Health Minister launches Regional Emergency Social Work Service

30/05/2014

Health Minister Edwin Poots officially launched the Northern Ireland Regional Emergency Social Work Service.

The regional service which is managed by Belfast Trust has been operating for 12 months. The service provides an emergency out of hours social work service across all five Trusts in Northern Ireland to a wide range of individuals in crisis and where a response cannot wait until the next working day. This includes children and their families, older people, people with mental health problems, people with learning disabilities and people with physical disabilities.

Speaking at the launch Minister Poots said: “Social work in today’s world can be very demanding. Social workers engage with some of the most vulnerable people in our society, promoting their rights and independence and working to improve and safeguard their social wellbeing. They are also at the forefront of protecting children and vulnerable adults at risk of harm from neglect, abuse or exploitation. It’s important therefore that social workers need to be responsive to crises as and when they arise, which is not always between 9 and 5. An effective and responsive emergency social work service has an important part to play in providing appropriate interventions at times of crisis.”