World Social Work Day has become a time to recognize achievements in the arena of social work as well as raising support for the vital role that social workers play in families, communities and society as a whole!
History of World Social Work Day
The first official observance of World Social Work Day took place in 2007, but the day has roots that go back much further. In 1983, the UN International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) was led by Jack Kamaiko who proposed that social workers from the local area in New York be invited to the UN Headquarters. This launched an annual celebration that eventually became World Social Work Day.
Originally, the purpose behind the day was to include social workers in a conversation about how to interpret the actions and work of the United Nations within the profession as well as providing an opportunity to collaborate on humanitarian issues.
Each year, the organizers of World Social Work Day provide a theme that allows individuals and groups to connect with a different aspect of the profession. In the past themes have included topics such as:
- Social Work – Making a World of Difference (2007)
- Promoting the Dignity and Worth of Peoples (2015)
- Promoting the Importance of Human Relationships (2020)
- Respecting Diversity through Joint Social Action (2023)
How to Celebrate World Social Work Day
Get involved and connected with World Social Work Day by implementing some of these ideas for the day:
Show Appreciation to a Social Worker
Those who have family members, friends or colleagues who are social workers might want to mark their calendars for World Social Work Day as an opportunity to show some love and appreciation for the work they do. People in the field of social work are often over-extended and under-appreciated, so some pampering and appreciation is especially helpful on this day. Take a social worker out to lunch, gift them with a massage, surprise them with their favorite cup of coffee or find another way to treat them in honor of the day!
Attend a World Social Work Day Event
Get involved with World Social Work Day by attending an educational seminar, webinar or some other event that promotes the goals of transformative change for a better future in social work. Enjoy listening to messages from influential speakers, sharing stories through breakout sessions, connecting over specific topics and themes, and much more. Check out the day’s webpage for more information.
Promote World Social Work Day
People who are passionate about social work can promote the day by sharing information, statistics, photos, or quotes about the topic on social media where they can raise awareness about some of the issues. Member organizations of the IFSW can also host and promote various World Social Work Day events through the IFSW webpage, with posters and promotional materials that are available in more than 20 languages.