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Social Workers' Association Apologises Over Mother and Baby Home Failings

The graveyard at the Bessborough Centre in Blackrock, Cork, formerly Bessborough House mother and baby home (Image: Rolling News

Social Affairs & Religion Correspondent

The Association representing Social Workers has apologised unreservedly for the "pain and distress" caused by failings of the profession highlighted in the Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

In a statement, the Irish Association of Social Workers said the report provided examples of times when the social work profession did not provide compassionate support, failed to uphold basic human rights, and failed to challenge the social and institutional injustices which caused devastation in the lives of women and children. 

The body which represents 4,700 registered social workers, said it heard the powerful and brave testimonies of the survivors.

"The IASW will now reflect on how we can best respond to what we have learned and continue to learn from the survivors" it concluded.

"The testimony of the survivors provides powerful evidence of what happens when we are silent or complicit in the face of injustice," IASW Chair Áine McGuirk said. 

She added: "A core principle of social work practice is our commitment to speak up and challenge social injustice and the IASW is committed to providing a space for our members to advocate for positive social change. 

"The testimonies of the survivors are a powerful motivator in that work."