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The social service workforce in and beyond the pandemic: A global conversation

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Register to Join

Join the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance and Children and Families Across Borders on Wednesday 15th September from 1-4pm UTC for our upcoming conference, The social service workforce in and beyond the pandemic: A global conversation on adaptation, innovation and the fight for social justice. 

This event takes place virtually and presents a unique opportunity for social service practitioners, experts and policy makers from around the world to come together to discuss the biggest issues facing the social service workforce today, including the impact of the pandemic on the social service workforce as well as on the role of the social service workforce in social justice.

The event will be highly interactive consisting of three 45-minute breakout sessions for attendees to discuss experiences and insights around three key themes:

  • the adaptations made in social services and social work practices during the pandemic that should remain,
  • the risks and challenges that have emerged from this new way of working, and
  • the role of the social service workforce in advancing social justice.

Please come prepared to engage and discuss the above topics with colleagues from around the globe.

Chair and Facilitators

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Chair: Dr Kathryn Wehrmann

Dr. Wehrmann is an emeritus associate professor of social work at Illinois State University where she had served as the BSW Program Director. She had also served as the MSW Program Director earlier in her career. Her professional background also includes work in Illinois’ public child welfare system and serving as a consultant on a variety of child welfare projects and programs. She has developed child protection training programs for several cohorts of Romanian officials and has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Bucharest and had subsequent grants to carry out special projects. Her research interests include program evaluation of child welfare and adolescent mental health programs. For the last several years she has taught practice evaluation and field education at the MSW level. Dr. Wehrmann has served as the U.S. National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Board President (2017-2020). In this role she also had the privilege of serving as a member of International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) Executive Committee. At present, Dr. Wehrmann is serving as adjunct faculty at Fordham University in NYC where she is teaching social policy online. She is also serving as an adjunct faculty for Marist College’s Social Work Department. She has served on the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance Steering Committee for the past two years and is the current Chair of the Steering Committee.

Facilitator: Professor Vishanthie Sewpaul, President of Association of Schools of Social Work in Africa

Professor Vishanthie Sewpaul (PhD), an awardee of three honorary doctoral degrees from Chile, Norway and Sweden, is a globally recognized social work and human rights scholar, international speaker and activist. She held leadership positions at institutional, national, regional and global levels, and visiting professorship positions at numerous international universities. She chaired the following committees on behalf of the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW): Global Standards for SW Education and Training (2004); Global SW Definition (2014) and the Global SW Statement of Ethical Principles (2018). She is currently the world coordinator for a conference to be co-hosted by three global social work/social development organisations in 2024. She was Senior Professor at the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa where she remains Emeritus Professor, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Stavanger, Norway. She has over 100 academic publications and has recently completed her memoir titled, The Arc of Our Paths: Growing into Wholeness.

Facilitator: Dr. Prospera Tedam, Associate Professor at United Arab Emirates University

Prospera Tedam previously taught social work at the Open University, University of Northampton and Anglia Ruskin University before joining the department of social wellbeing at the United Arab Emirates University. Her research has focused on culturally sensitive social work, equality and diversity, anti-oppressive practice, faith-based abuse and the experiences of Black African social work students in practice learning. Her recent book introduced the 4D2P Framework for identifying, understanding and disrupting oppression in social work encounters. The aim of the framework is to assist social workers to understand the steps through which they can evaluate their own non-oppressive practice on an ongoing basis.