2022 NASW-NJ Virtual Annual Conference

May 1st - 2nd , 2022

Registration is now closed.  See you at next year’s conference.

2022 NASW-NJ Virtual Annual Conference


The 2022 NASW-NJ Virtual Annual Conference, to be held May 1-2, 2022, is a two-day conversation exploring the Future of Social Work. Engaging key note speakers and workshops will provide attendees an opportunity to learn about and discuss not only the changing face of our profession, but how to best to prepare ourselves and our clients to participate in a world where change is happening exponentially. More importantly, the conference will focus on how these rapid changes impact the most vulnerable members of our communities. Register today to join the conversation and help co-create the world ahead.


Navigating an Ever-Changing World

How will rapid changes in our world impact the most vulnerable in our communities? What is needed to help them prepare, engage, and co-create the futures they want? And how can social workers best prepare for and participate in the world ahead? World renowned social work futurist, Laura Nissen, PhD, addresses these questions and more in her Keynote presentation: Anticipatory Social Work in Post-Normal Times.

Virtual Reality: The Future Is Now!

Virtual Reality (VR) is establishing itself as a useful tool in many areas, social work included. As the application of VR in social work education, clinical practice, and macro settings expands, social workers must assess and be ready for this new reality. During this very special session, attendees will experience several immersive situations, as presented by expert clinicians and VR creators.

Opportunities and Resources for Change-Makers

Our virtual exhibit hall returns this year with space for up to 30 sponsors and exhibitors. Make valuable new connections, gather resources and referral sources, and find old friends and colleagues in this virtual space that offers real-time video and text chat with organizations offering programs and services throughout New Jersey and beyond. Plus—earn points and the chance to win prizes for visiting our sponsors and exhibitors

Launch Your Next Great Adventure

Are you ready to let your passion lead you to new adventures and opportunities? Then be sure to submit your resume when you register to attend the Conference. Our sponsors and exhibitors will have the ability to search submitted resumes and contact you during the Conference for more information or to schedule an interview. What adventures lie ahead? Submit your resume and find out!


Sunday May 1, 2022

8:45 AM

Welcome and Kick-off

9:00 - 11:30 AM


Laura Nissen, MSW, PhD

Anticipatory Social Work in Post-Normal Times

11:30 - 11:45 AM

Break and visit exhibits

11:45 AM – 12:15 PM

Call to Action

Anticipatory Social Work in Post-Normal Times

Though all times are challenging, most would agree the last few years have seemed to open a door to a new era in our shared world. As social workers, we understand that our practice may need to evolve more quickly to be impactful and relevant in a world that is in transition. The topic of "the future of social work" braids many other topics within it - the future of justice and anti-racism, the economy, climate, technology, government, social movements, social policy, disinformation and so many more. How can social workers best prepare for and participate in the world ahead, and accelerate the degree to which we transform our shared profession? Most importantly, how will these rapid changes impact the most vulnerable in our communities - and what is needed to help them prepare, engage and cocreate the futures they want?

This session invites participants to consider that a "futures lens" or foresight theory and practice can accelerate, optimize and amplify our collective readiness, imagination and agility. Futures practice can provide a new kind of guidance and tool kit to help social work be more "future ready" as we navigate both the deep changes happening now and all that is to come.

Social workers are in an ideal position to bring knowledge, values, skills and connections to community, together with liberatory visions and movements for a better future for all. However, we must pay attention to the ways the world is changing - the ways that new threats (racism embedded in AI, climate disasters and upheaval, weaponized disinformation) operate alongside new opportunities (heightened and large-scale engagement with racial justice movements, blossoming networks of mutual aid and community response, and new movements within tech and climate justice spaces centrally aimed at creating a more livable world for all).

Of course, most social workers are also interested in the future of day-to-day realities of practice - the future of mental health, addictions, child welfare, health practice, school social work, gerontological social work, policy practice, disaster social work and more. Most of these fields of practice are experiencing their own disruptions with minimal attention to what that may mean for the experience for both worker and client

This session will provide a grounding in the dynamic, creative and fascinating world of futures practice representing a global community of scholars and practitioners - and will underscore that social workers belong in these spaces helping to create a more just and healthy future. Numerous "on ramps" for social workers to get involved, engaged and continue learning will be provided. The session will also include an overview of the national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative - the Social Work Health Futures Lab.

Laura Nissen, MSW, PhD and Fellows from the Institute for the Future

2 Ethics

Laura Nissen, MSW, PhD.

12:15 PM - 12:45 PM

lunch and visit exhibits

12:45 PM – 2:45 PM

Transforming the Future of Social Work by Translating Trauma -Informed Care Principles into Practice

Many social workers are familiar with trauma-informed care (TIC), but do you really know how to apply it to real clients in the real world? This presentation will describe how social workers can transform the future by shifting the paradigm to a trauma-informed lens. Research has consistently found that trauma can have long-term effects on social, emotional, cognitive, relational, and behavioral functioning. This session will briefly summarize research describing the impact of traumatic experiences across the lifespan. Using SAMHSA’s principles and components of TIC, we will focus on viewing and responding to client strengths and needs through the lens of trauma. TIPs (trauma-informed practices) will be offered to help participants translate abstract concepts and principles into real interventions across a variety of social work roles, client populations, and service settings. The lecture will be followed by a question and answer session.

Jill Levenson, PhD, LCSW

2 Clinical credits

Jill Levenson, PhD, LCSW

2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Break and visit exhibits

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Being Black in America and Race-Based Trauma: When History and Present Day Collide

The United States is experiencing a clash of ideologies. There is a movement focused on promulgating anti-racism and pushing the country towards acknowledging that Black Lives Matter. There is also a movement focused on using misinformation to destroy truth telling and on asking individuals to rewrite history and believe in a false narrative about the country’s origins and trajectory during the previous 400-plus years. These differences are important because they reflect why race-based trauma is ingrained in our society and impacts the daily lives of Black people in the United States. Race-based trauma is insidious. It is so embedded that its impact and consequences are often willfully ignored or unintentionally not noticed.

This plenary will provide an overview of the types of historical and present-day race-based trauma that impact Black people in America. There will be a focus on identifying the impact of race-based trauma across multiple levels (e.g., individual, family, intergenerational, and community). Highlighted will be implications for failing to address race-based trauma at those levels. Finally, there will be an exploration of strategies that we as social workers can utilize as best practices when working with Black people in the United States.

Henrika McCoy, MSW, MJ, PhD, LCSW

2 Clinical or Cultural Competency

Henrika McCoy, MSW, MJ, PhD, LCSW

5:00 PM - 5:15 PM

Break and visit exhibits

5:15 PM - 6:45 PM

It's Time for Dignity, Empowerment & Income Equity for Social Workers Too!

During this plenary session, Dr. Burghardt will detail key issues raised in his book, “The End of Social Work: A Defense of the Social Worker in Times of Transformation”, including why social workers have much lower salaries than nurses or teachers when they were paid the same 50 years ago; why self-care cannot be the primary answer to burnout and secondary trauma; and what our profession can and must do over the coming years to address the unfair but all-too -real diminished status and income of social workers committed to working with the poor, marginalized and oppressed.

Steve Burghardt, MSW, PhD

1.5 Ethics credits

Steve Burghardt, MSW, PhD

Monday May 2, 2022

8:45 AM

Welcome and Kick-off

9:00 - 11:00 AM

Special Session:

Reality of Virtual Reality

Many of us have heard about virtual reality (VR) and typically as it relates to gaming. However, social work futurists have developed programs and tools to use in the field—in private practice, advocacy and education.

Leveraging years of discussions with social workers invested in this space and collaboration with world renowned virtual reality creators, NASW-NJ is proud to bring VR to our virtual conference. Attendees will walk through several immersive VR situations. A panel of clinicians and developers will process the experience and discuss the ethical and cultural implications of VR in the profession and the clients and communities we serve.

Juan A. Rios, DSW, LCSW and Cortney Harding

2 Clinical credits

Juan A. Rios, DSW, LCSW

Cortney Harding

The Reality of Virtual Reality in Social Work.

11:00 - 11:15 AM

Break and visit exhibits

11:15 AM – 12:45 PM

Technology and Boundaries: The Future of Professional-Personal Interactions in Virtual Spaces

With new and emerging uses of technology in social work practice, social workers need to rethink how they establish and maintain appropriate boundaries with clients. This conversation will explore ethical issues related to using personal technology for work purposes, intentional dual relationships, unintentional dual relationships, and maintaining presence when interacting with clients through technology. Participants will gain a better understanding about how to manage boundaries in relation to: soliciting “likes” or testimonials from clients to promote their practice; using personal devices and technology for work purposes; maintaining time boundaries and self-care when clients may have 24/7 expectations of availability; making informed decisions about one’s presence and self-disclosure on social media; and selling apps to clients to assist with psychosocial issues.

Allan Barsky JD, MSW, PhD

1.5 Ethics credits

Allan Barsky, JD, MSW, PhD

12:45 PM - 1:15 PM

lunch and visit exhibits

1:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Concurrent Sessions

Addressing Social Injustice in Social Work Practice: The Clinical Advocacy Model

The Clinical Advocacy Model is a clinical advocacy framework that places structural inequality at the forefront as real and problematic to mental healthcare. Accordingly, social workers must be taught that social injustices within systems are not aberrations but are prevalent and account for an alarming rate of mental health concerns, especially among non-majority groups, which is why social workers must be prepared. Thus, sensitizing social workers to the mechanisms that drive social inequities is central to the internal conceptualization and external expression of social justice efforts. The Clinical Advocacy Model helps social workers turnkey awareness into an analytical skill in order to identify and address client’s dual needs for mental health and social justice.

Edith Slater, DSW, LCSW

2 Clinical or Cultural Competency credits

Edith L. Slater, DSW, LCSW

Advance Clinical Supervision: Integrating Best Practices of Race, Ethnicity and Equity in Supervision

This workshop will help clinical supervisors to work with all clinicians, including clinicians of color, on best practices in assessment and treatment in supervision, integrating race, ethnicity and equity. It will include discussions on developing opportunities of equity for clinicians of color as identified experts on interventions for clients of color.

Trinay Thomas, LCSW

2 Clinical or Cultural Competency credits

Trinay Thomas, LCSW

Antiracist Addiction Treatment Requires Decriminalization and Harm Reduction

Social workers need to explore changing treatment paradigms to reflect the shifting trend towards decriminalization and integration of harm reduction to effectively provide anti-racist addiction treatment. The goal of this presentation is to challenge our historical understanding of drug laws and compulsory treatment, give rise to the acceptance of the concept of natural recovery and promote the transition of drug policy approaches from criminal justice to public health.

Sandy Gibson, PhD, LCSW, LCADC and Jennifer Oliva, JD, MBA

2 Ethics or Cultural Competency credits

Sandy Gibson, PhD, LCSW, LCADC

Jennifer Oliva, JD, MBA

Developing Resiliency as Schools Return to the Classroom

Developing resiliency is vital to the health of students who have experienced trauma due to long absences from school and pandemic-related traumas. This workshop provides school social workers with specific brain aligned and trauma informed strategies to collaboratively transform classroom and school experiences for diverse students across grade levels.

Melissa Castor, MSW, LCSW and Elisabeth Mamourian Corona, MSS, LCSW

2 Clinical credits

Melissa Castor, MSW, LCSW

Elisabeth Mamourian Corona, MSS, LCSW

Healing After Domestic Violence: Working Creatively with Caregivers and Children

Involving caregivers in dynamic ways to help their children recover from the trauma of domestic violence enhances healing. Participants will be introduced to an approach called Parents as Healers which encourages parents to take an active role in treatment sessions using directive play therapy, creative arts, effective parenting and more.

Annie Marie Ramos, LCSW, RPT-S

2 Clinical credits

Annie Marie Ramos, LCSW, RPT-S

An Overview of Black Male-Female Relationships, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, and Intimate Partner Violence: Implications for Culturally Specific Social Work Interventions

Black male-female relationships is not an issue that garnishes great attention among social scientists and community leaders focused on improving the plight of Black people. This is a critical omission as the dissolution of and absence of healthy Black male-female relationships is a co-morbid factor for social and economic issues that disadvantages Black families and communities. A particularly concerning aspect of Black male-female relationships is the disproportionately high rates of intimate partner violence with 45% of Black women and 40% of Black men experiencing contact sexual violence, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. While disunity between Black males and females are often discussed, the root causes are often ignored. The purpose of this presentation is to introduce social workers to the underlying structural factors that affect Black male-female relationships. This workshop will 1) utilize the framework of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome to explain the impact of slavery and current oppression on Black male-female relationships and 2) illustrate how these factors may perpetuate intimate partner violence in Black male-female relationships. This presentation has implications for the creation of culturally responsive interventions.

Noelle M. St. Vil, PhD, MSW

2 Clinical or Cultural Competency credits

Noelle M. St. Vil, PhD, MSW

3:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Break and visit exhibits

3:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Queer and gender non-conforming populations: A conversation with Jeffrey Marsh, Kimberly Keyes, LCSW and Danielle King.

Jeffrey Marsh

Kimberly Keyes, LCSW

Danielle King

5:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Close and a Call to Action

On Demand Workshops

Ethical Implications of Virtual Social Work Practice Following the COVID-19 Pandemic

This session will first examine ethical concerns for virtual psychotherapy and case management before COVID-19 by applying the National Association of Social Workers Ethical Principles & Standards. The presentation will then focus on examining the benefits and challenges of virtual psychotherapy and case management during COVID-19. Implications and best practices for future social work practice with virtual platforms will be addressed.

Jennifer A. Pax, PhD, JD, MSW, LCSW

2 Clinical or Ethics credits

Jennifer A. Pax, PhD, JD, MSW, LCSW

Focusing on Emotion: An Evidence Based Trans-Diagnostic Approach to Treating Eating Disorders

Individuals who struggle with eating disorders often have difficulty expressing, processing, regulating, and tolerating strong or uncomfortable emotions. The Renfrew Center’s Unified Treatment Model, a trans-diagnostic approach, allows patients to accept, manage, and communicate their feelings in a more adaptive manner without engaging in emotion avoidance.

Jacqueline Uveges, LSW and Nancy Graham, LCSW

2 Clinical credits

Jacqueline Uveges, LSW

Nancy Graham, LCSW

Improving Engagement of Youth and Young Adults in Telemental Health Services

This workshop will detail common barriers to engaging youth and young adults in telemental health services, spanning each level of the ecosystem. Strategies for overcoming barriers will be discussed, including psychoeducation for families, motivational interviewing to increase engagement, and initiating conversations around how culture may be impacting telemental health access.

Andrea Cole, MSW, LCSW, PhD and Zakia Clay, DSW, LCSW, CPRP

2 Clinical credits

Andrea Cole, MSW, LCSW, PhD

Zakia Clay, DSW, LCSW, CPRP

Overcoming Barriers to Help-Seeking Among Immigrants and Refugees

Promoting diversity and protecting refugees are two principal basis of Western immigration law. Every year immigrants come to the US for better opportunities; however, they face challenges in receiving services. This workshop will feature the social, cultural and structural barriers this population encounter, and the possible strategies that can improve these services.

Zakia Clay, DSW, LCSW, CPRP and Elma Kaiser, PhD, MSW

2 Cultural Competency credits

Zakia Clay, DSW, LCSW, CPRP

Elma Kaiser, PhD, MSW

Suicide Prevention Online: Telehealth Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Veterans at Risk

To prevent Veteran suicide, VA New Jersey developed, delivered, and evaluated a treatment called Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for the Prevention of Suicide (MBCT-S), and adapted the program for telehealth delivery. This workshop will focus on MBCT-S and key clinical safety considerations for working with high-risk individuals via telehealth.

Rachael Miller, MSW, LCSW and Lauren St. Hill, MSW, LCSW

2 Clinical credits

Rachael Miller, MSW, LCSW

Lauren St. Hill, MSW, LCSW

Termination of Pregnancy due to Fetal Anomaly: A Unique Form of Grief

People who have ended a pregnancy due to fetal anomaly are a clinically underserved and historically disenfranchised group. They are also at the center of recent legislative attempts to criminalize abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation. This presentation will approach their treatment from an evidence-based and social justice-informed perspective.

Erica Goldblatt Hyatt, DSW, LCSW, MBE

2 Clinical credits

Erica Goldblatt Hyatt, DSW, LCSW, MBE

Unwanted Consensual Sex: Addressing the Hidden and Unspoken Education of Submission in Clinical Practice

Consenting to sex is a complicated psychological, social, and political issue. The current research on consent has revealed that, many women, agree to have sex that they do not want. The act of consenting to unwanted sex can have devasting, long term psychological and emotional consequences and can chronically subvert the consenters experience of equality. Because the legal system has delineated nonconsensual sex as rape and consensual sex as not rape, we have created the illusion that on the other side of consent is desire. Everyone is impacted by the normalization of sexual coercion.

Karie McGuire, DSW, LCSW, CHES and Jamie Wasserman, DSW, LCSW

2 Clinical or Ethics credits

Karie McGuire, DSW, LCSW, CHES

Jamie Wasserman, DSW, LCSW