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Social Workers in Ageing (SIGA) Special Interest Group

What is SIGA?

The Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW) Special Interest Group on Ageing (SIGA) provides a professional forum for social workers working with older persons in a variety of settings to promote the highest standards of professional practice while advocating for continuous improvement in service delivery.

Given the nature of healthcare service delivery, while SIGA members work with older persons, our members often also work with adults of all ages across a variety of settings from safeguarding, primary care, medical, rehabilitation, integrated care, hospital, independent social work and residential care services.  Social workers are always welcome at SIGA meetings.  If interested in attending contact patrice.reilly@hse.ie

Vision, Mission and Objectives

SIGA members developed a vision, mission and objectives for SIGA aligned with the IASW strategic plan 2016 which continues to guide our work.

SIGA Vision Statement:

Social workers engaging in the highest standards of professional practice with older persons, promoting positive ageing, supporting autonomy and self-determination and advocating for continuous improvement in service delivery. 

SIGA Mission Statement

SIGA, as a Special Interest Group of IASW, seeks to enable the continuous professional development of social work practice with older persons and represent the needs of older persons from a social work perspective.

SIGA Objectives

  1. Provide a professional forum for social workers working with older persons to exchange information and support.
  2. Influence policy, legislation and service delivery via IASW structures.
  3. Professional development of social work practice to examine opportunities for education and involvement in research.
  4. Advocacy / representation on the needs of older persons from a social work perspective.

Committee Members for 2019-2020 term:

  • Chair: Patrice Reilly
  • Vice-chair: Niamh Walsh
  • Secretary: Geraldine Kerr
  • Committee members: Deidre McNally, Martin Magee, John Brennan and Aisling Coffey 

Meetings

The Group has met face to face on 26/02/20 and virtually on 18/08/20 and plan to meet again in a virtual manner in the latter part of 2020.

SIGA generally meets bi-monthly.  At these meetings there are information updates and discussion on many issues affecting social work with older persons including:

  • Assisted Decision Making Act and the HSE’s national implementation programme.
  • National Clinical Programme for OlderPeople (NCPOP) and the Integrated Care Programme for Older Persons (ICPOP)
  • The establishment of integrated care teams in each CHO and the role of social work on these teams.
  • Progress in respect of the HSE’s Draft Adult Safeguarding Policy
  • Statutory Home Care Consultation
  • Supporting persons and families living with dementia
  • Standards for HSE funded home care

In between meetings there was regular email correspondence via the chair in relation to education, conferences, publications and resources to support social workers in their practice. 

Membership

The membership numbers for 2020 are of 103 social workers.

Activities / Events for 2020

No scheduled activities at this time due to Covid 19 restrictions.

Recent Publications

Home Care Coalition - Pre-Budget 2021 Submission (August 2020).