The following definition was approved by the IFSW General Meeting and the IASSW General Assembly in July 2014:
Global Definition of the Social Work Profession
“Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledges, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing.
The above definition may be amplified at national and/or regional levels”.