Northern Ireland Committee

The Northern Ireland Committee meets approximately six times per year. There can be up to a maximum of 15 members sitting on the Committee. Members are elected for three years and have an option of a further three years dependent on election. Work is carried out between meetings along with NIASW staff. This may include being involved with development of NIASW policy, guidance for members and position statements responses to media requests, consultations, representing NIASW on internal and external working groups and at conferences.

Committee members:

Marcella Leonard (Chair)
Colin Reid (Deputy Chair)
Ciarán Traynor (Deputy Chair)
John Alexander
Adele Boyd
Cathie Connor (Treasurer/Student Rep)
Arlene Garland
David Hayes
Sarah-Jane Holden
Barbara McDermott
Barbara O’Lynn
Jenni Rice

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NIASW Celebrates a Lifetime of Achievement

At today’s Social Work Awards, hosted in the Armagh City Hotel, the Northern Ireland Association of Social Workers (NIASW) Chair, Marcella Leonard, awarded NIASW’s lifetime achievement award to Mrs Jean O’Neill.

17th November 2016

BLOG: Students – NIASW can help you ‘survive and thrive’ during placements

NIASW’s Anne McAllister explains how your professional body can help you to shine on your PLO.

17th November 2016

NIASW Roadshow Update

Blog Entry on recent NIASW Roadshow around Northern Ireland

12th October 2016

Above and Beyond: At What Cost? Report Launch

NIASW launched its workload survey report 'Above and Beyond: At What Cost?'

5th October 2016

Adoption Enquiry calls for evidence - extended deadline

BASW is calling for evidence from young people who have been adopted, parents, social workers, managers, family justice professionals, policymakers and academics to underpin a year-long research study on the role of the social worker in adoption.

19th September 2016

Social Worker for a Day

MLAs visit the WHSCT to take part in NIASW's Social Worker for a Day event.

1st September 2016

NIASW campaigns to ensure the voice of social work is heard in Health and Social Care review

Health and Social Care Review - NIASW details the work it has undertaken to ensure the interests of the social work profession are recognised in the ongoing review.

20th May 2016

BASW calls for evidence on the role of the social worker in adoption

BASW is calling for evidence from young people who have been adopted, parents, social workers, managers, family justice professionals, policymakers and academics to underpin a year-long research study on the role of the social worker in adoption.

4th May 2016

NIASW: Social work has wealth of expertise to support child protection disclosure arrangements extension

NIASW has welcomed today’s introduction of new child protection measures to make it easier for members of the public to find out if a person has a criminal record for sexual offences, or violent offences that could indicate a risk to children.

13th March 2016

NIASW Committee Vacancies

NIASW Committee Vacancies.

23rd February 2016

NIASW: Health & Social Care reform agenda set to fail without social work voice

NIASW (Northern Ireland Association of Social Workers) is warning that the lack of social work representation in the debate on the future delivery of Health and Social Care services is setting the reform agenda up to fail.

5th February 2016

BASW: Social workers should allow parents to record conversations

As family court transparency charity the Transparency Project today publishes guidance about the recording of social workers by parents where there is local authority involvement, BASW Vice Chair Maggie Mellon said social workers should allow such recording and be happy to put their practice “on the record”.

17th December 2015

BASW: Social workers have ethical duty to support asylum seekers and refugees

BASW is calling on the British Government to receive those fleeing war, persecution, and devastation in their home countries with respect and dignity and is urging its members to sign a petition to up the number of refugees being accepted into the UK.

4th September 2015

Social workers of Europe unite in Edinburgh for unique event

The biggest event of the year in the social work calendar will take place from 6-9 September, when hundreds of social workers from all over Europe gather in Edinburgh.

25th August 2015

Roundtable Discussion on Child Sexual Exploitation

Roundtable discussion on Child Sexual Exploitation

21st July 2015

BASW gives social workers 2020 vision

The British Association of Social Workers is launching its newly agreed 2020 Vision for the future of the Association. In this statement of intent, BASW, the member-led professional association for social workers, sets out its aim to be the strong independent voice of social work and social workers.

26th June 2015

NIASW Committee Vacancies

NIASW Committee Vacancies.

22nd April 2015

Advice to BASW/SWU members re: proposed public sector industrial action 13 March

Advice to BASW/SWU members re: proposed public sector industrial action 13 March

9th March 2015

BASW hits new membership high

BASW membership has passed 17,000 for the first time in the Association’s history, with record numbers in all four UK countries.

18th February 2015

Social Work Awards 2015

Nominations now open for Social Work Awards 2015.

8th September 2014

Advice to BASW/ SWU members re: proposed NIPSA industrial action 16th May

Advice to BASW/ SWU members re: proposed NIPSA industrial action 16th May

15th May 2014

MLAs challenged to become social workers for the day as report reveals lack of understanding of role

NIASW is challenging the country’s MLAs to spend a day on the job so they can see the challenges facing care services for themselves. NIASW say a lack of understanding about the social work role in adult care services is affecting the quality of services being offered as it launches a “blueprint” for improvement at Stormont today.

12th May 2014

Have your say on Northern Ireland's draft Mental Capacity Bill

Invitation for NIASW members to participate in the consultation on the draft Mental Capacity Bill

11th April 2014

NIASW World Social Work Day: “Let us celebrate our diversity but let us not be divided”

The statistics on social work in Northern Ireland show its scope and diversity, an issue that is often underestimated, said Fionnuala McAndrew, Director of Social Care and Children at the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) in her welcome to delegates at NIASW’s World Social Work Day celebration in Belfast.

21st March 2014

NIASW World Social Work Day: We need to archive the stories of social work as a legacy for the future

The importance of working together with service users to tell both good and bad stories of social work was a key theme of NIASW’s World Social Work Day conference at Titanic Belfast.

21st March 2014

NIASW World Social Work Day: ‘Real people’ teach student social workers empathy

Despite the well-publicised investment made in Northern Ireland in recent years, attracting visitors from across the world to new attractions such as NIASW conference venue Titanic Belfast, many people can feel the peace process has done little for them, said Sandra Peake, Chief Executive of the Wave Trauma Centre.

21st March 2014

NIASW World Social Work Day: Using service users to train social workers has ‘reciprocal benefits’

NIASW World Social Work Day: Using service users to train social workers has ‘reciprocal benefits’

21st March 2014

NIASW Social Work Strategy Professional Reference Group

The Social Work Strategy is an exciting opportunity to improve and strengthen the social work profession in Northern Ireland. At NIASW we want to ensure that the voice and views of our members are heard as fully as possible during the development and implementation of the strategy between now and 2022.

5th March 2014

March PSW teaser - Victory for NIASW in agency pay scandal

A recruitment agency that paid qualified social workers little more than a new McDonalds recruit has been removed from a list of government-approved care staff providers in Northern Ireland. The move was welcomed by the Northern Ireland Association of Social Workers (NIASW), which has campaigned on the poor pay rates at First Choice Selection (FCS).

26th February 2014

NIASW report - March 2014

NIASW report March 2014

18th February 2014

NIASW: Historic Abuse Inquiry

As the public hearings stage of The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) begins, NIASW has described the inquiry as a "watershed moment" for adult survivors of childhood abuse in Northern Ireland.

16th January 2014

NIASW launches new group to support ten year strategy for social work

NIASW is establishing a dedicated group to support the Association’s contribution to the Northern Ireland Government’s ten year strategy for social work. Improving and Safeguarding Social wellbeing: A Strategy for Social Work in Northern Ireland 2012-2022 was launched in April 2012. NIASW wants to hear from members who would like to be a part of shaping the work of this strategy to ensure the voice and views of social workers are properly reflected in its output between now and 2022.

9th January 2014

CSE NI: Child Sexual Exploitation will not be stopped by Police alone, NIASW conference hears

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) will not be stopped by one agency alone, but needs all of them working together. This was the clear message from a major conference in Northern Ireland.

31st October 2013

CSE NI: Northern Ireland now has an opportunity to “lead the way”

The current focus on child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Northern Ireland gives a real opportunity for the country to “lead the way” on tackling the issue, said Dr Helen Beckett (BASPCAN NI/University of Bedfordshire).

31st October 2013

CSE NI: We need to prevent culture of ‘disbelief’ and ‘blame’

A total of 613 sexual offences recorded against 12-17 year olds took place in Northern Ireland between 2010 and 2011, research from Barnardo’s NI shows.

31st October 2013

CSE NI: Protection has to extend to witnesses and bystanders

Identifying the early signs of child sexual exploitation can be the best way to prevent abuse of young people, an organisation working with young people said in an address to delegates at the NIASW CSE conference.

31st October 2013

NIASW: Spotlight in the NI child sexual exploitation inquiry should be shone firmly on the perpetrators, not on social workers and care staff

Following the announcement by Health Minister Edwin Poots that there will be an inquiry into reportedly widespread child sexual exploitation in Northern Ireland, NIASW has raised concerns about the tone of some of the current debate on the topic in the media, saying that focus must remain on the perpetrators, not on social workers and care staff.

26th September 2013

Northern Ireland report - October 2013

Summary of the past month in NIASW's business on behalf of members

19th September 2013

Child Sexual Exploitation: Prevention, Protection and Prosecution

Advance Notification of BAPSCAN/NIASW Conference on Child Sexual Exploitation: Prevention, Protection and Prosecution

18th July 2013

NIASW Report - July/August 2013

In another hectic month representing you and the social work profession, we have continued to investigate the situation of agency pay and are preparing to go public on a major issue. NIASW will be blowing the lid on the Northern Ireland-wide scandal of social workers being forced to work for £13,000 a year. So watch this space.

5th July 2013

NIASW Report - May 2013

It may be hard to believe that we are half way through 2013 already but looking back it has been a really productive year so far for NIASW. We are determined to keep up that trend and make even more impact during the coming six months so watch this space.

21st May 2013

NIASW Report – April 2013

NIASW was very proud to deliver our report ‘Reducing Bureaucracy in Child Care Social Work’ to Minister Edwin Poots on 28 March. In it we detailed how the profession would change the current system to tackle the excessive bureaucracy that burdens social workers with unnecessary levels of paperwork and duplication to the detriment of children and families. We developed this paper, which makes 16 recommendations to redress the current imbalance in paper work versus client contact, following consultation with members. Our recommendations will require a change in working practices – and in mindsets – yet they are solution-focused and aim to improve the working lives of social workers by increasing the amount of time they can spend engaging in social workers and, ultimately, by improving the services children and families receive.

18th April 2013

BLOG: NIASW goes to India and Norway to celebrate World Social Work Day

NIASW celebrated World Social Work Day on 19th March 2013 at Titanic Belfast.

20th March 2013

NIASW welcomes ministers strong social work support

NIASW has welcomed comments by social services minister Michael McGimpsey in which he emphasised the need to safeguard social work services from cuts and praised Northern Ireland’s social workers for their role in protecting the wellbeing of the most vulnerable in our society.

20th February 2013

Northern Ireland Social Work Awards - Apply Now

Northern Ireland Social Work Awards

6th February 2013

NIASW's December PSW blog

It has been an exciting month at NIASW as we launched our survey, Social Work Not Paperwork – Cutting Bureaucracy in Childcare Social Work. You can read more about this below and on page 06. Many thanks to all who took part in the survey – your views are crucial. Separately, NIASW was pleased to be part of an event on 29 November to launch a document, Guidance for Media Reporting on Child abuse and Neglect, which is the first of its kind in the UK.

27th November 2012

NIASW's October – College machinations, working for you and good practice ...

NIASW's update for members in Northern Ireland

16th October 2012

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