Friday 19 October 2018 09:16:33 PM

McGrath Appalled at Report on Social Worker Conditions
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DOWNPATRICK area Councillor and the SDLP’s local spokesperson on health, Councillor Colin McGrath, has spoken out following the publication of a recent survey into Social Workers.

Councillor McGrath said: “I am appalled to learn that a recent survey by the NI Association of Social Workers revealed that paperwork and red tape accounts for two thirds of the working week of Northern Ireland childcare social workers. This clearly leaves inadequate time for workers to spend with vulnerable children and families.

“Those who responded blamed increased demand for services and a reduction in administrative staff. Measures must be put in place to reduce the level of bureaucracy.

“I appreciate that there have been costs cut across the board but this penny pinching must not risk the lives of the most vulnerable in our society. These professional , highly trained individuals are spending a great deal of their time involved in data entry – this is a task which could be done by administrative staff and allow social workers the time to spend examining and assisting those children who are at risk. Our childcare social workers should ideally be working in a preventative manner as opposed to a reactive manner. However, the current budgetary constraints prevent them from doing so.

“I understand that many local Social Workers are working overtime for no monetary reward, as they believe their job to be a vocation to help those in need. This must be commended, however it shouldn’t be the case. The duties of a Social Worker are far reaching and are especially taxing from an emotional and psychological perspective, so these workers deserve the full support of Government,” added Councillor McGrath.