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International Military Social Work Conference Keynote

Military Social Work Developments in South Africa: Practice Theory, Resilience, and Research

Adrian van Breda

Prof. Rev’d Adrian van Breda is a full Professor of Social Work at the University of Johannesburg, where he has taught since 2007. He began his social work career in the South African military as a unit social worker, mostly with Naval personnel in Simonstown. After seven years he took up a position to start the Social Work Research & Development department, which rapidly grew to five full-time social work researchers, and then to start the Military Health Research Centre. During his military career, he worked on developing theory of and practice for deployment resilience, the design and validation of quantitative and qualitative measures of military social health and family resilience, theory of organisational resilience, a practice model of military social work, a multilevel HIV educational-prevention programme, M&E of HIV services (including a nationally representative HIV KAP survey), gender-based violence, women in combat and gender mainstreaming. Since leaving the military, his attention has focused on developing ecological and interactional resilience theory and studying and promoting the resilience of young people in transition from care into young adulthood (i.e., youth transitions).

He is the president of ASASWEI (Association of South African Social Work Education Institutions), Editor of the Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development, and Vice President of the international resilience association called Resilio. He also has two degrees in theology, is an external examiner at the Theological Education by Extension College and is an ordained minister in the Anglican Church. He is husband to Trina, a physiotherapist, and father of a 20-year-old son, Erin, who is studying graphic design and tattooing. In his spare time, he plays the piano and sings.

Email: adrian@vanbreda.org