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*****For release Friday June 14th 2019******

Research brings social workers from North and South together

@All_Irl_SWR        #AISWR      www.iasw.ie          

 

What is the All-Ireland Social Work Research Consortium?

The All-Ireland Social Work research Consortium is made up of the following institutions: Maynooth University (MU), University College Dublin (UCD), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), Sligo Institute of Technology, Queens University Belfast, University College Cork (UCC), University Ulster (UU), British Association of Social Workers Northern Ireland, Irish Association of Social Workers. 

What is the issue?

The consortium was conceived in early 2019 with the express intent of developing strong All-Ireland ties between social workers across the Island of Ireland cognisant of the approaching threat of Brexit and the need to highlight the vast amount of work carried out by frontline social workers on a daily basis across the country.

Why does it exist?

The social work profession is currently navigating difficult times in terms of recruitment and retention issues, under resourcing and cuts to public services, all of which are affecting our clients, eroding our role and causing people to leave the profession. We want to reframe this negative narrative by highlighting all of the innovative and fantastic research social work practitioners and students are engaged in. The All-Ireland Social Work Research Conference aims to increase the visibility of an often ignored group of professionals, and professionals in training, whose skills, knowledge and cutting-edge research is key to the future of our health and social care services. 

Key Issue – A need to show the “Real Research from the Frontline”

Senator Colette Kelleher, Houses of the Oireachtas, Ireland will give the keynote address at the conference on Friday 14th June 2019. Colette, a proud social worker who is now a member of the Irish parliament, is passionate about the importance of social work research. In speaking about the conference Ms. Kelleher stated, ““In an age of evidence-based practice it is so important that Social Workers inquire and capture real stories from the lived lives of the people we work with, their everyday challenges, indignities and struggles... as well as the things that must change to put them right. This is real research from the frontlines”.

 

Key Issue – Investing in social work research is a must for the survival of the profession

Aine McGuirk, Chair of the Irish Association of Social Workers will give opening remarks at the conference. Noting the incredible array of research contributions and the commitment to providing high-quality evidence-based social work services, Ms. McGuirk stated, “Research is a vital part of social work study and practice. Social work research informs professional practice.  Through research we can assess the needs and resources of people in their environments and evaluate the effectiveness of services provided by social workers. Most importantly research informs action giving the profession new approaches and new insights to advocate for better services for the public across all sectors where issues of social justice arise”. 

 

Key Issue – Changing political landscape makes collaboration and partnerships more important now than ever

Speaking ahead of the conference, Colin Reid, Chair of the British Association of Social Workers Northern Ireland, said: “The social work profession on the Island of Ireland faces multiple challenges, not least the potential social impacts of Brexit which will affect the work of frontline social workers, particularly in border regions. Today's conference is an important step in bringing social workers together from across the island and highlights a strong commitment to working collaboratively to provide clear and decisive leadership for our profession.”

 For more information contact Kerry Cuskelly, Niamh Flanagan, Sarah Donnelly or Eavan Brady. T: 0035316774838 E: office@iasw.ie

 

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