Faculty of Social Work, University of Ljubljana
8th Congress of Social Work
November 16 and 17, 2022
The future of social work: profession, politics, action
In the light of the new challenges brought by the COVID-19 virus pandemic, the Eighth Congress of Social Work is returning to questioning the role and tasks of social work in extraordinary, as well as other diverse circumstances in society. In addition to the important challenges already known (such as poverty, social exclusion, violence, migration, precarization, media attacks, increasing bureaucratization in individual areas), which we have tried to address at previous congresses, new ones came to the fore in 2020. Challenges such as a sharp rise in domestic violence, even greater inequality, the complete isolation of certain groups, the tendencies towards desire to privatize the public sector, the restriction on education and research. On the one hand, these challenges reminded us of the great connection and interdependence of the whole society (both at the level of individuals as well as professions and science), while on the other hand they showed the great importance of good mutual cooperation between all actors in social work, both to maintain the importance of the professsion and for wider social benefit.
Social work is essentially cohesive, encourages cooperation and contributes to the development of integrated responses to ever-new challenges. In the last decade, we have proven this by developing approaches and knowledge aimed at innovative responses to complex situations, which represents a special contribution of social work in the field of social care and in cooperation with other disciplines and sciences. The time of emergency encourages professionals in social work even more to explore our work, approaches and how successful we are in addressing the challenges of users as well as the challenges of the profession and science of social work. In this context, an important question is also which competencies social workers need to have to work in a changed situation and how these competencies can help us become a respectful and responsible ally for a better society.
The Eighth Congress will provide an opportunity for professional networking and the strengthening of the community of social workers as well as networking with the related professions that work together with social work in various areas of our society (social care, health, education, justice, economy, NGOs, local community, etc.). The congress will be dedicated not only to the sharing and deepening of theoretical and professional knowledge, but also to the exchange of experiences, good practices and research findings.
The leading topics of the congress:
- Social work in emergency situations (COVID-19, etc.), challenges and responses to them,
- Monitoring, evaluation and other research of introduced changes in the field of social work,
- Social work in interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral cooperation and networking in addressing complex societal challenges (long-term care, mental health, addictions)
- Identity and competencies in social work,
- Social work and the deepening social inequality.
- The Association of Social Workers,
- The Association of Centres for Social Work,
- The Association of Social Institutions,
- The Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia,
- The Social Chamber of Slovenia