Call for Abstracts

Organizers: Department of Social Work, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, the University of Bucharest in collaboration with the Association of Schools of Social Work in Romania (ASSWR)

Conference dates: November 8th – 9th, 2018

Conference venue: Faculty of Sociology and Social Work (90 Panduri Street, Sector 5, Bucharest)

Conference languages: English


The Social Work Department of the University of Bucharest is pleased to invite submissions for presentations at the 3rd edition of the Social Work International Conference (SWIC) to be held in Bucharest between November 8th and 9th, 2018.

Worldwide, social work is at the juncture of various influences, being subject to external, as well as internal, pressures. At the same time, these pressures are encountered both at international and local level in social work education, in practice and (maybe to a lesser extent in) research. Some of these challenges are discussed below and are proposed as potential starting points for the contributions submitted to the conference:

  • At the level of education, external challenges include factors such as the increased focus on performance indicators for teaching and learning, the need of universities to adapt the social work curricula to labor market requirements, the political interference and budget constraints. Internal challenges include but are not limited to: the involvement of service users in education, the tension between generalist and specialist social work education, further academization of social work education, preparing students for changing social realities, attracting motivated students to social work education and maintaining the interest of students for post-qualifying social work practice, etc.
  • Social work practice is under the influence of external social, economic and political actors/factors, being subject to budgetary cuts/constraints, a focus on performance/evidence-based practice, retrenchment of welfare policies, ideologically-based decision-making, non-specialist practice, more focus on monitoring and surveillance and on respecting/ensuring ethical-practice and (sometimes) a rather negative public image of the social work profession. Within the current social work practice, challenges arise from realities such as the diversity and emergence of new social problems/groups, professional burnout, dealing with increasing workloads in the context of austerity budgets, developing toolkits and practice guidelines, or the often lack of structured practice supervision.
  • In social work research external challenges relate to factors such as generally reduced funding for social research, overlapping research areas with related domains (e.g. sociology, health, psychology), whilst internal challenges may refer to developing new research strategies (more specific and/or more creative), participatory research strategies to include service users, practitioners and other stakeholders throughout the research process, dealing with increased pressures for academic valorization/publications of research findings over more popular/non-specialist publications, less opportunities for publications in social work than in related disciplines, etc.

Some of these challenges are to be discovered at local level only (e.g. depending on the level of development of social work education, practice, research in the country/region), whilst others have a wider, global influence on social work. The global – local tension in any of the above-mentioned areas is expected to be explored by the presenters at the conference, in order to better capture the glocal challenges of social work.

We welcome scientifically sound and original contributions from researchers, educators, practitioners, and students from social science in the areas listed below. Submissions can be empirical, theoretical or practice based. We accept submissions from both experienced researchers/practitioners and undergraduate, master and PhD students.

Focus areas:

The streams of the conference are divided based on the 3 main areas from the perspective of internal and external challenges:

  1. Glocal challenges of social work education
  2. Glocal challenges of social work practice
  3. Glocal challenges of social work research

The abstract submission deadline is September 1st, 2018. To submit your abstract, please fill in the online designated form.

Please see the important dates here.