Picture – Palle Peter Skov
The Danish Association of Social Workers Celebrates Successful Social Worker Days 2023. On November 15th and 16th, The Danish Association of Social Workers celebrated Social Worker Days 2023 (Dansk Socialrådgiverforening)
The Danish Association of Social Workers is dedicated to promoting the rights and well-being of social workers, recognizing the vital role they play in society.
The successful event brought together over 600 social workers actively engaged in vulnerable, social, health, and employment sectors, managers, coordinators, researchers, and teachers. This fostered a dynamic exchange of ideas and experiences across different facets of the field.
Social Worker Days serves as a testament to the association’s commitment to strengthen the professional community and contribute to the ongoing development of social work in Denmark. The event provided a unique opportunity for social workers to connect, share insights, and collaborate on strategies to address the evolving challenges within the social work areas.
Highlights of Social Worker Days 2023 included keynote speeches, panel discussions, and interactive workshops covering a wide range of topics relevant to the social work profession. During the conference, social workers conducted a total of 52 workshops, covering a diverse range of topics.
The opening of the conference was conducted by Signe Færch, the president of the Danish Social Workers Association. She delivered an inspiring speech that reflected on both the challenges and achievements of social workers. She reported that over the last 10 years, the number of social workers in Denmark has increased by 44%. Consequently, there is now a more informed understanding among decision-makers, managers, and politicians about the profession. She emphasized the pressing need for additional social workers, particularly in complex areas requiring specialized assistance.
Signe Færch praised Danish social workers for successfully conveying this message to a broader audience, attributing this success to their daily dedication and demonstration of the pivotal role social workers play in fostering connections, coordinating efforts, and facilitating social mobility. She emphasized that if we want better social and employment efforts, it starts and ends with skilled social workers.
During Social Worker Days 2023, Signe Færch advocated for professional development, emphasizing that, as social workers, we operate in a continually evolving world. This demands a forward-looking perspective and the courage for ongoing self-reflection.
The Danish Association of Social Workers was honoured to welcome Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil, the Minister of Social Affairs and Housing, as a distinguished guest speaker at Social Worker Days 2023. Minister Rosenkrantz-Theil shared insights into the government’s commitment to collaboratively developing legislation with social workers, emphasizing the importance of a holistic approach to ensure a coherent and effective response.
In her address, Minister Rosenkrantz-Theil highlighted the necessity of legislation that aligns with a holistic perspective, recognizing the diverse needs of vulnerable populations. She underscored the need for a comprehensive system of support that adapts to individuals’ capacities, enabling them to navigate through the complexities of social services effectively.
The Minister provided attendees with an update on the current status of the government’s efforts towards implementing a holistic approach. The transparency in the government’s stance fosters an environment of collaboration and shared responsibility between policymakers and social workers.
A dedicated workshop on the holistic approach further delved into the nuances of this critical topic. Social workers actively participated, gaining valuable insights and preparing themselves to contribute meaningfully to upcoming debates surrounding the legislation on the holistic approach.
The discussions underscored the mutual understanding between the government and social workers, emphasizing the collaborative nature of developing legislation that genuinely meets the needs of the most vulnerable in society. The Minister spoke about the Rise to Rise project. In one office they gathered a strong team within the Employment Administration, Social Management, Children and Youth, Health and Welfare as well as the Culture and Citizenship Service. The result is that citizens no longer have to knock on door after door to get help. They just need to turn to Rise to Rise, no matter what kind of support and effort they need.
And the numbers speak for themselves, too. Absence of children and young people from school decreased by 25 percent. Youth employment increased by 66%.
The Danish Association of Social Workers applauds Minister Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil for her commitment to inclusivity and collaboration in shaping legislation. The Association remains dedicated to working hand-in-hand with policymakers to ensure that the voices of social workers are heard and that legislation reflects the nuanced realities of the individuals they serve.
Ana Radulescu, President of the European Region of the International Federation of Social Workers, actively participated in and inaugurated the conference with a speech on “International Social Work in War and Peace,” centred on exploring lessons learned and the transferability of experiences into different contexts. The presentation emphasized the unique challenges faced by social workers, advocating for the development of context-specific models rather than adopting predetermined ones. This tailored approach promotes flexibility, responsiveness, and continual reflection, acknowledging that social workers thrive when afforded time for introspection, knowledge development, and skill adaptation.
The framework for resilient social workers involves: Reflection: Facilitating a critical assessment of experiences; Knowledge Acquisition: Ensuring ongoing relevance in a rapidly evolving field; Skill Adaptation: Enhancing responsiveness in addressing emerging challenges.
This comprehensive approach empowers social workers to meet the dynamic needs of the communities they serve, fostering adaptability and effectiveness.
The presentation also addressed the complex task social workers face in defining their professional identity during emergency response situations. In these critical moments, priorities shift, and public attention to the roles of social workers diminishes significantly. Despite the importance of clarifying professional roles during such times, social workers may find themselves lacking the necessary context and energy for these efforts. This challenge was acknowledged as an area demanding collective attention and strategic initiatives within the social work community.
Attendees had the chance to engage with thought leaders, gain valuable perspectives, and participate in meaningful discussions that will contribute to their professional growth. The Danish Association of Social Workers expresses gratitude to all participants, speakers, and sponsors who contributed to the success of Social Worker Days 2023.
The association looks forward to building on this momentum and continuing to support social workers in their crucial role in building an inclusive society.
▶️ ▶️ ▶️ The Danish Association of Social Workers demonstrates significant engagement at the international level through its participation in IFSW Europe. Nicolai Paulsen currently holds the position of IFSW European Commissioner for Education, while Birthe Povlsen has served as a member of the Executive and is the designated IFSW Representative to the EAPN. Notably, Birthe Povlsen is actively involved in preparing the IFSW European Poverty Watch Report.