Celebrating 50 years of international social work, the International Federation of Social Workers celebrates its Golden Jubilee.
The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) is a global organisation striving for social justice, human rights and social development through the development of social work, best practices and international cooperation between social workers and their professional organisations. We are very pleased to celebrate our 50th anniversary in Munich in 2006, where we started out – on 9 August 1956.
IFSW is celebrating its 50th anniversary in Munich in 2006 and it is fitting that we have now returned to the city where the revitalised IFSW convened in August 1956. During the intervening years we have grown steadily from having member organisations in 12 countries to 80. We have over the years established a solid framework and moved IFSW from being a cooperation tool for a limited group of western colleagues to a global body of social workers serving a platform for professional identity across borders. Through a number of world and regional conferences, the development of core international documents to guide social work concepts and practices and ongoing representation at the United Nations and other international bodies, IFSW is today the global voice of social work practice. The vision expressed in 1956 for IFSW to “find definite ways and means for contact between national associations with the aim of raising the professional level of their members” has become a reality.
– Imelda Dodds, Sydney
Background to the setting up of IFSW (Pre-1956)
IFSW’s beginnings go back to the early part of the last century:
- At the First International Conference on Social Work held in Paris in 1928, the suggestion was made that an International Association of Social Workers be formed
- At the Second International Conference on Social Work held in Frankfurt in 1932 provisional statutes of the International Permanent Secretariat of Social Workers (IPSSW) were agreed by 8 founding members – Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. IPSSW was initially based in Berlin.
- Finally at the Fifth International Conference on Social Work held in Paris in 1950 an agreement to form a new body was approved provided that seven national bodies became members – achieved in 1956 when the Inter- national Federation of Social Workers was formed in Munich. A new Secretariat was established in New York, sharing office with the National Association of Social Workers.