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Special Interest Groups, Committees & Associate Groups

Membership of Special Interest Groups (SIG), Committees & Associate Groups is open to members of the IASW and to non-members. The SIGs, Commitees & Associate Groups highlight priority issues for social work and for the Association, they identify training needs as well as providing information which is fed back to the Board. Learn more about Special Interest Groups (SIGs), Committees & Associates and explore content relating to each group by selecting from the list below.

Special Interest Groups (SIG)
Social Workers In Primary Care (SWPC)
The Primary Care Social Work Special Interest Group (PCSW SIG) provides a forum for discussion and leadership in the promotion of Social Work within Primary Care. Primary Care is widely accepted as the appropriate setting for meeting the needs of 90-95% of the population’s health and social services needs. Social Workers in Primary Care across Ireland continuously demonstrate their pivotal role not only in meeting clients needs, but also in the ongoing development of Primary Care Teams (PCT’s) as core team members.
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Group on Aging (SIGA)
The IASW Special Interest Group on Ageing (SIGA) is a group of social workers that work with older persons, who wish to pursue the best interests of older persons and promote professional development of social work practice with older persons.
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Social Workers in Children & Families (C&F)
The Child and Family Special Interest Group (SIG) of the IASW is involved in all matters relating to the service provided to children and families in Community Social Work.
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Social Workers in Probation
The Probation SIG was established in late 2011, and is fully supported by the Director of Probation. The Group initially was working with the IMPACT Probation Branch on looking at issues for Probation Officers in regard to Registration.
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Retired Social Workers Group
Further information to follow.
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Social Workers in Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS)
The Child and Adolescent Mental Health service (CAMHS) special interest group provides a national forum for social workers working in CAMHS or interested in this area of work. We meet and discuss issues of relevance, contribute to relevant national policy, facilitate CPD, and have representation on relevant national groups.
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Social Workers in Disability (SWID)
Social Worker is Disability (SWID) is a special interest group of the IASW for social workers with an interest in the area of disability services. SWID represents issues for social workers in physical and sensory, ID and neurological conditions and crosses acute to community services. SWID is a SIG for any social worker working in these areas as well as social workers who have an interest in or come into contact with disability services.
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Southern Region
The Southern Region SIG was set up in 2002 to represent Social Workers in both statutory and voluntary agencies, and to promote the professional development of Social Work practice. The present committee represent Social Workers from Tusla, UCC and Guardian ad Litem service.
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Social Workers in Foster Care (SWIFC)
The aim of the SWIFC (Social Workers in Foster Care) Special Interest Group is to provide a forum for Social Workers engaged in the area of Foster Care to express relevant professional perspectives and to advocate on behalf of children in Foster Care.
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Social Workers Adult Mental Health (SWAMH)
SWAMH, a special interest group of IASW, aims to support colleagues, promote best practice in the interest of service users through CPD events, sharing information and contributing to national mental health policy and developments.
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Committees & Associate Groups
International Affairs Committee & The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)
The International Federation of Social Work (IFSW) represents social work organisations from approximately 80 countries across the world, grouped into 5 regions, i.e. Asia and Pacific, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America. It has formal links with the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, the Council of Europe, the European Union and Amnesty International, amongst others. The IASW has been a member organisation of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) for 35 years.
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The Irish Social Worker - Journal Committee
Frank Browne has taken on the role of Guest Editor for the most recent 'Mental Health' Special Edition and is in the process of collating articles for the Winter 2015 edition. The Board are extremely grateful to Frank for taking on this arduous task. The newly formed IASW Journal Committee has their first meeting in October, further information on their work will be available in the coming weeks. In the mean-time if you are interested in getting involved with this group, please send your expression of interest to For more information about The Irish Social Worker journal, how to submit an article for consideration, guidelines for writing an article, etc. please go to the 'Resources' section on our website.
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Head Medical Social Workers (HMSW) - Associate Group of IASW
The purpose of the National Head Medical Social Worker’s Forum is to provide a forum for the development and implementation of best standards among medical social workers in Ireland. The group also functions as an information exchange among heads of departments, as well as lobbying on issues relating to our client group and finally as a support to Head Medical Social Workers in their work.
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Council of Irish Adoption Agencies (CIAA) - Associate Group of IASW
The Council of Irish Adoption Agencies (CIAA) is a forum of adoption agencies. Membership of CIAA is open to all accredited bodies and HSE adoption services. CIAA has been in operation since 1961. CIAA members meet three times a year to consider, address and advocate on the basis of best practice in all aspects of adoption. An Executive group comprising of seven members meet quarterly to organise, oversee and carry out the agreed plans of CIAA.
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Social Workers & Migration
Newly established in May 2016, the Social Work and Migration special interest group welcomes new members. It is made up of social workers from a wide variety of settings including child protection and welfare, disability, family support, medical, mental health, and primary care sectors, as well as representatives of immigrant support centres, academics and social work students.
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Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
The ACEs group was informally established in April 2019 by a group of social workers who were interested in ACEs. The rationale for the formation of the group was to establish a cross-sector social work discourse to enable social workers in Ireland to critically reflect on and understand ACEs. The group became a formal IASW Associate Group in July 2019.
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