NASW Hosts Annual Practice Conference on Aging in Las Vegas

Mar 12, 2009

For Immediate Release

Washington, DCTo help social workers meet the unique needs of the aging population, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) will host its first annual practice conference in Las Vegas on March 15-16, 2009. The conference—titled “The Aging Boom: Is Your Clinical Practice Ready?”—will prepare social work private practitioners to better serve this growing demographic.  NASW partnered with the American Society on Aging and National Council on Aging (ASA/NCOA) Aging in America Conference to host the event for approximately 400 professional social workers from across the country.

Sandra A. Lopez, LCSW, ACSW, DCSW, clinical associate professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work will serve as keynote speaker. Her speech, “Key Challenges in the Aging Boom: Honoring Diversity in Older Adults,” will address practical approaches for clinical social workers to meet the growing needs of diverse seniors.  Ms. Lopez is a widely recognized presenter, trainer and consultant, with 28 years of social work experience. She regularly trains social workers and other professionals on suicide, grief and bereavement, cultural diversity, social work supervision, ethics, compassion fatigue and secondary traumatic stress.

“The United States population over the age of 65 is growing and reflects greater diversity far beyond race and ethnicity,” says Ms. Lopez. “Honoring diversity in older adults is crucial for social workers across settings to ensure that the needs of their clients are properly understood and supported.”

Conference attendees will choose from among 16 breakout sessions throughout the two-day conference, as well as general sessions about workforce trends and how to advance their careers while serving older adults.  NASW members can earn up to 14 continuing education units towards NASW professional credentials in gerontology, health care and case management.

“NASW is committed to improving the quality of life of the aging population,” says Elizabeth Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH, executive director of NASW.  “Social workers are responding to these challenges of the 21st century through increased advocacy, expanded professional practice, and new education programs.”

Dr. Clark will also present two sessions at the conference: “Dying Well,” and “The Critical Role of Social Workers in the Age Wave.”

Discounted registration is available for both NASW and ASA/NCOA members. For more information on the NASW Aging Practice Conference, please visit

NASW Assurance Services is the presenting sponsor of “The Aging Boom: Is Your Clinical Practice Ready?”  The conference is also sponsored by Dignity Memorial, SeniorChecked, the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, Boston University School of Social Work Institute for Geriatric Social Work, Southeastern Arizona Behavioral Health Services, Inc. (SEABHS), Harmony Healthcare, Next Stage Planning, and the NASW Press.

Amber Moore

(202) 336-8277