Special Interest Groups held in July, 2018 at the SWSD2018 Conference, in Dublin, Ireland

Groupwork in Social Work Education, Practice and Research:                                Being and Joining Together!

Here are photos of 2 Special Interest Groups (Groupwork in Social Work Education, Practice and Research: Being and Joining Together), held on July 6, 2018 at the Social Work and Social Development Conference in Dublin, Ireland. Carol S. Cohen (United States), Linda V. Ducca (Spain) and Roshini Pillay (South Africa) facilitated both sessions at this Conference co-sponsored by IASSW, IFSW and ICSW. 

The first session, conducted in Spanish and English, was open to all conference attendees, drew 35 participants from approximately 15 countries.

June 2018 Dublin SWSD Conference Groupwork Special Interest Group (Morning) (1)

The second session, with representatives of 5 countries, was more informal, and drew people who were familiar with the IASWG and who had attended similar sessions in the past (including IASWG Board Member Shirley Simon).June 2018 Dublin SWSD Conference Groupwork Special Interest Group (Afternoon) (1)

Feel free to contact us:

Carol: cohen5@adelphi.edu

Linda: lducca@ucm.es

Roshini: roshini.pillay@wits.ac.za



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Groupworkers around the world will find the May 2018 issue of Social Dialogue, focusing on Arts in Social Work, of great interest!  You can access the entire issue at: https://socialdialogue.online/

From the EDITOR-IN-CHIEF:  Carolyn Noble, Co-Chair Publications Committee and Executive Editor of Social Dialogue  

Again, we are pleased to launch the 19th edition of social dialogue with the focus on Art and Social Work. The call for articles resulted in an overwhelming response as you will see from this edition and we are very pleased with the result. Professor Ephrat Huss from Israel is Guest Editor and along with her colleague Professor Eltje Boss have gathered an impressive array of articles. Through their academic work and research in the use of Art in Social Work as a teaching, engagement practice and research methodology we can see how Art and various forms of creativity such as drama, theatre, photovoice can enhance the work of practitioners and academics who work with vulnerable communities and explore ways to analyse and address the social issues they face in their daily lives. As relatively new approach to practice this edition highlights the many circumstances in which the use of creatively can enhance the well-being of people and communities offering a new approach to practice that engages directly with the very people experiencing problems in their lives. Enjoy!

From the GUEST EDITORS:  Professor Ephrat Huss, Chair: Arts in Social Work MA Specialisation, Ben Gurion University of the Negev AND Eltje Bos Professor of Cultural and Social Dynamics, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Introduction to the Special Issue: Arts have much to contribute to social work theory, practice, teaching and research: Indeed, from the large response we received for the call for this special issue, we learn that art is relevant for service users, as a phenomenological, embodied and culturally embedded method of communication with self and with others. Social art focuses on an ecological gestalt of person-in-context, as compared to psychological theories that understand art as a projective expression of the decontextualized subconscious. Social art is also different from fine arts that create art products disconnected from the creator, and that are in dialogue with discrete fine art discourses. Social art correlates to social work’s central epistemology of “person in context” through the compositional tension and interrelationship that art creates between actor and stage, tune and accompaniment, dancer and space, and subject and background.  

(To Read More: https://socialdialogue.online/)

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Don’t miss out: Call for Abstracts!!

SWSD Call for Abstracts


We would like to remind those wishing to submit their abstracts for SWSD 2018 to do so by
Wednesday, November 8th, at midnight (UK Time).
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Groupwork in Social Work Education, Practice and Research: Being and Joining Together


Conveners: Carol S. Cohen, Sagrario Segado Sanchez-Cabezudo and Linda Ducca Cisneros   EASSW-UNAFORIS 2017 European Conference 29 June 2017, Paris, France.  Click Here for more information: Report 2017 July Workshop at the EASSW Paris France

Session Abstract

Group participation appears central to human experience,

well-being and the promotion of social justice. However,

while the power of groupwork is indisputable, social work

educators and practitioners identify critical reductions in the

quality and scope of groupwork education, training and

services. Groupworkers rarely have opportunities to join

across borders to talk about successful approaches and

challenges they encounter.

This session’s purpose is to:

– Bring us together to share experiences and research;

– Develop strategies to strengthen groupwork in social

work education.

Resumen de la sesión

La participación grupal es central a la experiencia humana,

al bienestar y a la promoción de la justicia social. Sin

embargo, aunque el poder del trabajo grupal no se discuta,

profesores y profesionales del trabajo social identifican una

disminución de la calidad en el alcance de la educación, la

formación y los servicios de trabajo grupal.Las trabajadoras

de grupo, tienen pocas oportunidades para compartir, más

allá de las fronteras, los enfoques exitosos y desafios con

los que se encuentran.

El propósito de la sesión es:

– Unirnos para compartir experiencias e


– Desarrollar estrategias para fortalecer el trabajo

grupal en la formación en trabajo social.

Proposed Session Outline

• Welcome and Introduction to Our Session Today

• Introductions by Participants (Please Sign the Attendance Roster)

– Names, affiliations, and share a groupwork highlight

• Discussion of Groupwork Opportunities and Challenges

– Issues we face in our practice and education in groupwork

• Building and Sustaining our Connections

– Networking strategies for communication

– Resource sharing

– Research, practice and teaching collaborations

– Planning for 2018 World Conference in Dublin, Ireland and

other conferences and venues.

• Closing and Next Steps (Time For Our Photo)

– How did we come together today?

– What are our next steps for moving forward?

Propuesta de sesión

• Bienvenida y presentaciones de la sesión de hoy.

• Presentaciones de los participantes (Por favor firmar la lista)

– Nombre, institución, y compartir algún aspecto importante de grupos.

• Discusión acerca de las oportunidades y desafíos del trabajo


– Cuestiones a las que nos enfrentamos en la práctica y en la formación

en trabajo grupal.

• Crear y mantener conexiones.

– Estrategias de redes para la comunicación

– Intercambio de recursos.

– Colaboraciones en la investigación, la enseñanza y la práctica.

– Planificar la Conferencia Mundial en Dublin (2018, asi como otras

conferencias y eventos.

• Cierre y próximos pasos (Hora para nuestra foto)

– ¿Cómo fue la reunión de hoy?

– ¿Cuáles son los siguientes pasos para seguir adelante?

What are we Doing? How do we Connect?

As we share experiences and discuss local and

international perspectives on group work in social

work and social development:

• Are there themes emerging from our discussion?

• What opportunities and challenges appear in group

work across geographic boundaries and fields of


How Can We Support and Sustain our

Work Together?

• Are there emerging collaborations and ways to

sustain participants’ connections after the session?

• Are there possible resources and linkage with

existing networks that can be identified and


• Are there opportunities for partnerships in

education, practice and research?

Moving Forward with Group Work: How

Will Our Work Today Inform Our Future


• How can we summarize workshop content,

commitments, and next steps going forward?

• Can we identify possible venues for continuing

discussion, including upcoming conferences?

Upcoming Conferences

• International Association for Social Work with Groups

(IASWG): June 2018, Kruger National Park, South Africa:


• International Association for Social Work with Groups

(IASWG): June 2019, New York City, US: http://www.iaswg.org

• IFSW, IASSW, ICSW Joint World Conference on Social

Work, Eduation and Social Development July 2018, Dublin,

Ireland http://www.swsd2018.org

• IASWG Group Work Camps 2017, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin,

USA AND Quebec, Canada: http://www.iaswg.org





History of This Type of Session

Since 2004, similar sessions have been convened by

social work educators who are affiliated with the

International Association for Social Work with Groups


Previous Interest Groups included discussion of ways

to enhance organizational and educational support for

groupwork, explorations of cross-national and crosscultural

practice and education, and development of

issue focused teams.

International research partnerships, including some

presenting at IFSW, IASSW, IASWG and EASSW

conferences, were incubated through Special Interest

Group on Groupwork conversations.

Adelaide, Australia

(World Conference 2004)

Adelaide 2004

Munich, Germany (IFSW) 2006

Durban, South Africa

(World Conference 2008)

Chicago, 2009 – Global Groupwork Project’s

partners were invited as the Plenary Speakers

at the International Symposium of the IASWG

Stockholm, Sweden

(World Conference 2014)

Melbourne, 2016

Convened by Carol S. Cohen (United States), Sharima Ruwaida Abbas

(Malaysia), and Carol Irizarry (Australia), over 30 Joint World Conference

attendees participated in a Special Interest Group on Groupwork .

Participants from: Australia, Austria, Canada/Quebec, China, Hong Kong,

Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, South Africa,

United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.

Additional Special Interests

Group in Social Groupwork

• Parma, Italy (European Association of

Schools of Social Work), 2007

• Bonn, Germany (United Nations NGO DPI

Conference), 2011

• Seoul Korea (Social Work and Social

Development Conference), 2016

Expanding Connections

International Association for Social Work

with Groups (IASWG): http://www.iaswg.org

IASWG Commission on Social Work

Education in Groups (Contact: Co-Chair,

Carol Cohen): cohen5@adelphi.edu

Global Group Work Project:



Thank You!!

We look forward to our continuing work together

as groupwork practioners, educators and

scholars, and most of all to expand benefits of

effective group participation by members and

communities internationally.

Carol Cohen: cohen5@adelphi.edu

Sarario Segado Sanchez-Cabezudo:


Linda Ducca Cisneros: lducca@ucm.es


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2018 IASWG Symposium, June 6th – 9th, 2018


Join us in South Africa next year for the 2018 IASWG Symposium at Kruger National Park. This video offers a helpful overview of the Skukuza Rest Camp, in Kruger National Park, the location of the symposium. Call for Proposals will be available in the upcoming months. 

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Some Upcoming Events

Hi Global Group Workers!  Please see the Conference announcements.  These are great opportunities to participate and present your work.  The IASWG Symposium this June in NYC is still open for registration, and the Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development (SWSD) 2018 is now accepting calls for papers.  See below for more information.


Call for Papers: Opening Soon

Opening: June, 2017

The Fifth Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development (SWSD) 2018 will explore the theme ‘Environmental and Community Sustainability: Human Solutions in Evolving Societies’.

We will be seeking abstracts relevant to the following themes:

  1. Linking Environmental and Sustainable Development
  2. Role of Social Workers in fulfilling the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
  3. Income, wellbeing, employment and poverty
  4. Relationship-based practice: Promoting the Importance of Human Relationships
  5. Evidence informed interventions
  6. Strengthening education to meet the needs of communities
  7. Identity, discrimination and social exclusion
  8. Community development and social enterprise
  9. Health, mental health and disability
  10. Conflict, violence, migration and human trafficking
  11. Engagement with people who use services
  12. Rights of Families and Children
  13. Life Span Perspectives and Issues
  14. Ensuring the sustainable and ethical use of technology in human services*
  15. Women’s Issues Focused Stream **

We would welcome abstract submissions that offer diverse / interactive presentation styles, for example, the use of social media, alternative visual aids, joint input with service users, etc. Abstracts can be submitted under different categories:

  • Poster Presentation
  • Short Presentation (‘Pecha-Kucha’ 6 slides per 6 minutes / 6 minute multimedia presentation/with themed interactive round table discussion)
  • Full Oral Paper (15 minutes presentation/workshop)
  • Symposium (4-6 papers under one theme)
*  The technology-related theme will be organized by husITa and form part of the #husITa18 stream of human service technology presentations within the conference.  If you wish your presentation to be made as part of #husITa18 please select theme No.14 when submitting your abstract.
To find out more about #husITa18 and other human service technology related activities – please click here.**  The Women’s Issues Focused Stream will be organized by the Women’s Committee of the International Association of Schools of Social Work.  If you wish your presentation to be made as part of this Stream select theme No.15 when submitting your abstract. Papers relating to gender, feminism and women’s issues are not restricted to this stream and can be submitted under any of the other themes as appropriate also.
To find out more about the Women’s Issues Focused Stream please click here.
Website Home

About the Venue

The Royal Dublin Society (RDS) is one of Ireland’s most historic venues. Just ten-minutes from the city centre, it is the ideal location to experience Dublin from. More >>>

Important Dates

There is lots happening over the next year for SWSD. Keep up-to-date and download this handy important dates infographic. Download Here.

Industry Partnership

If you’d like to partner with SWSD 2018, please contact the team to discuss how best to reach our delegates and achieve your goals.More Here >>>

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Post in Honor of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017

Re-posted from the Global Social Work Alliance: http://www.socialserviceworkforce.org/

Championing the Role of the Workforce in Advancing Women’s Rights

On International Women’s Day, we reflect on opportunities to achieve gender equality

As we celebrate and mark International Women’s Day, we must consider and reflect upon the best ways to advocate for women’s issues globally. It is also an ideal time to take stock of the important role of the social service workforce toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 5 that calls for gender equality.
In a guest blog by Dina Kastner, Field Organizer for the National Association of Social Workers, United States, she highlights how marches are one tool for mobilizing social workers in support of women’s issues. Read her blog “The Role of National Associations in Organizing Social Workers to Advocate for Women’s Rights.” A guest blog by Molly Fitzgerald, Plan International USA, highlights the significant inequalities women and girls face, and the heavy burden placed upon the social service workforce as a result. Her blog “Global Goals Require Gender Equality and a Strong Social Service Workforce” demonstrates the urgency for strengthening the workforce to thereby advance the rights of women and girls.

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IASWG Symposium will be June 7-10, 2017 in New York City Proposals for Papers and Workshops are due by January 31st – Proposals for Students’ Posters are due by March 15th

Group Work in Challenging Times:

Creative Strategies for Facing Change

International Association for Social Work with Groups


In an increasingly adversarial and complex world that affects our lives on so many levels, group work has taken on an even greater importance. Those of us committed to group work know what a powerful resource it can be for addressing and often healing the misunderstandings and conflicts that underlie difference in all its forms. IASWG exists, and our mission as group workers, is to keep group work wisdom and practice alive and thriving so that people, groups, communities, and the planet can change, survive, and flourish. 

The International Association for Social Work with Groups, co-sponsored by the New York University Silver School of Social Work, invites group work students, practitioners, researchers, faculty, agency administrators, community workers and activists, and group workers from various professional disciplines, to submit proposals for presentations:

  • Presentations are 30 or 60 minutes; comprised of didactic learning interactive discussion, or skill building with an experiential component.
  • Posters are visual representations of research, practice, or training initiatives and are displayed at designated times during the Symposium.

Proposals may be submitted in English, French, Spanish or German, and sessions at symposium may be conducted in these languages as well.

The International Association for Social Work with Groups, co-sponsored by the New York University Silver School of Social Work, invites group work students, practitioners, researchers, faculty, administrators, community workers and activists, and group workers from various professional disciplines to submit presentations proposals. Proposals are welcomed in all areas of group work, especially related to group work practice in a variety of settings, multicultural practice, group work in developing countries or underserved communities, community development, activist group work practice, group work research and training.

For more information, please visit www.iaswg.org or email symposium@iaswg.org. All presenters must be active/current members of IASWG, and be registered for symposium.

Questions about Submitting Your Presentation

Once you have submitted the title of your presentation you will automatically receive an email that includes a password-protected hyperlink. If you must interrupt the submission process before finishing it you can resume at any time by clicking on the hyperlink in that email. You can view and modify your submissions up until the submission deadline. (All deadlines are enforced at 11:59 PM Eastern USA time). After the deadline you can still view your abstract. 

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The State of the GGWP

Greetings global group workers!  As many of you are aware, there are tremendous changes going on in our global political systems and the values for which they stand. The recent election in the United States is just the latest of a series of monumental changes going on in our global community and these trends are stirring up anxieties for many individuals and groups, particularly those who are more marginalized and vulnerable.  The statement below was recently released by our global partner, the International Association for Social Work with Groups (IASWG).  This brave and powerful statement captures the essence of what group work stands for and what capacity it has to provide strength and inclusion in times such as the present.  We hope that you will find it meaningful and inspiring as we all experience a call to action at this time.

The Time for Group Work

 The climate is changing. In many parts of the world, respect for people who are different from ourselves has diminished and communities feel fractured. Dialogue is too often replaced by bombings and vitriol; hate-filled populism blasts reasoned, respectful understanding.

It is not difficult to see why many people feel alienated; they themselves are disrespected and disempowered by increasing inequality, job insecurity and a sense that the important decisions are no longer within their influence.

We need to find ways to become inclusive, to celebrate our differences and to generate a powerful sense of togetherness. There has never been a more urgent time to bring communities together towards a mutual understanding and a respect, not just for humanity, but for the planet as a whole.

Social groupwork can create security where there is uncertainty, a feeling of belonging where there is alienation, and a vehicle for positive communal action where there is a sense of helplessness. It has been used to unite and give voice to people in the aftermath of conditions that seemed beyond repair. Through social groupwork, nations, communities and individuals can repair. This is the hopeful message that IASWG and its members offer to the world.

IASWG stands against oppression and disenfranchisement. As social groupworkers, we stand for and advocate for creating spaces for respectful dialogue to expand our worldviews and perspectives in community with each other.

Contact us. Let us know how you are using group work to repair the world. Ask us how we can help you in this process.

It’s time for group work.

 Statement by the International Association for Social Work with Groups, November 2016, www.iaswg.org  
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EASSW-UNAFORIS 2017 European Conference Social Work Education in Europe: Challenging Boundaries, Promoting a Sustainable Future JUNE 27, 28 AND 29, 2017


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