CFAB and GSSWA Collaborate to Present our Global Conversation

We were proud to co-host the Global Conversation alongside the GSSWA, with participants from around the world sharing their experiences within social work during the pandemic, and how social work can further the cause of social justice.

On 15th September 2021, over 260 participants from around the world joined Children and Families Across Borders and the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance for our Global Conversation. Entitled The social service workforce in and beyond the pandemic: a global conversation on adaptation, innovation and the fight for social justice, the event was a unique opportunity for open dialogue on the realities of social service practice in these challenging times.

Unlike a traditional conference, the focus of the event was on providing participants with the space to discuss their own insights and challenges. Given that we had participants registered from over 89 countries and translation available in both French and Spanish, the conversation covered a huge range of contexts and experiences from across the globe. Discussion groups included practitioners, academics, students, policy makers and advocates, who shared their thoughts on the impact of the pandemic on practice, education and training, as well as how the social service can advance the cause of social justice.  

To facilitate these conversations, we were joined by three very experienced leaders in their fields. Dr. Heather Modlin, the CEO of the Amal Youth and Family Centre opened the session social service practice in and beyond the pandemic. Dr Prospera Tedam, Professor at United Arab Emirates University, gave us an insightful overview of the impact on education and training, while Dr. Vishanthie Sewpaul, Emeritus Professor at the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, posed thought-provoking questions in the final session on what role the social service plays in social justice.

For those who were not able to attend the event, videos of their introductory talks and conclusions, as well as their slides are now available.  

The event also marked the launch of the State of the Social Service Workforce Report 2020, and Hugh Salmon, the Director of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance, provided an overview into this important document, which captures a worldwide view on the social service workforce. The full report is now available to read on The Alliance’s website.

This event provided an opportunity for those working in the social service to reflect on what changes the pandemic has brought, including both opportunities and challenges, and how the social service must continue to play an active role in promoting social justice as we adapt to these changes. For Children and Families Across Borders, it was also an opportunity to connect with a more global audience and we shall endeavour to continue this important conversation.