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Fri 19 Apr

Safeguarding in Adult Mental Health – Building Blocks towards Best Practice

9.30 am registration, Event 10.00am - 3.45pm

Carmelite Community Centre, 56 Aungier Street, Dublin 2

€30 IASW members/€100 non-members

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Event fee includes lunch and refreshments.

Safeguarding has always been an important piece of work in Adult Mental Health Services. Social work is the named lead registered profession for adult safeguarding in Ireland, tasked with the primary implementation of policies that support adults at risk of abuse, neglect, and extreme self-neglect. The recent changes in the legislative and policy landscape, including the Assisted Decision Making Capacity Act 2015, the National Consent Policy and the NIRP Report on “Emily”, only amplifies the relevance and pertinence of Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults. If Social Workers have traditionally been seen as the “Experts” in this field, how do we further this work, both individually and collectively, in line with best practice? And how do we do this in the absence of any specific policy guidelines for Mental Health Services? This full day event will explore the challenges and opportunities for Social Workers in this area and enhance the understanding of Safeguarding within Adult Mental Health and the role of Social Work.



9.30 – 10am: Registration, Tea & Coffee

10.00 – 10.05am: Kerry Cuskelly, Principal Social Worker & SWAMH Chair (Welcome)

10.05 – 10.45am: Jackie McIlroy, Independent Safeguarding Expert & Former Deputy Chief SW NI (Safeguarding in a National Context)

10.45 – 11.30am: Marcella Leonard, Director of Leonard Consultancy (Safeguarding Sexual Behaviour)

11.30 – 11.45am: Tea/Coffee

11.45 – 12.30pm: Workshops

  • Workshop 1: Bernadette Casey, National Safeguarding Manager SVP (Safeguarding with Homeless and Migrant Populations)
  • Workshop 2: Colette Leigh, Social Work Team Leader and Joan Dunne, Social Worker, Kildare West Wicklow MHS (Safeguarding within the Approved Centre)


12.30 – 1.00pm: Lunch


1.00 – 1.30pm: SWAMH AGM


1.30 – 2.15pm: Vicky Soutar, Lecturer in Social Work, University of Stirling, Scotland (Safeguarding in Mental Health, drawing on Research and the Scottish Experience)

2.15 – 3.00pm: Dr Carmel Halton, Retired Senior Lecturer in Social Work, UCC, currently engaged in educational research and supervision (Reflective Practice and Positive Risk Taking in Social Work)

3.00 – 3.30pm: Panel Q&A

3.30 – 3.45pm: Position Paper Launch & Event Close