NY Red Apple Chapter

Our vision for the New York Red Apple chapter is to create a diverse environment in terms of age, levels of education, race, and class where students, practitioners and educators can feel welcomed. At this challenging post pandemic time, with the looming climate and environmental crises, many of us deal with a mixture of being overwhelmed by demands at the same time as we feel isolated. We think that there is a need for a supportive group work community that could offer opportunities for support, as well as share practices and learn from one another. Follow us at @NYRedApple.IASWG.

To get involved, email [email protected].

Save the Date! February 29, 2024, 7 PM – 8:30 PM

Are You Concerned About the Climate? How do we, as social workers, make space to talk about this important topic?

Please join us for part one of this conversation on Thursday, February 29, 2024. More details to follow soon.

Chapter Leadership Introductions 

HeleneHélène Filion Onserud, co-chair of the NY Red Apple Chapter, is a licensed social worker with an expertise in group work. She is currently chair of the Red Apple New York Chapter for the International Association for Social Work with Groups (IASWG). For over three decades she was a group work practitioner and, over the last decade, a multi-program supervisor at Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, a community-based organization in Brooklyn. Since retiring in 2019 she has become an environmental activist. She recently presented at two IASWG symposia about group work as a perfect vehicle to mobilize people, social workers in particular, in relation to the climate and environmental justice crises. Since January of 2023 she has facilitated two groups of social workers working toward moving the profession to take a prominent role in relation to the environmental justice emergency. 


Karla Herrera, co-chair of the NY Red Apple Chapter, is a clinical social worker and a group work major from Silberman School of Social Work. Karla’s group work journey started in a Center for Family Life in Sunset Park after school program in which they were participating as a child. This journey evolved as they remained engaged with the afterschool program and transitioned from participant to staff member and, eventually, to program director with the same agency. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Red Apple Chapter and, subsequently, the IASWG symposium became important communities where Karla was able to make meaningful connections and get support from social workers who were looking for the same at a time when social isolation was affecting most everyone’s capacity to invest in their work.


Dr. Joyce Roberson-Steele was a Municipal Manager for Homecare Services in New York City for over 18 years. She is a Field Coordinator and adjunct professor for Wurzweiler University, teaching Cultural Diversity and Trauma Informed Care, and co-chairs the Anti-Racism Coalition. She also lectures Gerontology, Substance Use Treatment, and Community Organizing courses at Medgar Evers College in the BSW program. Dr. Roberson-Steele conducted her dissertation research on the intersection of spirituality and recovery amongst older African Americans at Wurzweiler University. She has a passion for serving her community, especially those who often do not feel heard or represented. She believes group work is a strong tool needed to support, encourage, and empower students, clients, and staff. During the COVID pandemic, she realized the supportive connection at IASWG, where she joined and presented three times at the Symposiums.


Stephanie Jalinos is a Licensed Social Worker in New York, and holds a certificate in Positive Psychology.  She is passionate about human flourishing and mutual aid in group work. A lifelong advocate for social justice and personal empowerment, she began her chosen second career in 2002 as a youth & community outreach coordinator, where her love for group work began. Stephanie joined IASWG and attended the symposium in 2019, which allowed her to be part of a like-minded community, broadened her knowledge base, and provided meaningful connections. She is a committee member for the Red Apple Chapter and hopes to continue to provide and broaden opportunities for the members.

Upcoming Events

Save the Date! November 8, 2023, 7 PM – 8:30 PM

  • Meet the members of our expanded Steering Committee
  • Get a taste of what we are planning this year
  • Be part of an inclusive groupwork chapter community where we can learn from each other.
More details will be coming soon. To get involved, email [email protected].




CAMP Day 2023!


The New York Red Apple Chapter of IASWG invites you to an exciting LIVE event (no charge, lunch included) as a prelude to the IASWG symposium!

And what better way to celebrate meeting in-person again than going back to our camp roots and reconnecting with our group work community! 

Saturday May 20, 2023, from 10 AM to 5:15 PM

(please note the change in time)

If you plan on attending, please fill out the registration link.

Our CAMP Day!

Will be taking place in Sunset Park:

at Public School 1, located at 309 47th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11220.

The site is accessible by public transportation, with the following subway and bus lines: R to 45th Street, B37 or B65.

If you are interested in facilitating an activity, please indicate it on the registration form so we can follow up with you to determine the activity and figure out the logistics.

While this is an IASWG event, you are welcome to bring guests who are not IASWG members but may be interested in learning more about group work and joining the organization.

Questions? Please contact Karla at [email protected].


Group Workers Celebrating Accomplishments of the last couple of years 
A Virtual Event via Zoom
Wednesday, December 14, 2022 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm

This event offers the opportunity, in a mutual aid process, to share successes we’ve hadduring the last couple of years and to think together about what comes next for our group work practice. You are invited to bring your own success stories, skills you’ve gained, as well as situations that have or continue to challenge you as a group worker. Please let the steering committee know if you are planning to attend the event by emailing [email protected]