Hearing lessons learned from a successful leader can help new and aspiring leaders on their own journey to success.
That’s why Rob McCartney, MSW, applied to speak about leadership at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Virginia Chapter annual conference March 25-27, 2021. McCartney, CEO of The Barry Robinson Center (BRC), has more than 30 years of experience in social work. His career path demonstrates that he understands what it takes to make the transition from clinician to administrator.
NASW accepted his presentation – Out of the Frying Pan on to Your Plate. In it, McCartney chronicles the steps he took to transform BRC from a facility on the brink of closing in 2012, to its international reputation today for successfully treating military-connected children and teens.
McCartney’s session on March 25 will help conference attendees learn how to structure their efforts with a framework for success. This framework focuses on communication, safety, clinical care, staff engagement, financial stewardship and customer service. He’ll also share an assessment tool for strategic planning.
“NASW Virginia has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most innovative chapters in the nation,” McCartney said. “I’m grateful for this opportunity to support social workers who are considering moving into administrative roles. That’s what I did, and I hope hearing about my experiences, especially at BRC, will inspire them to take the next step in their careers.”
As the son of a CPA and a nursing professor, McCartney said he was destined to become a social worker. He started his journey of helping young people while in college, working at a juvenile detention facility.
After receiving his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University, he took time off to travel around the country. After several years of what his mother called “wander lust,” he returned to Michigan State to earn his Masters in Social Work.
The first half of McCartney’s career was clinically focused working in settings including foster care, residential, hospitals, and outpatient. During the second half, he’s served in a variety of administrative roles and has been at BRC since 2012. He maintains close ties with the social work community and sits on the advisory board of the Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work at Norfolk State University. He also serves on the board of Tidewater Friends of Foster Care.
McCartney joins other national and local experts for this year’s NASW Virginia virtual conference. The conference is using the 2021 Social Work Month theme that Social Workers Are Essential.
NASW Virginia’s annual conference attracts more than 400 social workers and other behavioral health and human services professionals.