Conference History

The International Conference is supported by the virtual International Network of Social Work in Health and Mental Health whose mission is to promote the development of social work in health and mental health through international sharing of information and resources regarding education, research and practice of social work and mental health.

The International Network & the series of conferences have their beginnings when the late Prof Helen Rehr, Prof Gary Rosenberg and Dr Susan Blumenthal from Mount Sinai Hospital’s Department of Social Work Services in New York started an exchange programme with Israeli social workers in 1988. The periodic national conferences organized between the two countries were transformed into an international conference held in Jerusalem, Israel in 1995.

Since then, the Conference has toured Melbourne in Australia (1998), Tampere in Finland (2001), Quebec in Canada (2004), Hong Kong (2006), Dublin in Ireland (2010), and most recently Los Angeles in USA (2013). This series of conferences have a strong practice, research and education partnership to raise the quality of papers presented and the discourses among the delegates drawn from practitioners, academia, researchers and policy makers. The conference proceedings were published in Social Work in Health Care.

This year, the Conference will be held in Singapore from 19th to 23rd June.  The Conference will bring together social work practitioners and administrators from all over the world. It will provide a forum for the sharing of knowledge and interaction between educators, practitioners and researchers in health and community care sectors. Recent times have seen better coordination and integration of policies and services through the collaborative efforts between healthcare institutions and community services, such that there is a blurring of boundaries between these sectors. Health and mental health are no longer seen as just the domain of the health sector. This 8th conference will focus on this trend in its appreciation of the holistic nature of the human being and the importance of ensuring a seamless continuity of care across the continuum of services. This will reduce dichotomies between health and social issues to more effectively help those in need. Thus, the conference offers a unique opportunity for promoting closer stakeholder relationships between healthcare institutions and community services by bringing people together to discuss new approaches and paradigms that meet challenges arising from a rapidly changing world. Broad topics include collaborative practice, health and social policies, innovations in research and practice, and leadership and management.

Through the years, despite the different venues the International Conference has been held, the unwavering commitment to create dialogues between social work research and practice in health and mental health remains. In an evolving and increasingly complex social landscape, social workers need to be future-ready to prepare for the rapid global and societal changes while continuing to promote the well-being of individuals and communities. This series of scholarly gatherings will hopefully inspire new approaches and paradigms that will be of benefit to those individuals and communities we serve.

  • Organised by:

    logo SASW
    Singapore Association of Social Workers
  • In Partnership with:

    Logo NUS
    Department of Social Work,
    National University of Singapore
  • Supported by:


    Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple


    Lee Foundation

    Lee Foundation

     Logo MOHMinistry of Health
    Logo MSF
    Ministry of Social &
    Family Development

  • Supported by:

    logo nsssNational Council of
    Social Service

  • logo tote and poolsTote and Pools

  • logo SECB
    Singapore Exhibition and
    Convention Bureau
  • Held in:

    Logo yoursingapore
  • Supported by:

    Logo WDA
    Singapore Workforce
    Development Agency

  • AIC
    Agency for Integrated Care

  • CCF

    Children Cancer Foundation

  • Other Supporting Organisations:


     Care Corner Singapore

  • CGH

    Changi General Hospital

  • IMH

    Institute of Mental Health

  • Other Supporting Organisations:

    KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital

  • NCCS
    National Cancer Centre Singapore

  • NHCS

    National Heart Centre Singapore

  • Other Supporting Organisations:

    National University Hospital

  • NG Teng FOng

    Ng Teng Fong General Hospital

  • SIM Uni

     SIM University

  • SGH

    Singapore General Hospital

  • TTSH

    Tan Tock Seng Hospital