Press Release

Minister Martin announces initiatives in relation to Social Workers

The Minister for Health and Children, Mr Micheál Martin T.D., today (28 November 2000), launched a report “Social Work Posts in Ireland”. The Report, published by the National Social Work Qualifications Board, deals with manpower planning for the Social Work profession. The key feature of the Report is a package of measures aimed at increasing the numbers of Social Workers available to the Health Service over the coming years.

“I am conscious of the increasing workload for Social Workers across a wide range of areas. There is a clear need to develop a strategic plan so as to ensure that we have sufficient numbers to provide a high quality service to clients. My Department has been closely involved in a co-ordinated approach to the issue with the National Social Work Qualifications Board, the Department of Education and Science and the Higher Education Authority. A very important practical measure raised in the Report is the need to ensure that the maximum number of training placements are offered to students. I would ask employers to approach this issue in a positive manner,” said the Minister.

The report emphasises that high-quality practice placement opportunities are a critical feature at the core of professional social work training. Placement training constitutes approximately 50% of course time. Expansion can only be achieved with the active involvement of employers of social workers. The Department of Health and Children has already sought the co-operation of employers to enhance the quality and quantity of placements available.