Building Networks and Frameworks for Global Social Work

Cultural Diversity and Social Work

Challenges and Competencies in Response to Populism and Forced Migration

Landshut, Germany

22-23 June 2017

This second symposium includes the broader perspective of diversity issues in social work. We are looking forward to presentations on social work and cultural diversity and would like to strengthen an intersectional perspective on diversity.

We have the strong belief that social work as a profession has tremendous competencies in dealing with issues of cultural diversity and that these competencies can be promoted to a greater value for other professions as well. At this symposium, we will discuss these competencies but also the occurring challenges from theoretical, methodological and practical viewpoints.

We identified three challenges that social work in this context is currently facing:

  • The rise of populism and nationalism
  • Worldwide migration
  • The ongoing current refugee situation in many countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia

As in the first symposium in October 2016 in Kuopio (Finland), the overarching themes of the symposium are inspired and guided by the International Federation of Social Work and the International Association of Schools of Social Work, Global Agenda (2010), Ethical Principles, Global Social Work Definition (2014) and Global Standards for Social Work Education. The topics of interest from the October symposium are still valid and include:

  • Developing linkages among research, theory and practice
  • Border mobililities
  • Refugee migration, resettlement and models for social work practice
  • Integrating refugees in social work education
  • Cultural competency and reflexive social work practice
  • Transnational social work
  • Internationalizing the curriculum
  • New theories about social justice and citizenship
  • Comparative research and international collaboration
  • European and international funding opportunities

The last symposium had its focus on refugee integration. To continue the discussion on this topic, presenters are asked to include one or more of the following points in their presentation on refugee resettlement.

  • Asset-based approaches to refugee integration (e.g. engaging newly resettled communities & their knowledge and experiences)
  • Developing sustainable partnerships among different stakeholder groups (public and private sector, refugees and immigrants, policy makers, practitioners, researchers, etc.)
  • Social inclusion and exclusion of refugees with mental health issues (cultural characteristics that are needed for successful mental health)
  • Identifying what happens to refugees who are not integrating into their new communities and strategies to handle issues arising from this problem, e.g., social morbidity, loneliness, etc.
  • Educating students to work with diverse communities (theories of reflexive practice, cultural competency)
  • Responding to public fear and negative discourse & creating a new narrative about refugees

Symposium on 22/23 June 2017

The University of Applied Sciences at Landshut together with the Universities of Eastern Finland and Utah are welcoming you to the second symposium in the context of building networks and frameworks of global social work to Landshut, Germany in June 2017. This symposium is the second in a series of themed symposiums building on an emerging network of European, U.K.,  Australian, Asian, African and US academics committed to developing frameworks for global social work education, research, theory and practice.

Landshut is located in the greater Munich area and can best be reached by flights to the Munich International Airport (MUC). The travel distance from the airport is only 35 minutes.

Guide for submitting abstracts

The deadline to submit abstracts is 15th April, 2017. Abstracts should be 500 words in length (Arial front size 10, 1.5 spacing) and provide the following information:  Aim, Objectives Rationale, Literature Review, Methods, Findings, Implications and Conclusion, References.  To submit your abstract, please attach your abstract as a PDF document (email title: SYMPOSIUM-YOUR SURNAME-ABSTRACT- TITLE) to

Important Dates

  • Deadline for abstract submission: 15st April, 2017
  • Notification of acceptance: 25thth April, 2017
  • Deadline for registration: 30th April, 2017
  • Symposium 22th to 23th June, 2017

More details: Call for Presentations Symposium