The Child Protection and Welfare Social Work Conference and Research committee was established late 2005. This inter-agency committee is comprised of staff and members of the Social Work Development Unit at the School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, social work staff from the Child Protection and Welfare Social Work teams of the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) and the Irish Association of Social Workers Southern Branch.
This committee was established to address a need articulated by practice to create a space for practitioners in the area of child protection and welfare to hear about and debate new developments in the areas of research, policy and practice and to network with colleagues. To meet these needs we run a biennial conference held every second October.
Conference Organising Committee:
Marie MacSweeney, Regional Manager, Child and Family Agency
Joe McCarthy, Principal Social Worker, Child and Family Agency
Emer Saunders, Acting Team Leader, Child and Family Agency
Catherine Garde, Social Worker, Child and Family Agency (Conference Secretary)
Siobhan Bruen, Training and Development Officer, Health Service Executive (Co-Chairperson)
Caroline Shore, College Lecturer, Social Work Development Unit, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork
Dr Kenneth Burns, College Lecturer, Social Work Development Unit, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork
Rachel McCormack, Irish Association of Social Workers Southern Branch and Social Worker, Child and Family Agency (Co-Chairperson)
Terry Bradshaw, Irish Association of Social Workers Southern Branch and Guardian ad Litem, Barnardos
Nuala Roche, Training and Development Officer, Child and Family Agency
Social Work Development Unit (UCC):
The Social Work Development Unit (SWDU) was set up in September 2005 among social work colleagues in the Department of Applied Social Studies (UCC) to actively develop and enhance the profession of social work in Ireland. The aims and objective of the SWDU are to: 1) Facilitate, strengthen and support the profession of social work both within the University, and wider national and international community; 2) Support the professional representative organisation - Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW); 3) To work collaboratively as a staff group by mentoring and supporting each other; 4) Act as a resource for social work practitioners who wish to pursue research interests and activities, conference presentations and publish paper; 5) Co-ordinate conferences and presentations under the SWDU umbrella to enhance the profile of the Department; 6) Create and develop social work teaching resources; 7) Engage with the media on issues related to Social Work and Social Justice.
Irish Association of Social Workers Southern Branch
The Southern Branch of the Irish Association of Social Workers was re-established in January 2006 in response to a growing demand for social workers to have a regional professional body to represent them. Since its establishment, the committee has grown in strength and have been active in professional development and training. There are presently ten committee members and meetings are held on a monthly basis. The Southern Region Special Interest Group are now convening regular free training and development seminars on a bi-monthly basis in Cork city for IASW members. For further information on Southern Region IASW, please log onto http://www.iasw.ie.
Child Protection and Welfare Social Work Services, Child and Family Agency (TUSLA)
The Child and Family Agency is now the dedicated State agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children. It represents the most comprehensive reform of child protection, early intervention and family support services ever undertaken in Ireland. It is an ambitious move which brings together some 4,000 staff and an operational budget of approximately €600m. The Agency operates under the Child and Family Agency Act 2013, a progressive piece of legislation with children at its heart, and families viewed as the foundation of a strong healthy community where children can flourish. Partnership and co-operation in the delivery of seamless services to children and families are also central to the Act.