The role of Social Workers during The Troubles in Northern Ireland

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference


This recently completed research led by Dr Joe Duffy, Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland and US-UK Fulbright Scholar at Belmont, focuses on how Social Workers in Northern Ireland coped with the challenges of working through The Troubles and reveals the key role social work staff played in supporting each other in the aftermath of violence and civil unrest. For many, it was this support that enabled them to work tirelessly to meet the needs of their clients. It records, for the first time, the remarkable experiences of social workers during a period of intense conflict, when it often felt as if the very fabric of society was tearing apart. The research highlights social workers routinely operated in situations marked by mistrust, sectarian hatred, and violence, and focuses on the profession’s previously unrecognised work, including supporting victims and families in the wake of unspeakable atrocities. These extreme situations became standard for the social workers involved, and they displayed courage, resilience and an unwavering commitment to the needs of their service users throughout. During this convocation, Dr Duffy will discuss the key findings from this research and highlight future ways in which social workers in Northern Ireland will be supported going forward.
Period26 Mar 2019
Held atBelmont University, United States, Tennessee
Degree of RecognitionInternational