The Danish Association of Social Workers consists of abt. 15.000 members – all of whom holds a degree as a professional social worker or are students. This is 90 percent of all professional social workers in Denmark.
The Danish Association of Social Workers has full bargaining powers and represents all professional social workers at national level and at local level. The association is a member of the Danish “white collar” TUC: FTF.
The Danish Association of Social Workers safeguards the interest of its members on a range of issues such as working environment conditions, influence on management of social services, basic training, further education, ethics etc. It publishes its magazine Socialrådgiveren (= “The Social Worker”) every two weeks.
The Danish Association of Social Workers engages itself in a number of important social policy issues and participates in the public debate. It has a special goal of providing information on general experiences and provides information on evaluation of social services just as it defends and aim to develop the rights to better services for the clients.
More than 50 Years of Involvement with Social Work
Following the creation of a formal training course for social workers in Denmark the need for a professional association was identified. From the very small beginning an interest in both working conditions and the development/safeguard of the profession and its working methods (ethics) went hand in hand – forming a historical and solid foundation for the present day association.
Serving all areas of public services – and a few private
In accordance with Danish history and tradition social services are normally a publicly run and financed affair. Social workers in Denmark were always aware of the need to organize and stand together. Not only to look after own interests but also to support the development of the social services.
Training social workers – the basis for good services
The Danish Association believes that good basic training and fine opportunities for further training are a must when aiming at maintaining the high level of professional social work and the development of both the profession and the services. A general consent on the need to walk together towards the same goal is generally accepted in Denmark – yet social workers must often point out the need to improve basic training and to create a variety of offers for further education – ranging from a yearlong course to shorter courses or seminars.
International commitment and development – a united approach and effort
The Danish Association of Social Workers has for a number of years been a member of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and has a long history of commitment to international cooperation.
The commitment comes a long two parallel lines:
A commitment to support and assist social work development in developing countries and to back colleagues there in their struggle to organize groups of social workers and to develop social services locally.
Support under this heading comes from the Solidarity Funds of the association which over the last years have assisted projects, exchange visits but also individual social workers who have been experiencing “rough” times when fighting for own or clients’ rights.
The Solidarity Funds of the Danish Association has through the years supported
- an exchange programme with our Chilean colleagues
- a center for victims or torture in Chile
- development of the Nicaraguan Association of Social Workers
- published a large number of extra copies of the UN Manual on Teaching in Human Rights
- a seminar on human rights and social work held in Manila
- a project in Zimbabwe which aims at assisting the development of the National Association of Social
Workers commitment to assist the social workers in Kirgizstan
A commitment to assist the development of the International Federation of Social Workers. This has mainly been carried out through a very active work effort within the European Region and the Liaison Committee for Social Workers in the European Union – the Danish Association runs a small secretariat for the latter.
Together with The National Federation of Social Educators and The Social Intermediary we constitute The Danish Coordination Body for membership of International Federation of Social Workers.
The Danish Association was host of the IFSW European Seminar in 1983 and of the global conference on HIV/AIDS & Social Work in Copenhagen, August 1995. This conference was a joint project of the Coordinating Committee for Nordic Associations of Social Workers – of which the Danish Association is a dedicated member.
In 2003 The Danish Coordination Body hosted IFSW European Conference together with EASSW, The Schools of Social Work in Europe.