2019 NASW-NYS Statewide Conference

Countdown to the 2019 Conference!



Winner of the 2019 (EM)POWER UP Facebook Contest!

"I empower others by encouraging them to believe in themselves and self-advocating. Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves and lift them up because not everyone has the same opportunity. During my professional career I have learned that one of the core principle of social work profession is advocacy and it’s important that we have to advocate for ourselves and others. Self-Care is a necessity." #EMPOWERUP


The National Association of Social Workers – New York State Chapter (NASW-NYS) Statewide Conference is one of the largest gatherings of social workers and like-minded professionals in New York. This three-day conference event will consist of acclaimed keynote presenters, continuing education workshops, networking opportunities, award ceremonies, and more! Taking place in Saratoga Springs, NY, the 2019 conference will connect you with the newest trends, innovations, and practice, and is a rare opportunity to network with other social workers across all professional levels.

June 5-7, 2019
The Saratoga Hilton
534 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866


This year's theme conference is (EM)POWER UP: Social Workers as the Vanguards of Change.





Jonathan Mooney is a writer and learning activist who did not learn to read until he was 12 years old. He is a graduate of Brown University’s class of 2000 and holds an honors degree in English Literature. Jonathan has spent his entire professional career as a social entrepreneur developing organizations, programs, and initiatives to improve the lives of marginalized groups. In 1997, as an undergraduate at Brown University, Jonathan co-founded Project Eye-To-Eye, a non-profit advocacy organization for students with learning differences. Learn More



Mary Pender Greene, LCSW-R, CGP, is a psychotherapist, career/executive coach, trainer, and consultant with a private practice in Midtown Manhattan. Mary is a thought leader in the social services industry, recognized by her peers for her wisdom, contributions, and novel ideas on coaching, training, mentoring, and sharing knowledge. She has more than 20 years of experience helping individuals, couples, companies, and non-profit organizations. Learn More



Victoria M. Rizzo, LCSW-R, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Social Welfare, University at Albany, SUNY currently serves as the Chair of the NASW-NYS Chapter’s Value of Social Work Task Force. Dr. Rizzo has dedicated her career to demonstrating the value of social work in health care settings through her research, teaching, and workforce development activities. Dr. Rizzo’s research examines the impact of social work, and interprofessional interventions that include social workers, on health care utilization, health, and behavioral health outcomes for older adults coping with chronic illnesses, elder abuse, and care giving. Learn More




Loretta Pyles, PhD, is a Professor at the School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany, SUNY. She is also a meditation and yoga teacher, workshop leader, organizational consultant, and activist. The 3rd edition of her book, Progressive Community Organizing: Transformative Practice in a Globalizing World will be published by Routledge Press in 2020. Learn More


This 2019 NASW-NYS conference theme is (EM)POWER UP: Social Workers as the Vanguards of Change, and we believe it truly captures the essence of our profession.


Already Registered?

*Schedule subject to change
Pre-Conference Workshop Sessions

Pre-Conference Workshop Sessions

9:00AM-5:00PM Registration (Exhibitors and attendees)
10:00AM - 1:00PM MORNING SESSION (3.0 CEs)

Technology in Social Work Practice: Standards of Practice
NASW Assurance Services, Inc.
2:30PM - 4:00PM AFTEROON SESSION A (1.5 CEs)
Clinical Social Work’s Innovative Approach of Integrating Mental Health in a Primary Care Practice
Leora Botnick
This workshop will focus on the high need population of patients with mental health needs and/or uncontrolled chronic illnesses. It will discuss social work's role in the care coordination of these patients including engagement, intervention, and collaborative teamwork. One component that will be emphasized is identifying and addressing social determinants of health.
Children, Youth & Families Treating Adolescent Non-Suicidal Self-Injury
Hanni Flaherty, PhD, LCSW
This workshop aims to educate positioners around non-suicidal self-injurious (NSSI) behaviors among adolescent. It aims to inform practitioners about the current evidence-based practices that are available to treat adolescents who struggle with NSSI in order to determine the best practice for this high-risk population.
Leadership Grant Writing for Social Workers
Diane R. Bessel, Diane Bessel, PhD, LMSW, CNM
The ability to locate and secure funding for health and human service programming is an essential skill for social workers working in non-profit organizations today. This interactive program emphasizes strategies for identifying possible funding resources as well as tools for writing effective proposals. The workshop will cover the essential components of any grant application including problem statements, program design, budgets and budget narratives, evaluation, and sustainability plans.
Policy Political Social Work
Jessica Mitchell, LMSW, MA
Social workers, and the people they work with, are fundamentally dependent on the decisions made by the people who are elected public office. In order to advance the values of the profession, social workers must participate and engage in the political process; beginning with field placements.
LMSW/LCSW Test Prep Course

9:00am - 4:00pm Dawn Hall Apgar, PhD, LSW, ACSW

Open to LMSW/LCSW Test Prep Course and Pre-Conference Workshop attendees at no additional cost!
4:15PM - 5:45PM Animal Assisted Social Work (1.5 CEs)
Catherine Ricchetti, LCSW-R
Networking Event Dine around Saratoga
Meet in the Saratoga Hilton Lobby!
*Schedule subject to change
Thursday Conference

6:30 AM - 7:30 AM Morning Yoga (Optional)
Kick off your conference morning with a nice hour-long morning yoga!
7:00AM - 8:00PM Registration
8:00AM - 9:00AM Breakfast
Opening Plenary with Speaker: Victoria M. Rizzo, PhD, LCSW
9:15AM - 10:45AM SESSION 1 (1.5 CEs)
Clinical Innovative Treatment Approach CW Compromised by Trauma
Jennifer Genovese, PhD, ACSW, LCSW
Caseworkers are a high need population whose health and well-being is at risk of being comprised by their exposure to trauma. This workshop will introduce an innovative group treatment model that provides caseworkers with emotional support and offers an opportunity to develop positive coping strategies for dealing with trauma exposure.
Children, Youth & Families Neurobiology of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Bernadette C. Marson, PhD, ACSW, LCSW-R
This workshop will explain the effects of exposure to traumatic life experiences subsequent to childhood sexual abuse. The workshop will review the neurobiological, psychological, mental health, substance abuse, and interpersonal problems associated with developmental trauma. Treatment approaches to developmental trauma would be reviewed.
Special Populations Parents as Healers: Recovering from the Trauma of Domestic Violence
Anne Marie Ramos, LCSW, RPT-S
Involving caregivers in dynamic ways to help their children recover from the trauma of domestic violence enhances healing. Participants will be introduced to an approach called Parents as Healers which encourages parents to take an active role in treatment sessions using directive play therapy, creative arts, effective parenting and more.
Leadership Connection, Collaboration and Cognitive Reframing: The Improviser's Tool Kit for Social Workers
Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, CGP, CPAI
Improvisation training is ideal for learning how to pilot through stress without being derailed by it. The improviser's toolkit strengthens the capacity for cognitive reframing, connection with others over social and psychological barriers, and collaborating to solve problems through a fascinating and fun learning process.
Policy Developing an Issue Campaign Using a Strategy
Diane R. Bessel, PhD, LMSW, CNM
Workshop description coming soon.
10:45AM - 11:00AM Break
11:00AM - 12:30PM SESSION 2 (1.5 CEs)
Clinical Surviving an Audit: Best Practices for Solo LCSWs, Group Practices & Licensed Clinics
Carmel Gold, LCSW
Solo and group LCSW Practices, as well as OMH and OASAS licensed clinics, must understand the nuances of best practices. Excellent documentation and accurate billing affect payment, clients’ treatment options, and HIPAA compliance. This workshop demonstrates how billing and documentation best practices impact behavioral health private and clinic practices.
Children, Youth & Families Adolescent Leadership for Organizational & Community Change
Catherine Kramer, LMSW, MPA, PhD Candidate and Darren Cosgrove, LMSW, PhD Candidate
Youth can be leaders and agents of social change, though often their power is untapped. In practice with adolescents, social workers can unleash youth-power to transform organizations and communities. Youth-led change movements also contribute to healthy adolescent development. Practice implications of Positive Youth Development and Youth Participatory Action Research discussed.
Special Populations Military/Veteran Culture
Alyssa Gibbons, LCSW-R
This workshop will address the skills needed to work effectively with a military/veteran population and increase the cultural competency for civilian providers who encounter a service member and/or veteran in their practice.
Leadership Brave Leadership: Leading with Humanity, Humility and Heart
Mary Pender Greene, LCSW-R, CGP
Policy 10 Strategies to Change the World When Times are Hard
Karl Bertrand, LMSW
This workshop condenses 35 years of community organizing and program development experience addressing the homeless and other high-need populations in Westchester County, NY into 10 strategies social workers can use to mobilize coalitions of partners to support social change, even when resources are scarce and despair.
12:30PM - 1:45PM Lunch featuring Keynote Speaker Jonathan Mooney
2:00PM - 3:30PM SESSION 3 (1.5 CEs)
Clinical Hoarding Disorder: Evidence-Based Clinical & Harm Reduction Approaches
Learn about the DSM-V criteria for psychiatric diagnosis of Hoarding Disorder, along with related issues of self-neglect and elder abuse. Explore what and why people hoard; the distress caused by compulsive hoarding; how to identify effective clinical interventions, and develop a collaborative harm reduction plan of care.
Children, Youth & Families Young Adults with Autism: A Challenge for Aging South Asian Parents
Veera Mookerjee, PhD, LMSW
Transition remains a major stress for parents of autistic children, especially when they age out of mandatory education system and move into larger community. Aging parents engage in intense planning for their child’s future. Such arrangements are difficult as parents representing diverse ethnic groups are not able to access services.
Special Populations Sex Offender: Let’s Not Talk About Them!
Christopher Farrell, LCSW-R
Many social workers have a visceral response to the mere mention of sex offenders. This workshop will dispel myths, expand the understanding of sex offenders, and humanize a group of individuals who are often misperceived, misunderstood, and shunned by the therapeutic community.
Leadership Breaking New Ground: Ramping Up Supervision in Peer-Delivered Services
Jonathan Edwards, LCSW, ACSW, M. Phil. and Michael Serrano, LMSW
Consistent with social work's values to advance empowerment and social justice, this workshop will introduce participants to a strengths-based and comprehensive approach to supervising peer support staff in health care settings. Participants will engage in interactive exercises to operationalize five critical functions of supervision: administrative, educative, supportive, advocacy, and evaluative.
Policy TBA
3:30PM - 4:00PM Break/Exhibitor Hall
4:00PM - 5:30PM SESSION 4 (1.5 CEs)
Clinical Contemporary Neuroscience and Attachment Theory: Implications for an Attachment-informed Approach to Grief Therapy
Phyllis Kosminsky, PhD, LCSW
In this presentation we will review recent developments in neuroscience and attachment theory that have direct implications for understanding the bereaved, particularly the phenomenon of "complicated grief." These findings serve as the foundation for what we have described as an attachment informed approach to grief therapy (Kosminsky and Jordan 2016).
Children, Youth & Families How to Survive a NYS Justice Center Investigation
Dena DeFazio, J.D., NYS Admission pending; MSW and Robert Hussar, J.D., Admitted to practice in NYS and MA; M.S. in Health Systems Management; Certified in Healthcare Compliance
Social workers practicing in facilities and programs operated, certified, or licensed by OPWDD, OMH, OASAS, OCFS, and DOH need to be prepared to handle an investigation by the New York State Justice Center. This workshop provides an overview of the investigation process, including risks, challenges, and best practices.
Special Populations Deaf 101: The Basics on Social Work with Deaf & Hard of Hearing Communities
David (DT) Bruno, MSW Student at Columbia University School of Social Work and David Barclay, MSW, LCSW-C (MD), PhD
Attendees will gain a basic understanding of knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to successfully engage with the deaf and hard of hearing client systems. Culturally and linguistically appropriate services for Deaf, Deaf/Blind, Deaf/Disabled, Hard of Hearing, Late Deafened, and other intersectional identity groups will be explained.
Leadership A Leadership Paradigm Shift: The Centric Model
Margaret Coker, LCSW and Darin Samaha, LMSW
This workshop will present a concept of leadership that can lead an organization/agency to achieving sustainability and success. Social workers as leaders, or desire to be, will obtain skills in creating an organization/agency that is inclusive of all staff; managerial, supervisory, clinical, and all ancillary positions.
Policy The Role of Social Work in Community Violence Prevention with a Focus on Credible Messengers and Hospital-Based Interventions
Erika Mendelsohn, LCSW
Participants will learn about preventing community violence using the evidence-based Credible Messenger model, which is being increasingly utilized throughout New York State and around the country. Focus will be primarily on the crucial role of social workers in establishing effective, sustainable Credible Messenger programs. The presentation will highlight a hospital-based Credible Messenger program aimed at reducing gun violence in high-risk communities.

6:00PM - 9:00PM 2019 NASW-NYS Social Work Awards Dinner featuring Keynote Speaker: Mary Pender Greene, LCSW-R, CGP

*Schedule subject to change
Friday Conference

6:30 AM - 7:30 AM Morning Yoga (Optional)
Kick off your conference morning with a nice hour-long morning yoga!
8:30AM - 10:00AM SESSION 5 (1.5 CEs)
Clinical Impact of Ambulatory Integration of Medical & Social (AIMS) Model on Depression & Health Risks
Victoria Rizzo, PhD, LCSW-R
Although social workers have made significant progress identifying best practices for addressing social determinants of health (SDOHs), describing specific services provided that positively and significantly impact SDOHs has not progressed as rapidly. Presenters will highlight the steps of the AIMS model that positively impact SDOHs, specifically depression and health risk.
Children, Youth & Families Family Supported Recovery: Using Social Work Recovery Coaching Principles to Empower Family Members
Keith Greer, LCSW-R, P.C.C., P.R.C.
Combining Family Centered Social Work practice with the evidence-based practices of Recovery Coaching, Motivational Interviewing and The Stages of Change Model, this workshop demonstrates how to assist and support family members in becoming more effective and influential partners in their loved one's ongoing battle with addiction and early recovery.
Special Populations Widening the Scope of Your Clinical Practice with Transgender Clients
Acey Mercer, LMSW
Providing culturally competent and affirming mental health and medical care for transgender people requires a specific knowledge base. This workshop will offer solid tools to provide best practices and cultivate transgender affirming care. Exploration of the components of gender identity will equip participants with language, knowledge, and assessment skills.
Leadership Promoting Discussion in the Classroom: Setting the Stage is Critical
Margaret (Peggy) Lane, PhD, LCSW, LISW-S
Classroom Discussion is a method of teaching used in both classroom and online formats. Discussion pedagogy builds an environment for students to construct meanings for new knowledge (Ezzedeen, 2008). Participants will learn strategies to create and promote meaningful learning opportunities utilizing discussion. The goal of the workshop is to provide a toolbox of techniques for maximum student participation, teacher presence, and civil discourse.
Policy TBA
10:45AM - 11:00AM Brunch featuring Closing Plenary with Speaker Loretta Pyles, PhD
11:15AM - 12:45PM SESSION 6 (1.5 CEs)
Clinical Recovering from Addiction: A Journey in the “Art of Creating Meaning”
June Tyson, PhD, LCSW-R, ACSW and Debra Lavender-Bratcher, PhD, LCSW
This workshop will provide a comprehensive presentation on how the Art of Creating Meaning works with people in recovery. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) (2011) working definition of recovery is “A process of change whereby individuals work to improve their own health and wellness and to live a meaningful life in a community of their choice while striving to achieve their full potential”. Participants will understand and explore how to create meaning in recovery.
Children, Youth & Families An Ecological Systems Understanding of Youth Who AWOL from Care
Stephen Oby, LCSW, PhD Candidate
Youth who run from residential care settings disrupt their own safety and development as well as the functioning of facilities responsible for their care. Conceptualizing this behavior within an Ecological Systems framework enables a meaningful assessment and response for practitioners encountering this very common and risky behavior.
Special Populations New Approaches in Understanding the Intersectionality between Trafficking, FGM, and Forced Marriage
Bushra Husain, LCSW-R
Victims of trafficking, FGM, and forced marriage often fail to receive the services and protections they need to heal and remain safe because these forms of gender-based violence are frequently viewed as separate experiences. Presenters will discuss ways to support victims/survivors of these forms of abuses through coordinated responses.
Leadership The Story Does the Work: Power Presentations and Maximize Your Message through the Art of Story
Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, CGP, CPAI
Professional presentations that use well-crafted stories to frame and explain important concepts are more effective at impacting attitudes and behavior change. This workshop will provide the structure for shaping a great story and evidence-based information about why stories matter in our engagement with clients, colleagues, and communities.
Policy Using Data to Mobilize Communities & Secure Resources
Karl Bertrand, LMSW
This workshop condenses 35 years of community organizing experience that have resulted in hundreds of new programs and $467 million in grant awards. It focuses on 6 principles social workers can use to translate their knowledge into effective calls for action that mobilize communities and secure resources for vulnerable populations.
1:00PM - 2:00PM Post-Conference Debrief

Sponsor, Exhibit, Advertise.

As a sponsor, exhibitor, and/or advertiser, you will reach hundreds of social work professionals and students eager to learn about products and services that will enhance their personal and professional lives, as well as seeking to connect with organizations and agencies for collaboration and job opportunities. With numerous scheduled receptions, general sessions, and breaks, you will have many opportunities to interact with conference attendees and promote your organization or service.

If you have any questions about sponsoring, exhibiting, and/or advertising at the conference, or would like to discuss a custom package, please contact Amelia Lochner-Malavé (Grants & Development Specialist) at alochner.naswnys@socialworkers.org

All exhibitor and advertising are subject to review and approval by NASW-NYS. NASW-NYS reserves the right to refuse any exhibitor or advertisement it deems to be objectionable to its mission and/or policies. The Chapter cannot promote unaffiliated insurance products or vendors. 

Sponsorship deadline is April 17, 2019


Video and information courtesy of Discover Saratoga, known as the Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau. Visit the official website at https://www.discoversaratoga.org/


Known for the Saratoga Race Course, horses, mineral springs, and great restaurants and shopping, this exciting historical and cultural center is located minutes from Albany and is a short drive from most Northeast locations.

Venue & Accommodations

534 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
(518) 584-4000

For the very first time in NASW-NYS history, we are taking our statewide conference to beautiful Saratoga Springs, NY! The 2019 (EM)POWER UP Conference will take place at the Saratoga Hilton and the adjoining Saratoga City Center.

Our conference has a limited number of room blocks at the host hotel (the Saratoga Hilton) and discounts will be applied at time of booking (if available) by registering via the special link below. Rooms are available on a first come, first serve basis — so don't delay, book your room today!

Booking website: https://book.passkey.com/go/SocialWorkersNYChapt19