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Role of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance as a Forum to Advance Knowledge and Advocate for Policy Reform

Webinar 29

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View the recording from session 1 on March 26 or session 2 on March 28.

Speakers comprised of Alliance staff and Steering Committee members shared an overview of the role of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance as a convening network. This webinar served as an orientation for newer members or new stakeholder groups wishing to become more involved. Presenters shared the history of the development and launch of the Alliance and existing tools and resources. They also presented the updated definition of the social service workforce and the process of mapping and analyses of the workforce in 30 countries in partnership with UNICEF. Learnings and recommenations from this process will be shared in this year's annual report and a toolkit is now being developed to support members and countries in carrying out a similar process nationally. Speakers also shared of the many ways that members can contribute expertise and tools for sharing across the network, including through interest groups, contributing resources, writing blogs, joining discussion boards and future webinars and symposia.

With 2,200 members across 134 countries, the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance brings together members and other advocates to champion social service workforce strengthening at national, regional and global levels. The Alliance works toward a world where a well-planned, well-trained and well-supported social service workforce effectively delivers promising practices that improve the lives of vulnerable populations.

The mission of the Alliance is to promote the knowledge and evidence, resources and tools and political will and action needed to address key social service workforce challenges, especially within low- to middle-income countries. As a convener for an inclusive, representative network of stakeholders, the Alliance aims to create a forum for discourse and collective learning to advance knowledge and advocate for workforce-supportive policy reforms.

This webinar was held at two time to allow global participation across time zones. It is expected this webinar will be conducted again late 2019 for new members. The recordings and presentations are available to view and download.

Session 1 Presenters

Dr. Rebecca Davis is Associate Professor for Professional Practice and Director of the Center for Global Social Work, School of Social Work, Rutgers University, and Chair of the Steering Committee of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance. She is responsible for curriculum development on global social work content and represents the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) to the United Nations in the New York Headquarters. Her global work focuses on social work education and child protection system strengthening in Eastern Europe and Sub Saharan Africa. Her most recent projects include strengthening case management services in Nigeria, Malawi, Swaziland, and Namibia and evaluation of child protection reforms in Ghana. She has developed a Case Management Toolkit for evaluating child welfare case management services in the former Soviet Bloc countries. She co-authored a working paper on Child Protection System Strengthening in Sub Saharan Africa for UNICEF (2012) and authored a working paper on Human Capacity Within Child Welfare Systems in Africa (2009). She served as a Fulbright Scholar to Romania from 1992-94 and implemented a major child welfare reform project for World Vision Romania and USAID in 1998-2002. 

Betsy Sherwood is the Director of the Alliance, joining the organization in October 2018. She is a social worker who is passionate about promoting the rights and well-being of children and families and building the capacity of the social service workforce globally. She has lived and worked in more than 15 countries and has technical expertise in psychosocial support, case management, gender-based violence, protection mainstreaming, and disability inclusion. She is based in the U.S.

Nicole Brown is deputy director of the Alliance. She joined the organization in 2015, originally as communications manager. She provides leadership for the development and implementation of the Alliance’s communications and advocacy strategies and tactics, including the Alliance's Ambassador program and advocacy interest group. She also supports the development of relationships with external stakeholders in support of the Alliance's mission. She is based in the U.S.

Session one was held on March 26. View full recording.


Session 2 Presenters

Aaron Greenberg is child protection regional advisor at the UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia. Previously Aaron has held posts as chief of child protection in the UNICEF Myanmar and UNICEF Georgia Country Offices. In Myanmar, he oversaw UNICEF’s policy, legislative and programmatic support to government and non-governmental partners relating to justice for children, social welfare reforms, trafficking, extreme forms of child labor, migration, protection in emergencies and children in armed conflict. In Georgia, he helped to steer the child care and social work reforms, assisting the Government to close nearly all large residential care facilities and expand foster care and prevention services. Aaron currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Alliance. He is based in Geneva.

Dr. Natia Partskhaladze joined the Alliance in 2017 as senior technical advisor. She provides technical leadership and guidance on effective approaches of strengthening the social service workforce and manages a portfolio of partnerships, initiatives and special activities, like mapping of the social service workforce. She has 18 years of experience in the field of child protection and social service system strengthening, both at the policy and programming level, including 10 years in the UNICEF Country and Regional Offices. Natia is a founder and board member of the Georgian Association of Social Workers and is working toward a PhD in social work with research on the Quality of Life of Deinstitutionalized Children in Alternative out-of-home Care. She is based in Tbilisi.

Session 2 was held on Thursday, March 28. View the full recording.

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