You are here

2nd Annual Global Social Service Workforce Alliance Symposium

2nd Annual Global Social Service Workforce Alliance Symposium

Held on June 10, 2015 the 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. 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. 

The symposium webcast is available on YouTube. The symposium presentations and written summary are now available to download.


9:00 – 9:15           Welcome
Ms. Amy Bess, Coordinator, Global Social Service Workforce Alliance, USA

9:15 – 9:25           Opening Remarks
Dr. Karin Heissler, Deputy, Child Protection Section, UNICEF Headquarters, USA

9:25 – 9:35            Keynote Speaker
Dr. Jennifer Adams, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Global Health, Population and Reproductive Health, Office of HIV/AIDS, Office of Health Systems, USAID, USA

9:40 – 10:30        Panel 1:  Planning the Workforce
Moderator:  Dr. Jini Roby, Professor, Department of Social Work, Brigham Young University

Speaker 1: Strengthening the workforce at the community level: Results of strategic planning in Namibia
Ms. Joyce Nakuta, Deputy Director, Namibia Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Directorate Child Welfare Services, Division Child Care, Namibia 

10:30 – 10:45      Coffee & Networking Break

10:45 – 11:30      Panel 2:  Developing the Workforce
Moderator:  Mr. Ummuro Adano, Senior Principal Technical Advisor, Management Sciences for Health, USA                      

Speaker 1: Preparing a professional workforce through university degree programs:  Issues and considerations
Dr. Robin Sakina Mama, Professor and Dean, Monmouth University School of Social Work, USA

Speaker 2: How competency frameworks help to inform the development of community level workers
Ms. Zenuella Sugantha Thumbadoo (Zeni), Deputy Director, National Association of Child Care Workers, South Africa

11:30 – 12:15       Panel 3: Supporting the Workforce
Moderator: Ms. Silke Felton, Interim Senior OVC Advisor OGAC / Impact Mitigation Specialist PEPFAR Swaziland

Speaker 1:  The role of professional associations in supporting statutory social work systems
Dr. Natia Partskhaladze, UNICEF CEE/CIS and Chairperson, Georgian Association of Social Workers and Iv. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia

12:15 – 12:30       Closing Remarks             
Dr. James McCaffery, Senior Organization Strengthening Specialist, Training Resources Group, and Chairperson, Global Social Service Workforce Alliance Steering Committee, USA


  • Disseminate data and information about the workforce in 15 countries as described in the first annual State of the Social Service Workforce 2015 Report, which will be launched on the day of the Symposium
  • Stimulate discussion of current initiatives underway to strengthen the social service workforce and improve services for children and families
  • Promote the exchange of information between members of the Alliance and other family strengthening, health and social service workforce experts across countries and regions


This event is made possible 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.


Become a member of the Alliance (free) or join the email list to receive additional updates on this event and other events and information. The Alliance is a network of 600+ individuals and organizations working in 68 countries who share an interest in developing the social service workforce to meet the social service needs of vulnerable populations.