Special Interest Groups (SIG) are member-led networks of social workers across New York State and beyond, connecting like-minded social workers on topics, practice areas, client populations, and other common interests for the purpose of sharing resources, and further developing support systems through the New York State Chapter.

Any member may facilitate a special interest group, and ALL social workers benefit from the activities of these groups. SIGs plan continuing education programs, host events, support the growth of individuals and social work practice areas, and help to ensure that the New York State Chapter is inclusive and representative of ALL social workers.

Please click here to check out our event calendar for our next SIG event, or register for an upcoming meeting below!

LGBTQIA+ Social Work Interest Group 

Facilitator(s): Sadiya "YaYa" Wright, MSW student at UAlbany; Lauren Prosper, MSW Student at UAlbany; Nelle Morehouse, LMSW, Program Coordinator at NASW-NYS

Description: The LGBTQIA+ social work group is intended to be a safe, brave and supportive space for LGBTQIA+ identifying social workers and their allies. This will be a space for community advocacy, discussion of LGBTQIA+ social justice initiatives, and education opportunities for different subsets of the queer and trans and gender diverse/nonconforming community.

Check back soon for upcoming meetings! 

Rising to the Challenge of School Social Work Special Interest Group

Facilitator(s): Martha Schultz, LCSW

Schools play essential roles in every community, and social workers are essential to schools, where our work becomes increasingly challenging. With our unique person-in-the-environment perspective, we tackle mental health diagnoses, the COVID pandemic and many other personal and social issues, while seeking to improve the educational system through micro and macro interventions. We incorporate innovative approaches, such as trauma-informed practice and Social & Emotional Learning, and are invaluable team members in a rapidly changing world.

Looking to connect and network with other school social workers, to receive and provide mutual support, brainstorm and share ideas/resources? Join us as we partner to navigate the school day together. Please click here now to register for any upcoming meeting!

Seasoned and Retired Social Workers Peer Support Group

Facilitator(s): Barry Davis, LCSW-R

The Seasoned and Retired Social Worker Peer Support Group is a place of support and an opportunity to collaborate, connect, and discuss topics such as retirement, mentorship, advanced practice, the changing profession, and more. Please click here now to register for any upcoming meeting!

Private Practice Action Work Group (PPAWG)

Facilitator(s): Kalli Kontos, LCSW-R, CASAC, BCD and Ellen Silver, LCSW-R

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Private Practice in New York State, there are many challenges that are encountered as psychotherapists and business owners.

What do you like and dislike about being in private practice? Do you like helping your clients and watching them grow? How do you deal with the isolation? Do you need a place to discuss changing laws and guidelines?

Look no further! The mission of the NASW-NYS Private Practice Action Workgroup (PPAWG) is to work collaboratively as one to discuss, advocate and problem solve professional concerns related to treating clients/patients in a private practice setting through professional support and as a unified group in order to promote change. 

Whether you have a desire to learn about concerns related to private practice, or work as a private practitioner, you are welcome to join us. Please click here now to register for any upcoming meeting!


**ATTENTION! This group is currently seeking volunteers on a rotating, monthly basis to facilitate monthly meetings. What better way to experience this group than to help lead it? 

Have any questions? Please click here now to inquire further, using the contact form provided on our PPAWG webpage!

Veterans OneTeam Book Club

Facilitator(s): Alyssa Gibbons, LCSW-R, BCD, VMHTI Advisory Committee

Join the OneTeam Listserv and VMHTI Advisory Committee in unpacking the impact service can have on our Veterans. Attending these meetings will expand your cultural humility and knowledge by reading and discussing books associated with advancing ones' understanding of servicemembers, veterans and their families.

Unapologetically South Asian Special Interest Group

Facilitator(s): Mohini Mishra, Veera Mookerjee

Unapologetically South Asian is a new initiative by fierce South Asian women who are also social workers. The purpose of this initiative is to educate social workers about our diverse culture(s). Our goal is to change the way social workers engage with our community by putting our culture first in practice. We will use our experiences to teach you about the barriers our community faces on a regular basis. We are immigrants who are actively rejecting the pressure of assimilation and living unapologetically South Asian!

Please click here now to register for an upcoming meeting!

Social Workers Working with Older Adults Special Interest Group

Facilitator(s): Misty Boldt, LMSW

Working with the geriatric population brings its unique challenges. Social workers working with this population need to be trained in areas including anxiety, dementia, depression, financial instability, isolation, and other emotional and social challenges. 

Join us to share resources and create systems in NASW-NYS to support social workers meeting the needs of our elders. Please click here now to register for any upcoming meeting!

Strengthening Rural Social Workers Special Interest Group

Facilitator(s): Martha Schultz, LCSW

Calling all Rural Social Workers! The term “rural” is often associated with remoteness and solitude. When social workers work in rural areas, they are vulnerable to the impacts of isolation: limited resources, lack of professional support, and burnout. At times, social workers in these areas are the only members of our profession employed within their organization. With supervision being limited and/or inaccessible to many of us, it is time we come together to support each other. 

Join us as we explore rural topics, barriers, and social work practice implications to strengthen one another. Social workers have been on the frontlines fighting COVID-19, and it’s essential now more than ever that we are proactive in promoting overall wellness within ourselves. Please click here now to register for any upcoming meeting!

Jewish Social Workers Special Interest Group

Facilitator(s): Carole Cox, Dana Marlowe and Allison Janofsky

This special interest group exists to explore anti-Semitism in social work schools and practice; Develop strategies for counteracting anti-Semitism, including assuring that social work curriculum specifically address anti-Semitism in their courses and; To provide Jewish social workers with a “safe space” in which to voice their concerns and experiences.⁠ 

Jewish social workers are encouraged to join to have their voices heard on what events, resources, and support systems can be developed by this special interest group. Membership is not required, and you do not need to live in New York State to join. Please click here now to register for any upcoming meeting!


Do you want to connect with social workers around a special interest but don't have a network yet? Email us at info.naswnys@socialworkers.org and we will help you get it started!