Social workers under increasing pressure as job vacancies remain unfilled – IMPACT

Christina Carney – Assistant general secretary, IMPACT

IMPACT trade union has said that delays in filling social worker posts at Tusla (the Child and Family agency) have resulted in a serious backlog of cases which is putting social workers at the agency under increasing pressure.

IMPACT official Christina Carney said that the delays in filling the posts and reports that more than 8,000 children at risk are waiting to be allocated a social worker, are a cause of huge concern among the union’s social worker members at Tusla.

“The delays in filling the posts are due to a number of reasons and we’ve consistently raised this as a concern with management. The total number of posts still waiting to be filled is over 200, and while these posts remain unfilled the workload is more than the current staff numbers can respond to” she said.

Ms Carney said that IMPACT has sought to work closely with management to speed up the appointments process, and said that all parties were working to ensure that the services provided by Tusla would be operational as soon as possible.

Ms Carney added “It’s frustrating for everyone involved. No social worker wants to see a waiting list building up when they know that each individual case involves a child at risk. There is an urgent need to ensure that the agency has all of the resources it needs to do its work.

“The process of filling these posts needs to be completed as quickly as possible, but it also needs to be done correctly. We’ll continue to work with management to achieve that, which includes applying pressure on Tusla to complete the process” she said.