Online Program

Engaging social work students to think globally and act locally

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Elaine Congress, MSW, DSW, LCSW, Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, New York, NY
In recent years international social work has been of increasing interest to social work educators. While some students enter with international experience and plans to continue international work after graduation, many are primarily involved in their local communities and have limited knowledge about how global issues relate to their actual practice.

Much literature has been devoted to international social work (Healy and Link, 2012), especially on developing field placements abroad (Lager Mathiesen, Rodgers, and Cox, 2009; Engstrom and Jones, 2007). Little attention, however, has been devoted to ways to educate students about the relationship of global issues to local health concerns. This presentation will begin with strategies to increase students' awareness of international health issues that impact on the welfare of their clients such as disease transmission patterns and comparative country health indicators.

Not only do students need to increase their awareness of global issues, but also to make connections between the global and the local. A major way to involve students in thinking globally, but acting locally on public health issues is through a focus on immigrants. Within their own communities students can learn about and become involved in advocacy on behalf of immigrants such as working to reduce hate crimes, to expand health benefits to all immigrants, to increase educational opportunities through the Dream Act and to promote a more open immigration policy on the state and federal level. Through advocacy activities on behalf of immigrants students can learn how to think globally, but act locally.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Define ways in which the global and local connect Discuss methods to help students link global with local Identify advocacy methods to involve students in local action

Keyword(s): Education, Social Work

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a social work educator for twenty four years and have written 7 books on cultural diversity and social work education. I have been active in the Social Work Section and am now on the Governing Council.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.