Welcome to SWAN Ireland!
SWAN Ireland is a regional group of SWAN. We officially began in March 2012, catalysed by the 7th annual SWAN conference in Liverpool Hope University.
- see imbalances of power
- see power being held by a minority to the detriment of the majority
- see services being provided on a shoe-string budget (which are a life-line to those who use them)
- see long-term sustainable work being carried out and we know that this work is never acknowledged or given the credence it deserves, because it is “unquantifiable”
- in this “evidence-based” and “outcomes” driven world, we see the work that has the most positive impact on people’s lives, the building of and sustaining of relationships and communities, being slashed, cut and trampled on in favour of short-term, reactive, short-sighted “outcome-based”, “quantifiable” services
- see budgets being prioritised over people
- see people being treated as numbers, not people
- see fear; in communities, in workers, in being “the next to go”
- see oppression
- see managerialism
- see bureaucracy
- see an increasing void between social work and service users. We see a social work that is being used as a scapegoat
- see a social work that cannot currently do “social work”.
However, SWAN Ireland also:
- see workers going above and beyond the call of duty to work with a community instead of for the controllers of a budget
- see an uprising
- see a revolt
- see a reclaiming of power
- see mobilisation
- see the realisation in people that "we" are the powerful and "they" are the weak
- see social work as a powerful force in reclaiming that power
- see social work as having the potential to align itself openly and without fear to the service user and not the policies, organisations or budgets that currently define, control and silence it
- see social work as reclaiming it’s core values and ethics base and having the courage to put these to the fore, above policies and procedures imposed on it from others who don’t understand or want to understand it.
We believe that the activity of social work in Ireland has potential and value. It can be relcaimed if we act collectively and in soldarity with service users.