Registration Fees
Member $55
Nonmember $65
Student $25
Tabletop Exhibit $250

Sponsorship Opportunities

MSSA offers a unique opportunity for your organization to connect with health and human services professionals -- including social workers, financial workers, child and adult protection, foster parents, county and DHS staff and others.  This conference will attract approximately 75-100 decision makers as well as direct service staff, from the public and private agencies in the greater St.Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota area. 

Premium Sponsor $1,000
  • 6 conference registrations
  • Tabletop Exhibit
  • Signage at the event
  • Recognition in the final program, on the website, weekly emails, from the podium

Tabletop Exhibit $250

Exhibit set up time: 7:45 – 8:30 a.m. on Thursday Oct. 5. Tear down: 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. Open exhibit hours are 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Exhibits will be on the 3rd floor. All are non-electrical tables. Tablecloths and skirting are not provided so please bring your own. Your exhibit registration includes one full conference registration including continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack. If you have additional staff who would like to attend sessions or attend lunch, they will need to purchase one at the Registration table on a space available basis. Free wi-fi is available.

For more information, please contact Lisa Johnson, Director of Professional Development, at 651.789.4331 or

Metro District Fall Conference

Regions 11, 12, 13 Serving the Seven County Metro Area

MN Counties Intergovernmental Trust Building (MCIT)
100 Empire Drive - 3rd Floor
St. Paul, MN 55103


Thursday, October 5, 2017


8:30 - 9:00 AM -- Registration/Exhibits/Continental Breakfast Open

9:00 - 10:15 AM --

Minnesota's Substance Use Disorder Continuum of Care
Speaker: Brian Zirbes, Deputy Director, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division, MN Dept. of Human Services

Between 450,000 and 500,000 Minnesotans are directly impacted by addiction. Most people who enter drug and alcohol treatment complete it and are successful in reducing or eliminating their substance use. Learn about strategies designed to prevent and reduce addiction to drugs, alcohol, tobacco and gambling. Find out about the work the DHS Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division is doing to stem the tide of the opioid epidemic.

10:15 - 10:25 AM -- Break

10:25 - 11:40 AM --
Elder Justice: Where are We in Minnesota, and Where are We Going?
Speaker: Marit Anne Peterson, Program Director, Minnesota Elder Justice Center

Demographic change and broadening cultural awareness of the prevalence of elder abuse have resulted in increased attention to elder justice issues. This presentation will explore Minnesota's position on the Elder Justice Road Map with a discussion of definitions, statutes and statistics related to elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation; as well as an analysis of risks and protective factors for abuse. We'll discuss reporting barriers that prevent older adults from accessing safety, as well as prevention strategies and best practices we can use in our communities. Finally, we'll take a look at currently available and contemplated elder justice resources for professionals and the clients we serve.

11:40 - Noon -- Buffet Lunch Compliments of Metro Meals on Wheels 612.623.3363

12:00 - 1:00 PM -- Lunch/Membership Meeting/Legislative Presentation

We will elect officers for Regions 11, 12, 13 boards, select delegates, and review the process for submitting a legislative proposal at the Delegate Assembly to be held Nov. 17.

1:00 - 2:15 PM --
Refugees 101
Speaker: Patricia Fenrick, Refugee Workforce Development and Outreach Specialist, Resettlement Programs Office, MN Dept. of Human Services 

Hear about the refugee journey from the refugee camp through the extensive security vetting process to U.S. arrival. Ms. Fenrick clarifies the legal definition of who is eligible to have refugee status; describes the Refugee Admissions System; and the roles of resettlement agencies, the community and the State of Minnesota. Learn about who is currently in Minnesota with refugee status and how the recent Executive orders and court decisions impact refugees and the state of Minnesota. 

Medicaid and Federal Healthcare Legislation
Speaker: Susie Emmert Schatz, MSW LGSW, Sr. Director of Advocacy, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota

What the heck is going on at the Federal level? Susie Emmert Schatz, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and the This Is Medicaid coalition, will review the recent Federal health care proposals and what’s happening right now at the Federal level that impacts Minnesotans.

2:15 - 2:25 PM -- Break

2:25 - 3:40 PM -- 
Addressing the Disparities in Minnesota’s Child Welfare System
Speakers: Christina Zeise, MPP, MSW, Executive Director, Minnesota Social Service Association, and Kelis Houston, Founder, Village Arms, and 1st District Guardian Ad Litem

Minnesota has been touted as one of the best places in the nation to live it terms of affordability, health, opportunity and wealth. At the same time, reports consistently emerge demonstrating that people of color in Minnesota experience significantly higher than average rates of poverty, lower high school graduation rates, low rates of home ownership, significant racial income gaps and higher involvement in the criminal justice system. In our child welfare system, American Indian and African American children have the highest rates of contact with the child protection system, are more likely to be assigned to a family investigation, have higher out of home placement rates and higher re-entry rates and are more likely to enter guardianship. As professionals who care deeply about children in Minnesota we have the knowledge, passion and desire to understand these disparities and work towards addressing them. Join us to learn about the disparities that overwhelmingly impact the Native American and African American communities and discuss what we can do as passionate professionals to take the first steps towards change. 

3:45 PM -- Adjourn


Attendees are eligible to receive up to 5.0 CE hours for the MN Board of Social Work. Certificates will be provided.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

MSSA does not refund individual or agency member dues.

MSSA does not refund registration fees, unless MSSA receives written notification of cancellation 3 weeks prior to the event. No-shows will be billed. There is a $25 processing fee for all refunds.

Event registration fees can be transferred to another person.

In some circumstances, refunds may not be available, in these cases the specific refund policy will be listed on the registration information.