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 importnace 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)

If you wish to send us comments, articles, news, pictures and videos about the state of social work in your country please contact Vassilis Ioakimidis .We encourage contributions in the following 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.

  • Tuam babies: How the English ‘sent back’ unmarried mothers to Ireland

Policy Press author, academic and SWAN Ireland member Paul Michael Garrett discusses the issues surrounding unmarried mothers in his book "Social work and Irish people in Britain". This blog post looks at this topic and touches on the recent story covering the headlines in Ireland, the Tuam babies.

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