Social Work Voices Responding to Global Crises: Together we Develop the Agenda

The focus in Malaysia is more on promoting discussions on the four areas of the Agenda to showcase what Social Workers do and what issues need to be raised. We also include responding to global crises as they relate to the four areas. In many parts of the world the issues facing social workers are the cutbacks due to the economic situation. In others it will be environmental disaster. Each country will have its own priorities. What are ours?

The Agenda will be presented to the UN during next year’s World Social Work Day.
Why have an Agenda?

  • Strengthen our impact on the global stage so it translates into benefits for the marginalised and all those we seek to help
  • Lift our voices in the arena of social development – give more attention to primary causes & social justice.
  • Contribute our knowledge and approaches to global issues – recognising that these global issues have direct impact on our communities.
  • Advance our work agendas and support for each other – working together we can do more.

1. Social & Economic Inequalities within countries & between regions
Implications of growing inequalities:
  • More marginalisation of populations & working poor
  • More vulnerability of poor people in places without adequate social protection
  • Danger of community disintegration
Think of the differences between East & West Malaysia, within Sarawak –between Malaysia and Indonesia - how do these inequalities impact on people’s lives? Your clients?

2. Core to Social Work Values – need to give special attention to:
  • Respect for diversity – including first peoples Human rights issues
  • People caught up in conflict /People charged/How global conflict & terrorist threats are handled
  • Migrants, refugees, immigrants, trafficked people.
How can we protect people’s dignity & uphold their worth in our daily work?

3. Importance of Human Relationships
  • Children & Families
  • People with Disabilities
  • People needing health & medical services
  • People who are ageing
  • People with drug and substance abuse
  • People suffering from violence within domestic and intimate relationships
The essence of humanity : attachment; handling loss; belonging: security; acceptance.

4. Environmental Sustainability
  • Disasters of natural & human origin – management & prevention
  • Involvement of local communities in developing responses
  • Protecting the physical environment
  • Proactive engagement with social, human and ecological development
Think of recent global and local events : across all categories is about people interacting with their environment


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A number of universities now offer joint MBA-MSW degrees.,,

Launched by Man Utd, UNICEF UK and UNICEF Malaysia (Disability Inclusion Campaign)
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National Competency Standards
for Social Work Practice

  1. Enhancing Social Work Professionalism
  2. Joint Statement


  • Be an active advocate for professional competencyin social work practice, education and research
  • To be a relevant forum for assessing, identifying and managing social problems
  • To be an effective resource of professional support to its members
  • To participate dynamically in networkingwith government and non-government agencies locally and internationallyin the pursuit of professional competency in all areas of social work.


  • To seek professional competency in social work practice, education and research.