In a changing world, let us innovate together for social work…

The ISL is affiliated with the Catholic University of Lille, and is a full member of its Health and Social Work Department. It seeks to be innovative, open to its environment, and constantly attuned to social transformation.


The issue of social and local cohesion

We are currently witnessing a metamorphosis, a radical transformation of our national and international social landscapes. Our world is indeed complex, multidimensional, and if several situations, issues and challenges are perceived at the local level and call for local answers, the realities of our world compel us to “think globally and act locally”.

In our society, many crucial issues are a challenge for social work, such as how to live together, how to reduce inequalities and discrimination, and how to maintain social ties. Professionals must deal directly with complex situations and changing groups and needs: they must cope with suffering and emergency situations; they are often faced with the lack of a solution, and frequently within a constricted institutional context.

Thus social work institutions must create new methods to better take into account the social and demographic diversity of local realities.

Seen within this context, social work must be able to mobilize a sufficiently powerful creative utopia in order to be innovative; furthermore it must develop new projects adapted to the environment and involving all the relevant actors and networks.

Coordinating the fields of health and medical-social work

In addition to this destabilizing turmoil, other factors are present in our society, which challenge social work professions: higher life expectancy, an ageing population, growing forms of dependency (whether or not they are linked with handicap), a rise in the level of psychological distress for those affected by social and economic precariousness… these various situations broaden the field of social intervention to the extent where health is oftentimes directly concerned.

De-partitioning social work and health is an important goal in the care of service users. It requires that partnerships and networks be set up; and it also implies a better mutual knowledge of professional cultures and practices.

The growing complexity of social work professions

The semantic shift from “social work” to “social intervention” illustrates the broadening field of social outreach professions and training courses. Aside from “historical” professions, social intervention nowadays includes mediators, technical counselors and managers, social animators, as well as other professions that came into existence as a result of the encounter between social work, project engineering, and the management of policy supervision.

In order to deal with these social upheavals, social work needs to adapt and expand. The training of future social workers is challenged in its content and in its practical organization. Social work must adapt, and while doing so, continue to affirm its values and specificity.


The ISL is an innovative institute, open to global change.  It is a leading actor in the field of social work education.


Orientation 1 : Develop international standards in social and medico-social education, based on a successful integrated work/study learning program.

  • Strengthen the position of the ISL within the Catholic University’s Health and Social Department
  • Create academic programs within the ISL, including an academic course in social work, in order to integrate social work education in the cursus of the university.
  • Develop opportunities for dual courses and degrees for both practical and academic courses.
  • Support the model of integrated work/study programs in social work and social intervention academic programs.

Orientation 2 : Develop alliances and partnerships to support an innovative, adapted and evolving pedagogy.

  • Develop core curriculums and multidisciplinary modules in undergraduate and graduate courses.
  • Provide open spaces for reflection and co-construction of our educational curriculum in accordance with our professional partners.

Orientation 3 : Position the ISL as an actor open to local and international realities.

  • Dedicate more space in our courses to social insertion and social economy.
  • Mobilize and develop international partnerships in order to favor student and teacher mobility in Europe and worldwide.

Orientation 4 : Produce and transmit innovative knowledge in social work.

  • Promote research in social work and reinforce the links between Research – Teaching – Actions.
  • Further mobilize Information and Communication Technologies in our training courses.
  • Strengthen our alliances with non-profit agencies.

Orientation 5 : Increase the visibility of the ISL.

  • Use to our advantage our location in the heart of the city, set in an ideally located neighborhood, and our dynamic campus.
  • Further develop our communication strategy.

Orientation 6 : Strive for a process of continual improvement of our quality standards.

  • Strengthen our support in the fields of professional counseling, and professional insertion for our graduates.
  • Develop a sense of belonging among our students, and strengthen our relationships with our alumni.
  • Develop tools for academic coordination and the evaluation of our courses.
  • Pursue our current efforts in organizing and modernizing the ISL.

Being close to the realities of our region, and at the same time being well integrated in various professional and academic networks, the ISL strives to be a key player in the fields of vocational qualification, ever-evolving skills, and the production of knowledge in social work.

Our project is enriched by the many social changes of our times, as well as by enduring critical approaches to popular education that are central to social work.

Local UNAFORIS platforms

The ISL is affiliated with the UNAFORIS, an agency whose platform in the region of Nord Pas-de-Calais brings together 8 schools of social and medico-social work. Several aims of these regional platforms are: to develop alliances, to offer a better-coordinated selection of training courses, and to assess potential resource sharing.

Generalizing the LMD academic course

As an institute offering undergraduate and graduate programs, the ISL must comply with the Bologna Process. This process involves the generalization throughout Europe of the Bachelor – Master – Doctorate scheme, and the implementation of the ECTS system in undergraduate programs in social work.

These strategic orientations are the result of several studies, supported by the E2i cooperative counseling agency, in a collaborative approach led by our employees, our students, our employers in the field of social and medico-social work, and our board of directors.

Let us innovate together for social work !