By Sherry Cohen, LICSW, Program Committee Co-Chair & Thom Harrigan, LICSW, Program Committee Co-Chair
THANK YOU: Sponsors, Exhibitors, Advertisers & Supporters
Symposium 2010, NASW MA’s eleventh biennial symposium held at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center on April 15th and 16th was a unique and empowering experience. The journey to this incredible occasion began with early planning meetings in November 2008 and ended with the final workshops on Friday April 16, 2010. This event was the cornerstone of the chapter’s continuing education programs with approximately 900 registrants who participated in over 80 different workshops, presented by more than 130 speakers, on practice and policy issues effecting social work and the clients we serve. Additionally, there were 58 exhibitors including four premier exhibitors. We were especially appreciative of our major sponsor, Partners Healthcare who generously helped to make this event happen! (Article continued below.)
Beginning with pre-Symposium intensives on Thursday morning, attendees could obtain up to 15.5 continuing education units throughout two days. Thursday afternoon, our keynote speaker, Dr. Mimi Abramovitz kicked off Symposium 2010 with a detailed history of the American social welfare system. Her talk, coupled with her PowerPoint demonstration gave important statistics that enabled us to understand the myriad of challenges facing social workers today. Her brilliant lecture was followed by a good old-fashioned round table discussion led by Sherry Cohen with over 700 social workers participating!
Social workers of Massachusetts and our allies were treated to a wide variety of topics that covered relevant aspects of social work such as Values Based Coaching: Inspire Strengths and Possibilities in Yourself and Your Clients;Read Me Differently: Understanding Learning Disabilities in Family Life; Why Try? Overcoming Poverty, Violence and Failure; Helping Children and Teens Cope with Grief and Loss; Trauma-Informed Interventions with Violence and Abusive Behavior; ADHD: A Return to Psychology; Eviction Prevention in Partnership with Local Housing Authorities; Supporting Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders; The Overlap of Juvenile Sexual and Nonsexual Criminality; Secrets in Couples Therapy: Clinical and Ethical Dilemmas. The Thursday evening intensive, a live performance by True Colors: Out Youth Theater, a program of The Theater Offensive and discussion lead by Colby Berger, Ed.M., MSW, Executive Director, Adoption & Foster Care Mentoring was moving, inspiring and well received.
On Friday, Symposium 2010 offered attendees an opportunity to celebrate social work. The Social Work Reinvestment Committee premiered the video This Could Be You: The Many Faces of Social Work. Rather than a speaker, the Awards Ceremony took place during the luncheon. Seven individuals were honored for their excellence and contributions to social work. The committee co-chairs, Enid Shapiro and Ken Ayres shared the podium introducing the winners. This was a rousing and uplifting experience. Congratulations to all of the award winners!
We want to acknowledge the hard work of the Symposium 2010 Program Committee, which was charged with choosing speakers, jurying submitted proposals and scheduling the two days. The committee worked hard to ensure that Symposium 2010 was diverse, representative of all aspects of social work, and that quality and appeal of programs would leave attendees feeling satisfied!
Program Committee Members
Mary Ann Donaldson
Mary M. Ward
Thank you also to the Marketing Committee under the leadership of Lori Miller-Freitas, LICSW and Elizabeth Melo from the NASW Chapter Office.
Marketing Committee Members
We want to give special thanks to the many volunteers who worked hard before, during and after this event to make it such a success! Finally, we want to give our special thanks to Kristina Whiton-O’Brien, Director of Continuing Education & Clinical Issues at the Chapter Office. Kristina’s invaluable efforts were incredible!
We appreciate the effort you, the participants, took in completing the evaluations. This kind of feedback provides the foundation for planning our next Symposium which helps to ensure its relevance and continued success. Thank you to attendees, presenters, exhibitors and everyone else who made this event so spectacular! We look forward to seeing you in 2012.