Dr. Cassandra Hanrahan – a faculty member in the School of Social Work, and Dr. Olivier Berreville – who has a PhD in Biology from Dalhousie and works in the area of humane education, spent the second and third week of June travelling to various regions of the province presenting information on Human Animal Bonds (HAB). They also presented information on a provincial survey conducted in 2011 that explored the knowledge and inclusion of human-companion animal bonds in social work practice in Nova Scotia. These presentations were very successful, and received with enthusiasm by social work practitioners, supervisors and students. Dr. Hanrahan was delighted with the energy and interest that the province displayed for this new area of research. Future plans include publications on the provincial survey results, a possible two day conference pertaining to HAB in social work practices in 2014 and the development of an information network where practitioners, researchers and students can share and stay up-to-date with information about human-companion animal bonds in social work practice.
The research and dissemination activities are funded by the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF) through the Development & Innovative Grant Program. Dr. Hanrahan would like to thank the regional representatives of the Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers who assisted in coordinating the knowledge transfer sessions, and Caila Aubé, MA student in Health and Human Performance the project’s research assistant.