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International Social Work

International Social Work

Published in Association with International Federation of Social Workers
Published in Association with International Council on Social Welfare

eISSN: 14617234 | ISSN: 00208728 | Current volume: 66 | Current issue: 2 Frequency: Bi-monthly

International Social Work is the official journal of the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW) and the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW).

International Social Work is a scholarly refereed journal designed to extend knowledge and promote international exchange in the fields of social work, social welfare, and community development. Its major focus is on the interaction between processes of globalisation and the development of social welfare at national level, as well as social work and community development locally. It aims at examining the meaning of international social work in practice and theory, and exploring how those concerned with social work and community development can engage with international issues. The journal also wants to encourage publication of comparative studies and cross-national research. International Social Work provides information on current international developments in education and training relevant to social work, social welfare and community development.

In addition to full-length articles, the journal features shorter "brief notes" contributions, as well as news and views from the owner associations. Abstracts of articles are translated into French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic.

Additionally, we have recently introduced a section aimed specifically at practitioners. it is called Voices from Practice, and consists of short pieces of about 2000 words, highlighting practice issues, dilemmas, innovations, and shared insights that might have resonance for practitioners in all parts of the world.

Periodically, special issues of International Social Work focus on specific topics or regions. In the past these have included special issues on Globalisation, Older People, Child Rights in Africa, and Religion and Spirituality.

The International Social Work Journal Prize (Frank Turner Prize) is awarded annually on a retrospective basis to the author(s) of the article judged to have made the most significant contribution to advancing the aims of the journal. Winning articles are free to download here

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Communicating Knowledge Across the Spectrum
International Social Work is a scholarly refereed journal designed to extend knowledge and promote communication in the fields of social development, social welfare and human services. Its major focus is on international themes in the delivery of services, the functions of social work professionals and the education of social workers. Social policy and social service provision provide the context for this focus.

Comparative Focus
The journal places particular emphasis on articles concerned with comparative analysis and cross-national research. In each issue you will find discussions and analyses of trends and issues in social welfare policy and social work practice, with a scope extending far beyond any single country. International Social Work will also provide you with timely thematic issues dedicated to specific international developments both in the developing and developed world.

The Latest Information on Training and Education
In International Social Work you will read about the very latest developments in social work and social welfare education and training taking place throughout the world.


Patrick O’Leary Griffith University, Australia
Ming-sum Tsui Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong
Associate Editor
Jennifer Boddy Griffith University, Australia
Lesley Chenoweth Griffith University, Australia
Aisha Hutchison King’s College London, United Kingdom
Lucy Jordan University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Joe Liang Griffith University, Australia
Donna McAuliffe Griffith University, Australia
Kitty MO Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong
Peace Wong National University of Singapore, Singapore
Editorial Policy Committee
Gurid Aga Askeland International Association of Schools of Social Work, Norway
Editorial Board
Tatsuru Akimoto Japan College of Social Work, Japan
Alean Al-Krenawi Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Elizabeth Beddoe University of Auckland, New Zealand
Annamaria Campanini Universita Degli Studi Di Parma, Italy
Cecilia Chan University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Ruby Chau University of Sheffield, UK
Iris Chi University of Southern California, USA
Alastair Christie University College Cork, Ireland
Cindy Davis University of Tennessee, USA
Edvania Angela de Souza Lourenço Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil
Ibrahim Ezeldin 6 October University, Egypt
Silvia Fargion Free University of Bozen, Italy
Guenter J. Friesenhan Koblenz Univerity of Applied Sciences, Germany
Carolina Muñoz Guzman Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Chile
Simon Hackett Durham University, UK
Aytakin Huseynli Azerbaijan Social Work Public Union, Azerbaijan
Lina Kashyap Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India
Wassie Kebede Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Mark W Lusk University of Texas at El Paso, USA
Liu Meng China Women's University, China
Rodreck Mupedziswa University of Botswana, Botswana
Bala Raju Nikku Nepal School of Social Work, Nepal
Manohar Pawar Charles Sturt University, Australia
Daniel Pollack Yeshiva University, USA
Loretta Pyles University at Albany, USA
Shula Ramon Anglia Ruskin University, UK
Narda Razack York University, Canada
Mahia Saracostti Universidad Autonoma de Chile, Chile
Linda Smith University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Janestic Twikirize Makerere University, Uganda
Tran Van Kham VNU-University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam
Darja Zavirsek University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Journal Manager
Louise Whelan Journal Manager, UK
Abstract Translators
Stephanie Arsenault Universite Laval, Canada
Christine Bon France
Fakir Al Gharaibeh University of Sharjah, UAE
Dr. Driss Guerraoui  
Emmanuel Hakizimana Catholic University of Rwanda
Raya Hamed Al Maamari Sultan Qaboos University, Oman
Benjiao Hou Canada
Elena Iarskaia-Smirnova Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
Elena Klyko Oblastnaya Biblioteka, Ukraine
Oscar Labra Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Canada
Francis Letellier France
Dr. Zeno Leung The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Caritas Institute of Higher Education
Manuela Guillen Lugigo Universidad de Sonora, Mexico
Chaime Marcuello University of Zaragoza, Spain
Faisal Sawalha Israel
Fu Wai Hong Kong Shue Yan University, China
Paz M Zorita Arizona State University, USA
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  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: International Social Work

    This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of International Social Work will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere. Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that International Social Work may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy.

    If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.4 Funding
      2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
      2.6 Research data
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.3 Supplemental material
      4.4 Reference style
      4.5 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions 
      5.4 Information for Guest Editors
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 SAGE Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information


    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to International Social Work, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

    1.2 Article Types

    We ask for and accept three article types.

    Original Manuscripts are full-length articles, which should be up to 7,000 words in length, (including notes and references).

    Brief Notes of up to 2,000 words, on topics such as reports of research in progress, examples of unresolved problems, descriptions of policy, and current programmes that would be of interest to the international community.

    Voices from Practice welcomes submissions from practitioners about their experiences in the field which would be of interest to an international audience. The aim of Voices from Practice is to enable practice issues, examples of best practice/poor practice, grassroots initiatives and training experiences to be shared with a wider international audience. Articles can be up to 2000 words in length.

    For all submissions, the relevance to or implication for social work must be made explicit.

    1.3 Writing your paper

    The SAGE Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

    For information and guidance on how to make your article more discoverable, visit our Gateway page on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    International Social Work adheres to a rigorous double-anonymize reviewing policy in which the identity of both the reviewer and author are always concealed from both parties.

    2.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.

    2.3.1 Third party submissions
    Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

    • Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
    • Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
    • Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

    Where appropriate, SAGE reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

    2.4 Funding

    International Social Work requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    International Social Work encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

    2.6 Research data

    The journal is committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research, and has the following research data sharing policy. For more information, including FAQs please visit the SAGE Research Data policy pages.

    Subject to appropriate ethical and legal considerations, authors are encouraged to:

    • share your research data in a relevant public data repository
    • include a data availability statement linking to your data. If it is not possible to share your data, we encourage you to consider using the statement to explain why it cannot be shared.
    • cite this data in your research

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    International Social Work and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a SAGE journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the SAGE Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    International Social Work offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information on Open Access publishing options at SAGE please visit SAGE Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines  

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

    4.3 Supplemental material

    This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files

    4.4 Reference style

    International Social Work adheres to the SAGE Harvard reference style. View the SAGE Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    If you use EndNote to manage references, you can download the SAGE Harvard EndNote output file.

    4.5 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    International Social Work is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    Submissions must be in English and no more than 7,000 words for Original Manuscripts, 2000 words for Brief Notes and 2000 words for Voices from Practice contributions. All must be typewritten and double-spaced throughout including notes and references. An abstract of no more than 100 words for Original Articles, 50 words for Brief Notes and 50 words for Voices from Practice describing the main findings and conclusions must be included; these will be translated into French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Russian if the article is published. Also, please include 4-6 keywords that will help readers find your article.

    5.1 ORCID

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process SAGE is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized. 

    The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID ID you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID ID will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID ID please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. The affiliation listed in the manuscript should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a manuscript note at the end of the paper. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the SAGE Author Gateway

    5.4 Information for Guest Editors

    As a Guest Editor for a special issue of ISW you will expected to perform certain tasks.

    What we expect from you:

    • A proposal to be submitted to the ISW office outlining the purpose of the special issue, including topics of particular interest, timescales, editor details and CVs.
    • You will be expected to use SAGE Track to facilitate all submissions, reviews and decisions.
    • The papers must go through anonymous peer review by two reviewers using the SAGE Track system. It is possible to add reviewers to our existing reviewer database on SAGE Track if this is necessary for the purposes of special issues.
    • Guest editors will ensure the review of all papers submitted specifically in connection with a special issue.
    • Guest Editors will make overall editorial decisions about papers submitted for consideration in special issues. This should be done in line with the Journal’s policy and practice using the SAGE Track system, which facilitates easy communication with authors.
    • You will be expected to ensure that the special issue is delivered according to agreed deadlines.
    • At the end of the process, you will provide eight to 10 accepted papers of approximately 7,000 words for publication in the special issue.
    • If there are additional papers which had been submitted for consideration in the special issue but which are not able to be included for reasons of space, these papers may be considered for future general issues of the Journal at the discretion of the Editors in Chief. It is very important that Guest Editors do not make commitments about the acceptance of papers in general issues.
    • You will be expected to check proofs, provide an editorial to be published in the special issue, agree the line up for the issue and work with the ISW Journal Manager and colleagues at SAGE on the production of the issue.

    What you can expect from ISW:

    • You can expect support throughout your guest editorship from the ISW office.
    • You will be given training on using SAGE Track if you require it.
    • You can expect to receive help with any queries or problems you may have.
    • You can expect to be given set deadlines by ISW to ensure issues are published on time.

    One of the Editors will be assigned to you if you should need any assistance on any aspect of the decision making process.

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    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 SAGE Production

    Your SAGE Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal SAGE Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. 

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the SAGE Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The SAGE Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.

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    7. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the International Social Work editorial office as follows:

    Louise Whelan at



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