Introduction The International Federation of Social Workers recognises that social work originates variously from humanitarian, religious and democratic ideals and philosophies; and that it has universal application to meet human needs arising from personal-societal interactions, and to develop human potential. Professional social workers are dedicated to service for the welfare and self-fulfilment of human beings; to the development and disciplined use of scientific knowledge regarding human behaviour and society; to the development of resources to meet individual, group, national and international needs and aspirations; to the enhancement and improvement of the quality of life of people; and to the achievement of social justice. Aims of the IFSW The Constitution of the IFSW provides that the aims shall be: • to promote social work as a profession through international co-operation, especially regarding professional values, standards, ethics, human rights, recognition, training and working conditions; • to promote the establishment of national organisations of social workers or professional unions for social workers and when needed national co-ordinating bodies (collectively "Social Work Organisations") where they do not exist; • to support Social Work Organisations in promoting the participation of social workers in social planning and the formulation of social policies, nationally and internationally, the recognition of social work, the enhancement of social work training and the values and professional standards of social work. In order to achieve these Aims the Federation shall: • encourage co-operation between social workers of all countries; • provide means for discussion and the exchange of ideas and experience through meetings, study visits, research projects, exchanges, publications and other methods of communication; • establish and maintain relationships with, and present and promote the views of Social Work Organisations and their members to international organisations relevant to social development and welfare. History The International Federation of Social Workers is a successor to the International Permanent Secretariat of Social Workers, which was founded in Paris in 1928 and was active until the outbreak of World War II. It was not until 1950, at the time of the International Conference of Social Work in Paris, that the decision was made to create the International Federation of Social Workers, an international organization of professional social workers. The original agreement was that the IFSW would come into being when seven national organisations agreed to become members. After much preliminary work, the Federation was finally founded in 1956 at the time of the meeting of the International Conference on Social Welfare in Munich, Germany. Book recommendation: Sabine Hering/Berteke Waaldijk (Eds.): History of Social Work in Europe (1900-1960). Female Pioneers and their Influence on the D
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