The SDGs & Community Work and Youth Work Practice: Challenges & Opportunities for Thinking & Acting Locally & Globally"

Department of Applied Social Studies
Thursday, September 29, 2022 - 10:30

Forming part of the wider European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW) which last year saw 5,440 activities taking place across 28 countries, the first SDG week in Ireland has seen a variety of initiatives and events scheduled across public sector, private sector and civil society organisations. To mark the occasion, DAPPSS hosted a seminar for students from its social professions programmes, bringing together Community Work Students, Youth Work students and Social Work students to hear about how organisations such as Trocaire and Community Work Ireland seek to engage with the SDGs in local, national and international contexts. Ably chaired by, Trish Brennan (DAPPSS), the session provided a whistlestop introduction to the history and emergence of the SDGs provided by Marianne O’Shea (DAPPSS). From there, Aine Driscoll from Trocaire outlined how their team have used a social justice lens to explore global issues for young people in Ireland and beyond. She outlined how their work sought to broaden understanding of diverse context using experiential tools and processes. Rachel Doyle of Community Work Ireland provided great insight into how Irish and European policy has integrated the language of the SDGs but, more importantly, how civil society organisations and representatives can seek to utilise those commitments to further demands for more equitable outcomes within and across communities, shape policies embedded in human rights based approached and engage in governance processes that are led by the principles and practices of participatory democracy. Attendees reflected on how social professionals such as youth workers, social workers and community workers could enhance their practice and the outcomes for the young people, families and communities they work with by building their knowledge and understanding of the SDGs. DAPPSS regularly hosts Lunchtime Seminars on a range of topics, bringing together Departmental staff and students with external experts and practitioners to discuss shared areas of interest and to open up spaces for collective reflection, analysis and action.