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Social Work Conference

This year's annual conference will be held on May 23, 2018.

For 35 years, Western New England University has hosted the Regional Social Work Conference. 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. The event has grown to encompass more than 40 workshops designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of social workers and human services professionals of all experience levels. Presentations focus on important issues facing working professionals when dealing with children and families, the elderly, mental health, substance abuse, multicultural issues, and personal development.

The conference also features the presentation of the Jim Quinn Human Service Award, which honors a human service professional who has made outstanding contributions to the profession. The award is named in memory of James N. Quinn, a social worker, child and family welfare advocate, lecturer, and advisor who devoted over 30 years of his professional and personal life to helping those in need. 

Keynote Speaker

  • Nanci Ginty Butler, LICSW

    "Understanding Trauma Stewardship and Self-Care as an Ethical Imperative"

    The current climate social workers find themselves working in is frequently characterized by stress, turmoil, and trauma. We are bearing witness to school shootings, immigrant and refugee displacement, terrorist attacks, community violence, and shrinking rights and entitlement benefits. In addition, according to the Sidran Traumatic Stress Institute, “an estimated 70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives and up to 20 percent of these people go on to develop PTSD. What information and tools are available to us to continue to provide high quality support to families, individuals, and communities during times of high stress? This presentation will discuss an overview of our current understanding of the impact of trauma on the brain and body, and will explore how to use that knowledge to help others, and perhaps even more importantly ourselves, cope effectively with the resulting feelings, thoughts, and behaviors in order to process the trauma in the healthiest way possible.

Jim Quinn Human Service Award

  • Richard Niedel

    2018 RECIPIENT

    Richard Niedel epitomizes what it means to be a Social Worker through giving selflessly to others and helping to create an environment where people feel that they can achieve their very best. Richard has had a 43 year career with the same agency now known as Pathlight. For the last 29 years he helped pioneer in Massachusetts the service model known as Shared Living and has been a vigorous advocate for it.  He is also a founding member of the Shared Living and AFC Conference and was the vice president for the National Adult Family Care Organization.  During his long history of work he has sat on numerous state wide committees and is currently a member of Guidewires Human Rights Committee.