Many professional social worker organizations, such as the Society for Social Work and Research and the School Social Work Association of America, host annual conferences that anyone can attend. Non-members of the professional organization hosting the conference have to pay a higher registration fee to attend.
Members generally pay hundreds of dollars to go to professional social work conferences and non-members pay even more. Members of the professional association are required to attend trainings every year and many of the sessions at the conferences count towards that training, so the registration cost of conferences are similar to paying for education courses. Social worker students often receive discounted registration rates for conferences.
Some conferences allow volunteers to attend sessions for free during the times they are not scheduled to work at the conference. Some conferences also offer pro-rated rates, so individuals can pay less to attend part of the conference. Professional social worker associations often provide many resources online that someone interested in social work can use to learn about the field without paying high conference attendance fees. Sign up for social worker association newsletters and emails to find out when and where conferences are held and about other free or low cost educational events sponsored by the association.