Social Welfare Annual Forum Offers Professional Development Opportunity

Social workers and other social welfare professionals can earn seven continuing education units by attending this week’s Annual Forum, the signature event for the Mississippi Conference on Social Welfare.

The forum, in its 91st year for the 93-year-old organization, is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg. The focus is “Responding to Life-Transforming Challenges.”

“There is a wide variety of things that people are dealing with across the state, whether it is mental health, health disparities, poverty or lack of access to resources,” says Laurie Risher, executive director of MCSW and a visiting instructor at the Southern Miss School of Social Work. “We all come together to empower and provide support and education across the state to meet those challenges.”

Rachel Lahasky, a clinical instructor of social work at Southern Miss, will deliver the closing session, “Resiliency as a Worker Facing Challenging Times.”

(Updated to reflect Lahasky has replaced Dr. Susan Hrostowski, associate professor of social work at Southern Miss.)

Registration is $85 for current members; $125 for new or renewing members; $150 for non-members and $45 for students.

MCSW, with a membership of more than 250, provides continuing education opportunities required by the state for licensed workers; a $40 annual fee entitles members to attend three training events around the state each year (excluding the forum).

“It’s a way to keep informed of current issues, current techniques, and it’s a great networking opportunity,” Risher says. “You can get close to 15 continuing education credits for that $40 membership; you can’t get that anywhere else. It’s accessible and affordable.”

Learn more online about the annual forum; call 601.213.7520; or email

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