20-23 June, 2023
20-23 June, 2023
ISSSP & Porto Congress Center Alfandega
Porto Leixões Cruise Terminal
The European Association of Schools of Social Work and Institute of Social Work of Oporto (Instituto Superior de Serviço Social do Porto) announce the 2023 European Conference on Social Work Education, which aims to be an international forum for dialogue and discussion about concerns, challenges and practices in social work education.
In times when freedom and democracy are challenged by environmental crisis, war, insecurity, and the growth of extreme-right movements in Europe, the overarching themes of the conference are respect for diversity, equality, and the achievement of socially responsible societies. The conference promotes the mission of the EASSW towards the inalienable rights of the individual, freedom, justice, and peace to foster cooperation, collegiality, and solidarity. It builds further on the Tallin conference’s 2021 themes of resilience and innovation in working together in partnership for safer and environmentally sustainable futures.
Bridging solidarities: coping with moral emotions
How can social workers foster and maintain bridging solidarities? And what does our knowledge about bridging solidarities imply for social work education? In encounters between social workers, volunteers and citizens with a migration and/or refugee background, cultural differences can be serious obstacles. Social workers often find creative, practical solutions to coping with cultural difference, thereby fostering bridging solidarities. We will discuss some of these creative inventions and their implications for social work education. However, in practice other issues (than cultural difference) are often equally or even more pressing. Issues like how to achieve reciprocity and equivalence in the interaction. Or how to cope with moral emotions such as compassion, duty, gratefulness, and pride. We will therefore also discuss how such moral emotions can be obstacles to fruitful interaction between different groups and what social workers can do to overcome them and foster bridging solidarities. The lecture is based on international literature as well as on empirical research on encounters between social workers, volunteers and people with a migration and/or refugee status in the Netherlands.
Calling for care in technological societies: Ethical boundaries and impacts on social work education
Over the last few years, many scientific works have been reflecting on how technology influences Social Work processes, values and principles. Although it contains positive elements that can be used in favour of more creative and strategic social intervention, the technologization of processes and interactions does not cease to involve renewed and highly complex issues. Reflection around the ethical thresholds of the professional relationship, for example, and the redefinition of deontological principles become central. How is it possible to ensure privacy and confidentiality and prevent dual relationships? How can social work implement cultural competence to apprehend the multidimensionality of the problematics experienced by audiences from different cultures that populate the same spaces (even virtual spaces)? How is it possible to bridge the digital divide in accessing and understanding social, economic and political rights? The talk will discuss concepts such as “digital empathy”, among others, and advocate the need for a renewed ethics of care permeated with ethics of justice and “digital intelligence”. The construction of a fair care society is affirmed as the humanist axis in a society that runs the risk of concealing what is human. This implies a renewed advocacy around diversity, the creation of bonds, sustainability and justice, which uses technological means and tools in the best way but goes beyond them to build a conscious and consistent humanism. The role of Social Work in building this renewed ethical-political project is central, but educational models must also be revisited. A brief reflection on the axes for the transformation of educational models in Social Work in the light of ongoing transformations will constitute the closing topic of the communication.
After the second world war, the western world committed to fundamental social rights that came to be considered as inalienable. However, we live in an era where we are witnessing a reversal of these rights. Freedom and democracy are currently being challenged both by external issues, for example, the war in Ukraine, and by internal issues, such as the growth of extreme right-wing movements. In this topic, participants are invited to discuss the impacts of these recent changes and present projects or strategies outlining how Social Work Education can continue to uphold the profession’s core values and committment to rights within such a challenging context.
This theme focuses on recognition and understanding of diversity, reducing inequalities and promoting empowerment and hope to transform oppressive conditions.. This concerns the history of colonisation and imperialism and multiple forms of inequalities, including health, safety, and economy, which intersect with structural life conditions of privilege and marginalization such as age, able-bodiedness, ethnicity, gender, and race. Presenters in this thematic group are invited to share knowledge and discuss practices linked to intersecting inequalities.
For decades, we have developed social work methods, assuming that they will be implemented in a democratic environment. Today we can see how fragile this assumption is as we witness the rise of authoritarianism across Europe. To such challenges as radical capitalism, right-wing extremism or populism, we can add the most complex and topical question of social work (education) in totalitarian / authoritarian countries: how can we help to strengthen communities in the fight for fundamental rights, awakening in them a sense of responsibility and collective agency? Presenters in this group are asked to explore that question.
We live in a time of environmental crisis where social work education and practice are faced with the need to develop responsive knowledge and pedagogical strategies. Presentations in this thematic group are invited to elaborate on projects, methodologies and practice skills that promote diverse forms of environmental sustainability in SWE across different approaches, such as ‘indigenous-, ‘environmental-’, ‘eco-social-‘, ‘green-‘, ‘(post-)anthropocentric’ social work.
Scientific research and professional practice have shown that the different forms of artistic expression (music, theatre, dance, poetry, visual- and digital arts) are particularly effective pedagogical tools for social intervention and transformative learning. They also contribute to the development of alternative languages to the usual technocracy of Social Work. Presenters in this thematic group are invited to share knowledge and discuss theoretical departures and pedagogical practices linked to the use of different forms of expression in SWE.
Never before has an entire generation experienced a pandemic in real time context. All social, economic, and political structures had to adapt in record time, as did universities and SWE. Education was transformed to take place through a digitalised environment. In this theme, participants are invited to present educational strategies, research and intervention projects that have been examples of such adaptations.
Registration includes lunches for the 21st and 22nd of June