Robert is an individual with broad experience in several fields and a growing collection of professional identities. Since September of 2010, he has been a full-time PhD student at Dalhousie University's Sociology and Social Anthropology Department. Since August of 2011, he has been a full-time Lecturer at Mount Saint Vincent University's Department of Child & Youth Study. Since late in 1989 Robert has maintained a small private practice in social work.
Robert is a Registered Social Worker (RSW) with experience and education in areas of Child Welfare; Education; Mediation; Child, Family and Forensic Mental Health; Cultural Competence and Corporate Leadership. He has both a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree in Social Work, a Certificate in Divorce Mediation Theory and is currently pursuing a PhD in Sociology. His current research project explores the experience and path of African Nova Scotians who have been involved in the criminal justice system.
Robert has maintained a part-time Registered Private Practice in Social Work for over 20 years. In this capacity he has provided direct clinical services to individuals, groups and families and provided clinical supervision and consulting to other clinicians and clinical teams. Robert has held a variety of clinical and administrative "day jobs" throughout his career. He has worked in education as a student support worker, school social worker and coordinator of race relations; and in child welfare as a front line social worker, casework supervisor, forensic clinician, and as an executive director. He has held notable positions as the Race Relations Coordinator of the former Dartmouth District School Board; a correctional mental health counsellor at the Washington State Penitentiary working with mentally disordered, protective custody and death row inmates; and, from May 2007 to August 2010, as the Executive Director of Nova Scotia's Child and Youth Strategy, a comprehensive, collaborative plan to promote better outcomes for children and youth.
In addition to his community, clinical and administrative work, Robert is a compelling speaker and trainer. He has presented motivational, devotional and instructional presentations to large numbers of clients in various locations across the United States and Canada. He has been involved with a number of organizations and associations throughout his career. He has served as the president of the Nova Scotia Criminal Justice Association, is a member of the Racial Equity Committee of the Nova Scotia Barrister’s Society, and a member of the Board of Directors of the North End Community Health Centre.
Robert is a family man. He comes from a large extended family that he considers a source of great strength and motivation. He is a parent of 2 children that he describes as having come to him "one by works and one by grace" (his oldest is the child of his former marriage, his youngest is adopted). Robert has also served as a foster parent and surrogate uncle for many others over the years. This is nothing new in the Wright family. Robert says he watched his mother "bring up the neighbourhood" when he was a child. Despite having retired from fostering a couple of times, his mother continues providing short term placements for children with few other options. "I guess I came by it naturally" Robert says.