The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) held its 2018 General Meeting in Dublin, Ireland, July 1-2. Seventy country-level members participated in the meeting, the highest number of countries registered to vote on key issues for the organization. The IFSW General Meeting takes place every two years and each country represented holds one vote. IFSW currently has 128 national associations or unions of social workers as members.
NASW was represented at the meeting by NASW President, Kathryn Conley Wehrmann, PhD; former NASW President, Sue Dworak-Peck; and IFSW Lifetime Ambassador and NASW Chief Executive Officer, Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW. NASW Director of Ethics and Professional Review and IFSW Ethics Commissioner, Dawn Hobdy, presented the work of the Ethics Commission on the Ethical Principles.
Topics discussed at the meeting included closing the gap between social work education and practice, revising the profession’s ethical statement, and the censure of the Israeli Union of Social Workers. A motion was passed to continue the censure, but also included language to encourage ongoing dialog and support that would enable the censure to be lifted.
The general meeting approved the language proposed in the revised ethical principle.
IFSW election results included:
- Silvana Martinez, from Argentina, was elected IFSW Global President;
- Jan Christianson-Wood, MSW, RSW, President of the Canadian Association of Social Workers, was elected IFSW President of the North American Region; and,
- Kathryn Conley Wehrmann, PhD, NASW President, was elected Vice President of the IFSW North American Region.
Social Work Education and Social Development Conference
The IFSW General Meeting was followed by the Social Work, Education and Social Development Conference. This meeting was organized by IFSW, the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW), and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW).
The conference focused on the 3rd pillar of the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development: Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability. More than 2,000 delegates from 99 countries and six continents attended the meeting. The four-day conference featured 10 keynote speakers and 195 sessions.
Mary Robinson, Ireland’s 7th President and first woman President, spoke on the importance of community involvement in working for climate justice emphasizing that “strong, striving communities will be the forefront of tackling our many challenges.” The next IFSW Social Work and Social Development Conference will take place in Calgary, Canada, July 15-18, 2020 and will focus on a global conversation about the future of social work.