TAC Jennifer Perlstein 017 _DSC0817aJenne Perlstein Mission Statement

As a Social Worker for the past 27 years, uniquely qualified with a Medical Degree enhancing her practise, and as an Experienced Educator, Jenne has a wide range of skills and approaches to offer in:

  • Clinical and Community Health Education, especially Aged Care, Dementia ,  Mental Health, Complex trauma 
  • Health Promotion. QuitLogoQuit Smoking Facilitator
  • Psycho-Social Education- eg  Social Work /Medical interface;
  • Counselling skills eg for Midwives
  • Psycho – spiritual skills
  • Facilitation
  • Public speaking

Jenne offers

  • Highly skilled and flexible education
  • An ability to connect with her audiences
  • Delivery of community based programs (consumers and family carers), through to personal care, aged, disability, mental health workers and clinical professionals


  • Has a confident and warm personality
  • Is able to rapidly read her audience, and
  • Incorporate their life experiences into her facilitation

Jenne is able to

  • Deliver prescriptive through to facilitated group learning.
  • Respond to individuals needs
  • Keep the group following an agenda, and set appropriate boundaries


Jenne has just had an essay  published on ‘Can we ever reconcile our past? ’ in Relation to the Rights of  the  Aboriginal People of  Australia,  in a book collection of essays “Turning Left or Right’ Values in Modern Politics. Connor Court Press. Ed C. Carli . October 2013


Right_or_Leftop (451x640)



Jenne had an article published in the AASW VIC Newsletter 20-2-2013   http://www.aasw.asn.au/document/item/4480

Jenne Perlstein MBBS, BSW, AASW, Cert 4 TAE, CMC

Using Social Work Skills and Roles in Health and Social Education

A Social Worker undertakes diverse roles including as counsellor, negotiator, mediator, broker, advocate, resource finder, facilitator, information sharer, communicator, program and policy developer, researcher and educator.

When researched, education and training in the Social Work context is largely described as educating Social Workers academically, and Social Work practice in the school education sector. I believe these are not the only contexts that the Social Work educator role can occur. Much beyond that scope, I am currently practising as a self employed Health and Social Educator.

Social Workers often have many years experience as part of clinical teams or in a wide range of sectors or have other qualifications. They embrace a wide variety of skills and knowledge, opening up the whole realm of health and social education.

I have come across the role of Teacher/Educator, and that of the Social Worker as sometimes being described as separate from each other. Social Workers have a great deal to contribute in other areas of education, extending the Social Work educator role and overlapping with educators from other areas.

Whilst educating, I am often really undertaking the role and skills of a Social Worker in a multidisciplinary team on a more macro scale. The educator role within a team of other professions can lead to a broader understanding of the client’s situation and lead to better outcomes. But the educator role of Social Workers can go beyond that and apply to a range of settings. Social Workers may work with micro client groups through to macro organisations/communities with varying target groups, using the same set of skills, just with a difference in emphasis, time allocation and level of formality.

This requires a specific set of knowledge and skills and includes facilitation and process awareness, group theory, structural and power analysis, self determination and empowerment of the client to enable more effective interaction with their environment. Social Work values add a focus on human rights and justice that other professions do not necessarily bring. These attributes are unique to Social Work, and add breadth and wide perspective to the education role. As an example, in aged care, ageism, indignity and hierarchical power are seen too often and Social Worker educators have the ability to bring structural analysis critique and empowerment to these situations. The skill sharing in for example behavioural and psychological symptoms management in dementia and a person-centred care approach offer empowerment for staff/carers and thus can make a big difference for patients as well as carers and staff. Otherwise, the focus continues to be on ‘task’ and profit only. In conjunction with the poor pay and conditions of many aged care staff, this impacts negatively upon the care of aged clients. If staff understand the clinical conditions, place the person first, sees clients/residents as people with rich lives, strengths , skills and experience to offer, they can contribute to improved care and conditions for clients and residents. Staff are encouraged to advocate for their clients/residents and their own rights, thus implementing person centred care, and we thus influence one system to change another.

‘In the enabler role, a Social Worker helps a client become capable of coping with situations or transitional stress. A Social Worker conveys hope, reducing resistance and ambivalence, recognizing and managing feelings, identifying and supporting personal strengths and social assets, breaking down problems into parts that can be solved more readily, and maintaining a focus on goals and the means of achieving them ‘(Barker, 1995). This approach is an essential part of my education practice, as I am utilising brief psychosocial assessment in every session, in particular a quick ‘practice wisdom’ based assessment of the ‘ego’ strength of individuals, group resources and support systems.

Many groups I educate have distressed and conflicted family members, grieving partners, over-protective, stressed carers, family dysfunction or health professionals asking about the above and their own personal journey, how to deal with the medical profession and organisational issues . Brief counselling skills within and outside the session, resource sharing and implementation of service linkages” (Yessian and Broskowski, 1983, p. 184) are used as I move into the role of counsellor and enabler.
Because of our unique broad-ranging set of skills Social Workers are in an excellent position to be educators in an extended range of settings that go beyond formal Social Work education and continuous learning as a professional. In conclusion I think that the area of Social Work in health and social education needs to become a distinct focus. Maybe a Social Workers Health /Social educators interest AASW group to be developed? If you are interested in discussing this possibility, or aspects of this article or my work, contact me via jenneperl@gmail.com

Jenne Perlstein MBBS, BSW, AASW,Cert 4 TAE,CMC www.jenneperlstein.com.au

Biography- Jenne has practiced for 27 years as a Social Worker in casework and education, in the health and community sector and is currently working as a self-employed Health and Social Educator using a variety of theories and approaches combined into a holistic and psycho–social/political approach, working with education participants and the community.

(Barker, 1995). (Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman, 1997). (Yessian andBroskowski, 1983, p. 184). (Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman, 1997). In The Roles of a Social Worker: Derek Chechak School of Social WorkKing’s University College, UWO
Suppes, M., Cressey Wells, C. (2003)