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School Social Work Conference 2020


Join social workers and adjustment counselors at the NASW Massachusetts Chapter’s Annual School Social Work Conference on Friday, October 9th, 2020. Register and earn 5.5 CEUs.


This year, the NASW-MA Chapter’s School Social Work Committee is hosting a virtual conference to bring together school social workers, adjustment counselors, licensed mental health counselors, and other youth-focused professionals from across Massachusetts, who work with youth in all levels of schools and beyond. Keynote speakers from the BRYT Program (Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition) will address issues of opportunities, strategies, and challenges for social workers working in school settings at the start of this unique 2020-21 school year.


Overall Learning Objectives:


  • Attendees will learn techniques, skills, and interventions for working with children and adolescents in the school setting. 
  • Attendees will gain knowledge and tools for working with youth with a variety of social, emotional, and behavioral issues. 
  • Attendees will advance their knowledge and strategies in dealing with a school population in flux, in the context of the pandemic and school disruption.



If you have any questions regarding the online registration, feel free to email us at


Scroll down to find all workshops description




Join us as a sponsor at this year’s NASW-MA Virtual School Social Work Conference 2020 on Friday, October 9. You will have the opportunity to reach 100+ school social workers, adjustment counselors, and other youth-focused professionals from across the state, who work with children and adolescents in all levels of schools and beyond. Register now! As our sponsor, you are eligible for a free conference registration from one of your staff members.




If you have any questions regarding sponsorship details, please email our Program Coordinator, Crisbelly Medina Adames, at


 Click here to download the Sponsor Brochure








School Social Work Under Pandemic Conditions: Navigating Our Roles

Presenters: Courtney Tucker, LICSW, PhD & Megan Harding, MSW

With so much uncertainty and the likelihood of many changes over time, 2020-2021 promises to be complex and challenging for students, families, and school district staff alike. In this environment it can be easy to lose sight of the need for comprehensive, effective non-academic support for the whole school community, and especially for those negatively affected by social and educational inequities including structural racism. We will explore opportunities, challenges, and strategies for school social workers in working with colleagues, students, and families to ensure that mental health and equity are at the heart of their schools’ work over the course of this critical school year.





Workshop 1: Mental Health and Equity in the 2020-21 School Year: Digging Deeper

Presenters: Sarah Rigney, LICSW & Katherine Houle, LICSW

This workshop will further participants’ thinking about the frameworks and concepts shared in BRYT’s keynote presentation, and provide resources and tools for use in their efforts to collaborate with leaders and educators to ensure that everyone in their school community is cared for, sustained, and able to strive for excellence.




Workshop 2: Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems

Presenter: John Crocker, M.Ed. 

Participants will gain an understanding of what constitutes a comprehensive school mental health system (CSMHS), including the services offered across a multi tiered system of support. The work conducted in Methuen, MA to establish a CSMHS, including developing school mental health teams, piloting and implementing universal mental health screening, advancing use of evidence-based therapeutic supports, and developing staff and resources to support implementation will be discussed. Additionally, participants will learn how to translate the services offered within a CSMHS to the remote setting by leveraging telehealth best practices and adapting therapeutic resources, curriculum, and strategies.





Workshop 3: The Neuroscience of Stress and Resilience

Presenter: Jessica Black, PhD

This workshop introduces participants to the neuroscience of trauma, stress, and resilience in children and adolescents. The content will cover brain development and social connections, sleep, play, and humor, with particular attention to the school climate and young people’s development as related to the Covid-19 pandemic. No background in the biological sciences is needed for this workshop, and attention is paid to translating research findings into practice.




Workshop 4: Addiction in the Family: Sources, Symptoms, and Solutions

Presenter: Michelle Muffett-Lipinski, M. Ed.

The Director of Northshore Recovery High School will provide overview of signs and symptoms of adolescent substance use disorders, potential risk and protective factors for those struggling with addiction, and ways we can work with those affected. 





Workshop 5: Brain Development and Social-Emotional Learning

Presenter: Jessica Black, PhD

This workshop will cover the neuroscience of social emotional learning both in terms of paying attention to the emotions of students and adults, in the school context. The workshop provides background on significant brain changes with age and experience, and addresses how the brain builds and develops first with emotional competence, then social competence and finally cognitive competence. Emphasis is placed on why schools need to pay attention to social-emotional learning and how to do so effectively given the wide variety of schooling experiences resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Special thanks to our NASW-MA School Social Work Conference Committee members for planning this year's virtual conference.



8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Click here to download Conference's Flyer






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National Association of Social Workers - Massachusetts Chapter
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