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.
A new publication, Critical and Radical Social Work: An international journal, is being launched by Policy Press Journals in early 2013.
The journal is edited by Social Work Action Network (SWAN) steering committee members, Michael Lavalette, Associate Professor of Social Work, Liverpool Hope University and Iain Ferguson, Professor of Social Work and Social Policy, University of the West of Scotland. It will have two editions per year, usually each March and September.
SWAN is delighted to bring you news on the campaign in support of Norbert 'Pumukli' Ferencz, the Hungarian Social Worker standing up for homeless people in his country, whom SWAN have been supporting since last autumn.
Norbert was arrested for speaking out against a new law to criminalise rough sleepers. He was later charged with 'incitement' and faced a three year prison sentence.
SWAN has heard from Maria Moritz of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) this week that the Supreme Court in Budapest has acquitted Norbert.
The following movement in the US was noticed and shared with us by Dr Maria Pentaraki of Liverpool Hope University:
"The fight goes on across the Atlantic too. Check the very interesting link of Fight Back USA: http://www.fightbackteachin.org/ One of the founders is Frances Fox Piven, an activist social work academic. A 1965 paper entitled "Mobilizing the Poor: How It Can Be Done," introduced Piven and her co-author, Richard Cloward, into an ongoing conversation on the welfare state. She has played an important role in welfare rights campaigns as well as other anti-poverty activism. But she is also equally known for her contributions to social theory. In one of her seminal books “Regulating the Poor”, Piven and Cloward argued that any advances the poor have made throughout history depended on their ability to disrupt institutions."
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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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