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Revisions include discussion of new research and several updated references.

Updated on 05 Apr 2016. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 27 June 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This article presents an overview of definitions of international social work, relevant theories, the history of the field, and current practice roles. Definitional debates and critiques of international social work are discussed, as the term international social work has been a contested one. Scholars have defined international social work variously as a specialized area of practice, as the integrated global profession, as the exchange of people and ideas across borders, and as a more general perspective or worldview. The concluding section highlights some of the current challenges facing the field: developing relevant career tracks in international social work, strengthening representation of the profession at the global level, specifying the universal elements of social work, and continuing to clarify the concept of international social work.

Keywords: international social work, globalization, international history, United Nations, International Federation of Social Workers, International Association of Schools of Social Work

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