Executive summary about activities of the Azerbaijan Social Work Public Union (AZSWU)

The Azerbaijan Social Work Public Union (AZSWU) is an association of professional social workers in Azerbaijan. It was founded in 2009 by Azerbaijanis who got their social work degrees in prominent social work schools in the U.S. It became a member of the International Federation of Social Workers in 2012 which is the biggest and oldest organization of social work in the world.

AZSWU represents Azerbaijan at this federation among 110 countries from all over the world.  AZSWU has Board, Board of Directors, Advisory Board, Chair and Executive Director and all of these structures participated in active governance of the organization. All of them are elected every two years. Members of Board and Board of Directors have extensive in rigorous social research, teaching, social policy analyses and evaluation and worked closely with scholars from the best social work and social policy schools in the world such as Washington University in St. Louis, Columbia University, Durham University, Chicago University and Stockholm University.

In addition, the Union has 300 members with social work degree. Currently it has four areas of work such as Social Work Education, Social Work with Children, Youth and Families, Research-Evaluation and Continuing Professional Development. It runs one Family Training and Counseling Center in Khazar rayon.

AZSWU has collaboration and closely works with the National Parliament, relevant ministries, committees, government agencies, national and international organizations in social work related projects. It also collaborates with universities in Azerbaijan which have social work degree programs to increase quality of social work in the country such the Baku State University, Azerbaijan University, Azerbaijan Tourism Institute and Ganca State University. The past projects include upgrading the curriculum of social work programs, increasing capacity of teachers who teach social work and support university administration to establish social work education according to the global social work standards.

In 2011 the AZSWU leaders actively participated in designing the Law on Social Services including national qualification standards, national qualification criteria for social workers and social assistants. The legislation was adopted by the National Parliament in 2011 and ratified by the President of Azerbaijan Republic in 2012. By this act the social work profession was legalized in Azerbaijan.

In 2013 AZSWU held an international conference jointly with Turkish Association of Social Workers with participation of 11 countries in Antalya, Turkey and the most of the conference panels devoted to development of social work education in the region.

On December 18, 2014 the Union held the conference “Importance of Cooperation between the State, Universities and NGOs in the Development of Social Work Education and Profession” with participation of government officials, NGOs and Universities representatives. Moreover, currently the Union has started implementation of “Improvement of the Current Educational Standards for the Adaptation of Social Work Education to the International Standards” Project funded by the Ministry of Education.

In addition the Union parcitipates in the European Commission regional call for proposals of the project  “Shaping sustainable social change in Eastern Neighbourhood Countries by strengthening Social Workers and their Associations”.

Address: II corpus of Azerbaijan Tourism Institute, III floor, suit 208,

17 Jafar Khandan str, Baku, Azerbaijan, Tel: +99450-209-4978; azsosialis@gmail.com, aytakinh@gmail.com, gulnara-panahova@hotmail.com, lamiyer@yahoo.com


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