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Fri 25 Jun

Parental Participation: Keeping Connected

Registration from 1.45pm, Event 2.00 - 4.00pm


€5 IASW members/€25 non-members

Booking will close the day before the event so details on how to join the event can be emailed to those who have booked a place.

The Child and Family Special Interest Group will hold a webinar for all interested practitioners on the 25th of June from 2-4pm.

The topic is "Parental Participation". As social workers with children and families, we work closely with parents but when children are received into care, or move away from their family home, the relationship between social workers and parents changes. Some parents say they feel left out of decisions, or don't know how to talk to social workers. 

How can we support parents of children in care? How do we maintain positive relationships for children and parents who no longer live together and who may feel loss, anger and confusion?

The Covid-19 lockdowns have shown us how important parent and child relationships are, especially for parents and children who do not live together. The webinar will look at the lessons we learned during lockdowns, the tools used to maintain contact with parents and how we can use our knowledge beyond the crisis period.

This half day event aims to explore the lived experience of parents as part of child protection work, and how we as social workers can learn with and from parent's experiences. 

To help us with that task we have Rebekah Brennan from the Vountary Care in Ireland Study (2018 - 2021), Jacinta Swann from Clarecare and Prof Anna Gupta, Department of Social Work, Royal Holloway, University of London

We hope you can join us. 

Speaker Biographies

Anna Gupta is Professor of Social Work at Royal Holloway University of London. Anna teaches on the MSc in Social Work,  MSc in Advanced Practice and PhD  programmes. Her professional experience and academic  work has been focussed on child and family  social work.  Her  research interests are:  poverty and child protection; work  with  Black, Asian and  minority ethnic  families; parental advocacy and  child in care. A number of  her  projects have involved participatory  research  with parents with involvement in  the child protection system. Together  with Professors Brid  Featherstone, Kate  Morris  and  Sue White,  Anna has  co-written the  book  Protecting Children: A Social Model.

The title Anna's presentation is Parental participation in child welfare: Creating dialogue, Building alliances 


Jacinta Swann is a Principal Social Worker with extensive experience in family support, child protection, children in care and aftercare services in Ireland. She has been instrumental in the development and management of the Clarecare Advocacy Service for Parents of Children in Care for over 20 years. Through Jacinta’s direct work with parents of children in care, she is committed to the expansion of services to support their meaningful contribution to the care process for  the well-being of their children, and to be the best parents they can be for their children while they are in state care.


Dr. Rebekah Brennan was the postdoctoral researcher for the Voluntary Care in Ireland study at UCC (2018-2021). She holds a PhD in drug sociology from WIT and a BA(Hons) in Addiction Counselling. Her research focuses on substance use, community development and marginalised groups.  She is a former Irish Research Council awardee. Rebekah sits on the Adult Continuing Education (ACE) Diploma of Substance Misuse and Addiction Studies Board in University College Cork and lectures for both ACE and An Cosán in Dublin, her teaching areas include Substance Misuse, Community Development and Wellbeing. Rebekah has much experience delivering a social action model for teaching which supports marginalised and vulnerable groups.



The Clarecare booklet :

Link to Clarecare advocacy service:

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