The conference “Social Work as a Basis for Social Reform in Armenia: Challenges and Solutions” was organized by the Armenian Association of Social Workers in cooperation with the Chair of Social Work and Social Technologies of YSU Faculty of Sociology and the RA Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
The conference aims to discuss the possibilities of regulation of professional activities of social workers in the context of social sector’s reforms, taking into account the achievements and international experience in social work education and practice over the last 25 years.
Dean of the Faculty of Sociology Arthur Mkrtichyan welcomed the participants, congratulating them all on their professional day. Then the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Artem Asatryan made a speech.
“This is a good opportunity and possibility to review the current stage of development, because we are entering a decisive phase in terms of the institute of social worker. If we make a retrospective look at the past 25 years, we have started from the most primitive functions of social work. I think it is very important that during this period we have managed to fix legislatively what the social work and social administration are, but it is not enough yet, these are only the first steps,” - said Artem Asatryan.
Artem Asatryan also noted about the draft of the RA law “On Social Work”, which was initiated by the experts on behalf of the Association of Social Workers. In the beginning of the conference head of the above mentioned association Mira Antonyan spoke about the need for a draft of the law regulating the activities of social worker, presenting the local and international experience.
“We do not want to hurt the people who work in the industry, do not want to hurt their careers, but at the same time we want to raise the issue of the filtration of the industry. If there are already standards who can work, who can deliver real social work services, it depends on us, how the transition phase will continue. We have taken a careful examination of the experience that exists in the world, especially in countries like ours. We also try not to repeat the mistakes of other countries,” - said Mrs. Antonyan.
Representatives of the ministries of Territorial Administration and Development, Health, Justice, Education and Science, international organizations, organizations of the Diaspora and local NGOs, local and international experts also participated in the event.
The participants of the conference were also provided with the opportunity to hear the experience of other countries with the help of the experts from those countries. Speeches were made by Master of Social Work Justin Grotholschen (USA), Professor at the University Of Applied Sciences Of Upper Austria, senior expert in the field of social security Christian Stark, representative of the World Bank Veronica Silva Vilobos and others.