The latest Public Health Agency (PHA) advice on preventing the spread of COVID-19 is available here.

 

On 11 March BASW NI Chair, Orlaith McGibbon, wrote to key social work leaders in NI highlighting the urgent need for tailored guidance for social workers to minimise the risk posed by COVID-19 to social workers & service users. 

 

Read BASW NI Chair, Orlaith McGibbon's message to members issued on 20 March. 

 

Click here for BASW NI's response to the Department of Health consultation on emergency legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to modify the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 and the Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016.

 

The Committee on the Administration of Justice has published a paper examining the emergency legislation introduced in Northern Ireland in relation to COVID-19. It assesses the emergency measures recognising that we are in extraordinary times where specific targeted actions are required, but where the is still a need for vigilance against excessive powers that may make the situation worse.

 

The Chief Social Work Officer has written to recently retired social workers in NI asking them to consider returning to social work practice in light of the aditional demands the COVID-19 outbreak will place on the social work profession.

 

The Department of Health has published emergency codes of practice for the Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2020 and the Mental Health (Northen Ireland) Order 1986 reflecting the changes made by the Coronavirus Act 2020. These should be read alongside the existing Codes of Practice. They are not full replacements as they only cover the emergency provisions. If an area of practice is not covered by the new legislation or code, the requirements remain as before. 

The Department has also published two new directions about the appointment of Approved Social Workers. These directions do not supersede the original directions which remain in place. Instead, they widen the options for who can be considered for appointment as Approved Social Workers. 

 

The Department of Health has published COVID-19 guidance for foster care and supported lodgings settingsnursing and residential care homes, and for providers of homeless hostels, refuges, day centres and shelters.

 

On 8 April, BASW NI Chair, Orlaith McGibbon, wrote to the Minister for Health, outlining our members' concerns, and stressing the urgent need for adequate provision of PPE and guidance on its use in social work specific scenarios.

 

On 7 May BASW NI briefed the NI Assembly Health Committee on a range of issues impacting the social work profession during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ahead of the evidence session the Association provided committee members with a briefing paper to inform their consideration of the key issues.

 

BASW NI is producing a series of brief videos to keep members up to date with our work representing social workers' interests in the content of the COVID-19 update.