5 Conferences for Social Workers

The education of social workers isn’t finished after the degree is obtained. Social workers need to continue to learn and grow as the field does. For this reason conferences are an important tool for social workers to find out about new regulations facing their industry, meet other people in their career and field, and be inspired to better serve their clients. While there are typically conferences in every specialty of social work, the ones below are especially exciting opportunities for professional growth.

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1. International Conference in Social Work in Health and Mental Health

This five day international conference takes place in a different city each year. Participants are able to meet and hear from other Social Work professionals working in the field of health and mental health to learn what people are doing all around the world to better serve their clients and how they are adapting to changing policies and situations in their areas. Each day has an overarching theme with different speeches and workshops that address that theme that participants can choose from.

2. NASW National Conference

Every year the American National Association of Social Workers hosts a four-day conference that includes speeches, breakout sessions, an awards night, and countless networking opportunities. Another great thing about this conference is that it counts for 25.5 CE Contact Hours for continuing education. There are typically over two thousand social workers in attendance each year so it’s a great way to get to know the community and form some supportive relationships along the way.

3. Association of Oncology Social Work Conference

The AOSW hosts a conference every year to recognize and support social workers that specialize in oncology social work. During this three-day conference presentations and educational workshops are given for professional development and awards are given to recognize special social workers in the field. The aim is to develop social workers and have everyone feeling rejuvenated and appreciated so they are better prepared to help cancer patients and their families moving forward.

4. NASW Lunchtime Series

Another set of conferences offered by the National Association of Social Workers are the Lunchtime Series which are hour long conference calls that members of the NASW can call in on to get bite sized support and information. These calls occur once a month during the lunchtime hours and previous conferences can be listened to online. Conference topics range from coverings new regulations that social workers should be aware of to techniques social workers can use to better serve their clients. This is also a great opportunity for listeners to earn continuing education credits with the completion of a post call test.

5. Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS

A four-day conference with more than one hundred presentations, the Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS is hosted every year by the Boston College of Social Work. In addition to presentations and networking activities, participants can use this as an opportunity to learn about contracts and grants given by the Boston College of Social Work. Speakers include other social workers as well as health care workers and service organizations to give a more diverse perspective.

While these five conferences are a great idea of what’s out there, social workers and those considering entering the field should keep an eye out for other conferences and opportunities for professional development. Social work is a difficult but important career and those that choose this noble path need every tool they can access.