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NIASW report - March 2014

World Social Work Day 2014

Hopefully there is a big red circle around 18 March in your diaries for World Social Work Day. There are a host of activities happening across Northern Ireland, the UK, Europe and the world to celebrate our most noble of professions and sometimes it is important to stop and remind ourselves that we are part of a global profession, driving positive change under difficult circumstances.

However different our countries, structures and cultures may be, the one thing that unites us with our colleagues is working with people; building relationships, working with individuals, families and communities to help them make things better.

All too often the reasons we became social workers can seem far away as we are caught up with the pressures of cases, meetings, deadlines and paperwork. NIASW is committed to helping make the changes to your working lives which will allow you to do what you trained to do, work with people.

Maeve McLaughlin MLA & social workers in the WHSCT

NIASW took the opportunity to meet with Maeve McLaughlin, Sinn Fein MLA and Chair of the Health and Social Services Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The meeting was in response to media coverage of a case at Derry Crown Court involving the abuse by an older man of a young person who had been in the care system.

We had a really constructive meeting where we discussed the impact of negative media on the profession and service users, pressures within the system, NIASW’s campaign to reduce unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy and the scandal of agency social workers pay. We are thrilled that Maeve has invited us to launch our adult services paper at the Long Gallery in Stormont, so expect more information on that event on the website or by email.

Early Authoritative Intervention strategy

The development of a clear strategy of Early Authoritative Intervention has been continuing and the latest meeting was attended on your behalf by NIASW Manager Carolyn Ewart on 13 February. Led by the DHSPSS and DOJ, the meeting was hosted by Minister Poots and Minister Ford. Attendees debated some really creative solutions on how we can better identify, assess and intervene with children experiencing or who are at risk of experiencing multiple adversities. It was particularly good to see practitioners involved in this attempt to improve the outcomes for those children and ensure that all services keep the child at the core of what they do. The very real pressures and demands on social workers was central to the discussion and heard loud and clear by the Ministers, the message is getting through.

NHSCT social work forum

Thanks to social workers at the NHSCT for inviting Carolyn Ewart and Susan Gordon to attend a social work forum. Working within the field of physical disability, the social workers’ personal commitment, professionalism and enthusiasm for their work shone through. NIASW really welcomes such opportunities to discuss and debate some really complex issues facing practitioners. If you would like us to come along to visit your team or event please get in touch via

Keep in touch!

Could everyone please let us know up to date contact details so that we can keep in touch with you. Update your details by emailing