IFSW President David N Jones was in Helsinki Finland this week to join Talentia, the Finnish social work union, in their 60th birthday celebrations. Nicolai Paulsen, IFSW European President, also took part. David was a speaker at the annual practice methods conference; his presentation (in Finnish and English) will be on the IFSW website.
Nicolai and David also contributed to a workshop on the revision of the global definition of social work which started the consultation process in Finland. Presentations from Finnish academics and the IFSW team will also be on the website.
The visit was not all about serious matters. There was also time for the birthday party. Talentia was honoured with a government reception at Saatytalolle, the main government hospitality building in Senate Square, Helsinki. The Minister for Health and Gender Affairs welcomed delegates and made a speech recognising the value and importance of social work in Finland and the significant contribution of Talentia throughout its 60 years. Delegates then went on to an informal party at Biotek with a lively rock band playing nostalgic hits.
During his stay in Helsinki, David Jones also had 2 seminars with student groups, meetings on EU matters (with Nicolai Paulsen) with staff from Akava, the umbrella organisation for professional unions, and discussions with Talentia officers and members.