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Annual Global Social Service Workforce Alliance Symposium

The Global Social Service Workforce Alliance hosts an Annual Symposium to bring attention to data and trends affecting the social service workforce, a key component of a strong social service system that needs planning, developing and supporting to best serve vulnerable groups. The Symposium brings together diverse stakeholders to exchange knowledge and discuss ways to strengthen this workforce.

4th Annual Symposium to be held May 24, 2017

The 4th Annual Symposium will bring attention to innovative case management approaches  carried out by the social service workforce, a key component of a strong social service system that needs planning, developing and supporting to best serve vulnerable children and families. The Symposium brings together diverse stakeholders to exchange knowledge and discuss ways to strengthen this workforce. This year's Symposium hosted by the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance is co-sponsored by 4Children. This year's Symposium will be held on May 24, 2017. Participants can join in-person in Washington, DC, from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., or by joining the live webcast from 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. ET. The full agenda and registration will be available in April.

3rd Annual Symposium: Strengthening the Continuum of Care for Vulnerable Children and Families

The 3rd Annual Global Social Service Workforce Symposium was held in June 2016. Nearly 300 participants participated in the event either in-person in Washington, DC, at the Birdsall House Conference Center in the Center for Global Development, or through the live webcast. For more details from the event, view the recorded webcast, and read the summary report, please click here.

The Symposium provided a forum for practitioners, government representatives, scholars and other experts from around the world to discuss efforts to strengthen the social service workforce and advance systems and services for children and families. Presentations focused on ways in which planning, developing and supporting the social service workforce has changed over the past five years and has led to more effective services to children and families and a stronger continuum of care. The aim of the symposium was to contribute to the growing body of knowledge regarding the role of the social service workforce in strengthening the continuum of care for vulnerable children and families

The event was also served as a launch and distribution of the 2016 State of the Social Service Workforce Report: A review of five years of workforce strengthening. This 2nd annual report assesses the evolution of the social service workforce over the past five years by examining efforts to strengthen and diversify the workforce in eight countries. These countries all participated in the Social Welfare Strengthening Conference in Cape Town in 2010.

2nd Annual Symposium: A Review of the State of the Social Service Workforce 

Held in June 2015, the 2nd Annual Symposium provided a forum for experts from around the world to discuss efforts to strengthen the social service workforce and advance systems and services for children and families. Presentations focused on ways in which planning, developing and supporting the social service workforce can lead to more effective services to children and families and stronger systems of care, as well as keynote remarks by UNICEF and USAID.

Presentations included:

  • Strengthening the workforce at the community level: Results of strategic planning in Namibia
  • Preparing a professional workforce through university degree programs: Issues and considerations
  • How competency frameworks help to inform the development of community level workers
  • The role of professional associations in supporting statutory social work systems

The symposium webcast is available on YouTube. The symposium presentations and written summary are available to download. The Symposium also acted as the distribution event for the first annual State of the Social Service Workforce 2015 Report, a review of the workforce in 15 countries. Read the full report and executive summary.

A press release was included on 248 news websites. The symposium and report were also highlighted in GHR Foundation's Impact Updates, National Assocation of Social Workers (NASW) News, IntraHealth International's website, American Public Health Association's International Health Blog and LMG's Blog. View the photo album from the event created by PEPFAR.

The event was held in Washington, DC and included a diverse audience as well as a large audience from around the world who participated in the discussion via live webcast. A total of 365 people from 20 countries participated by joining the event.

1st Annual Symposium: Supporting Families, Building a Better Tomorrow for Children

The 1st Symposium was held in April 2014 as a means to contribute to the growing body of knowledge regarding the role of the social service workforce in promoting strong families and better futures for children. Expert presenters discussed current initiatives underway to strengthen the social service workforce and improve systems and services that keep families and children at the heart of the work and promote wellbeing, protection and healthy development.

Presentations included keynote remarks from UNICEF and the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator. View the video of the first panel on the topic of: How Social Service Workers Support Families to Promote Healthy Development and Well-Being of Children. The second panel presentation was on the topic: How Social Service Workers Support and Equip Community Members Engaged in Child Protection. The third panel held a discussion on the theme: How Social Service Workers Promote Integrated Service Strategies by Linking Institutions, Communities and Families. The full Symposium Report is available for download and a blog recapped key takeaways from the Symposium. 

Sponsors

The Symposium has been supported through funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to the 4Children project (led by CRS) through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program and also by GHR Foundation. In 2015, the Symposium was also supported by the National Association of Social Workers (US). The Alliance is thankful for support of this event.