2010 Social Work Congress Aims to Develop Blueprint

Robert MittmanRobert Mittman will facilitate the 2010 Social Work Congress in April.

Social work leaders from across the country will gather April 21-23 to reaffirm, revisit and reimagine the profession at the 2010 Social Work Congress.

Co-conveners of the congress are NASW, the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors, the Council on Social Work Education and the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work. The Clinical Social Work Association and the Society for Social Work and Research are also supporters, and NASW Assurance Services Inc. is the presenting sponsor for the invitation-only event, which will include 400 participants and will take place in Washington.

Other supporters include the Society for Social Work and Research; the National Association of Black Social Workers; the Association of Social Work Boards; National Network of Social Work Managers; the Clinical Social Work Association; Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education; the Society for Social Work Leadership in Healthcare; and the Association of Oncology Social Work.

"It's time to reassess the profession," said NASW Executive Director Elizabeth J. Clark. "Unlike the last Social Work Congress in 2005, this gathering will focus internally on the future of the profession. We want to develop a blueprint that ensures the social work services for years to come."

In an effort to include emerging leaders in the process, there will be a virtual 2010 Student Social Work Congress coinciding with the live Social Work Congress. The Student Congress will include 400 social work students at the BSW, MSW and PhD levels to debate and vote on their own list of imperatives for the future of social work.

The students will represent approximately 20 different social work classes selected from around the country. Participating professors will be asked to devote two class periods to curriculum on the 2005 Social Work Congress and to prepare for the 2010 Social Work Congress. The students will also be asked to view two videos and participate in two webcasts prior to the congress.

"Giving students a chance to voice their opinions regarding the future of the profession is an important way to encourage their participation later in their careers, and it is a chance to have the voices of their peers heard," Clark noted. "We want to engage the next generation of emerging leaders to discuss workforce challenges that we must overcome in order to secure the future of the profession."

Added Elizabeth Hoffler, NASW special assistant to the executive director and co-chair of the 2010 Student Social Work Congress, "We will engage professors and students with online social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter. We plan to provide interactive online chat as well as informational videos."

Students will have the opportunity to view events from the live Social Work Congress online.

The imperatives that come out of the student congress will be included in the final report of the 2010 Social Work Congress.

Robert Mittman, president of Robert Mittman Consulting, has been working with the co-conveners to finalize activities. He will be facilitating the congress in April, as he did in 2005.

Congress participants will also be invited to attend a gala at the National Women's Museum on April 22 where the theme will be the civil rights movement of the 1960s, with a focus on NASW's involvement and leadership role during that era.