Question: How can I stay in touch with what’s happening in the social care world?

In Ireland, Social Care Workers often work in situations where they do not have access to the latest information about their profession. Perhaps you are working in a residential home far from the administrative centre of your service, or perhaps, your supervisor/manager is not social care qualified and is unaware of relevant information to pass on to you for your profession. Social Care Workers therefore need to be a little more proactive in seeking out information relating to their profession.

Here are three ways to keep abreast of what’s happening in social care:

1.       Facebook pages

There are two really good facebook pages for Social Care Workers in Ireland:

Social Care Workers of Ireland

Irish Professional Social Care Worker’s Republic of Ireland

Both are private groups so you will need to search for them and request membership. The former is more populated with over 13k members while the latter is less so with over 4k members. Both groups tend to share similar posts such as job listings and information, with the larger group much more active in terms of members posts and anonymous questions/responses. Overall, these groups tend to be very welcoming and there is a likemindedness regarding the profession.

2.       Social Care Ireland

This is the professional representative body for Social Care Workers. An amalgamation of social care managers, educators and workers groups a number of years ago, this body keeps members abreast of developments in the field and has become much more active in the past number of years in offering good quality CPD activities for free or minimal cost to members and non-members (although always a bit more for non-members!). There’s an annual conference which offers lots of interesting speakers relating to social care.

Members have the opportunity to join special interest groups and to have their say when it comes to national policy development in the social care arena.

Social Care Ireland members also receive the Curam magazine which has a lot of good information and writing in the social care arena. Members can also access the back catalogue of this publication.

There is an annual membership cost to join Social Care Ireland, currently it is €50 for a full member and €30 for a student, with a monthly payment option. The membership fee is well worth it for the annual membership as the benefits far outweigh the cost.

3.       CORU website

Professional registration for Social Care Workers is approaching fast and the information available can change so the best place to keep up to date about it is on the CORU website.

In case you don’t know, CORU is the Health and Social Care Regulator, appointed under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005. Social Care Workers are included in the legislation as a professional group to be registered. However, due to the previously unregulated nature of social care, a lot of work needed to be completed before opening the register such as approving the educational courses for social care work. The Social Care Workers Registration Board was established in 2015 and are currently undertaking the necessary preparatory work to open its register.

Currently, the board hopes to open the register by the end of 2023. This estimate has changed in the past so it’s good to check with CORU for updates. Luckily, updates are usually posted on the facebook pages mentioned above AND if you are a Social Care Ireland member, announcements are emailed out to members, so however you decide to keep abreast of developments, you won’t miss this.

If you’re still reading at this stage, thanks!! 

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