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Once-in-a-career chance for UK social workers

How is austerity impacting upon social work in Spain and what ethical dilemmas are faced by Croatian social workers in criminal justice? How is Denmark working with young adults and Sweden addressing mental health? What are the implications of globalisation, privatisation and an ageing population on social work?

These and many other topics will be debated at a major gathering of social workers from across Europe in Edinburgh this September.

The International Federation of Social Workers’ European Conference and Social Services Expo will provide a unique opportunity to meet colleagues from across the continent and learn about cutting edge practice and developments in social work.

Some 1,200 practitioners, service users, managers and allied professionals from 34 European countries will attend the three-day event hosted by BASW and to be held at the world-class Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

It will feature more than 60 workshops, two cinemas an exhibition area with more than 100 exhibitors, plus countless opportunities to exchange learning and forge new links. The third day will see specialist seminars taking place across the central belt of Scotland.

Hot issues that will be put in the spotlight include human trafficking, historic child sex abuse, when compulsory measures of care should be used, working in conflict areas, the future of social work and how to influence government policy in your country.

Just by attending practitioners will be able to evidence a year’s worth of continuing professional development due to the wealth of knowledge and learning that will be shared at the conference.

Ruth Stark, President of the International Federation of Social Workers, urged practitioners not to miss the opportunity.

“This is the single biggest event in the social work calendar taking place anywhere in Europe this year,” she said.

“For UK social workers it is a once-in-a-career chance to attend an event as significant as this on the British mainland.

“By the end, delegates will come away with a wealth of knowledge, learning and insight to give them a new perspective on their day-to-day practice.

“If anyone’s still wondering whether to attend, I challenge them to visit the conference website at and have a look at the list of workshops and speakers and not be inspired.”

Workshops and seminars will cover the full range of social work practice including child protection, mental health, older people, criminal justice, substance misuse, social work education, human rights, social justice, migration, trafficking and asylum seekers.