2018 NASW National Conference: Pre-Conference Workshops

June 20, 2018

The 2018 NASW National Conference opens with an array of pre-conference workshops, which run from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm on June 20. Participants can choose one of eight workshops and earn three CEUs for taking part in a pre-conference workshop.

Choose a pre-conference workshop when you register for the conference, or add one to your registration later (spaces fill up on a first-come, first-served basis).

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Reframing Communication About Elder Abuse To Enhance Practice, Policy and Education

Recent research has found wide gaps between public and expert understandings of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Closing those gaps and using appropriate communications frames can help practitioners, administrators, educators, organizers, policy advocates, and the public to advance evidence-based policies and practices to prevent, identify, and address elder abuse. During this interactive workshop, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) and the FrameWorks Institute will demonstrate how to reframe elder abuse as a social justice issue. Participants will practice applying the framing strategy in various contexts. The session will also illustrate the relationship between elder abuse and ageism, introduce participants to resources available from NCEA, and provide a brief overview of NASW’s recent work to address elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.


  • Drew Volmert, PhD, Director of Research, the FrameWorks Institute, Washington, DC
  • Laura Mosqueda, MD, Director, National Center on Elder Abuse, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
  • Chris Herman, MSW, LICSW, Senior Practice Associate (Aging), NASW, Washington DC

A Close Look at NASW Cultural Competence Standards and Indicators: A Deeper Dive for Contemporary Social Work Practice Contexts

Leadership and cultural competency skills are essential components of successful interventions with individuals, families, and communities. This interactive pre-conference workshop provides a deep dive into specific standards of the revised 2015 NASW Standards and Indicators for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice.

The workshop will examine the challenges and complexities of culturally competent practice in the current sociopolitical context. It will delve into the implications of Standard 1: Ethics and Values; Standard 2: Self-Awareness; Standard 8: Professional Education, and; Standard 10: Cross-cultural Leadership. This workshop will address micro, mezzo, and macro practice perspectives.


  • Karen Bullock, PhD, LCSW, Professor, Department of Social Work, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
  • Vivian Jackson, PhD, LICSW, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, Washington, DC

Ethics and Risk Management in the New Era of Social Work

This workshop, developed especially for social workers, is sponsored by NASW Assurance Services (ASI), and describes the most significant malpractice risks in social work today and numerous methods of mitigating and reducing one’s risk of being sued for malpractice. It is intended for social workers in all settings and positions, not just the clinical, therapeutic mental health setting. 

The workshop will cover key concepts in risk management, such as confidentiality and its exceptions, duty to warn, and informed consent. It will reveal the major reasons why social workers are sued and what you can do about those risks.


  • Paul A. Kurzman, PhD, ACSW, Professor, Hunter College School of Social Work, New York, NY

From Compassion Fatigue to Compassion Satisfaction: Highlighting the Development of Burnout and Self-Care Strategies to Address it in Personal, Professional, Physical, and Social Aspects of Each Self

Concerned about the burnout of social workers who are leaving our profession, SaraKay began five years of research into micro and macro burnout, its differences from depression, and the selective self-care strategies and attitudes that can address and prevent it. This led to the publication of her third book, "Burnout and Self-Care in Social Work," published by NASW Press, now in its second printing. While most studies in burnout emphasize professional strain, this intensive will concentrate on an interactive loop in each facet of ourSelf and emphasize the individuality of each Self, largely ignored in Self-Care literature. Further, SaraKay will highlight the importance of the development of what she describes as an Emotional Sense of Direction.


  • SaraKay Smullens, LCSW, CGP, CFLE, Best Selling Author, Private and Pro Bono Practice, Philadelphia, PA

Suicide Prevention Is Everyone’s Business

This session will focus on efforts to combat the suicide epidemic through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and broader efforts in health care. The presentation will share the latest suicide data, initiatives to prevent suicide, public and private partnerships, postvention techniques, and efforts to support and educate clinicians, friends, and families in the Veteran community and beyond.


  • Sarah Bernes, MSW, MPH, LMSW, Behavioral Health Specialist, International Association of Fire Fighters, Washington, DC
  • Adam Walsh, PhD, LCSW, Director, Program Evaluation & Research, Defense Suicide Prevention Office, Department of Defense
  • Keita Franklin, PhD, LCSW, Executive Director Suicide Prevention, Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Veterans Health Prevention

Thriving In Private Practice

Many licensed clinical social workers transition to working in a solo or group practice during the course of their careers. What does it take to effectively run a private practice and overcome common challenges that many small businesses face? This pre-conference workshop will explore strategies to create a thriving private practice.


  • Maria Baratta, PhD, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist, Private Practice, New York City, NY

The Age of #MeToo: Working With Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Abuse

As more and more women are coming forward to tell their stories of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic abuse, it is incumbent upon social workers to have the skills necessary to work with this population. For so long, victims/survivors have felt the need to remain silent, to suffer the impacts of their experiences often in isolation. As we/they come forward in greater numbers than ever before, our profession must work to empower, to heal, and to move forward. 

A description of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic abuse and the connection between these will be provided. Trauma-informed practice will be explained, and approaches to working with these clients will be discussed.


  • Stacy Lang, PhD, LCSW-C, LCSW, ACSW, Director of Outreach; Clinician, Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse, Rockville, MD

Disasters: No Community Is Immune

Social work’s readiness to respond when a disaster occurs is more important than ever. The past year has demonstrated that no community can be considered immune to disasters. A record number of billion-dollar weather-related disasters — including hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and wildfires — occurred in 2017. Mass shootings are nearly a daily occurrence with more than 400 occurring during the year. Las Vegas was deeply impacted when a single shooter killed 59 and wounded another 441. Five Sundays later it was a small-town Texas church. 

Social workers in every community should be prepared for the possibility that their skill, knowledge, and experience may be needed on micro, mezzo, and macro levels. This workshop will explore the various roles social workers are capable of assuming when responding to a devastating disaster.


  • Marleen Wong, PhD, LCSW, Senior Vice Dean, Clinical Professor of Social Work, USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, Los Angeles, CA