Social Work Conference to Focus on Dignity

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University will host the 34th Annual Regional Social Work Conference on May 25, from 8:45 a.m. to 4:20 p.m.

The event features over 40 workshops designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of social workers and human services professionals of all experience levels. Presentations will focus on important issues facing social work professionals when dealing with children and families, the elderly, mental health, substance abuse, multicultural issues, and personal development.

Assistant professor at Springfield College School of Social Work, Anthony C. Hill, will deliver the conference keynote address, Strength of the Journey for Social Workers and Helping Professionals. Hill’s keynote will focus on the notion of dignity and respect, and how it can be a useful frame in working with clients and relating with colleagues. Hill will also explore self-care strategies in dealing with the emotional stressors impacting your work as professionals.

Hill has extensive experience in both the fields of social work and education and has become employed as a clinician, adjunct faculty member, school social worker, assistant principal, and principal. He is an educational consultant to school districts in Massachusetts and Connecticut and is involved in several community-based organizations.

In addition, the conference will feature the presentation of the 20th annual Jim Quinn Human Service Award to Ms. Beth Edelberg-Cardillo for her more than 28-year career working in the Human Services field. The Jim Quinn Award honors a human service professional who made outstanding contributions to the social work profession.

For the last 17 years Cardillo has assisted elderly clients with Alzheimer’s in retirement communities. She is an advocate for the elderly through the ALZ Association, co-chairing their walk every year, co-sponsoring their Memories in the Making Art programs, facilitating an ALZ support group, and most recently spearheading the Dementia Friendly-Westfield initiative.

The conference fee is $139 until May 18; this includes registration, luncheon, and 6 credit hours for full attendance. Participants will pay $154 for any registration received after the registration deadline, and at the door if there is space available. Non-employed full-time Western New England University students may attend for $25, while non-employed full-time students from other colleges and universities may attend for $30. For more information call 413-796-2173.

The conference is a joint effort of Western New England University’s Bachelor of Social Work program, Social Work Advisory Council, and Office of Professional Development.