International Partners

NASW and the NASW Foundation historically have worked with a wide array of partner organizations on international issues related to the social work profession, particularly social justice and global human rights - including the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), which includes the International Federation of Social Workers North America.  We provide information here about these important relationships and the outcomes of our collaborative work.  The NASW International Committee also has developed A Guide to Understanding the International Social Work Organizations.

Historic International Partnerships

  • African Palliative Care Association (APCA) - NASW hosted leaders of the African Palliative Care Association and members of the national Association of Social Workers of Uganda in 2011 and 2012. Continuing the partnership, NASW contributes resources and materials on palliative and end of life social work to the organization.
  • Best Practices of Psychosocial Oncology Summit in Hungary - NASW convened and coordinated with CancerCare, a psychosocial oncology summit in Hungary funded by the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation to address cancer care in the region in 2008. This project also provided six grants to start cancer programs in Hungary. 
  • Big Shoes Foundation -The Big Shoes Foundation, founded in 2003 in South Africa, was a non-governmental organization providing consultative services to hospitals in three provinces. Children diagnosed by the hospitals as having a life-limiting illness were referred to the palliative care team.  The team supported the child and family-focusing on quality of life. A NASW delegation visited the facilities and provided resources. Big Shoes closed in 2012.
  • Brookings Institution - NASW has worked with the Brookings Institution’s Building Bridges Coalition since its inception to increase the number of U.S. volunteers overseas, including social workers and others working in many capacities.  
  • Foundations for Hospices in Sub-Sharan Africa (FHSSA) - NASW was a partner with FHSSA which was founded by NASW Social Work Pioneer Dr. Bernice Catherine Harper. NASW endowed a scholarship in her name for social workers who address the psychosocial needs of the seriously ill in Africa. The first three recipients selected by the African Palliative Care Association began their studies in 2012.
  • Friends of Chernobyl (FOCCUS, Inc.) - FOCCUS, Inc. works to raise public awareness in the U.S. of the devastating human consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Composed of social workers, psychologists, and educators this group serves populations and communities in Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia that were severely affected by the accident.  FOCCUS, Inc. was the 2003 recipient of the NASW foundation’s International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award.  The Foundation also provided a grant to assist centers in the Ukraine in the training of social workers from Chernobyl in pediatric oncology social work.
  • Institute of Medicine (IOM), now the National Academy of Medicine - NASW serves on the IOM Global Violence Prevention Forum aimed at addressing the high burden on global health posed by violence against women and children. 
  • Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education – NASW is a member of the IOM Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education, which works to apply an ongoing, multi-national, multidisciplinary approach to exploring promising innovations in health education.
  • Jaipur Foot - During a delegation trip to India, NASW visited Jaipur Foot, an organization dedicated to ensuring the physical, economic, and social rehabilitation of those who are living with a disability, to enable them to regain their mobility and dignity, and become full members of society. The NASW Foundation contributed funds to assist Jaipur Food develop and distribute prosthetic limbs for those in need.
  • Physicians for Peace - Based on similar goals, Physicians for Peace and NASW signed a memorandum of understanding which encourages the organizations to conduct activities that complement and strengthen the work of both groups in developing countries. The NASW Foundation raised funds for the relief efforts. Fifty percent of the donations raised were allocated to Physicians for Peace so the organization could provide services to children who had lost a limb by providing them with prosthetics and additional assistance recovering from the tragedy.
  • The One Campaign - NASW is a partner of The One Campaign, an effort to rally American one-by-one to fight the emergencies of global AIDS and extreme poverty As a founding partner, in the summer of 2005, representatives from NASW traveled to Scotland with a organizers of the ONE Campaign to urge President Bush to advocate for human rights and other policies that will help achieve the Millennial Development Goals established by the United Nations.

Collaborative Partners

NASW collaborates on international issues with and/or is a member of a number of social work and international development organizations.

  • InterAction - NASW is a member of InterAction, the largest coalition of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations focused on the world’s poor and most vulnerable people. Collectively, InterAction’s more than 190 member-organizations work in every developing country to eliminate extreme poverty, uphold human rights, safeguard a sustainable planet, and ensure human dignity for poor, and vulnerable populations worldwide by elevating and advancing the goals of the U.S.-based international nonprofit community. 
  • Global Social Service Workforce Alliance - the Alliance was conceptualized during a conference in Cape Town in 2010 that brought together multi-sectional stakeholders form 18 countries to identify challenges and successes in building social service workforce capacity. Participants recognized a need to continue a dialogue and information sharing across borders and sectors.  The Alliance was formed in 2013.The mission of the Alliance is to promote the knowledge and evidence, resources and tools, and political will and action needed to address key social service workforce challenges, especially within low to middle-income countries.  NASW is a founding member of the Alliance and serves on the Global Alliance Steering Committee.  
Other collaborative partners include:

Social Work Disaster Assistance Fund

NASW established the Social Work Disaster Assistance Fund to provide critically needed assistance to those affected by disasters in the United States and around the world, such as September 11, devastating hurricanes, tsunamis, flooding, earthquakes, and the Ebola Epidemic.  Learn More >>

Social Work Policy Institute

Social Work Policy Institute (SWPI) is a think tank established in 2009 within the NASW Foundation to strengthen social work’s voice in public policy deliberations, inform policymakers through collection and dissemination of information on social work effectiveness, and create a forum to examine issues.  Learn More >>

NASW Social Work Talks Podcast Logo

In Episode 5, NASW Social Work Talks Podcast features the Director of the NASW Foundation, Bob Arnold.   Tune in for a discussion about the Foundation's many educational, research, and  charitable  initiatives.