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Social workers told of their direct links to the world

World Social Work Day (WSWD) offers a chance to link social workers throughout the UK with colleagues around the world who are working, and have worked, to support those in need, delegates to the Scottish Association of Social Work’s (SASW’s) WSWD conference heard.

Graeme Rizza, SASW convenor, told the audience of 200 practitioners how SASW members are linked directly to the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) through BASW’s membership of that global body, which comprises over 80 national associations. He pointed out that the IFSW has been linked to the United Nations since 1959 “in recognition of the work of social workers during and after the second world war”.

Mr Rizza explained: “People like Irena Sendler in Poland marked us a profession that fights for social justice through our humanitarian work. She saved many Jewish children from the ghetto and concentration camps, but additionally hid their birth documents in jam jars in the forest so that after the war they had access to their original identities.”

Over recent years the third Tuesday in March has been marked by World Social Work Day at the UN in New York. This year around 800 social workers will be there to mark the occasion. For the first time this year will also see celebratory days staged at the other UN centres in Asia, Africa and Europe.