For social work professionals, there are many reasons to attend an annual conference hosted by a social work professional association. Social work conferences offer many opportunities to connect with colleagues in the field through networking and social events, keep up to date with cutting edge research by attending paper and poster presentations, engage in conversation through roundtable discussions and panels, learn and try out new skills through workshops, and maybe even present your own research to an audience of your peers! In addition to all of these possibilities, conferences usually offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to licensed social workers.
Most conferences are organized annually (once per year), usually in a different location every year. If you have not yet attended a social work conference, now is the time to start! The following is a list of recommended social work conferences to keep on your radar each year.
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) annual conference – the NASW offers a National Conference with a different theme each year. This year’s theme is “Shaping Tomorrow Together.” The conference brings together more than 2,000 social workers from across the nation, and includes sessions related to a variety of specialized interests. The upcoming national conference is June 20-23, 2018 in Washington, DC, and regional chapters of the NASW often offer their own annual conferences in addition to the national conference.
Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) annual conference – The next SSWR conference to be held in 2019 is centered around the theme “Ending Gender Based, Family, and Community Violence.” While many of the presentations will speak to this theme, a broad array of social work research will be presented across many subcategories in more than 500 sessions in a number of different formats. The conference will take place January 16-20, 2019 in San Francisco, CA.
Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) annual program meeting – The CSWE’s annual meeting is described as “the place where social work education influencers collaborate, learn, teach, and grow.” However, anyone can attend the meeting to learn from and dialogue with social work colleagues. The 2018 conference theme is “Expanding Interprofessional Education to Achieve Justice.” It will be held in Orlando, FL from November 8-11, 2018.
Social Work, Education, and Social Development (SWSD) joint world conference – The SWSD is an international conference that brings together professionals across several human services disciplines to discuss key issues each year. This year’s conference is being held in Dublin, Ireland, July 4-7. The conference theme is “Environmental and Community Sustainability: Human Solutions in Evolving Societies. More than 2,000 human services professionals and researchers are expected to attend.
International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health annual conference – This annual convening of Social Workers from all over the world aims to “promote the development of social work in health and mental health through international sharing of information and resources regarding education, research and practice of social work and mental health.” The next conference will be held in York, UK from July 22-26, 2019, with the theme “Shaping the Future: Promoting Human Rights and Social Perspectives in Health and Mental Health.
Don’t miss out on the many benefits of attending one of these social work conferences! Check out the conference websites for more information, mark your calendars, and make your travel plans!