International social work organizations meet in Sweden

Sep 17, 2012

By Paul R. Pace, News staff

NASW leaders joined social workers from around the world at the Joint World Conference of Social Work and Social Development, held in July in Stockholm.

NASW President Jeane Anastas, left, and Canadian Association of Social Workers President Morel Caissie resign the NASW and CASW memorandum of understanding.

The theme for the global event was “action and impact.” It brought together the three major global social work organizations: the International Association of Schools of Social Work, the International Council on Social Welfare and the International Federation of Social Workers.

The conference gave attendees the opportunity to review implementation strategies of the Global Social Work Agenda, which was created by the three international organizations.

The agenda’s aim is for the groups  to work together at all levels for change, social justice and the universal implementation of human rights — building on the wealth of social initiatives and social movements.

Conference attendees also worked to align the local, regional, national  and global social practice environments to strengthen and reinforce the impact of social work.

Gary Bailey, former NASW president, is the current president of IFSW, which represents 750,000 members globally. He said the gathering was inspiring.

“We had 2,500 social workers, educators and developers in one space,” he said. “It was impressive. Once you are there, you understand the global power of social work.”

Bailey said the three organizations will continue to seek support from governments, nongovernment organizations and the United Nations to implement goals listed in the Global Agenda.

“Each organization is different,” he said. “IFSW addresses social work practice. IASSW focuses on education and research and ICSW addresses social development. While each group will work on separate approaches, the destination will be the same.”

From the September 2012 NASW News. NASW members click here for the full story.