UTHSC’s Linda DeBaer, Perinatal Social Work Manager at the Newborn Center, Wins 2014 Award of Excellence in Perinatal Social Work

Linda DeBaer photo
Linda DeBaer, LMSW, received the 2014 Award of Excellence in Perinatal Social Work from the National Association of Perinatal Social Workers.

Linda DeBaer, LMSW, manager of the Department of Perinatal Social Work at the Newborn Center at Regional One Health and a 30-year employee of  the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), received the  2014 Award of Excellence in Perinatal Social Work from the National Association of Perinatal Social Workers (NAPSW). According to the NAPSW, the annual award recognizes “a member for outstanding clinical achievement in the field of perinatal social work.” The award was presented to DeBaer during the 2014 NAPSW National Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

During her tenure at UTHSC, DeBaer has worked in the Newborn Center as a perinatal social worker, assistant manager, and manager since 2008. She has served thousands of babies and their families, providing direct supportive counseling. DeBaer also provides education to her staff on the psychosocial issues presented in nurseries.

Some of DeBaer’s presentations include: “Harlequin Icthyosis and the Effects on the Family,” “Discharge Planning of the Home Oxygen Baby,” and “Strengths of the Family Unit in Dealing with a Sick Infant.” She most recently presented in Memphis at the 10th Annual Mid-South Seminar on the Care of the Complex Newborn.

DeBaer held a seat on the NAPSW board of directors for three terms — 1997-2001, 2004-2006 and 2006-2008. She has been chair of the NAPSW Standards Committee since 2000. Under her guidance, four standards have been developed and published for nationwide use. They address procedures for:

  • Social Work Services in Perinatal Bereavement
  • Social Work Services in Adolescent Pregnancy
  • Perinatal Social Worker Working with Patients Experiencing Post-Partum Depression
  • Surrogacy

DeBaer serves on the Tennessee Perinatal Care System as a member of the Social Work Staff of the Perinatal Centers. She has been a member of the National Association of Perinatal Social Workers since 1985.

In addition, she has worked as a field instructor with the University of Tennessee Graduate Social Work Program. Since 2011, DeBaer has been instrumental in the successful coordination between the University of Memphis Graduate Social Work Program and the Accreditation Collaborative for the Master of Social Work (MSW) Program. The program was recently accredited, and DeBaer received the MSW Field Instructor Commendation in 2013.

The National Association of Perinatal Social Workers was incorporated in 1980 for the purpose of promoting, expanding and enhancing the role of social work in perinatal health care. The organization’s objectives include: education, program planning, evaluation and research standard setting for perinatal social work. For more information, visit www.napsw.org.