What is the Association of Black Social Workers?
ABSW is a volunteer charitable organization consisting of Black Social Workers and Human Service Workers throughout the Province. ABSW was originally formed in Montreal, Canada in 1977. A group started in Nova Scotia in 1979, with a membership of 4. ABSW was reactivated in 1987, and now has a growing membership.
ABSW was formed out of necessity. The first group in Canada was formed by a small group of social workers in Montreal in 1977, following their attendance at a conference organized by the American group- the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW). This nucleus kept momentum for two years, with modest support from NABSW, however, they were not able to sustain the group beyond 1979. At about the same time, a social work intern with Nova Scotia roots moved back there, and helped to form the Nova Scotia group in 1979. A non-profit, volunteer group of Black social workers and human service workers, the Nova Scotia ABSW was formed by four women, who were concerned with the responsibility of transforming a system that was not responsive to the problems and concerns of African Nova Scotians. These four women were all community minded, socially conscious political advocates who realized that their collective forces were needed to address the concerns they witnessed in their community.
Their experiences coupled with recurring concerns and criticisms from community members help them to both readily identify social injustices that were having detrimental effects on their communities and to engage in actions to address these issues that had somehow been moved to the periphery of social agencies in a solution driven dialogue. They were especially concerned about the African Nova Scotian children and youth in care of the state, most of whom were in white foster homes in rural communities. These four women had a vision to transform the capacity of social services by introducing multilateral mechanisms that would enable social agencies to become responsive to the plight of Black families and communities.
THE OBJECTIVES OF ABSW ARE AS FOLLOWS:
- To provide education by providing courses, seminars, and workshops about social work related projects and programs geared towards persons of African descent.
- To advance education by providing scholarships, bursaries, awards and other forms of financial assistance to persons of African descent enrolled in a social work degree program.
- To do all such other things as are incidental and ancillary to the attainment of the foregoing objectives.