May 07th 2024

Annual Conference of the German Association of Social Work (DGSA)

Transformative approaches in Social Work: Disciplinary developments and international cooperation

This year's annual conference of the German Association of Social Work (DGSA) took place at the Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences in Jena. The focus of this year's conference was the topic of “transformation” in the course of contemporary Social Work. A wide variety of topics were covered in over 50 panels and framed by a number of keynote speeches. For example, Miriam Burzlaff from the Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences presented current research findings on the role and possible function of Social Work as a “shaper of social transformation processes”.

An international research cooperation of the MCI Department of Social Work was involved in the scientific exchange of the society in two ways. Moritz Reisberger (Department of Social Work, MCI | The Entrepreneurial School®) and Denise Lehmann (Department of Social Work, RheinMain University of Applied Sciences) presented the cooperative research project on the topic of “Knowledge of Social Work in the Context of Current Disciplinary Development”.

With this focus, in addition to a presentation, a workshop was also held on the implemented research method “Scoping Review”. A scoping review is a purpose-specific method for the systematic examination of literature in a research project. Potentials and challenges in the methodical implementation of this type of review were assessed and discussed based on the participants' own experiences. Young researchers shared valuable insights from this international cooperation in order to inspire potential “imitators” and to encourage them to (more) systematically engage with theoretical and empirical discourses in Social Work.

The conclusion: Systematic literature reviews in general and scoping reviews in particular could make an important contribution to the further development and quality assurance of the discipline of Social Work. In the discussions at the panels and workshops, the academic community generally spoke out in favor of encouraging this type of literature review during the course of study.

Denise Lehmann and Moritz Reisberger at the annual conference of the German Society for Social Work (DGSA) Photo © MCI/Moritz Reisberger