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Harju receives social work award


Maija Harju was recently honored at the Annual Conference of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers with an award for Early Career Excellence.

Harju, a licensed social worker, was honored by her peers for her work as an adoption social worker with Permanent Family Resource Center.

Harju graduated in 2005 from Bemidji State University with a bachelor's degree in social work and received her social work license in September 2005. She has been working as an adoption social worker since 2005.

The Early Career Excellence Award is given to social workers who demonstrate a high degree of professionalism and achievement within the first 10 years of their career. Harju was nominated for the award by Katie Fitzkappes, a former co-worker and social worker.

Fitzkappes states in her nomination, "Harju began the position with no social service experience and only text book knowledge of social work. She has grown into a social worker that new interns now aspire to be like. What I have seen in her early career is a consistent and hard working approach that upholds social work's core values of service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence and I am proud to have her as a colleague."

"Maija is well-deserving of this award," said Maryjane Westra, executive director of Permanent Family Resource Center. "She is an excellent social worker with sound judgment and a calm demeanor. She is highly respected by her colleagues and clients."