Every year, the Alliance hosts Social Service Workforce Week. The week serves as an opportunity for advocates to bring attention to and build support for the social service workforce as well as raise awareness about promising workforce strengthening efforts supported by stakeholders around the world. Organized around daily themes focused on areas of practice, the week allows Alliance members and the public to exchange knowledge and resources and engage in advocacy efforts through various forms of social media. The Alliance also shares blog content, resources and worker profiles organized around daily themes.
Social Service Workforce Week 2023
This year, Social Service Workforce Week will be held from 23-27 October under the theme: A Decade of Progress, A Future of Promise. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Alliance, the week will celebrate global-, regional- and country-level progress in strengthening the social service workforce over the past decade. It will also explore remaining and emerging challenges in relation to strengthening the workforce and put forth a vision of what the next decade of social service workforce strengthening may look like.
Social Service Workforce Week 2022
In 2022, the theme for Social Service Workforce Week was Making the Case for Investing in Strengthening the Social Service Workforce Across Sectors. During the week, we hosted two virtual events, released two new publications and published a series of blog posts to:
- examine the diverse roles of social service workers when located across various sectors, such as health and education, and within humanitarian contexts;
- exchange learning on how the social service workforce can work most effectively when located in community settings across these different sectors, and
- recommend strategies and interventions for planning and resourcing the social service workforce required for this range of roles, including how to use our costing and ratios guidance to plan the most impactful deployment of social service workers.
Social Service Workforce Week 2021
The 2021 Social Service Workforce Week drew attention to the essential roles social service workers play in helping people and communities prepare, adapt and respond to emergency and disaster situations. Throughout the week, we explored how the role of the social service workforce has changed, and how social service workers have adapted, as such emergencies have become more frequent and widespread.
- Day 1, October 25: Recognizing the Key Role of Social Service Workers in Emergency Preparedness and Response, by Hugh Salmon, Director of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance
- Day 2, October 26: The Role of Social Service Workers in Disaster Preparedness: A Q&A with Heather Boetto, Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Charles Sturt University
- Day 3, October 26:
- Developing Standard Operating Procedures for Child Protection Case Management in Humanitarian Settings, by Crystal Stewart, International Rescue Committee, and Anneloes Koehorst, UNICEF, co-leads of the Case Management Task Force under the Alliance for Child Protection In Humanitarian Action
- My name is Nyarueni, by Glynis Clacherty, Lead Researcher on the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action's Community Engagement in Case Management project
- Day 4, October 27:
- Delivering Effective Social Work Services During COVID-19: Lessons from a Cambodian NGO, A Q&A with Lee Henley, Executive Director of Children's Future International
- Localizing Volunteer Support in Kyrgyzstan During the Pandemic: A Case Study
- Day 5, October 28: Building Resilience to Climate-Related Shocks in Northern Kenya, by Lavender Ondere, World Vision Kenya
Social Service Workforce Week 2020
The 2020 Social Service Workforce Week highlighted the many essential roles of the social service workforce in the lives of individuals, families and communities. Throughout the week, daily blogs, worker profiles and new resources reviewed how the workforce is essential during COVID-19 and for transforming children's care, protection of children, and delivering mental health and psychosocial support. A new Guidance Manual on Strengthing Supervision of the Social Service Workforce, developed by the Alliance's Interest Group on Supervision, was also released and a webinar was held to review the guidance and share promising practices in supervision.
- Day 1, October 26: During COVID-19 and Beyond, Recognizing the Essential Role of the Social Service Workforce, by Hugh Salmon, Director, Global Social Service Workforce Alliance
- Day 2, October 27: Supervision - An essential ingredient in sustaining effective practice, by Dr. Ian Milligan, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, CELCIS, University of Strathclyde
- Release of the Guidance Manual on Strengthening Supervision for the Social Service Workforce, by the Alliance's Interest Group on Supervision
- Webinar on the topic of Strengthening Supervision for the Social Service Workforce that will include release of a new guidance manual from the Social Service Workforce and presenters will share promising practices in strengthening supervision. View the recording and download the presentations.
- Day 3, October 28: A lifetime of lessons: What being a member of the essential workforce transforming care for children has taught me, by Sully Santos de Ucles, Maestral International and Changing the Way We Care
- Day 4, October 29: Rising to Tomorrow’s Challenges: The Power of the Social Service Workforce on the Frontlines to Protect Children, by Cornelius Williams, Associate Director and Global Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF Programme Division
- Day 5, October 30: Delivering Mental Health and Psychosocial Support - Global examples of the essential role of the social service workforce in supporting refugees and migrants, by Nicole Brown, Communications & Advocacy Manager, Global Social Service Workforce Alliance
Social Service Workforce Week 2019
The 2019 Social Service Workforce Week called attention to the many ways the social service workforce collaborates with other sectors for promotive, preventative and responsive services to improve health and well-being for all groups.
- Day 1, October 21: Investing in Supervision is an Investment in Outcomes for Children and Families, by Colleen Fitzgerald, International Rescue Committee and Child Protection Case Management Task Force
- Day 2, October 22: Support, Guidance and Reunification for Children on the Move, by Carolyn Housman, CEO, Children and Families Across Borders, UK; and Engaging the Global Social Service Workforce to Protect Children on the Move, by International Social Service-USA
- Day 3, October 23: Improving Mental Health through Social Work in Hospital Settings, by Oluwagbemiga Oyinlola, Senior Medical Social Worker, University College Hospital in Ibadan, Nigeria
- Day 4, October 24: Addressing Violence and Stress through Multi-Disciplinary Teams in School Settings, by Nino Shatberashvili, PhD, MSWFounder and Board Member, Georgian Association of Social Workers
- Day 5, October 25: Self-care in the Social Service Workforce, by Dr. Heather Modlin, Provincial Director, Key Assets Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
A webinar was held on October 22 on the topic of The Role of the Social Service in Supporting Children on the Move: A European perspective. Experienced child protection, reunification and safeguarding professionals from Children and Families Across Border and Safe Passage shared skills needed by social service professionals for working with children on the move. They also highlighted their work in operational delivery, litigation, and political advocacy to help unaccompanied children access safe legal routes to asylum, and the support children on the move receive once they arrive in England as their final destination. Download the full recording and presentations now.
Social Service Workforce Week 2018
The 2018 Social Service Workforce Week drew attention to the recently launched Call to Action, shared examples of how it is being implemented, and outlined steps individuals and groups can take toward achievement of the country and global level recommended actions outlined in this advocacy document. Blogs also highlighted some of the ways the organizations that have signed on to the Call to Action are supporting workforce strengthening efforts. Review the materials for ways to become further involved in advocating for this frontline workforce.
- Day 1, September 24: A Call to Action: Strengthening the Social Service Workforce to Better Protect Children and Achieve the SDGs
- Day 2, September 25: Mapping the Social Service Workforce to Better Protect Children
- Day 3, September 26: Development of a National Social Service Workforce Strengthening Strategy
- Day 4, September 27: Ending Violence Against Children Requires a Strong Social Service Workforce
- Day 5, September 28: Actions for Realizing a Stronger Social Service Workforce
Webinar, September 27 - The recording, presentations and summary are now available from the webinar 'Ending Violence Against Children Requires a Strong Social Service Workforce,' hosted by the Alliance, UNICEF and the Global Partnership to End Violence.
Social Service Workforce Week 2017
The 2017 Social Service Workforce Week highlighted why we need to advocate for a stronger workforce to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including the goals related to violence, migration and health. Daily themed blogs, worker profiles and related resources helped to increase attention and action for strengthening the social service workforce.
- Day 1, September 25: Why do we need to advocate for a strong social service workforce? by the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance
- Day 2, September 26: How does the social service workforce contribute to SDGs related to violence? by Roger Pearson, Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Adviser, Child Protection, Programme Division, UNICEF
- Day 3, September 27: Strengthening the Workforce to Deliver Psychosocial Support for Refugee Women and Girls: Lessons from Northern and West Nile in Uganda, by Dinnah Nabwire and Joseph Zzimula, TPO Uganda
- Day 4, September 28: How the social service workforce is vital to helping achieve the SDGs related to health and well-being for all, by Dr. Tapfuma Murove, Chief of Party, 4 Children at Catholic Relief Services, Nigeria
- Day 5, September 29: Many Voices are Greater than One: How you can advocate for the social service workforce to achieve the SDGs, by Nicole Brown, Global Social Service Workforce Alliance.
Social Service Workforce Week 2016
The 2016 Social Service Workforce Week focused on “Building the Case for a Stronger Social Service Workforce.” Daily blogs reviewed the reasons a stronger workforce is needed to best care for vulnerable populations, and how this can be achieved. Read each day's blog below.
- Day 1, September 26: Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Full speed ahead to a stronger social service workforce
- Day 2, September 27: Navigating Speed Bumps Ahead: Developing competencies for para professional workers
- Day 3, September 28: Building Roadmaps for the Workforce Strengthening Journey with Improved Data
- Day 4, September 29: Engineering Case Management Approaches
- Day 5, September 30: Advocacy that Moves the Social Service Workforce to the Fast Lane
Social Service Workforce Week 2015
The 2015 Social Service Workforce Week focused on the role of community level workers. Read the daily blogs to learn more about this important aspect of work.
- Day 1: Community Workers are the Backbone of a Strong Social Service Workforce, by Amy Bess, Coordinator, Global Social Service Workforce Alliance
- Day 2: Preventing and Addressing Violence Against Children: The important role of the community level worker, by Grace Mayanja, Chief of Party, USAID SUNRISE-OVC Project, Uganda
- Day 3: Supporting Community Level Social Service Workers to Promote Better Health Outcomes, by Carol Bales, IntraHealth International
- Day 4: The Role of Community Level Social Service Workers in Care Reform, by Stela Grigoras, Partnership for Every Child, Moldova and Florence Martin, Better Care Network
- Day 5: A Competency Framework for Para Professional Social Service Workers, by Jim McCaffery, Chair, Global Social Service Workforce Alliance Steering Committee
There were many excellent examples of how other organizations promoted the week and shared resources in 2015 about the para professional workforce.
- IntraHealth International blog on VITAL: Social Service Week Celebrates Community Level Workers
- ChildHub for South East Europe website
- NASW Social Work blog
- American International Health Alliance's video: Training Para Social Workers in Tanzania
Social Service Workforce Week 2014
The first Social Service Workforce week was held in April 2014 as a means to raise awareness for the Alliance and garner support from members, organizations and the public around the issue and importance of social service workforce strengthening. A blog and other resources were released each day during the week.
Read the blog posts from each day:
- Day 1: Supporting Families, Building a Better Tomorrow for Children, by Zeni Thumbadoo, Deputy Director, National Association of Child Care Workers, South Africa
- Day 2: It Takes a Team – An example of integrating systems of care for abused children in the Philippines, by Dr. Bernadette Madrid, Executive Director, Child Protection Unit Network, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines
- Day 3: Leading the Way to the Future – Preparing Future Social Service Leaders, by Dr. Nathan L. Linsk, PhD, Professor of Social Work in Family Medicine, Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Day 4: Understand the Workforce –Who are they, what do they do and how can we help them do it better? by Maury Mendenhall, MSW, Senior Technical Advisor, Orphans and Vulnerable Children, US Agency for International Development
- Day 5: Making Sure the Workforce Has the Support it Needs, by Dr. James McCaffery, PhD, Senior Advisor, Training Resources Group and CapacityPlus