Special Interest Groups (SIG) are member led networks of social workers across New York State and beyond. SIGs connect 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 NYS Chapter.

Any member can facilitate a special interest group, and all social workers benefit from the activities of these groups.  SIGs plan CE programs, host in-person and online events, support the growth of individuals and social work practice areas, and help to ensure that the NYS Chapter is inclusive and representative of all social workers.

Click here to check out our event calendar for the next SIG event, or email us at info.naswnys@socialworkers.org to learn more.

Facilitator: Martha Schultz, LCSW

Calling all Rural Social Workers! New special interest group alert! 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.


Facilitator: Barry Davis, LCSW-R

The Senior 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.

Facilitator: 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.


Facilitator: Alyssa GibbonsLCSWRBCD, 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.


Facilitator: Kali Kontos, LCSW-R, CASAC, BCD

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Private Practice in NYS, 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. NASW-NYS is now offering a Private Practice Action Work Group. The mission of this Action Workgroup 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!

**PPAWG is seeking volunteers on a rotating monthly basis to facilitate monthly meetings. What better way to experience the group than to volunteer? Volunteers will receive a 30-60 minute brief training for an overview of back-end preparation, if needed. For the day of meeting, this includes 15 minutes before meeting to review Zoom host set up and 1 hour meeting. You will always have a co-host available to assist. Any questions, please contact me via PPAWG contact form.

Total volunteer time: 2-2.5 hours



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 NYS.

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