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Fri 10 Nov

If Nothing Changes, Then Nothing Changes: People Who Use & Deliver Safeguarding Services Speak Out

12.30 - 2.00pm


To mark Adult Safeguarding Day 2023, IASW are running an online event to explore the views of people who use and deliver safeguarding services; amid calls for a fundamental reform of adult safeguarding in Ireland.

Social work strives to be a profession of reflectors and critical thinkers. This event provides a reflective, thought provoking space to consider what safeguarding means from different perspectives. The voices of people who use safeguarding services are seldom heard and are central to this event.

Self- advocates from the Irish Dementia Working Group and Inclusion Ireland will share their experiences or perspectives on what ‘being safeguarded’ means to them, while speakers from The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland and Inclusion Ireland will provide a roadmap for what needs to change to create safeguarding systems which respect the rights of adults at risk as individual rights holders. Social workers from IASW will highlight the challenges and solutions in providing safeguarding services through a social justice, human rights lens.


Vivian Geiran, Chairperson of the Irish Association of Social Workers ‘Reeling in the Year; Reflections on Adult Safeguarding in the last 12 months.’ Vivian will provide an overview of the key developments in the landscape of adult safeguarding in the last year.

Kathleen Farrell of the Irish Dementia Working Group, along with Clodagh Whelan, Advocacy Manager, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, will share their insights and perspectives of safeguarding for people with dementia.

Paul Alford, Self Advocate with Inclusion Ireland, along with Derval McDonagh, CEO Inclusion Ireland will reflect on whether current safeguarding structures recognises people with disabilities as individual right holders. Paul will share his own compelling account of receiving safeguarding intervention and his reflections on what needs to change.

Kerry Cuskelly, social worker and member of the Irish Association of Social Workers will share the experiences of frontline social workers in Ireland and outline the challenges social workers face in supporting the human rights of the people we work with to live the life of their choosing and offers solutions for positive change.