University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
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Professional development training to advance your social work and human service career

Plan for Lifelong Learning

For social workers and other human service professionals, our solution-focused approach to planning for lifelong learning helps you identify individual strengths and successes as you consider new professional topics to explore and familiar areas to examine on more advanced levels. Develop your career through a series of workshops, programs and online training. 

Please visit our online workshop catalog of self-study courses, our Buffalo training page  and our Certificate Programs page for courses that can fulfill social work continuing education requirements.

Considerations for your lifelong learning plan may include:

  • What is your passion? Do you need an additional degree, training or licensure for this?
  • What are your career goals for the next two to five years, or longer if known?
  • What are your current strengths and skills in establishing effective therapeutic relationships with clients and/or effective relationships with co-workers, supervisees and the community?
  • What are your current strengths in maintaining good self-care and preventing burnout and/or vicarious traumatization?
  • What populations or special needs do you currently have strengths and/or specialized skills/training in?
  • What evidence-based or best practice assessment, case coordination and treatment planning skills have you mastered?
  • For trauma therapists, what stabilization skills and strengths (phase one of the three-phase model) do you have? What resolution of the traumatic memories skills and strengths (phase two) do you have? What personality re-integration and rehabilitation skills and strengths (phase three) do you have?
  • What evidence-based treatment skills do you currently use? How experienced are you with these treatments? Do you need further development and supervision to move toward mastery?
  • For supervisors and administrators, what are your skills and strengths in clinical supervision, administration and management, strategic planning, team building, and maintenance of a trauma-informed organizational culture?
  • Do you have other specialized skills and strengths not covered above?
  • Identify at least one area of professional development that would reduce your stress if you were able to improve your skills.
  • Requirements from your state regarding the amount and type of social work continuing education hours needed to renew your social work  or other professional license.
  • Requirements in your professional code of ethics for training and professional development.

Based on these questions, the work you are doing and the work you would like to do, what areas can you identify as your focus for professional development? Can you prioritize them into short-term and long-term categories to create an outline for your professional development needs?

Learn more about our continuing education programs: