7 Facts About International Social Work You Must Know


1. What is international social work anyway? The answer is not so simple! There are multiple widely used and accepted definitions for it. In general, it usually involves a social worker working to benefit an oppressed population. International social work is done in nearly every country, so the population and working environment is never the same.

2.Jane Addams arguably began the field of international social work. In 1889, she took a trip to London, where she saw settlement houses which sought to help the poor. This experience inspired her to open a settlement house in the US.

3. The two main tools of international social work are empowerment and advocacy.

4. Common skills for international social workers are: the basic social worker skills such as empathy, flexibility, and compassion, as well as unique skills for the sub-field like foreign language competency, experience abroad, and knowledge of the culture they are working with.

5. Some of the main challenges in the field include language barriers, cultural differences, legal issues, and a general lack of resources.

6. The largest employers of international social workers are the United Nations, UNICEF, the Peace Corps, the Red Cross, and Save the Children.

7. Salaries are hard to track due to the nature of the work, but international social workers employed in or by the US can expect to earn around the national average for a general social worker, which is $45,000.


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