More about the Conference

Video Message from Rory Truell, IFSW Secretary General

Welcome Message
of President of the Austrian Association of Social Work
Mr. Alois Pölzl

Dear Colleagues,

We, the Board of OBDS, are looking forward to welcoming you to the 2019 IFSW European Conference in Vienna. 

Its motto is “Social Protection and Human Dignity”, and it points out that political changes are challenging both our profession and our societies. Colleagues from all over Europe will get together in Vienna for a lively exchange of views and fruitful discussions. Social work will stand up for a society that pays respect to every single person and struggles for inner cohesion and supportive communities. 

Main impulses will arise from the Plenary Sessions at the beginning and at the end of the Conference. Keynotes and Paper Sessions at the main venue will reflect the broad spectrum of social work. A Students Congress embedded in the Conference, will be taking place at the local University of Applied Sciences. 

Of course, we will show you Vienna, our wonderful city, but we will also guide you to the places where social work is provided and practiced. There, we will obtain expert lectures and hold discussions to respond to the challenges in question and to find professional answers at 21st century level. 

You will find ample opportunities for personal interaction and cultural enrichment throughout the city and during the Conference´s social program. 

The preparatory team and the Board of OBDS are wishing you every success in your day-to-day work anywhere in Europe – or elsewhere in the world. And we will give a warm welcome to all of you then in Vienna, in September 2019 – which is where history meets the future.

DSA Mag. Alois Pölzl
Chair of OBDS and team

Conference Teams

Steering Group – Program Committee – Organizational Team 


Theme of the Conference

The conference theme is Social Protection & Human Dignity.

The focus of all symposia, workshops and presentation should be related to Social Protection  & Human Dignity. The following key aspects should guide all contributions and be covered intensively:

  • European Social Politics – Social Pillar of the EU
    Which relevance has the development of a social European Union
  • Basic Living Conditions – Social Welfare State
    Basic Needs, alternatives to social aid, basic income and discussion about innovative models and projects
  • Migration, Refugees
    Interrelationship of migration and welfare state, neoliberal economics, war, poverty and refugees
  • Community Services
    Role of Social work for the future of marginalized people in times of fast reduction of social welfare, the role of civil society and NGOs in counseling and support, fighting against populism, discrimination,racism and radicalization.
  • People with disabilities, marginalized groups and minorities
    The role of social work in maintaining and protecting quality, sustainability and ethical principles
  • Fundamental Rights  – Human Rights
    The standing of values and ethics in times when the state withdraws from its responsibility to care for wellbeing of the people,  access to rights, defending human rights, practical advice for social workers.