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The Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development: A Conflicted Global Concept?

This paper reflects on the impact of The Global Agenda (GA) process and focuses on its relevance for social work practitioners and educators in the United Kingdom (UK). It asks, is there a global social work profession? The paper explores three key elements. Firstly, to what extent is it possible to view the diversity of social work under the differing national frameworks, as a coherent, single professional identity? Secondly, to what extent are national concepts of social work related to global instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Thirdly, are there universal theoretical models? Having explored these questions, The GA process unequivocally adopted the position that there is a global social work profession, that its members and practitioners do share core values, principles and practice models, that these models require constant review and revision, and that one purpose of the process was/is to stimulate those discussions and explore those narratives, as is evident in the four GA reports. This makes The GA process as relevant for practice and policy in the UK, as it is for other countries.

David Jones
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Journal article - open access
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