Globalization and Social Work: International and Local Implications

Lyons, Karen
April 2006
British Journal of Social Work;Apr2006, Vol. 36 Issue 3, p365
Academic Journal
Globalization can seem a remote process, related only to the economic and commercial world. However, it impacts (differentially) on the work opportunities and living conditions of populations around the world and has also influenced thinking about welfare policies, including through state provision. It thus has implications for the practice and education of social and community workers in both affluent and poverty stricken states. In addition to social professionals who seek opportunities to work internationally, globalization is also affecting the practices of those who would previously have seen their work as essentially rooted in local conditions and community needs. This paper therefore gives some examples of the ways in which local practice may have cross-border and international dimensions, drawing on experiences in the child-care field, particularly in the UK and European context. The author indicates how international social work courses are aiming to equip specialist international social workers, while also arguing for the development of educational programmes which prepare ‘local’ social workers for practice in an interdependent world.


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