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Disability (SWID)

SWID is currently looking for a new Chair. If you are interested, please contact the office at

Who we are? 

Social Workers in Disability Special Interest Group (SWID) is a forum for social workers involved in any area of disability services. Membership consists of practitioners from Children’s Network Disability Teams, adult disability services, Hospitals such as the NRH and voluntary agencies. 

The role of Social Workers in Disability is to work in partnership with people with disabilities, their families, carers as well as colleagues and service providers to identify needs, to facilitate emotional and practical support and to empower people to enhance their quality of life. 

Vision Statement 

To work as a collective to identify gaps in current service provision, seek the development of new services, highlight inequality, work to bring about change in policies, resource issues and societal attitudes 

Mission Statement 

SWID aims to represent and advance social work practice in the field of disability thereby improving services for clients and their families/carers 


  1. To act as a support network for Social Workers in the field of disability 
  1. To share knowledge and up to date information relevant to our client group 
  1. To highlight gaps in services and advocate for enhanced services and resources 
  1. To represent the IASW at relevant committees or fora regarding disability 
  1. To enhance social work knowledge and training in the area through hosting of an annual conference and/or seminars 
  1. To promote the inclusion and integration of people with disabilities within the wider community 

Committee Members 

  • Chair - Richie Wallace
  • Secretary Catherine Rafter

How often meetings take place 

In accordance with our Special Interest Group Terms of Reference, SIG’s shall:

  • Hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) each year and elect a new committee.
  • The Committee shall meet not less than four times per year and can include the AGM, but more frequently if considered necessary by the committee. The quorum for all meetings of the Committee shall be four (4) members.

Current Activities/Plans/Projects 

  1. SWID has been involved in holding a series of meetings for Social Workers in Progressive Disability Services/Network Disability Teams. The meetings are attended by approximately 30 Social Workers There are many issues of concern being raised regarding the transition into new PDS teams, unrealistic caseloads and the social work role on the teams as well as supervision and career structures. This subgroup is working on 3 key areas – The role of Social Work in PDS, Caseload Weighting and Governance and Supervision 
  1. The group has made submissions and/or representations on the proposed new Safeguarding of Adults at Risk of Abuse policy and has been engaged with the Safeguarding SIG on areas of mutual interest 
  1. SWID provided an online platform for Social Workers in various disability services to share information, experiences and practices during the COVID-19 pandemic 
  1. SWID has been actively engaged in submission to policies and legislation including ADMA, Safeguarding, National Standards for Children’s Disability Services, the lack of residential placements for children with disabilities and Homecare services 
  1. A member of SWID represents the IASW on the Irish Heart Foundation Council on Stroke as well as the Rehabilitation Medicine Clinical Programme 

How to join 

Please contact who will put you in contact with SWID SIG Secretary