The SWAN annual conference brings together social work and social care practitioners, students, academics, and service users together from another the world to discuss the important issues facing society and practice. In a world faced by political and economic crisis, workers are faced with systemic problems in society and the impact this has on the people we work with. The aim of the conference is to share experiences, positive and negative, and pull on the experiences of others to fight for better practice.

Every year we call on people to submit presentations and paper to help us build the conference timetable and aims to have the widest possible topics. Over the last two years we have had sessions from workers and academics from Brazil, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, USA and many more. But this conference is not just a talking shop; SWAN is built on activism. Out of conference we elect a national Steering Committee who will continue to work on the key points highlighted during the conference and build on existing campaigns. We work in conjunction with other groups to develop campaigns and advocate for trade unions to join us to contribute to our work. At a time when social work and social care are under attack from austerity and managerialism, our conference offers a space to meet other workers and service users who want a better world.

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We want to develop a network of service users, practicitioners, academics and students to support radical and progressive social work. We need a social work that is ready to challenge oppressive practice, that means working collectively across the country and internationally to advance Social Work.