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Video message from the IASW Chair re Coronavirus (COVID-19)

To see the full message on video please visit this link:


Good afternoon,

Since the arrival of Covid-19 to our shores we live in new and exceptionally difficult times. It is just over 100 years since the world has had to deal with such a situation, but I am encouraged that the developments of the past century will help us find a solution. This is very serious but in time we will have drug therapies that will help treat those who contract the virus and vaccines to give immunity. While this is a situation without comparison in our lifetimes, I am confident that there will be solutions. But this will take time.

The IASW Office is still working away. Cliona, Danielle and Marina are all remote working and as usual ready to help our members.

While the world struggles with this situation Social Work is one of the critical professions in the Health and Social Care landscape, providing services for all categories of vulnerable persons. 

Social work is a front-line profession and so continues in this environment. Along with our Social Care colleagues and health care staff social workers are continuing to provide essential services to support vulnerable children and families during this difficult time.

Social workers in services for people with disabilities, medical social work teams and mental health teams will all be busy working out how best to protect and support their client population, who all come under the remit of the HSE. Probation services and our Army social workers will continue to support persons within Department of Justice services in the best way possible going forward. And of course, Social Workers in the Child and Family Agency will continue to provide services to protect and care for children in care and children at risk in the community during this time.

In these times risks increase for all people that use our services, but risks also exist for us.

Different members will encounter different difficulties; newly qualified workers, students on placement, students hoping to graduate in the next few months, social workers with child care difficulties, social workers who become ill and social workers where they or a family member has already compromised health. All must be protected, supported and facilitated to continue their work during this crisis.

We want to hear your stories:

  • What is your service doing to make working possible – remote working, virtual meetings, different shifts, or perhaps, something else?
  • Have you some really good practice ideas to share with others?
  • What way is your employer supporting you to exercise your professional responsibilities?
  • Have you been issued with guidance on home visiting?
  • Have you been issued with appropriate PPE to carry out any necessary face to face client interactions – Hand sanitiser, gloves, wipes to clean your car, etc.

Please let us know what is happening in your area of social work practice. We can support you by raising issues with stakeholders, the Government, and the general public.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones and take care of each other as we move through these uncharted waters.

Kind Regards,
Aine McGuirk
The National Social Work Organisation of Ireland CLG
T/A Irish Association of Social Workers
St. Andrews Resource Centre,
114-116 Pearse Street,
Dublin 2
Tel: +353 860 241 055
Company Reg No 518634 – Registered in Dublin

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