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SPS News and Events

Attending the 2024 NASW National Conference?

Please Join Us at Our Specialty Practice Meet-Ups

June 20 & 21, 5-6PM EST | Exhibit Hall 

Exclusively for SPS Members

Have You Read Your Specialty Practice Section Newsletter Yet?

The latest spring/summer issue of the SectionConnection is now published online.

Upcoming SPS Webinars

Climate Literacy: Mapping the Landscape for Collective Wellbeing

Monday, June 17, 2024 (1- 2 pm ET)

Presenter: Jean E. Balestrery, PhD, MA, MSW, LICSW, MAC

CEs:  1 Social work contact hour

This presentation addresses climate as an environmental driver of health. The aim of this presentation is to increase climate literacy by mapping the landscape of climate change, climate impacts, climate justice and climate resilience. Climate literacy is viewed through a multi-level lens that includes micro-, mezzo- and macro-levels. The session emphasizes implications for social workers and implications for our collective wellbeing as a global society.

  • Social workers will be able to distinguish the myths from the facts about spanking.
  • Social workers will be able to describe the latest research regarding the harms of corporal punishment.
  • Social workers will review trauma-informed resources for safe and effective parenting.

Cost: SPS Members: Free / Non-SPS NASW Members: $20 / Non-NASW Member: $35

Responding Ethically and Competently to “Emotional Support Animal” (ESA) Letter Requests

Thursday, July 11, 2024 (1 – 2:30 pm ET)

Presenter: Janet Hoy-Gerlach, LISW-S, LCSW, PhD

CE Category:  1.5 Ethics contact hours

Increasing numbers of social work practitioners are asked by their clients to write “Emotional Support Animal (ESA) letters” to verify eligibility for ESAs as an accommodation in rental housing.  Uncertainty on how to respond to such requests creates barriers to housing access for people facing housing instability who are eligible for ESA support as a housing accommodation under the U.S. Fair Housing Act. The purpose of this webinar is to equip social work practitioners to ethically and competently respond to ESA letter requests through addressing the related basic skills, knowledge, and professional values entailed in such.


  • Attendees will be able to articulate the ethical and legal responsibilities related to verification of need for an ESA.
  • Attendees will be able to describe at least one of each type of therapeutic human benefits associated with non-human animal companionship: biological, psychological, social, and emotional.
  • Attendees will be able to identify and differentiate the different therapeutic roles commonly held by animals: pet/companion animal; Emotional Support Animal (ESA); and service animals.
  • Attendees will be able to describe and assess for eligibility for Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) under the U.S. Fair Housing Act (FHA), and describe how state-specific laws can further interface with FHA ESA eligibility
  • Attendees will be able to document reliable documentation of ESA eligibility via the “ESA letter”.

Cost: SPS Members: Free / Non-SPS NASW Members: $20 / Non-NASW Member: $40

Meet Social Workers like you with MyNASW

If you are an SPS member, you are already a member of at least one of these MyNASW online communities and can participate now:

Children, Youth and Schools
For members of the child welfare; children, adolescents, and young adults; and school social work Specialty Practice Sections

Clinical Social Work, Aging, and Health
For members of the aging; alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; health; mental health; and private practice Specialty Practice Sections

Social Justice, Administration, and Courts
For members of the administration/supervision; social and economic justice & peace; and social work and the courts Specialty Practice Sections

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Join the Conversation

Visit MyNASW and choose My Communities to connect with peers in your Specialty Practice Section.

Visit MyNASW