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Minister Zappone welcomes Tusla’s first ever Social Work Recruitment Open Day

 

Tuesday 11th June 2019

On Friday, 14th June, 2019, Tusla – the Child and Family Agency will host its first Social Work Recruitment Open Day at their head office in the Brunel Building, Hueston South Quarter, Dublin 8 from 10 am to promote its on-going social work recruitment campaigns. The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, welcomes this initiative to highlight the rewarding aspects of a social work career with Tusla.

Tusla’s Social Work Recruitment Open Day aims to provide an opportunity for existing and soon to be qualified Social Workers to learn first -hand about a career with Tusla from experienced frontline staff. Attendees will have the opportunity to talk to existing Tusla Social Workers and to understand the variety of opportunities on offer within Tusla. 

Tusla hopes that the Open Day will also provide an opportunity to highlight the positive aspects of working with Tusla and encourage applicants to consider Tusla as an employer of choice.

Minister Zappone stated: “I admire and appreciate the dedication of all professionals in Tusla who undertake the extremely important task of working in child protection. A career with Tusla allows you to have a positive impact on the lives of our most vulnerable. Notwithstanding the challenges associated with the role, the dedication, passion and commitment of Tusla teams around the country ensure you can have a rewarding and fulfilling career. I welcome Tusla’s Social Work Recruitment Open Day and the opportunity to showcase the positive aspects of working with Tusla”.

New initiatives such as Tusla’s Strategic Workforce Planning Model, the roll-out of a new national approach to practice, Signs of Safety, and an increased emphasis on retention are expected to help ensure Tusla is an employer of choice for Social Workers in Ireland. This is in addition to Tusla’s wide range of employment benefits such as competitive remuneration, 29 days annual leave, permanent and pensionable employment and a family friendly work environment. 

Recruitment of Social Workers remains challenging with only 215 graduates (approx.) per year. While the Department of Children and Youth Affairs does not have a national remit with regard to policies, regulations or workforce planning governing social workers’ employment, it has taken the initiative to establish the Social Work Education Group to provide a forum for Tusla and other stakeholders to raise issues and explore and act upon possible actions to influence the future supply of social workers.

Minister Zappone stated “It is clear that recruitment and retention of Social Workers will remain challenging. In this context, I welcome Tusla’s Social Work Open Recruitment Day as a valuable opportunity to build awareness among prospective applicants of the many rewards associated with a career with Tusla. Furthermore, my Department will endeavour to facilitate Tusla’s work to influence future supply and retention of social workers.”

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Notes for Editors 

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs does not have a national remit with regard to education, policies, regulations or workforce planning governing social workers’ employment in Ireland. 

Notwithstanding this, the Department is actively engaging with Tusla and other stakeholders with regard to addressing issues relating to the supply, recruitment and retention of social workers.

Each year there are approximately 215 social work graduates in Ireland. There are a variety of services competing to employ these graduates, including services to children and families, geriatric services, disability, mental health and health services. Many of these services are perceived as less demanding and stressful to work in. In January 2019, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs convened a group to discuss how Tusla could influence the future supply of social workers. The group is now known as the Social Work Education Group. Participants included:

  • current and future third level education providers; 
  • Irish University Association (IUA); 
  • Technological Higher Education Association (THEA); 
  • HSE; 
  • Solas;
  • HEA;
  • Department of Education and Skills. 

The Probation Service has also agreed to participate in the group and its future meetings to ensure the three main employment opportunities for Social Workers in Ireland (HSE and funded services, Tusla, Probation Service) are represented.

The Group provides a platform for Tusla to bring forward creative ideas with regard to initiatives such as conversion courses and for Tusla to address interdependent issues, agree actions and for appropriate ownership to be assigned.

Issues relating to the amount of time and effort third level institutions must spend to secure social work student placements featured heavily in the Social Work Education Group’s discussions. It was agreed at the first meeting of the Group that priority would be given to establishing a subgroup to examine ways to streamline how placements are secured by the third level institutions for their social work students. The Department is in the process of commissioning a researcher to assist this examination and it is hoped that placement models used by other allied health professions may provide a suitable structure to streamline the social work student placement process.