If you are outside the UK and wish to send us an article, pictures or videos about social work in your country please email us by clicking here. We encourage contributions in the following languages: English, French, Spanish, Greek, Arabic, Hindu/Tamil and Italian. Please also send a very brief abstract in English.
In this section we aim to provide space for discussion around international social work, welfare and social justice.
In September 2008, a group of social work academics and practitioners met up as part of the 3rd SWAN annual conference in Liverpool. This meeting included delegates from Greece, Spain, India, South Africa, Colombia, Japan, Canada and the United States.
The delegates discussed the condition of social work in their countries and highlighted the impact of neo-liberalism at an international level. More importantly, they agreed to facilitate a debate about the existing “resources of hope” and the promotion of social work practice engaged with social justice.
The main aspects of this debate include:* The impact of neoliberalism, marketisation and managerialism on social work and social pedagogy* The links between social work and social movements*The importance and significance of local social work traditions* Alternative interpretations and practices of social work across the globe and how this affects our understandings of “international social work”* Encouragement of an inclusive debate about the future direction of social work, involving social work academics, practitioners, students, service users and representative organisations (both professional and trade union).We would like to continue this discussion on these webpages and encourage comments, articles, news, pictures and videos about the state of social work in your country. Please contact us by following the instructions at the top of this page.
Contributions are welcome in the following and other languages: English, French, Spanish, Greek, Arabic, Hindu/Tamil and Italian. It would be useful if contributions are accompanied by a very brief abstract in English.
Simon Cardy (Twitter @simoncardy) of SWAN West Midlands, reports on the developing, mass strike action by social workers taking place in Los Angeles County, California:
A very determined, and at times militant, strike of around 1600 social workers organised by the Service Employees International Union SEIU has been taking place in Los Angeles County over the last week or so. The SEIU is one of the largest public sector unions in America. A six day strike began on Tuesday 2nd December by social workers working in the Department of Children and Family Services Social Workers (DCFS) . Thousands of support staff joined the strike after three days in a massive act of solidarity. They are fed up with a four year pay freeze, long hours and excessive caseloads – sounds familiar?
This Monday (30th September 2013), the Hungarian Parliament voted to amend the 2012 Petty Offences Act. Passing the amendment local governments can now create homeless-free zones, (i.e. areas where living in public space is considered an offence) and the construction of homeless shacks. SWAN London organised a public demonstration against this action a couple of days before on 28th September, gathered signatures for a petition and delivered this to the Hungarian Embassy in solidarity with Hungary people affected by homeless. Photos of the action are below.
Our activist peers from "A varos mindenkie" (City is for all) from Budapest held a defiant demonstration on the day of the vote and made the following press release, following this disgraceful commitment by the Hungarian government to criminalise homelessness in this country:
On Thursday, 19th of September 2013, the Hungarian "City is for All" (A varos mindenkié) initiative issued a call for solidarity with homeless people in Hungary. It is based on the planned new changes to the Hungarian Penal Code, which would once again treat homelesness as an infraction punishable by fine, community service or jail (for "repeat offenders"). This is the latest of a series of oppressive measures that the Hungarian government implemented against the homeless people in this country over the past three years.
SWAN London will be holding a demonstration outside Hyde Park Corner Underground station on Saturday 28th September from 12pm in order to gather signatures and support against this proposal. A petition will then be delivered to the Hungarian Embassy.
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Social Work Action Network (SWAN)c/o Iain FergusonSchool of Social ScienceUniversity of the West of ScotlandPaisleyPA1 2BE
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