The Community of Practice for Social Work
1) The Department of Sociology and Social Work, together with UNICEF, since May 2020, has begun to implement the project “Improvement of state programs for pre-graduate and post-graduate training and retraining of social workers and specialists performing social work functions, taking into account the basic competencies for interaction at the individual level and in the community to change social norms and behavior in Kazakhstan within the framework of the UNICEF-EU program on the protection of children in migration processes ”.
Main results of the project:
- Strengthening the capacity of service providers to protect children in migration processes.
Adaptation of the curriculum of UNICEF, Columbia University, Center for the Study of Global Health in Central Asia at Columbia University on the main interpersonal and community engagement competencies on social norms and behavioral changes in the context of Kazakhstan.
- Strengthening the knowledge exchange system between universities and trainers on pre- and post-curriculum training programs for social workers
2) The faculty members of department (Abdirayimova G.S., Kylyshbaeva B.N., Morozova T.A., Kenzhakimova G.A., Burkhanova D.K., Serikzhanova S.S., Mustafina A.) in partnership with Columbia University (CU), UNICEF in Kazakhstan completed training under the curriculum "Building competencies: interpersonal communication and community engagement." The curriculum is designed and delivered by the Social Intervention Team of Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW) and the Center for the Study of Global Health in Central Asia (CSGHCA) in collaboration with UNICEF Europe and Central Asia (ECA) and UNICEF Offices in Albania, Georgia and Kazakhstan.
The course aims to strengthen the basic practical competencies of social service workers (SSW) in Kazakhstan and develop participants' interpersonal and community interaction skills throughout the process of social work with children, families, groups and communities, including those affected by migration.
3) As a result of the training, a community of practice was formed of 33 trained trainers from academia, as well as practitioners working with children. The leading role in facilitating the community of practice belongs to our university.
What is a Community of Practice?
Communities of practice are formed by people who participate in a collective learning process with a common project or common goal. The Community of Practice (CoP) is an opportunity to share knowledge of the methods and strategies for using training materials offered to improve the skills of social workers.Communities are centered around specific common interests or experiences that professionals want to explore. The main value of these communities is knowledge sharing.
4) Within the framework of the Central Asian seminar "On-line capacity building in education and research in the field of social work" (October 14-15, 2020) organized by the Department of Sociology and Social Work (KazNU named after Al-Farabi), Department of Applied Social Sciences (Hong Kong Polytechnic University) with the support of the N. Nazarbayev Fund, the second meeting of the community of practitioners and the speeches of key speakers took place: Anna Maria Campanini - President of the International Association of Schools of Social Work; Angelina Won Ki Yuen-Tsang - Professor Emeritus, Department of Applied Social Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Abdirayimova G.S. - Head of the Department of Sociology and Social Work; Hock Bun Ku - Director of the China Research and Development Network: Umeda Munnavarova - Program Coordinator,Branch of the Association Caritas Germany in Tajikistan and others..
5) On October 29, 2020, as part of the third meeting of the community of practice, a discussion of core competencies and adaptation of a basic skills course for students studying social work and related fields was held. The discussion was attended by: G.S. Abdirayimova - Head of the Department of Sociology and Social Work, KazNU named after al-Farabi;Imanbekova B.I. - Head of the Department of Social and Humanitarian Disciplines of KazNZHPU;Abdrasheva B. Zh.- Head of the Department of Social Work and Social Pedagogy, KarSU named after Buketova;Abenova K.A.- Associate Professor, Narxoz University; Esimova D.G. - PhD (L. Gumilyov ENU)
6) On December 2, 2020 within the project with UNICEF, there has been a meeting of the Community of Practitioners-Social Workers, where has participated Sociology and Social Work department’s teachers, al –Farabi Kazakh National University (Abdirayimova G.S., Kylyshbayeva B.N., Kenzhakimova G.A., Burkhanova D.K., Serikzhanova S.S., Mustafina A.) representatives of UNICEF (Aderikhina T.A.), Columbia University School of Social Work(TimHunt, LyudmilaKim, MashkhuraAkilova; Center for the Study of Global Health in Central Asia (Primbetova Sh., Nurkatova M.), university professors, representatives of NGOs and social organizations. During the meeting, there has been overvied the experience gained and feedback on the trainers coaching; analysisthe evaluation results, pilot trainings in Kazakhstan, Georgia and Albania, as well as discussion of the possibilities for future cooperation in the next phase of the project.
7) On December 9, 2020, Sociology and Social Work Departmenthas begun a trainings cycle of "Professional Ethics and Anti-Discrimination Practice in Social Work" for three levels’ students the "Social Work" specialty (bachelor, master and PhD) by the training program "Formation of communication and community engagement”, developed by the School of Social Work, the Columbia University Social Intervention Group, the Center for the Study of Global Health in Central Asia with the support of UNICEF, Kazakhstan.