The idea for the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance grew out of many years of governments, non-governmental organizations, social work training institutions, donors and professional associations identifying a gap in knowledge, resources and specific approaches to strengthen the workforce that plan and provide social services to the most at-risk children, families and communities across the globe.
These needs were most prominently expressed during a conference in Cape Town, South Africa in 2010. The conference brought together teams from 18 countries to discuss and share experiences around the challenges facing the social service workforce and to develop concrete action plans addressing these challenges at a country and global level. Participants celebrated the conference as the launch of a new global movement intended to not only strengthen the social service workforce but also contribute to stronger, more effective social service systems. The Alliance was proposed to develop and share knowledge and facilitate ongoing support and dialogue for partners and institutions engaged in wider workforce planning, development and support, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
The Alliance officially launched in June 2013 and has since become a diverse, cost-free network of more than 2,900 individual members across 147 countries. We bring together those working in government, UN agencies, non-profits, faith-based organizations, civil society, academia and professional associations. Our members represent a broad range of governmental and nongovernmental professionals and para professionals who provide preventive and responsive services, promote the wider workforce, and operate at macro, mezzo and micro levels.