March has been a very important month for all social workers in the world. The Armenian Association of Social Workers joint the social workers worldwide to celebrate the World Social Work Day on 19th of March.
The Armenian Association of Social Workers united social workers from in Armenia during a week (on March 18- 22) as well as representatives of state and non-state agencies, international organizations and donor society with the aim to promote the professionalization of social work services. In this regard a series of events started. In particular:
March 18th: AASW invited a round table meeting at the Yerevan State University with the professors of all universities in Armenia where social work is educated with the aim to promote the harmonization of educational programes, upgrading educational standards and bringing them into line with international standards.
March 19th:On this day, AASW invited a press conference to voice the challenges faced by social workers in practice and attract the attention of policy and decision makers at all levels. The speakers of the conference were: Dr. Mira Antonyan (AASW President); Mrs. Astghik Minasyan (Head of the Social Assistance Department at the RA Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs); Mr. Artak Khachatryan (Chair of Social Work and Social Technologies at the Yerevan State University) and Ms. Anna Martirosyan (practitioner in health sector).
March 20th: Within the framework of Week of Social Work, another special event was launched by the AASW, by bringing more than 100 youth aged 13-18 aged from the entire country to the Parliamentarian hearing held at the National Assembly of Armenia. This has been one more step towards promotion of participation and inclusion of beneficiaries of social services in decision and policy making processes. The meeting highlighted the importance of having clear mechanisms for youth to be heard. It was agreed that such events will be continuous and the young people will be given platform especially at the Comission on Social Issues, and Commission on Human Rights of National Assembly to raise their voice.
March 21st & 22nd:On the fourth and fifth day of the week AASW launched a conference on “Qualified Social Services: Accountable Social State” The Conference brought together all actors of social protection system including state and non-state agencies, international donor organizations with the aim to raise the issue of professionlisation of social service workforce as well as the issue of increasing the efficiency social services in the country.
In her speech the AASW President Dr. Mira Antonyan highlighte the following:
“This year’s message of the International Federation of Social Workers to which AASW is a proud member since 2005, is the Promotion of the Importance of Human Relationships. In fact social work is about transferring human relations into a constructive field. It is about stimulating the creation of a supportive environment in a way that people act self-sufficient without any dependency from public and private assistance programs. My congratulations to all social workers who are engaged in this important work”.
At the end of the two-day conference the participants made a statement summarizing the principles of organizing professionalization of social services. Eventually the proposals and the agreed approached shaped in the frame of the conference will be reflected in the draft Law on Social Work, which is currently at its last stage of revision.