World Social Work Day

Happy World Social Work Day

History of World Social Work Day

World Social Work Day is promoted by the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW). Since 1983, the Federation, an international, non-governmental organisation of social workers, has collaborated with other organisations to promote international cooperation and recognise the achievements and contributions of social workers around the world. Every year, the organisation focuses on a different theme. Some of the previous themes have included 'I Am Because We Are – Strengthening Social Solidarity and Global Connectedness' (2021), 'Promoting the Importance of Human Relationships' (2020), 'Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability (2017), and 'Promoting the Dignity and Worth of Peoples' (2015).

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The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest professional social worker membership organisation. The NASW platform promotes professional growth and development among its members to establish and maintain professional standards for social workers and advance sound social policies. The IFSW is the profession's global governing body. The federation and its registered members strive for social justice, human rights, and inclusive, sustainable social development through promoting social work. They also encourage sustainable practices and participation in international cooperation.

World Social Work Day History
World Social Work Day Timeline

World Social Work Day reinforces the idea that we are all connected and that our future is dependent on everyone's participation in creating a socially just future. Anyone, including social workers, partner organisations, and those concerned about the future, can come together to change our world for the better on World Social Work Day.


What is World Social Work Day?

World Social Work Day is a celebration dedicated to highlighting the accomplishments of social work, increasing awareness of the critical role of social services in society's future, and defending social justice and human rights.

World Social Work Day is observed annually on the third Tuesday of March. It has evolved into a high point in the social work calendar, with social workers worldwide honouring and promoting the profession's contributions to individuals, families, communities, and broader society.

In 2007, the first World Social Work Day was observed with the theme "Social Work - Making a World of Difference."


World Social Work Day in 2022

World Social Work Day is held on the third Tuesday of March each year, falling on Tuesday, 15 March 2022.

The theme for World Social Work Day in 2022 is 'Co-building a New Eco-Social World: Leaving No One Behind' and coincides with the theme of the people´s summit that will take place from the 29th of June to the 2nd of July. 

It's the day that we celebrate the social work profession and promote the vital work of social workers globally.

The theme outlines a vision and action plan for establishing new global values, policies, and practices that foster trust, security, and confidence among all people and contribute to the planet's sustainability. World Social Work Day 2022 will be a high-profile opportunity for the social work profession to mobilise all social service networks and the communities in which they work to contribute to the values and principles that ensure that all people's dignity is maintained through shared futures.


World Social Work Day in 2023

Tuesday, March  21, 2023, will be held as 'World Social Work Day' in the following year.

How do social workers create a better world?

“Social workers help people reach their potential in whatever their life context may be. This help is based on the most valuable asset we have, the humanity of our relationships. Social workers create a better world because no matter what happens they will uphold and protect this most valuable asset and use their skills, knowledge and talent to ensure – as the theme of World Social Work day says – no one gets left behind.”

Colum Conway, Chief Executive, Social Work England

“By helping each individual that they come across in their professional life to be the best they can be, by bringing out their strengths and where necessary provide appropriate support to do that.”

Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, Chair, Social Work England

“Social workers empower individuals by adapting their approach, so that the individual can be independent and live a meaningful life.”

Yasmeen Abdul-Rahim, member of the National Advisory Forum and expert by experience

“In the dark times we have all been through and continue to witness every day, social work has never felt more relevant or important. The impact social workers have on people’s lives is profound, long lasting and often life changing. Social workers highlight injustice, fight for those they work with, and show the importance of valuing all people.”

Sarah Blackmore, Executive Director – Strategy, Policy and Engagement, Social Work England

“Be actively anti-racist and call out racism of all kinds.”

Nimal Jude, Head of Practice Development, What Works for Children’s Social Care

“Social workers create a better world through compassion, understanding the complex reasons that people behave as they do, and supporting people to feel more capable and better equipped to cope with life. Even when they have to make difficult decisions, acting with respect and compassion can make such a difference to people’s ability to process these events.”

Julie, Case Examiner, Social Work England

“I am available to people during periods in their lives when they are experiencing the most difficult of times. To be respectful and honest, to value the lived experience that is being shared with me, and to influence change. Working for Social Work England provides me with the opportunity to be part of an organisation raising the positive profile of social work, and to increase confidence that the highest standards of practice are being promoted.”

Nicholas, Triage Case Officer, Social Work England

“Social workers have great responsibilities to their local and indeed global communities. They impact society with their far-reaching duty of care to citizens.”

Most Reverend Dr Bishop Audie F. Cummings, BeSpoke London Metropolitan University experts by experience group

“Social workers create a better world by being by people's sides, holding hope and helping people to lead the lives they want.”

Doreen, Mental Health Social Worker

“Social workers empower those we work with. We bring together all those important to help achieve better outcomes.”

Alistair, Adults Social Worker

“As the circle of life continues, social workers strive to enable positive changes in individuals lives, together.”

Jackie, Practice Education Development Lead

“Social workers create a better world by making things a bit less bad than how we find them, by being pragmatic, kind and realistic. I am not there to heal the world; I am not there to change your life. You are there to do that, should you want to. I am there to make small changes with you so that, maybe, tomorrow is slightly better because of us working together.”

Becky, Case Examiner, Social Work England

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