Inter-European social workers’ mobility


Social workers are increasingly globally mobile, pursuing employment opportunities that combine professional and lifestyle projects. Social work skills and practice are embedded in cultural, linguistic and nation-specific legislative competencies. The current article engages with the interplay of a fast-moving social work and immigration policy context and the role of inter-European social workers, using England as a case study of destination. Based on registration data of non-UK qualified social workers (2003–2017), a survey of 97 stakeholders from 27 European Union countries and focus group discussions, it investigates trends and challenges of transnational social workers (TSWs) in England. The findings highlight a dynamic process of social work education and immigration policy reforms during the past decade that was associated with a significant change in the volume and profile of TSWs registered to work in England. Data from European stakeholders further highlight two key findings: first, there is evidence of an increased role of inter-European social workers in most of Western European countries; second, the process of social work qualifications’ recognition within Europe remains considerably variable. The implications of the findings are discussed within the context of continued inter-European policy and political changes.

Hussein, S. (2018) Inter-European social workers’ mobility within a dynamic social work and immigration policy context: A case study of England. European Journal of Social Work, 29th October 2018. Doi:10.1080/13691457.2018.1539836

Image credit: Sara Kurfess –

+ posts

Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) at the LSHTM. She is a Co-Director of the PRUComm policy research unit. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and King’s College London in the UK and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Shereen is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her primary research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care. Shereen has previously worked with the United Nations, the Population Council, the World Bank, and the League of Arab States. Her current research focuses on ageing demographics, long term care demand and migration within the UK and Europe and the implications on policy and practice.

Shereen has conducted extensive research on population ageing and its impact on long term care and health policy and practices in the UK, internationally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has contributed to recent United Nations’ policy response to ageing in the region through collaboration with UN-ESCWA and directly providing expert consultations to several countries in the region including Turkey, Oman and Egypt. Shereen leads many large research projects on ageing and long-term care in the UK and contributes to a large project addressing responses to dementia in developing countries STRiDE. Shereen is the founder and lead of the MENARAH network.