In November 2010, the US Government’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), under the auspices of the Technical Working Group for Children Orphaned and Made Vulnerable by HIV/AIDS, organized a global conference in South Africa to highlight the challenges facing the social service workforce and to explore strategies for addressing these challenges at a country and global level. The PEPFAR-funded Social Welfare Workforce Strengthening Conference: Investing in Those Who Care for Children was part of a long-term effort by the US government and other donors to draw increased attention and mobilize additional assistance for this workforce.
The conference brought together teams from 18 countries to review this body of knowledge, share experiences and promising practices and develop concrete action plans for strengthening the workforce. Each team included representatives from relevant government ministries, non-governmental organizations, donor organizations, social work training institutions and professional associations. The diversity within these teams provided an opportunity for multidisciplinary problem solving and team building.
Participants celebrated the conference as the launch of a new global movement intended to not only strengthen the social service workforce but also contribute to stronger, more effective social service systems. The Global Social Service Workforce Alliance was proposed to facilitate ongoing support for country-level and global actions and an Interim Steering Committee (ISC) was established to move this agenda forward.
The Launch of the Alliance
The Alliance marked its official launch as a network on June 6, 2013 through two well-attended webinars entitled “Connecting People, Transforming Lives: The Launch of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance.” Also on this day, the website was unveiled and the Alliance became open for members to join. Read more background information about the launch here. You can also view the full recording of the launch webinar here.
Many organizations publicized the launch. Read some of their articles and blogs:
- USAID - Launching the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance
- CapacityPlus - New Alliance Aims to Strengthen the Social Service Workforce
- International Federation of Social Workers - Electronic Launch of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance
- MSH - New Global Social Service Workforce Alliance Launched
- National Association of Social Workers - Strengthening the Social Service Workforce: The Global Social Service Workforce Alliance Celebrates its Launch
- HRH Global Resource Center - Launch of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance
To view all of the Alliance's milestones, outputs and future plans, visit our timeline.