In our globalized society the political and social issues of other countries directly impact our nation and people who want to work with these problems may wonder about International Social Work jobs. The idea of traveling abroad and reaching out to other cultures is exciting. People who venture into this professional arena should have an educational background in cultural diversity and in politics as well as social work skills because of the diversity of jobs available.
International Social Work Organizations and Alliances
The International Federation of Social Workers is an International association that attempts to identify issues and provide a targeted approach to social work solutions. They operate in 116 countries and have alliances with the United Nations and the United Nations Children’s Fund. They also have agreements with the World Health Organization. In addition, you can find social work jobs with the Red Cross and other international relief organizations. These alliances are important because there has to be a coordination of efforts aimed at serving the world population to avoid redundancy and competition among nations.
Areas of International Social Work Effort
The Sage Journal of International Social Work notes workshops and clinics educating social workers on several issues. One of the issues brought about by war is that of refugees and how to manage mobile populations that have no shelter or food. Another issue is that of human rights. Recently this has come under scrutiny as young people are kidnapped and forced into human slavery, especially for sex. Human trafficking is a major issue social workers face as they deal with its devastated victims. Social workers also work with victims of terrorism. While social workers deal with domestic violence effects in their own countries, there are cultural differences which lead to acceptance and even encouraging of violence against women, especially older women, in other countries. One of the ways to combat this attitude is through education, and so social workers have jobs with organizations that attempt to teach human rights and other values.
Examples of International Social Work Jobs
Indeed.com recently featured these social work positions:
• International Residential Manager: This person is responsible for recruiting homes for residential cultural exchange programs. They perform administrative duties and initiate programs to increase awareness of the cultural exchange organization.
• Red Cross Program Associate in the Philippines: This person delivers administrative support, enters data and researches Red Cross program delivery effectiveness. They act as the program backup for disaster relief in the ongoing Philippines assistance.
• Anti-Trafficking Program Manager: This person coordinates programs and implements policies on human trafficking for governments and civil authorities. The position is responsible for ensuring the program is meeting its goals and is staying on budget.
• Training Facilitator on Community Based Theater in the Maldives: This is a United Nations job. The goal of the program is teaching awareness of social issues like women’s rights issues through theater.
There are also many direct-service positions available managing individual cases just as in the US. Individuals interested in practicing social work abroad should research the ISFW or any of its affiliates. The diversity of programs and positions makes the international arena an attractive concept. As in any social work position, your degree and your specialization certifications are the keys to getting the best International Social Work Jobs.