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World Social Work Day Events

The Global Social Service Workforce Alliance brings together groups and individuals in order to provide a forum for discussion, sharing of promising practices and tools, and exchanging innovative approaches toward advocacy, all with the aim of strengthening the social service workforce. Our network comprises members across all sectors in 100 countries. To support these efforts, become a member.

World Social Work Day 2017

World Social Work Day 2017 (WSWD) was held on March 21. Individuals and organizations around the world commemorated the day by working together to influence international, regional and local policies, government actions and highlighted the value and contributions that social workers make everyday throughout the world. The 2017 theme was ‘Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability,’ which relates to the third pillar of the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development. Check out these photos of events from the world, and share with us your photos to add!

Promotional Materials

  • The Global Social Service Workforce Alliance hosted a webinar on March 16 on the topic "Advocacy Tools for Raising the Profile of Social Workers Locally and Globally." The webinar highlighted tools available and campaigns underway in three countries. The full recording and summary are now available.Infographic on achieving SDGs
  • Download the new infographic developed by the Alliance depicting the important role of the social service workforce in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Download the 2017 poster from IFSW to help promote the day. The poster has been translated into several languages.
  • The National Association of Social Workers in the U.S. has created a number of resources and tools to promote how "Social Workers Stand Up" by providing valuable services in the community to vulnerable groups. The tools include an infographic, editorials and a series of public service announcements that are free to download and use. A radio media tour was held across several radio stations in large U.S. cities with the CEO of NASW. Other activities are being planned as part of a month-long campaign.
  • The European Association of Schools of Social Work (EASSW) has created a promotional poster and is encouraging those in Europe to share short videos related to WSWD.Social Workers Stand Up
  • The Alliance hosted a Thunderclap campaign to Promote Community and Environmental Sustainability! A total of 343 supporters joined on to share the message to their 239,259 contacts globally.


  • Social Work Day at the United Nations will be held in both New York City and Geneva. The program in Geneva was held March 21-22. The event featured speakers and panel presentations on "Cooperation between Social Work Organizations and UN Agencies to Promote the SDGs" and "Social Work and Implementation of the SDGs: Challenges and Opportunities."
  • IFSW and IASSW are again collaborating on Social Work Day at the United Nations in New York. The 34th annual event will take place the morning of April 17, followed by an event for social work students in the afternoon.
  • In Zambia, social workers visited prisons across the country as well as held an event for government and media in Lusaka.
  • In Cambodia, national public radio announcements and talk shows are being planned. The promotion is part of a year-long campaign to increase the awareness of social work and to encourage some specific target groups to appreciate and value social workers. A gathering was held on March 18 where video interviews of social workers were conducted in order to create videos encouraging high schoolers to study social work.
  • The National Social Worker Association of Uganda coordinates an annual march through the streets of Kampala. This year they held a forum in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, and planted trees in Entebbe in support of this year's theme focusing on environmental sustainability. Social Work competition in Indonesia
  • Events planned in Indonesia throughout March include an essay, photo and video contest and olympics event to engage social work students. A number of promotional materials are being developed, and they invite anyone to submit images via Instagram @PekanPeksos. They are also inviting other groups around the world to participate in webinars to share promising practices and the state of social work in other countries.
  • The Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children held a press conference and two-day symposium with the Department of Social Work at Bindura University of Science Education. Following the events, attendees planted trees and conducted a community clean up in support of environmental sustainability.
  • In Ireland, medical social workers at Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin marked the day with a public display of academic and therapeutic works undertaken by the department to raise awareness of the profession.
  • In India, with the support from the government Department of Social Forestry, the National Association of Professional Social Workers mobilized students and teachers of local social work schools and colleges to plant 1 million trees. The students and facility ae now registered with the government for the protection of these trees.
  • The Network for Social Work Management celebrated Social Work Management Week March 6 - 10. Recognize a social work manager, share photos, post blog entries and read about other ways to get involved throughout the week.

Find more details about events in Cambodia, Indonesia and the US that were presented on our recent webinar.

Did your organization be hold an event in March 2017? Let us know so we can help promote the event as well as share materials being created with the network. Email us. We will share event information as we learn of activities scheduled around the world.