Home > A call for change: discussion document. Children and families social workers make their voices heard.

Irish Association of Social Workers. (2011) A call for change: discussion document. Children and families social workers make their voices heard. Dublin: Irish Association of Social Workers.

PDF (Call for change) - Published Version

A Call for Change’ was developed and compiled by frontline social workers and calls for comprehensive, meaningful change in the child protection and welfare system in Ireland to promote and protect the welfare of children. Quotes from frontline social workers within the document illustrate their experiences of a system failing children and families. Ten clear areas of change are outlined, which frontline social workers identified as needed in the current system, and a range of solutions are put forward to address the issues.

Ineke Durville, President of the IASW, said that ‘frontline social workers in child protection and welfare in Ireland speak out in this document about the gaps and inconsistencies in the service being provided to vulnerable children in the community, in the care of the Health Service Executive and after leaving its care. Although it’s impossible to ensure all children can be safe, it’s vital there is change to prevent children continuing to remain unnecessarily at risk’.

The message from social workers in ‘A Call for Change’ is that there are ways that services to children and families can be improved. “Social workers”, Ineke Durville said, “are at the front line every day and have in-depth professional knowledge and experience in this field and want to be at the centre of positive change”. ‘A Call for Change’ argues that these changes need to be based on best practice informed by research and social work theory.

In response to the publication of the Ryan Report in 2010, the then Taoiseach Brian Cowen committed the state to making Ireland a model of how to treat children. ‘A Call for Change’ says that is now time to deliver on this commitment.

Also at the conference the noted social work academics, Professor Brid Featherstone and Professor Sue White, as well as David Wastell, professor of information systems, will give presentations on related topics.

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