The International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), is the worldwide association of schools of social work, other tertiary-level social work educational programs, and social work educators. The IASSW promotes the development of social work education throughout the world, develops standards to enhance the quality of social work education, encourages international exchange, provides forums for sharing social work research and scholarship, and promotes human rights and social development through policy and advocacy activities. IASSW holds consultative status with the United Nations and participates as an NGO in UN activities in Geneva, Vienna and New York. Through its work at the UN and with other international organizations, IASSW represents social work education at the international level.
The office of IASSW is located in the office of the President, Annamaria Campanini at the Department of Sociology and Social Research University Milano Bicocca, Italy. IASSW is governed by the Board of Directors under a Constitution approved by the biennial General Assembly. The mission of the association emphasizes the promotion of worldwide excellence in social work education and engagement of a community of social work educators in international exchange of information and expertise.
IASSW carries out its purposes through:
- a biennial conference of social work educators, the IASSW Congress
- publication of online magazine Social Dialogue
- representation at the United Nations
- co-sponsorship, with IFSW and ICSW of the journal International Social Work
- activities of Committees and Task Forces
- funding of small cross-national projects in social work education
Important recent policy documents include the Definition of Social Work; Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training; and Ethics in Social Work: Statement of Principles (all developed with the International Federation of Social Workers).
IASSW was founded in 1928 at the First International Conference of Social Work, held in Paris. It was initially comprised of 51 schools, mostly in Europe, and was known as the International Committee. Revitalized after World War II, the organization expanded its membership to include a wider range of countries and was renamed the International Association of Schools of Social Work. The association has member schools in all parts of the world; 5 regional organizations in Africa; Asia and the Pacific; Europe; Latin America; and North America and the Caribbean are affiliated with the IASSW and represented on the Board of Directors.