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.
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."
SWAN is pleased to share this short film on the terrible impact of austerity on social work and people's lives in Greece today. This situation is likely to play out in other parts of Europe in a similar fashion - we must resist austerity together to defend socially just social work and welfare:
SWAN is excited to share with you the manifesto of Hong Kong's Progressive Social Work Network (PSWN), which formed last year:
Progressive Social Work ManifestoProgressive Social Work Network（PSWN）September 2011, Hong Kong
In the past decade, the prevalence of neoliberalism and managerialism has seriously trampled upon Hong Kong’s welfare system. This dominance is reflected in the government’s policies of competitive bidding of service, adopting the principle of users pay, introducing Lump Sum Grants(LSG), reducing social security assistance, closing down single families and new arrivals service centers, and even using political tactics to suppress discontent.
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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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