"Social Work and Diversity" International Conference (Köln / Cologne)
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Social Work and Diversity – that was the topic of this year’s conference held on October 21-23 by the European Research Institute for Social Work (ERIS) at the Catholic University of Applied Sciences of North Rhine-Westphalia in Cologne, Germany.
Around 100 participants listened to lectures in which speakers presented perspectives on social work in their countries within the European context and advanced various proposals for the development of new models. The differing concepts offered by the individual speakers, driven by the specificity of the countries they represented (with lecturers from France, England, Finland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia), contributed to a fruitful exchange of ideas and experiences. Discussions on the topic Social Work and Diversity focused particularly on the following areas: Culture, Class, Gender and Religion. Intense efforts were made to clarify these concepts during lectures as well as during workshop sessions.
An introductory lecture on the topic Education and Capabilities was given by Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Hans-Uwe Otto. Lectures by Prof. Dr. Brian Littlechild and Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Jovelin mainly focused on the aspects of Culture and Social Work, while Doc. Oldřich Chytil and Prof. Dr. Jan Keller from the Czech Republic, together with Prof. Dr. Erath, deliberated on the topic Class and Social Work.
The following day of the conference offered input on the topic Gender and Social Work which was presented by Caroline Meffan, M.A. and Prof. Dr. Ria Puhl as well as contributions by Prof. Dr. Hämäläinen and Prof. Dr. Josef Freis from the area of Social Work and Religion.
The workshops provided an ideal opportunity for participants to engage in expert professional discourse and thus contribute to the development of new ideas. The key issues brought to the centre of attention at the final panel discussion were how social work would find its way forward and in what ways professional attitudes would develop in Europe during the coming years.
The next conference of the ERIS Research Institute will take place at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt in 2011.
Updated: 18. 11. 2022