jerry Ames; Phil Ansel, chief of strategic planning & government relations/LA County; Anne Calvo, Bethesda House executive director; Major Anne Pickup; and Bernita Walker-Moss, executive director of Project Peacemakers, Inc.