For Immediate Release: 3/12/2021
Social Worker of the Year 2021: Lynne White Dixon
[Monterey, CA – 3/12/2021] Lynne White Dixon is the recipient of the 2021 Social Worker of the Year Award for the Monterey County Unit of the National Association of Social Workers. Ms. White Dixon graduated with honors from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and has been a licensed clinical social worker in California since 1978. She has focused her social work career on children and families, as well as students. She has particular skills and experience in working with diverse populations, particularly in child welfare. As chair of the NASW-CA Monterey County Unit, Ms. White Dixon assembled a Steering Committee in Monterey County which has now been active for over a decade. She has spearheaded annual Social Work Month events that have been lauded by the social work community as classy and professional, featuring current topics and engaging speakers. She helped develop a welcome dinner for incoming MSW students from the inception of CSUMB’s graduate program that has continued every year since 2010. Even during the COVID pandemic of 2020, the local unit participated in a virtual orientation for the new students and shared the benefits and joys of the social work profession. In 2021, she finally stepped down from this volunteer commitment and remains an active member of the Steering Committee.
Ms. White Dixon’s background in child welfare enabled her to create a niche serving families involved in the child welfare system, foster and adoptive families. She recognized the disproportionality of Black families being involved in this system and the special needs these families had. She became an expert in the field, as well as a teacher and clinical supervisor, helping staff and students understand the importance of respecting cultural diversity when working with these families.
Ms. White Dixon has had a private practice in psychotherapy, consultation and training in Monterey, CA, for over 30 years. During this time, she has also provided consultation and training to adoptive and foster families and non-profit agency staff. She is an expert in adoption, attachment therapy, child and adult abuse, childhood trauma and parent-child relationships and has helped hundreds if not thousands of children adjust to their adoptive homes when they haven’t been able to reunify with their parents through the child welfare system.
She continues to serve as a Clinical Supervisor at the Kinship Center, contributing to the development of social work professionals and their understanding of the unique issues of children in the child welfare / foster care / adoption constellation. She has presented on this work at local and national conferences and is recognized as an outstanding trainer on this topic. She has acted as the clinical supervisor at CSUMB’s Personal Growth and Counseling Center in Seaside for two decades, helping develop and coordinate internships for MSW students, ASWs and MFT interns. She also helped expand internship opportunities for CSUMB social work students to be placed in Student Disability Resources, the Campus Health Center, and the Personal Growth and Counseling Center, all located on the CSUMB campus. She has been a field instructor since 2000 for the San Jose State University School of Social Work and has taught at the CSUMB Graduate School of Social Work for the past two years. She teaches an especially popular elective course called “Trauma-Informed Social Work Practice.”
Ms. White Dixon’s passion for the profession and for social justice has been evident in the speeches that she has often been called upon to give. She has been the speaker for two MSW program graduation celebrations and for the Monterey County Women’s March.
Ms. White Dixon was presented with her award at the National Association of Social Workers Monterey County Unit’s Social Work Month event on March 12, 2021.
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