Asia-Pacific Joint Regional Workshop
Examining the Updated Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training
On February 19, 2022, the Asian and Pacific Association for Social Work Education (APASWE) co-hosted a 3-hour online workshop with the International Federation of Social Workers Asia Pacific Region (IFSW-AP). ‘Examining the Updated Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training’ was chosen as topic and we welcomed social work practitioners, administrators, educators, researchers, and students. Altogether, approximately 300 people registered in advance and 100 participants joined us real time on the Zoom platform. The workshop was also livestreamed on YouTube and the recording is available on the IFSW channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjgDE9ZdVFQ&t=7412s), were it gained an additional 335 views as of April 20, 2022.
The Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training (https://www.iassw-aiets.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/IASSW-Global_Standards_Final.pdf) were updated by the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) and the International Federation of Social Workers Asia Pacific Region (IFSW) in 2020. Translated into several languages, this new document has been shared with social work educators and practitioners through their respective regional and national organizations. The updated version includes new content for schools of social work and educators regarding educational mission and principles related to social change and other current issues, as well as specific items for the overall revision of social work education. However, the full content of the updated document is yet to fully reach the professional social work community in the Asia Pacific Region, where we face several challenges as we engage in educational reform.
To study the content of the new Global Standards and to discuss challenges and opportunities regarding reform, APASWE agreed to jointly organize this regional workshop with IFSW-AP. It was moderated by Mariko Kimura (IFSW-AP Regional Education Commissioner) who welcomed the participants. Vasilios Ioakimidis (IFSW Education Commissioner), who co-chaired the revision of the standards, provided a global perspective and introduced to the new document in his keynote speech titled ‘The Updated Global Standards: The Global Revision Process and Expectations towards Schools’. This was followed by national reports by regional speakers form each hosting organization on challenges and opportunities in implementing the updated Global Standards on the national level.
Representing Australia, David Rose (APASWE President & IASSW Vice President) presented on social work education and the implementation of the new standards in the country. Seyed Hassan Mousavi Chelak (IFSW-AP Regional Ethics Commissioner) spoke about social work training in Iran and the challenges that the Global Standards are posing. Teoh Ai Hua (IFSW-AP Honorary Secretary) from Malaysia provided an overview of social work education on the national level and discussed the possibility of the updated standards from a quality control point of view. Finally, Jowima Reyes (APASWE Board Member) shared experiences with regard to challenges and opportunities in implementing the Global Standards in the Philippines.
Additionally, to learn from other regions, we welcomed members of the New Social Workers Project from Europe. Rita Luis from Portugal, Ketevan Lekishvili from Georgia, and Maria Perez Bandera from Spain presented about the results of the project so far, including the findings of a survey on social work education and transition to practice. Their presentation was followed by a Q & A session with the audience and discussion between the presenters. After concluding comments by the moderator, closing remarks were delivered by IFSW-AP Regional President & IFSW Global Vice President Rose Henderson and APASWE President & IASSW Vice President David Rose.
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