SWHPN (Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network) is a network of psychosocial hospice and palliative professionals dedicated to advancing best practices in palliative and hospice in caring for those with serious illness, and advancing the field on behalf of those caregivers.


SWHPN champions professional development, new research and ongoing advocacy in palliative and hospice social work.

Our members are dedicated to improving psychosocial care for the seriously ill, providing relief from pain, improving quality of life, supporting family and friends, assisting with difficult decision-making, and help in dealing with trauma, grief and loss.

SWHPN represents a broad coalition of social work and psychosocial practitioners and organizations, supporting and driving initiatives and programs to strengthen the voice of the caregiver across interdisciplinary forums and advocate for social work and psychosocial caregivers within the larger hospice and palliative care community. 


SWHPN grew out of the 2002 Social Work Leadership Development Awards Program. Sponsored by the Open Society Foundation’s Project on Death in America (PDIA), a project of the Soros Foundation, this program of 42 social work leaders was led by Dr. Grace Christ to create the first Social Work Summit on End-of-Life and Palliative Care. The summit created a priority map for furthering the field. In 2005, the second Social Work Summit was held, and its members developed a steering committee, a monograph report, and other concrete next steps toward advancing best practices in the field. Just two years later, in 2007, SWHPN was officially established, opened to members, established a board of directors and elected officers, and in 2008 hosted its first general assembly. 

Since 2008, the SWHPN General Assembly has convened annually.  From across the country, members gather to network and learn, as well as explore new ideas and advance social work policy at the local and national levels. 

The assembly is held annually in conjunction with AAHPM/HPNA General Assembly. SWHPN is also a member of the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care 


SWHPN has grown to welcome hundreds of interdisciplinary palliative and hospice social work and care professionals from across the country and the world into its member network of caregivers, practitioners, policy makers and educators aligning to further the field of care and champion advancements in best practices, research, funding and policy. 

Interested in membership? Professional and student memberships are available. Join today!