International Federation of Social Workers – IFSW

‘The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) is a global organisation striving for social justice, human rights and social development through the promotion of social work, best practice models and the facilitation of international cooperation. IFSW supports its 90 members organisations by providing a global voice for the profession.’ ANZASW is a member and has representatives who participate in the work of the IFSW and in this way ANZASW participates in the global development of the profession.

IFSW Connect enables social workers to create professional networks with your peers from around the world. Connect enables members to form discussion groups, engage with networks and share resources with colleagues. For a limited time only, Connect is free for the first 12 months. After 12 months, membership to Connect will cost just USD$20 per year.

Global Definition of the Social Work Profession

The following definition was approved by the IFSW General Meeting and the IASSW General Assembly  in July 2014:

“Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work.  Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledges, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing.

The above definition may be amplified at national and/or regional levels”.

This definition is the result of extensive, independent consultation. Explanatory notes and more information is available here>>.

The Training Manual on the UN Convention, entitled Social Work and the Rights of the Child document is available here>>.

The Human Rights and Social Work: A Manual for Social Work Schools and the Social Work Profession (Published by the United Nations: New York and Geneva: 1994) is also available here>>.

The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), and the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW) have collaborated to develop ‘The Global Agenda for social work and social development commitment to action (March 2012)’. The Global Agenda was presented on UN Social Work Day, 26 March 2012. 

There are a range of IFSW Policies, including: