The Alliance hosts an annual symposium to provide a forum for social service practitioners, academics, students, policy makers and advocates from around the world to discuss efforts to strengthen the social service workforce. Previous topics have focused on the role of the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of evidence to ignite support for the workforce, developing and implementing national workforce strengthening strategies, strengthening the continuum of care for children and families, and more. The recordings, presentations and summary reports from each symposium are found below.
2023 Symposium: A Decade of Progress, A Future of Promise
This year's symposium was held virtually on 26 October. Officially launched in 2013, the Alliance was originally conceived during the Social Welfare Workforce Strengthening Conference, in Cape Town, South Africa in 2010, when teams from 18 countries joined together to share experiences and address key challenges facing the social service workforce at a national, regional and global level. To commemorate our 10th anniversary as an Alliance, the Symposium offered a retrospective view of the Cape Town conference and the impact it achieved, both in the participating countries and globally. Then, through a deep dive into the experiences of three other countries—Viet Nam, Rwanda and Romania—it explored the different ways countries have made progress in strengthening their workforce over the past decade and will highlight the continuing and emerging challenges facing the workforce in each country.
2021 Symposium: Social service workforce in and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic
The Alliance and Children and Families Across Borders co-hosted the 2021 Symposium, titled: The social service workforce in and beyond the pandemic: A global conversation on adaptation, innovation and the fight for social justice. Over 260 participants from across the globe joined the virtual event on 15 September 2021 to discuss experiences and insights related to the impact of the pandemic on social service practice, education and training, and the role of the social service workforce in social justice.
2019 Symposium: Using evidence as a catalyst for advocacy
The 2019 Symposium, held 7 May 2019 in Washington, DC and via live webcast, focused on using evidence as a catalyst for advocacy efforts to support the social service workforce. A total of 313 individuals and 13 watch parties participated from 42 countries. They heard speakers share experiences and lessons learned from recent comprehensive social service workforce mappings and assessments in 32 countries.
2018 Symposium: Implementing national workforce strengthening strategies
The 2018 Symposium, held 8 May 2018, focused on developing and implementing national workforce strengthening strategies. Presenters from three country-based panels shared their strategies and a final panel spoke on a Call to Action for greater support to this workforce.
2017 Symposium: Innovative case management approaches
The 2017 Symposium, held 24 May 2017, raised support and awareness of innovative case management approaches carried out by the social service workforce, a key component of a strong social service system that needs planning, developing and supporting to best serve at risk children and families. The symposium was co-hosted by 4Children.
2016 Symposium: Strengthening the continuum of care
The 2016 Symposium focused on ways in which planning, developing and supporting the social service workforce has changed over the past five years and has led to more effective services for children and families and a stronger continuum of care. Nearly 300 participants participated in the event either in-person in Washington, DC, or through the live webcast.
2015 Symposium: A review of the state of the social service sorkforce
The 2015 Symposium focused on ways in which planning, developing and supporting the social service workforce can lead to more effective services to children and families and stronger systems of care. View the event recording, presentations summary report and press release.
2014 Symposium: Supporting families, building a better tomorrow for children
During the 2014 Symposium, expert presenters discussed current initiatives underway to strengthen the social service workforce and improve systems and services that keep families and children at the heart of the work and promote wellbeing, protection and healthy development.
View the recording of the first panel on the topic of how social service workers support families to promote healthy development and well-being of children. View the recording of second panel presentation on the topic of how social service workers support and equip community members engaged in child protection. View the summary report and blog on key takeaways.