I am very pleased to send this short greeting to the Japanese Social Care Services Association and to all Japanese social workers on Japanese Social Workers’ Day being celebrated on July 20.
Japanese social work has made a significant contribution to the development of social work around the world and continues to make a distinguished contribution to the International Federation of Social Workers and the International Association of Schools of Social Work. I learnt a lot about the strengths of Japanese social work when I visited your country recently and was grateful for your kind hospitality and the opportunities to learn about social work practice in Japan.
As I meet social workers around the world, I sense that, wherever they are working, social workers are wanting to re-assert their professional vision and to influence the environment in which they practice. In these difficult economic times, governments and societies are recognising the social stresses for individuals and groups. In many senses there is a growing social crisis, made worse by the consequences of climate change and global social mobility. Governments are looking for solutions – and social work is a major part of the response.
That is why IFSW, IASSW and ICSW have launched a consultation about the future agenda for social work. We are orchestrating a global consultation process within and beyond social work, involving social workers at all levels and from all countries, to identify key issues for our profession, to develop our agenda, and to set our priorities for the second decade of the 21st century as we face up to the social crises of the 21st century.
I hope that each of you will play a part in this consultation and that you will join us for this historic conference in Hong Kong in June 2010.
I send very best wishes for your social work day in Japan and thank the Japanese associations for their continued contribution to global social work.
Dr David N Jones