International Handbook on Social Work Education

International Handbook on Social Work Education

International Handbook on Social Work Education

International Handbook on Social Work Education

Synopsis

Experts from around the world fill a major gap about social work education with their survey of the state of the field in more than 23 countries within the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia and the Pacific. This reference guide also considers social work education from a comparative and global perspective in terms of current problems and future prospects. Social workers, educators, academics, and professionals will gain from the country studies, international overview, and lengthy bibliographies.

Excerpt

Katherine A. Kendall

The challenge of global interdependence to social work education was thoroughly explored at the 16th International Congress of Schools of Social Work held in July 1992 in Washington, D.C. The full impact of political upheaval and global change has clearly not yet been felt, but what was clear to educators from around the world was the extent to which the problems with which social workers deal transcend all national boundaries. The recital of worldwide social problems seemed endless: poverty; hunger; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; substance abuse; street children and the homeless; new waves of refugees, migrants, and displaced persons; environmental deterioration; and many more.

The chapters in this book reflect the global nature not only of social problems but of the functions served by the social work profession. For social work educators, an outstanding feature of the historical events of recent years was the discovery by Eastern European countries of social work and its methods of professional preparation as a positive force for social betterment. This has led to new possibilities for educators to undertake foreign assignments, notably in Eastern Europe and even in communist China, where social work training programs have been reestablished after a hiatus of thirty-six years. American educators are among those who eagerly seek to take advantage of such opportunities.

This awakens memories, not generally known, of the involvement of American social work educators in many ground-breaking firsts in international cooperation specifically related to social work education or social welfare services. The U.S. Congress in 1939 passed its first law on international cooperation, establishing a program of bilateral exchange with Latin America. The first "participant" training of any kind conducted under the new legislation involved the development of trained people for the social welfare field. A series of ongoing projects, planned cooperatively with Latin American directors of schools of social work, was conducted by the Inter American Unit of the U.S. Children's Bureau in cooperation with the American Association of Schools of Social Work (now the Council on Social Work Education). After World War II, the Inter-American Unit was renamed the International Service, with a greatly extended program of educational exchange, involving experienced or intending . . .

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