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NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world with 150,000 members and over 5,000 in Illinois. The NASW-IL, NASW-NV and NASW-ND chapters their keep members on top of up-to-the-minute news and information regarding their professional development, whether it's changes in government regulations, breakthrough treatments, and innovative resources. With discounted professional protection through NASW Assurance Service insurance programs and public outreach to advance social work practice and improving the wellbeing of people and communities, the NASW  is working every day to help their members and the populations they serve. Please consider becoming a member today!

Contact Info

Reconnecting Through Social Work: 2022 NASW-IL Hybrid Conference

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Your In-Person or Virtual Mental Health Conference


Date: Thursday, November 17, 2022 (In-Person) and Thursday, December 1, 2022 (Live Virtual)

In-Person Venue: DoubleTree by Hilton Lisle Naperville, 3003 Corporate W Dr, Lisle, IL 60532

Live Virtual Platform: Zoom Events

Time: 10:00am to 5:30pm CT

Conference workshops will qualify for LSWs, LCSWs, PELs, LPCs, LCPCs, LMFTs, RNs, LPNs, APNs, and LCPs.

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Education from some of social work's leading educators and practitioners


Day 1

October 21, 2021

Supporting LGTQAI+ Youth

Have you ever wished you had a better grasp on the issues affecting LGBTQAI+ youth? This interactive presentation addresses cultural relevancy in working with LGBTQAI+ youth, the specific presenting concerns affecting the LGBTQAI+ community, and inclusive interventions that can be implemented in your practice, whether micro, mezzo, or macro.You will leave with ideas to inform your work and expand your knowledge.

12:30 - 1:30 PM CST Virtul Room A

The Future of the Social Work Profession in a Post-COVID World

COVID will continue to affect our profession long after the virus is gone. The pandemic has fundamentally changed social work education and practice. It has forced us to rethink how and where we do our jobs, with many of us moving to virtual platforms.We have been innovative and creative in the ways we have used technology to deliver client-centered services. Social work is positioned to lead the paradigm shift needed to develop new practices and strategies that will create a better “new normal”. This session will focus on ways the profession can intentionally engage in a deeper exploration of its future.

12:30 - 1:30 PM CST Virtual Room B

Immigration Updates: What Your Communities Need to Know

This session will provide the latest updates of what is happening with immigration law and policy and explain clearly what these developments mean for our communities.This session will also briefly explain how to get involved in community education work and in advocacy to help make public policies more responsive to the needs of immigrant families.

12:30 - 1:30 PM CST Virtual Room C

Women Who Were Sexually Abused as Children: Mothering, Resilience, and Protecting the Next Generation

This workshop will provide valuable information to mental health professionals in order to increase their understanding of the long-term intergenerational impact of child sexual abuse on mothering abilities and help prevent the consequences of trauma on the next generation.

01:40 - 2:40 PM CST Virtual Room A

Navigating the Dementia Journey

The population of Americans 65 and older is expected to double to 70 million individuals by 2030. Among those roughly 3.8 million individuals will have a dementia diagnosis. Navigating the Dementia Journey explains the differences in normal aging and dementia and focuses on considerations and coping after a dementia diagnosis. Along with coping with a dementia diagnosis this presentation will deliver information of care options, cost of care, how to pay for care, and financial and legal considerations. Finally, health care disparities of minorities and low-income populations diagnosed with dementia will be examined.

01:40 - 2:40 PM CST Virtual Room C

Beyond the Book Club: The impact of an 11-Week Antiracism Accountability Group for White-identified Mental Health Clinicians on Antiracist Praxis and Values

In the wake of the Uprisings of the Summer of 2020, many social workers are eager to engage in antiracist clinical work to better support their clients. However, many social workers recognize deficits in their social work education with regard to practicing antiracism in clinical spaces.To help address this critical need, we developed and facilitated an 11-week curriculum to educate and empower white-identifying mental health clinicians to challenge and interrupt white supremacy in their clinical relationships and their agencies.The workshop provides an overview of the curriculum and data on participants’ anti-racist identity development and resulting praxis.

01:40 - 2:40 PM CST Virtual Room C

Applying an Intersectional Framework to Eating Disorders: Addressing Barriers to Diagnosis and Treatment for the BIPOC Community

From film to media to treatment center brochures, eating disorders have been framed as a “white women’s” illness. Eating disorders impact people of all genders, races, ethnicities, sexualities and ages. The BIPOC community have been greatly impacted by medical professionals, mental health professionals and researchers overlooking how racial trauma can lead to eating disorders. Researchers and clinicians taking an intersectional approach to eating disorder diagnosis and treatment would help center BIPOC voices. This session will address the importance of mental health professionals acknowledging their racial biases, an increase of multicultural research and the need for culturally inclusive treatment for eating disorders among BIPOC folks.

02:50 - 3:50 PM CST Virtual Room A

Social Workers Speaking Out Loud

Did you know that social workers have an ethical obligation to speak out in public spaces regarding social conditions? This presentation will briefly discuss those sections of the Code of Ethics which exhort social workers to speak out loud for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Public speaking, however, is something many of us are uncomfortable doing! This presentation will address the fears we have about public speaking, and offer strategies for improving our abilities to speak in public.

02:50 - 3:50 PM CST Virtual Room B

DBT in a Nutshell

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a highly effective treatment first developed to help individuals with borderline personality disorder to help regulate their emotions and reduce distressful events in their life. Recent studies suggest that DBT can also be helpful for other disorders including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction. This workshop will introduce DBT and how to utilize these interventions in individual and group therapy.

02:50 - 3:50 PM CST Virtual Room C

Be Safe; identify appropriate and inappropriate behavior in the work place!

This course on will educate participants on understanding sexual harassment, them how to identify acts of sexual harassment and how to report it. This course will also identify tools to prevent backlash.

04:00 - 5:00 PM CST Virtul Room A

Building Community for Equity in Aging and End of Life

This workshop will provide an informative look at the impact of social equity on various aging populations paying special attention to the inequities in healthcare for these populations as well as special challenges faced at end of life.In addition, this workshop will provide information and engage our participants in development of strategies for interacting with and improving access to important resources for those who are doubly vulnerable.

04:00 - 5:00 PM CST Virtual Room B

Military Cultural Awareness

This presentation/training is designed to teach audiences best practices for working with military-connected populations. Here you can learn more about the military culture, increase your insight to challenge media sensationalism and stereotypes, common challenges among this population, and best practices for building rapport and trust.

04:00 - 5:00 PM CST Virtual Room C

Day 2

October 22, 2021

Understanding Autism: Strength-based strategies to help students flourish

This engaging session will enable attendees to understand and respect the unique attributes of individuals on the spectrum as well as communicate, discipline and nurture more effectively.Participants in this workshop will learn skills that will enable them to improve interactions with individuals on the autism spectrum. The format of the class will be based in a strength perspective, emphasizing the value of respecting that individuals on the spectrum are empowered by a supportive structure in their environment where it is at home, school or the workplace. Skills in relating to individuals on the spectrum will be addressed.

12:30 - 01:30 PM CST Virtual Room A

The Impact of Social Isolation and Loneliness on the Elderly During and Post-COVID-19 and Best Practices from the Field: Lessons Learned

Loneliness can be defined in two ways. First,in relation to indices of social integration, i.e. marital status, contact with friends or family, and lack of social integration (Helmer et al. 1999; Fratiglioni et al. 2000; De Jong Gierveld & Van Tiburg 2008; Lunaigh & Lawlor, 2008). However it is also based upon the individual’s perception.

12:30 - 01:30 PM CST Virtual Room B

Secrets of the Sand Tray: The Neuroscience of Stress and Strategies for Engaging Youth through Play

The Art of Sand Tray--an interactive and fun workshop exploring sand tray therapy for use with children, teens, and adults.This workshop will give you a brief overview of the modality as well as an opportunity to practice basic skills.

12:30 - 01:30 PM CST Virtual Room C

But I'm Not a Racist!": How Non-racists Contribute to Racism

Racism continues to be a major problem in American society. And despite all of the protests, trainings, seminars, newscasts, documentaries, testimonials, and debates, between popular newscasts, many will claim either racism does not exist, or they, themselves, are not racists. "I'm not racist because I have a black friend!" or "I'm not racist, I like black people!" or "I'm not racist, I'm colorblind!" These statements actually contribute to the problem of racism. And one of the major problems is that many people don't even understand these microaggressions. This seminar will teach the students what racism actually is, how it is perpetrated by "non-racist" people, why the black community needs the white community regarding racism, and what can be done to continue addressing this issue with people who can actually make a difference.

01:40 - 02:40 PM CST Virtual Room A

Practicing What We Teach: Influencing Cultural Inclusivity in the Workplace

Social workers are known for our lifelong learning commitment to cultural awareness, practicing cultural humility, and treating individuals with dignity. Cultural diversity is a multifaceted, complex concept involving our working environment and our practice. Systemic changes to promote inclusivity, civic discourse, and psychological safety can be more difficult though. Where do you start? What will make a difference? Development requires an intersectional framework that defines cultural identity broadly. This workshop discusses practical ways to positively shift our working environment by using macro strategies and interpersonal sharing in professional and workplace development. We’ll share our ideas, challenges, and best practices.

01:40 - 02:40 PM CST Virtual Room B

A Team of Social Workers Courageous Conversations about Race Matters

It was at the onset of the social and civil unrest resulting from the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd, our team of 12 social workers knew we had to have courageous conversation about race matters. The conundrum was how we would do this in a work place, a space none of us had ever known to encourage in the history of our collective work experiences. It took little time for us to decide that the importance of this.conversation far outweighed any possible work related consequence. However, it wasn't until we started the conversation that we understood that discussing race could be incredibly uncomfortable - all the more reason it needed to happen.

01:40 - 02:40 PM CST Virtual Room C

Hanging Out or Hooking Up: Adolescent Relationship Abuse - How Can I Help?

This workshop, Hanging Out or Hooking Up is designed to educate social work professionals who work with adolescents the warning signs of an abusive relationship, how to use trauma-informed approaches to intervene and strategies to promote healthy relationships.

02:50 - 03:40 PM CST Virtual Room A

Voices of Families with a Transgender Member: Building Religious Cultural Competency

The dialogue on transgender people’s transitions emphasizes the individuals experiencing it, while discussion of its effect on their families is infrequent.When the family holds strong religious values this factor can play a role in the family’s response.The purpose of this presentation is to start to fill in this family perspective gap and answer the question of perhaps why these voices have been silent with the goal of facilitating some degree of family acceptance of the gender transition of one of its members.

02:50 - 03:40 PM CST Virtual Room B

Anxiety Treatment utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness and measurement-based care

Not counting adolescents and children under the age of 18 (who also experience anxiety), prior to the COVID-19 pandemic it was estimated that at least 40 million adults in the United States suffered from some form of anxiety. It is believed that number has likely tripled during the pandemic. This training will offer an overview of the combination of techniques to address anxious symptoms in the short term, adjust client response to anxiety in the long term and how to use measurement base care approaches both as an objective measure of progress and as an intervention and prompt in treatment.

02:50 - 03:40 PM CST Virtual Room C

Meeting Them Where They Are: Engaging Youth through Technology

Participants will reflect on strategies to engage students in conversations about equity in their schools and community with support of virtual tools that support in-person or virtual instruction and settings. First, a review of relevant frameworks will ground this therapeutic strategy in social emotional learning, and youth-led project based learning. Second, participants will be guided through interactive activities that can be used in person and in virtual settings. Ultimately, participants will walk away with tangible, interactive tools to engage students in group discussions. User-friendly virtual tools that will help motivate students will be shared.

04:00 - 05:00 PM CST Virtual Room A

Grounding Ourselves in Justice & Equity-driven Social Work Values

The Revolution IS Being Televised: The lyrics of Scott-Heron’s 1971 song challenge that change won’t come from passively watching injustices; action is necessary to bring about change. Fast forward 50 years, the visibility of George Floyd’s death sparked a nationwide rally cry for action. For some, Black males dying at the hands of law enforcement was a shocking revelation. For others, it illuminated the inequities long known and experienced. Where do Social Workers enter? This interactive session will explore implications in social workers’ response to racial inequities in service delivery, lived experiences of BIPOC practitioners, and the calling of our values-based profession to take action.

04:00 - 05:00 PM CST Virtual Room B

Protecting our Children from Violence One Behavior at a Time

Nationally recognized school safety expert and best-selling author of “Education in a Violent World: A Practical Guide to Keeping our Kids Safe” - Dr. Steve Webb will present lessons learned from American school violence and utilizing the PARA Mindset to enhance Behavioral Threat Assessments and Social Emotional Learning in order to prevent violence in our schools.

04:00 - 05:00 PM CST Virtual Room C

Days Until we Meet online:


Meet our thought leaders


Sandra Bankston
Tawnya Caldwell
Jennie Cornell
Cassandra Cotton
Jack Gordon, MSW, LCSW, CCATP
Kelin Hall, LCSW
Judy Henderson, MEd, Mgt
Jeni Hunniecutt, PhD
Carl Johnson, LCSW
Cheryl Johnston, MSW, LSW, ACHP-SW
Don Phelps, LCSW
Heidii Poplick, LMSW
Becky Powers, LCSW
Charisma Pryor, LSW
Patricia Sele, LCSW
Fred Tsao, JD
Valerie Walker, LCSW, ACSW
Steve Webb, PhD
Ingrid Wheeler, MSW, LCSW



Full and Single Day Options Available

Full Conference

$ 49

NASW Member Student Rate MSW/BSW

Full Conference

$ 150

NASW Members

Full Conference

$ 200

NonMember Rate

Multiple Day Tickets Available. Prices above do not include ticket processing fees.



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