ruth-stark-president-ifsw Message from IFSW President

Dear Friends, It is with great pleasure that IFSW welcomes all our colleagues to join with us in Zambia for three days of learning from each other and sharing our skills, knowledge and expertise.

The theme of the gathering is the third pillar of The Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development, Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability. It is a theme that resonates around the world with colleagues working in difficult circumstances of war, climate change and distrust between people. It is a theme that is at the heart of social work principles and values. Working with people who are the experts in their own experience, policy makers and providers of care and protection through change to positive outcomes is the foundation on which we build our practice.

The event will bring together people who use social work services, researchers, teachers and those who work in the huge variety of social work services around the world. There are so many ways that we can use our skills knowledge and expertise and so much we need to learn from each other about ‘what works’ that we are very grateful to our colleagues in Zambia for this wonderful opportunity  offered through this conference.

The challenge that we all face is moving from the short term interventions so favoured by politicians to long term investment in social development. Many of us work with disasters and in the recovery in the aftermath of trauma and tragedy.  This may be on a personal level after a child has been abused, a serious sexual assault, a devastating mental illness, an accident that results in severe disability or at a macro level where there has been war, famine, drought or an earthquake. We work with people forced into migration who suffer the effects of being displaced. Sometimes we work with individuals and their families, sometimes with whole communities.

Come and join us in Zambia in 2017, come and share what has worked for you and the people with whom you work – help us learn how to improve our practice and our services.

We look forward to meeting you in June.

Ruth Stark MSc, CQSW, MBE