35th Annual Social Work Conference Set for March 4


“Forging Solutions Out of Challenges” will be the theme of the 35th Annual Social Work Conference at Jacksonville State University on March 4. The conference, which is expected to bring about 200 attendees, will take place on the 11th floor of the Houston Cole Library.

Plenary speakers will be Judge Laura Brown Phillips, who will discuss the types of drug courts, the components and effectiveness of drug courts, and the role of the social worker; and Barbara Shores, who will examine the pursuit of equality and civil rights according to her own experiences and those significant to the movement.

Judge Phillips has served as the district court judge in the Seventh Judicial Circuit since 2004. Prior to this appointment, she served as the assistant district attorney, supervisor of the family violence trial division and victims’ service officer. Judge Phillips holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a law degree from the Birmingham School of Law. In 2007, she was awarded the NASW Public Official of the Year. Judge Phillips is also on the advisory board of the Calhoun County Humane Society. 

Shores was born in Birmingham, Ala. to Arthur and Theodora Shores. Her father was a civil rights attorney who worked toward the integration of public schools and universities in Alabama. Shores served served for more than 26 years as the executive director for the Jefferson County Office of Senior Citizens Services and held numerous other positions in social work, both in Alabama and in Illinois. Since retirement, Shores has established and facilitates a cancer survivor support group. She is a graduate of Talladega College with her BA and the University of Illinois with her MSW.

Other conference topics include:

  • Autism Overview and JSU Center for Autism Studies Informational Session
  • Using social workers to assist with student assessments and linking families with community partners
  • Ethical considerations for social work and human service professionals when using social media
  • A docudrama demonstrating the stages of Alzheimer’s, including family and personal struggles 
  • An examination of the challenges and successes of the second year of open enrollment for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act
  • The Three W’s of Ethical Leadership, a session reviewing how to adapt and evolve with the industry and more importantly how to cultivate a positive, productive, and ethical workplace with engaged employees.

Registration for the conference begins at 7:30 a.m. in Room 1101-C, Houston Cole Library.

View the Complete Conference Schedule

About JSU Social Work

The Bachelor of Social Work Program at JSU was launched in 1988, and received initial accreditation by the National Council on Social Work Education in 1992, which became retroactive to 1988. Accreditation was reaffirmed in 1996, 2004, and again in 2013, which will be in effect until 2020.  The BSW program at JSU is one of the largest in the state of Alabama.

Visit the JSU Social Work Website