Life ‘at the coal face’ as a social worker for MLA

Carolyn Ewart, NIASW Country Manager and Daithi McKay, MLA, are welcomed to the Northern Trust by Marie Roulston, Executive Director for Social Work, as they embark on their visit to meet Northern Trust social workers.
Carolyn Ewart, NIASW Country Manager and Daithi McKay, MLA, are welcomed to the Northern Trust by Marie Roulston, Executive Director for Social Work, as they embark on their visit to meet Northern Trust social workers.

The vital role performed by locally-based social workers is all too often overlooked - and in some cases undervalued.

But after walking the proverbial mile in their shoes, local assemblyman Daithi McKay (SF) was full of praise for their service to society at all levels.

A ‘Social Worker for a Day’ event saw Mr McKay meet with staff involved in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) based in Antrim.

Social workers in CAMHS work to facilitate early intervention and ensure all services involved with a child or young person are aware of the mental health issues at hand and can ensure adequate communication between all those involved in supporting the child or young person. Mr McKay also met social workers from the 16+ team who provide services to young people transitioning from the care sector to independent young adults. He also met with the Gateway Referral Team, who provide a point of entry to anyone with concerns about a child, and the Fostering Team.

He said: “Today has been a great insight into the valuable work that social workers carry out on a day to day basis. It is welcome to see the commitment that there is within our social work teams and indeed the innovation and best practice being implemented across the Trust. I would like to thank the staff for their time and appreciate greatly the knowledge I have been able to gain as a result.”

In the afternoon, the Dementia Home Support Team for the Trust, the Memory Service Team and the Community Mental Health Team for Older People (CMHTOP) took Mr McKay through their role supporting older people.