Social workers working in the conflict and war zones in Europe
30 October 2020
11:30 – 13:15 (Central European Time)
(here you can check the time in your country: https://time.is/ro/CET)
ONLINE – ZOOM PLATFORM
IFSW Europe invite you for a webinar on: Social workers working in the conflict and war zones in Europe
Many colleagues requested IFSW Europe to organise a space for discussion on the role of social workers and the way of dealing with contradictions in the conflict and war zones.
In the middle of unprecedented crisis caused by the health, economic and social impacts of COVID-19, too many people in Europe are facing extensive loss and trauma caused by conflicts and wars.
Although, the number of total armed conflicts has declined in recent years in Europe, the consequences of ongoing conflicts and wars remain devastating for people and extremely challenging for social workers. The conflicts and wars are not affecting only the countries direct involved, but also the neighbouring countries or countries that receive refugees from the combat zones. Many of the countries that belong to IFSW Europe are directly affected by conflicts or wars: Northern Ireland, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Israel, Greece, Belarus, Ukraine….
Conflicts and wars cause significant losses; people simultaneously experience loss, pain and problems on different levels of life. Those who are caught in the conflict and combat zone suffer from serious physical injuries, lose of friends and family members and the lose of their support system and the feeling of safety and security.
Those who survive need support to get through periods of traumatic stress and reorganization of personal and family life.
The experiences reported by social workers regarding their professional intervention in the conflict and war highlight the need to develop an understanding of the support to be provided to victims and their families, but also the support that social workers need in order to be able to work in such extremely traumatic working conditions.
Whether working in hospitals or in the community, the intervention of social workers is absolutely necessary for people going through trauma caused by conflict and wars.
Social workers provide support in communities or in camps for internally dislocated people or refugees. They provide shelter, provide social counselling to assist the victims with their trauma, mobilize resources for victims, ensure protection of children and other vulnerable populations who lost the protection of their families, provide support for family reunification and contribute to a strategy to transfer them to hospitals or safety zone.
Those social workers that are active in the hospitals work closely:
– with the medical personnel to support families that have their loved one in the hospital as a result of injuries
– or with the police to support families of victims who have been killed.
Social workers walk with people through processes that are extremely traumatic.
In the conflict and combat zone, social workers should be included in the emergency plan of hospitals, or they have to develop an emergency plan for the social services in communities or camps for internally dislocated people.
But along with the discussion about the support social worker provide, it is necessary to discuss the support social workers are receiving in order to maintain their resilience in such difficult time. Social workers are part of the communities that are facing conflicts and wars. Therefore, they are also affected by the traumatic events.
Social workers cannot influence the course of a conflict or war, but they can influence the resources that are mobilised for the support of the people affected and they can ask the governments to became active in supporting people affected.
It is important that social workers increased the visibility of needs for services and resources.
During the webinar we will discuss the risks that social workers are facing in such extraordinary conditions, but also the strengths of the profession they can use in order to help people while maintaining themselves resilient in conflicts and wars.
The webinar will take place online on the ZOOM platform.
Those registered will receive an email on 29 October 2020 with the link for the webinar.
Participation at the event is free of charge, but registration is compulsory. The registration deadline is 28 OCTOBER 2020.
IFSW Europe does not provide the participants with certificate of attendance for this webinar.
Kindly note that IFSW Europe release certificate of attendance only for conferences and trainings.
Ana RADULESCU, President IFSW Europe