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Webinar 10: Connecting People. Transforming Lives: The Launch of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance

Webinar Recording and summary

Click here to view the full webinar.

On June 6 and 7, 2013 the Global Social Service Workforce Strengthening Alliance hosted its tenth webinar to electronically launch the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance.

The webinar served as an opportunity to learn more about the Alliance and the importance of initiatives to strengthen the social service workforce.  Representatives from academic institutions, United Nations agencies, government, NGOs, professional associations, corporations and donor organizations from seventeen countries attended, offering unique and diverse insights into challenges and opportunities facing this workforce.  Included in this discussion was an introduction to the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance, information on how to register as a member of the Alliance and an overview of the vision for the future of this invaluable workforce and the lives it transforms. 

After an opening video display of quotes from supporters, Ummuro Adano, the Deputy Director and Senior Technical Advisor, Capacity Building at Management Sciences for Health opened the discussion with a brief history of the Alliance, highlighting the formative role of the  Social Welfare Workforce Strengthening conference that took place in Cape Town in 2010. Adano cited many of the challenges the social service workforce faces but also emphasized that the path ahead is promising, with many innovative and effective interventions underway to expand and strengthen this workforce.

Amy Bess, the coordinator of the Alliance built upon Adano’s overview with an introduction to the Alliance website and the benefits and process of becoming an Alliance member. The website is both a source of information for the general public and the platform to bring members together to highlight, share and advance innovative approaches to strengthen the workforce. Members interested in joining the Alliance can read more about the benefits of membership prior to registering.

Jim McCaffery, Alliance Steering Committee Chair, moderated an engaging question and answer session that galvanized a dynamic conversation and wide participation of the participants from across the globe. Points of discussion spanned from supporting the social service workforce at the community level to gaining government support and advocating at the national and global levels. Common themes of the conversation included the need for increased educational opportunities, developing career path options and increasing funding levels in order to sustainably increase the efficacy of the social service workforce. The discussion also highlighted that a greater understanding of the workforce and its value will act as a key component of advocating for increased sources of support for the workforce. 

As the webinar came to a close participants continued to share resources, contact information and professional development opportunities including upcoming conferences, current education programs and training opportunities. Encouraged by the high number of participants and wealth of information shared between the 150 people in attendance over the course of two webinars, many provided words of gratitude for the actualization of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance.

In his closing remarks, Ummuro Adano mentioned that there was great hope for the future of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance and the workforce it represents. Noting that the workforce is a key building block of complex social service systems that ensure welfare and protection when it works effectively, he encouraged each attendee to become an active member of the Alliance. His final words embody the purpose of the Alliance, “Let’s join hands, stay connected, and transform lives.”