The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and the Social Work Workforce Research Special Interest Group (WRSIG) have agreed a new partnership to host an informal global network of people interested in research about the working environment of social workers.
The WRSIG is a network of social work academics who are interested in this broad research area, ensuring they have a platform to connect ideas and collaborate on studies, publications and funding applications. It is co-convened by Dr Paula McFadden, Ulster University, Ireland; Dr Pia Tham, Gavle University, Sweden; and Dr Maija Mänttäri-van der Kuip, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. The SIG already includes people from across the globe and will now benefit from the extra reach and visibility offered by IFSW.
IFSW has a long-term research partnership with Bath Spa University and Ulster University, which explores the working conditions of social workers around the globe, using a mixed-methods approach. The partnership will inform IFSW policy and advocacy and support member organisations in their national activities supporting social workers.
‘The overarching aim of WRSIG of the European Social Work Research Association, is to support networking opportunities and ensure the effective use of social work workforce research and knowledge’, said SIG Chair Dr Paula McFadden. ‘The partnership with IFSW will broaden our scope and reach, enabling us to inform practitioners, employers, educators, professional bodies and regulators around the world to create knowledge to improve working conditions and support best practice for service users, families and carers and groups.’
‘Social workers provide absolutely essential services in all countries around the world and are crucial to building functional societies and economies as well as responding to national or global emergencies’, said Dr Rory Truell, IFSW Secretary-General. ‘Yet they are expected to work in some of the most difficult working environments and frequently lack effective understanding and support from employing bodies. This partnership will enable IFSW and our partners to shine a stronger spotlight on the reality of the environments in which social workers have to operate and provide mutual support to often isolated researchers.’
The WRSIG held a full day SIG event on 12 April before the ESWRA conference.
To join the network, visit WRSIG and sign up.