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Professional Ethics, Boundaries and Social Media

  • Education and Research Centre, Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's X
  • 9.30 Registration, 10.00 - 4.00
  • 08 Mar 2017

Price €30

This Conference aims to explore professional boundaries within the context of care, as well as the benefits, opportunities and possible risks, both personally and professionally, when using social media or web-based technology.

Price includes lunch and refreshments

To book your place, please go to

Health and Social Care Workers are often faced with complex situations involving service users which can challenge professional boundaries. Indeed, professional boundaries created by new technology and social media, both in personal and professional contexts, is an increasingly important issue for many Health & Social Care professionals. The aim of this Conference is to give practitioners the confidence to engage with social media safely, professionally and enjoyably. It will equip health and social care professionals with the knowledge and skills to effectively engage with and support service users, both in their personal use of technology, but also discuss the therapeutic opportunities offered by new technologies.

Social Care Ireland and the Irish Association of Social Workers are coordinating a one day Conference for Health & Social Care Professions on ‘Professional Boundaries, Ethics and Use of Social Media’ in conjunction with Irish Institute of Radiography and Radiation Therapy, Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute and Irish Association of Speech & Language Therapy. 



9.30am: Registration

10.00am: Welcome

The conference will be chaired by Darragh Doyle, Social Media strategist for Irish Arts, Events, Film, Television, Theatre and Tourism

10.10am: Ms. Karen Sugrue, Lecturer, LIT and practising psychotherapist

Karen Sugrue has been a lecturer and subject leader in Sociology and Social Policy on the BA in Applied Social Studies in Limerick Institute of Technology since 2002. She is also a qualified psychotherapist and practices as part of a multidisciplinary team in the Social Services Centre in Limerick. Her research interests lie in the areas of equality, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, crime, digital media and psychotherapy.

11.10am: Ms. Gloria Kirwan, Assistant Professor, Social Work and Social Policy, TCD

When 'delete' is better than 'send': the ethics of e-professionalism

Gloria qualified in 1985 with the Bachelor in Social Studies (BSS) and the Certificate of Qualification in Social Work (CQSW). She has worked as a social work practitioner in mental health, child welfare, community work and also occupational social work posts. She was appointed Lecturer in Social Work in Trinity College in 2000. In 2010, she was conferred with the M.Litt and also with the MSc in Applied Social Research. She was the Director of the BSS (Social Work) degree programme from 2007 to 2014 and the School Director of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning from 2009-2015. Her research interests include mental health social work, the history of social work, social work ethics, social work education and continuing professional development (CPD) for social workers.

12.00am: Comfort Break

12.15: Gert Ackermann, Communications Officer, The Wheel

Gert work for The Wheel, a national network of 1,250 nonprofit organisations. He studied Political Science and Journalism before cutting his teeth in broadcasting, corporate communications and publishing. Gert has advised dozens of nonprofit organisations across Ireland on digital marketing and communications. He is also Editor of Be the Change, the magazine for Ireland’s nonprofit sector.


1pm: Lunch 

2.00pm – 3.30pm: Parallel Workshop

1. Professional Boundaries in Caring Relationships – Sinead Tierney, Cross Care

This workshop is adapted from UK manual on ‘Drawing the Line’. This workshop explores the concept of professional boundaries and examines scenarios where professional boundaries become blurred. It allows participants to interact and explore various scenarios to identify when professional boundaries are in question, as well as encourages discussion of how to manage these situations in an ethical manner.

2. Engaging with Social Media safely, professionally and enjoyably – Ms. Karen Sugrue

3. Internet Safety and Cyberbullying – Barnardos 

This workshop aims to equip professionals with knowledge and skills to supports parents and young people in safe internet usage, as well as create an awareness of cyberbullying and how this impacts on young people.


3.30pm – 4pm: Discussion Forum and Conference Close



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