Swansea University hosts a transatlantic celebration of ‘World Social Work Day 2017’

On 21st March 2017 Swansea University was pleased to host a transatlantic celebration of World Social Work Day, along with key partners; ‘British Association of Social Workers’ (BASW) Cymru, Cardiff University, and the University of Houston, Texas.

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This conference was designed to support delegates’ exploration of the key theme; Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability with a bi-regional approach between Swansea UK and Houston, USA.  The aims of the conference were threefold:

  • to facilitate dialogue to inform current understanding
  • to devise ways to work across institutional divides
  • to propose next steps for research, policy and practice interventions

The event was organised by Jo Rees (Senior Lecturer, Post Qualifying Social Work Programmes Director and Internationalisation Lead for Social Work, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University) and Dr. Patrick Leung (Professor of Social Work, Graduate School of Social Work, University of Houston, Texas).

Jo Rees said of the event, “It has been an honour and a pleasure to work with our key partners in order to celebrate this invaluable profession. I would like to thank all of the speakers and delegates for helping make it such a vibrant event. Particular mention must be made of Patrick Leung, University of Houston, and my colleagues from College of Human and Health Sciences for their support and assistance. In addition, I would like to express my particular thanks and admiration to my IT colleagues for their technical wizardary: Mark Burden and Charlie Burns from Swansea University, and David Nguyen from University of Houston."

The day comprised of top-quality presentations and discussions on a range of interesting topics from all partners, including:

 A group of young people (Brittany, Ellie, Emily, Caitlin and Darren, City and County of Swansea) who produced a bespoke film for the event on, 'Young People's Views on Social Work', together with several discussions, presentations and case-studies around promoting; ‘Community and Environmental Sustainability’ from varying perspectives.

The event was well-attended by BSc and MSc Social Work Students from Swansea and Cardiff Universities, service-users and social work practitioners and educators. The event represents just one element of the strong continuing partnership between Swansea University and the University of Houston. The next representation of this partnership will be the launch of a joint seminar series, which will allow us to examine some of the topics covered at this event in more detail.

 Delegates attending the conference commented:

"I really enjoyed the day - the link with Houston worked really well, to have that different perspective."

"the presentations were educative and triggered some deep thinking, linking social work and our environmental and human problems in general."