President's Pen

March 2017

Dear IASWG members and group work advocates:

Our IASWG Group News is an opportunity to share good news, and we have lots of good IASWG news to share. 

Throughout the years IASWG has advocated for group work recognition and celebration globally. Each of our IASWG chapters has been enjoying good success.  
  • Recently I visited the IASWG German Chapter, and I enjoyed spending time with their many members for three days; the German Chapter Board members conducted a very successful three-day educational conference for many attendees from several countries, and in addition to conducting a similar conference again next March, 2018, the Chapter leaders are planning to host their 25th IASWG German Chapter anniversary in the Fall of 2018 (it should be a great event.)
  • I also visited the IASWG European Chapter recently, and they held a very informative evening workshop for their chapter members; in addition, they have already scheduled three educational workshops for their members in this upcoming Fall season.
  • Two months ago, I traveled to be with the IASWG Francophone Chapter in Quebec to participate in an afternoon meeting with prominent Quebec social work administrators and policy makers, and to attend an energetic and scholarly evening session with many of the Francophone chapter members (this summer the Chapter is planning to hold an IASWG Camp event.)
  • The IASWG South Africa Chapter recently hosted a university lecture presentation given by IASWG Vice President, Mark Doel; the Chapter is already planning additional conference activities in 2017 and 2018.
  • The IASWG Lithuania Chapter, following their exciting IASWG Camp event many of us enjoyed attending in late 2015, has scheduled IASWG's International Honoree, Jurgen Kalcher, to present his well-known and creative "mask presentation".
  • Many of us have been reading the recent Norma Lang special tribute issue of Social Work with Groups produced by members of the IASWG Toronto Chapter that addresses non-deliberative forms of practice (with many articles written by IASWG members); we look forward to additional activity from the Chapter in 2017.
  • Our IASWG Massachusetts Chapter is looking forward this year to their successful annual conference held each Spring; the theme this year is: "When Life Gives You Groups: Facilitate Change; I am sure this conference will be as successful this year as it is every year.
  • The IASWG Florida Chapter continues to grow and evolve, and they have been hosting many members for interesting practice discussion meetings in recent months (several of their Chapter members are scheduled to present in NYC at the symposium in June.)
  • I have visited the IASWG Illinois Chapter in recent years to participate in their evening events held at Loyola University in Chicago, and I look forward to attending one of their Fall 2017 events.
  • The IASWG Tennessee Chapter recently communicated that they held a successful chapter event for over 20 participants, with plans for upcoming additional activities.
  • The Central Florida Chapter will be featuring a March presentation on group work with survivors of the
    recent terrorist attack in Orlando, FL, USA.
  • The Minnesota Chapter has scheduled two CEU events this Spring, including a CEU session on supervision.
  • Members of the IASWG North Carolina Chapter continue to hold chapter events, following their great effort of providing IASWG with a very successful symposium in 2015.
  • Several members of the IASWG NYC-Red Apple Chapter and the IASWG NY- Long Island Chapter have been contributing enormously to the work of our NYC IASWG Symposia (both in 2016 and 2017), while both chapters continue to remain active with chapter events during the year.
  • We are all looking forward to hearing more about the upcoming Chapter activities of our other IASWG Chapters: the IASWG Northeast Ohio Chapter; the IASWG Southern California Chapter; and the IASWG Pennsylvania Chapter.
Much appreciation to all of our IASWG Chapters for conducting chapter events now and in future months; they are leading the way for the mission of IASWG to support and promote group work globally. Check out their chapter websites for information on all of their upcoming chapter activities.  


  • The IASWG Executive Committee of the IASWG Board phone conferenced recently to discuss current IASWG activities and issues. The Executive Committee members on the phone conference (including representatives of the various Chairs/Co-Chairs of all IASWG Committees) described noteworthy accomplishments and progress currently happening in their Committee areas, and they outlined ways in which their Committees would continue to contribute to IASWG in the future.
  • The IASWG Symposium Committee reports that following a very successful IASWG NYC 2016 Symposium at the New York University (NYU) Global Center, plans are moving along beautifully for an equally successful IASWG NYC 2017 Symposium to be held once again at the New York University (NYU) Global Center. The 2017 event promises to be a lovely event; all of us should make plans (and encourage others to make plans) to attend the symposium in NYC this June 7-10!
  • The IASWG Membership Committee reports that the 2016 member numbers were very solid, and that lots of members have been renewing steadily during the early months of 2017; the Membership Committee members will be challenging all of us to work with them in 2017 to maintain and grow our currently healthy membership base. Be sure to renew your IASWG membership for the 2017 membership year, and please reach out to other group workers you know to encourage them to join for 2017!
  • The IASWG Marketing Committee, the IASWG Practice Committee, and the IASWG Commission on Group Work Education Committee continue to be productive, often combining forces to foster the promotion of group work practice and scholarship globally. Through various projects such as: providing workshops on mutual aid at our symposia; setting up of our IASWG sponsorship of the annual U.N. Social Work Day; working hard to ensure that IASWG plays a prominent role at the U.S. Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) conference; increasing journal publishing in Social Work with Groups and Groupwork by encouraging the group work publications of IASWG members; adding new group work educational resources to the IASWG website; connecting and networking IASWG with major global social work organizations to promote group work education and practice internationally; and helming the IASWG SPARC Committee in supporting innovative group work education and practice projects of IASWG members across the world, these three IASWG Committees strengthen the mission of IASWG each and every year.
  • The IASWG Chapter Development Committee has proudly added two new IASWG Chapters in the past two years, and are excited that soon we should be welcoming a new IASWG Chapter in Spain; IASWG Chapters are active and productive, and each of our IASWG Chapters sends a good number of presenters and attendees to our symposia each year.
  • The IASWG Nominations and Elections Committee is always considering new innovative plans for the Board related to IASWG Board member recruitment; they plan to continue their Board outreach and recruitment efforts during 2017 in anticipation of our Fall 2017 IASWG elections, so look for lots of information from them in the upcoming months.


Planning for the 2017 IASWG Group Work Camp in the U.S. in Wisconsin is already happening. It is the fifth time this event has been held; this year it will be held on Thursday, July 27, through Sunday, July 30. Information is now available on the IASWG website, so spread the word to your friends and colleagues and especially to new social work students and graduates. Make plans to attend the event this summer on the shores of Lake Geneva in Wisconsin, USA.

Regarding the work that falls into the area of our Budget and Finance Committee (helmed by our IASWG Treasurer), IASWG has been thriving due to our strong budget and financial stability. We continue to move forward with financial prudence and with financial health, enjoying our very balanced budgets of the past several years. In addition to our sturdy Endowment Fund (recently placed in an income producing annuity fund through the efforts of our Treasurer), IASWG is also secure financially due to our solid cash fund. Our recent balanced budgets are a tribute to the thoughtful balancing of our income and expense areas; each year we raise our income in several areas such as symposium registrations, membership dues, fund donations, and interest on investments, with the income earned in years like the recent 2016 year allowing us to support many areas of IASWG expenses: IASWG Symposium; marketing expenses; Symposium Proceedings publications; chapter support payments; SPARC grants; administrative salaries; membership registration system and symposium registration system costs; November Board meeting expenses; and annual mailing/banking/website fees. This 2017 year we have been able to dedicate a nice amount of budget money to provide needed support to our many chapters who wish to request funding for a special chapter event in 2017. Many thanks to our very hardworking Treasurer, and to our diligent Board members, for maintaining such a strong and consistent financial picture for IASWG.

IASWG is a strong organization at present, and we are successfully carrying out our IASWG mission to ensure that group work practice, education, research, publication, and field instruction survives and thrives. As always, thank you to all of you, our active IASWG members throughout the world, for furthering the IASWG mission to support and strengthen the cause of social group work. We will look forward very soon to celebrating group work together at our 2017 IASWG NYC Symposium!


All the Best,

Greg Tully, IASWG President