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Europe’s social workers gather to discuss issues of the day

The biggest gathering of social workers in Europe kicked off in Edinburgh today, 6 September, to discuss how best to support people and communities in a changing landscape across the continent.

Delegates from 40 countries travelled to the Scottish capital for three days of talks, seminars and networking.

The European refugee crisis will be one of the topics of discussion at the International Federation of Social Work European Conference and Social Services Expo.

Other themes include practising in a climate of austerity, moves towards privatisation of services and integration of social care and health.

Opening the event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Bridget Robb, Chief Executive of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), said she hoped professionals would be able to learn from each other about what works in their home country.

She added: “This conference picks up the current challenges we all face on issues such as migration, austerity and how we can respond together to these challenges in partnership.

“Partnership with people who use our services, partnership as the collective social work community and partnership with other professionals.”

Ms Robb also highlighted a recently launched new focus for BASW - it’s 2020 Vision - underlining the association’s mission to be the “strong independent voice for social work and social workers”.