10 July 2014

The First Global Report on Social Work and Social Development: Promoting Social and Economic Equalities

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‘The First Global Report on Social Work and Social Development: Promoting Social and Economic Equalities’ was launched in Melbourne, Australia today. “This marks a historic moment in the evolution of social work, bringing together practitioners, educators and social development workers in a shared vision”, said Dr Rory Truell, IFSW Secretary-General.

The report is built on examples of effective social work practice from around the world, illustrating the essential contribution of social workers to communities. IFSW Global Agenda Coordinator, Dr David N Jones, said: “social workers have an ethical duty to focus the world’s attention on the realities of social conditions and on the positive and effective solutions available to individuals, communities and governments”.

The report highlights the growing social crisis resulting from increasing inequality. The evidence from social work practice finds that:

People cannot be developed by others: Our frontline experience has taught us that to escape from poverty and oppressive situations, people need to be actively involved in their own futures.

The cornerstone of a thriving economy is a stable, well-resourced and educated community: All too often governments argue that they cannot afford to invest in community, whereas our frontline experience informs us that investing in community stimulates entrepreneurship, skill development, cultural innovations and business growth and widens opportunities for young people, men and women.

People are happier and wellbeing is better for all in more equitable societies: The massively unequal distribution of wealth causes more social instability, health and crime problems, negatively affecting everybody

When people have a collective voice they are more able to advocate for their rights and participate in decision-making processes resulting in better wellbeing.

The report is the first in a series of bi-annual statements developed by IFSW and its global partners. The reports will be published at the joint world conferences. The focus of the next two years will be the Agenda theme, ‘Promoting the Dignity and Worth of People’ which will be the subject of the next report to be published at the world conference in Seoul in 2016.

Read the report