Internationalization of Social Work

In June 2010, the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), and the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW) representing the entire spectrum of social work practice, social work education, and social development work globally met and developed a joint global agenda to organize around major and relevant social issues that connect within and across the social work profession. In March of 2012, the global agenda for social work developed by these organizations was presented to the United Nations.

International Travel at MSASS

The recent and continuing economic crisis and the modalities chosen by world leaders to deal with them have led to:

  • Growing inequalities and their implications

  • The worsening marginalization of populations and of the working poor

  • Increased vulnerability of poor people in countries which do not have an adequate social protection floor

  • Community disintegration

There are several global issues that deal with the dignity and worth of a person:

  • Human rights issues in relation to social, economic, cultural and political situations

  • Respect for diversity and different belief systems, especially indigenous and first people’s voices

  • Political instabilities, violence, dominations, and the erosion of peace building processes

  • Terrorism and modes of response by states and the modalities of handling global conflicts

  • Migration, refugees, trafficking, immigrants, immigration and ways of handling these issues

  • The role for social work practice, education and social development

Many problems of the globe surround environmental sustainability:

  • Disasters of natural and human origin, management and prevention

  • Involvement of local communities in developing responses

  • Implications for sustainable social development

  • Protecting the physical environment

  • Proactive engagement with social, human, and ecological development

Other issues involve the importance of human relationships. Family and relationship issues and challenges across the lifespan emerge as a major concern in relation to the transformation of the world. This includes the needs of:

  • Children and families

  • People with disabilities

  • People that need health and mental health services

  • People who are aging

  • People with drugs and substance abuse problems

  • People suffering from violence within domestic and intimate relationships