International conference from 01.06.-03.06.2023

"Participation in Social Work: Theory, Research, and Practice"

The third international conference of the "HAW International" project, supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and running from late 2019 to autumn 2023 in the field of Social Work at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, took place from June 1st to June 3rd, 2023. The theme of this year's conference was "Participation in Social Work: Theory, Research, and Practice".

Professor Dr. Simone Schröder, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Work, Health, and Music, warmly welcomed the presence of Her Excellency Adriana-Loreta Stănescu, the Romanian Ambassador to Germany, at this conference. Her Excellency Adriana-Loreta Stănescu conveyed a message of greetings through Mr. Dr. Iulian Costache, the Cultural Attaché of Romania in Germany. The Romanian Embassy in Germany has consistently and proactively supported the German-Romanian program for Social Work in recent years.

The conference brought together guests from the Polish cities of Olsztyn and Lodz, as well as from the Romanian cities of Timișoara, Cluj-Napoca, and Bucharest. Additionally, students, lecturers, and representatives from the field of  practice in Germany, particularly from Cottbus, Cologne, and Berlin, as well as other participants from various cities in Germany, attended the event.

Within the framework of this event, the concept of participation was explored in local and international context in the tense field between involvement, contribution and co-determination. Participation, understood within the scope of the possibilities and needs of all, is more than just co-production. It requires genuine perception, cooperation, and understanding, rather than selection from externally imposed choices. This applies to children as well as to adults, both on an individual and on a structural and societal level. The concept of participation was addressed at all levels of theory, research, and practice in Social Work.

The conference was organized and conducted in collaboration with our partner institutions: West University Timișoara, Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, and the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. New relationships were established with the University of Łódź.