ARMENIAN ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS

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“Current Agenda for Social Work Practice” Professional Forum

04.11.2022

November 4 is the National Day of Social Workers in Armenia and this year the Association of Social Workers of Armenia organized a forum on the occasion of the day under the title "Modern Agenda of Social Work Practice".

The meeting started with the greeting and congratulatory speech of the president of the association, Mira Antonyan. Antonyan addressed social workers who are developing their activities in the state, community and public spheres. In particular, she

 emphasized that social work in Armenia is not just a job of a social nature, but of comprehensive professional activity. Armenian social workers must respond to crisis situations regularly, all while working towards the country’s future development.

 

In her speech, Mira Antonyan mentioned: "Our work is to provide people with sufficient skills and potential, to activate them in the maximum way, which in turn will free them from the desire to expect and receive help from the state, public or any other structure. Our positions in both Armenia and Artsakh are unbreakable, and when providing support, it is necessary to show activating approaches, which is exactly what our forum today is aimed at."

 

Tamara Torosyan, who works to alleviate employment issues as the deputy head of the Unified Social Service, also made a speech of welcome.

 

She began: "Dear colleagues, I congratulate you on the occasion of the professional holiday. The necessity of your work and mission for our country is undeniable. The state always relies on you and your work. No matter where you are, you carry out competent intervention and through you the state gets informed and activates its beneficiaries."

 

The welcome speech was followed by the panel discussion. Mira Antonyan introduced the speakers of the panel, stressing the fact that the gathered people have been busy providing support to the beneficiaries through activation for years. From their experience, they have clearly accumulated a thorough understanding of the beneficiaries’ complex situations and needs.

 

The first part of the panel discussion was dedicated to the experience of applying social activation approaches of beneficiaries in Armenia, including the lessons learned and prerequisites for development. The speakers presented their own point of view and their own experience in relation to the topic.

 

“For traditional societies, in the conditions of changing market and economy, the reforms are rather difficult and sometimes slow. Beneficiaries often have their own ideas about activation and sometimes resist change. At the same time, they are a necessity, the jobs and skills that were once in demand may not be relevant in today's conditions. This is one of the main challenges that we need to overcome,” said Karo Gevorgyan.

 

The other members of the panel discussion also shared their experience of challenges and the best ways to overcome them. A simultaneous question-and-answer session took place and the participants shared their experiences as well.

 

Anush Hovhannisyan, the representative of the IDP, shared a number of applicable and effective methods for the activation of beneficiaries.

 

Aida Muradyan added that even if, as a result of this activity, the social worker manages to register a positive change in the life of one beneficiary, then the work can be considered effective, because one person is the greatest value for a social worker.

 

Alla Harutyunyan and Lusik Aghababyan talked about the challenges and obstacles they noticed throughout their work, as well as ways to overcome them.

 

The second part of the forum included group discussions in workshops on the following topics:

 

  • Legal regulations and procedures in the context of beneficiary activation
  • The role of social norms in the context of stakeholder activation
  • The issue of workforce readiness in the context of stakeholder activation
  • Characteristics of stakeholder relationships in the context of activation
  • Collaboration with partner organizations in the context of activation
  • Working conditions, powers, and limitations of social workers

 

Each workshop was led by moderators who contributed their knowledge and skills related to the topic during the discussion to ensure the comprehensiveness and effectiveness of the workshop discussion process and content.

 

After the period allotted for the workshops, each workshop representative commented on the problems, strategies, and processes offered by the members of their respective group in relation to the topic. There was a question-and-answer session. and association members recorded data and suggestions for future consideration.

 

At the end of the meeting, the Association of Social Workers of Armenia handed over letters of thanks to the participants.

 

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