5 Social Work Conferences in 2017

Social work conferences are an opportunity to unwind, rejuvenate and deepen your social work practice. You can attend targeted conferences for palliative care workers, school social workers or your specific state, but you can also head to national conferences for social workers from all areas of the profession. Either way, you'll earn continuing education units (CEUs), expand your knowledge of evidence-based practices and have a great time.

20th Annual National School Social Work Conference

This premier conference for educational social workers offers four days of learning, networking and shopping. A picnic lunch offers a low-key way to build relationships with other school counselors and therapists. The exhibit hall features books, activities and assessment kits for enhancing your practice. Six separate workshop blocks ensure you'll have plenty of opportunity to grow your professional knowledge, and you can earn CEUs. In 2017, the conference will be held in San Diego, CA, from March 22-25, and the schedule includes built-in opportunities to explore the city.

Additional Resource: Top 20 Best Online MSW in Children/Youth/Families 2016-2017

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) Management and Leadership Conference

From May 1-3, hundreds of leaders in end-of-life care will gather in Washington, D.C. This conference will connect medical, social work and legislative professionals for education and policy advocacy. Nationally recognized leadership expert Nick Tasler will host a special executive leadership seminar for managers and directors looking for specific ways to increase team motivation and productivity. Two days of pre-conference workshops give you the option to dive even deeper in the latest research on palliative care.

21st Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)

With more than 500 educational opportunities ranging from poster presentations to keynote speakers, this conference will connect you to the latest research in every aspect of the social work profession. You can also attend skill-building workshops on grant writing, research methodology and quantitative techniques. Special events include a question-and-answer session with the editors of five leading social work journals, a roundtable discussion on mentoring and a luncheon on landing an academic job. Social work students can attend for free by volunteering at least 8 hours of service during the event. The 2017 conference will take place January 11-15 in New Orleans, LA.

Annual Association for Play Therapy (APT) International Conference and Expo

Almost 1,000 researchers, practitioners and students of play therapy will gather in Minneapolis, MN, from October 10-15, 2017 for the APT's annual conference. Over 50 educational sessions will deliver 35 hours of CEUs for psychologists, social workers, and therapists. You can also shop the expo to find therapeutic toys, puppets and games. Whether you're a seasoned play therapy professional or a recent graduate of a mental health program, this annual conference is a great way to learn more about play therapy practices.

State Association Conferences

Every state has their own chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. If attending one of the popular social work conferences with thousands of other professionals is too intimidating or just not in the budget for 2017, consider your state's annual conference. No matter where you live, it will provide a great opportunity to learn about local advocacy issues and resources. You'll build professional relationships you can develop over the year and get connected to issues that matter to your community.

Whether you're just starting your BSW coursework or getting ready to plan your retirement, conference attendance will be the highlight of your year. Start planning your trip to one of these 5 social work conferences today.