Welfare Words – New Book by Paul Michael Garrett


welfare words

BUY IT HERE:  https://www.eassw.org/welfare-words-and-social-work-paul-garrett/

Why is it important for social workers and social work educators to think more critically about the words used in practice? This was the question I posed in my keynote paper given at the EASSW conference in Paris in June. In my new my new book Welfare Words I try to answer this question by looking at a cluster of words and phrases amplifying the ‘state of play’ within the fields of social work and social policy during a period of faltering neoliberalism.

Welfare Words examines how power relations operate through the language and culture, encouraging readers to

  • question how welfare words fit within a wider economic and cultural context riven with gross social inequalities.
  • disrupt taken-for-granted meanings within mainstream social work and social policy.
  • think more deeply, critically and politically about the incessant, often unreflective, usage of specific words and phrases.

The words and phrases explored include: Welfare Dependency; Underclass; Social In/Exclusion; Early Intervention; Resilience; Care; Adoption. Welfare Words draws, therefore, on a range of European theorists to aid readers’ critical engagement.

Concentrating on words such as these and locating them within an economic and social context, may help us to punctuate dominant and taken-for-granted narratives which are central to neoliberalism within and beyond our profession.

I also hope that the ‘Reflection and Talk Boxes’ at the end of each chapter will spark and stimulate critical conversations in both classrooms and workplaces.

Paul Michael Garrett, NUI Galway, Republic of Ireland


Frontline Issue 4 Summer 2017

Pages from Frontline 4 Summer 2017

Here it is! Hot off the press, Frontline Issue 4 Summer 2017. Enjoy reading it and please share it and let us know your thoughts! As always, we are keen to get submissions for all future editions of the bulletin so don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss any ideas you have.


Thanks, The SWAN Ireland Frontline Editorial team


Link to bulletin: Frontline 4 Summer 2017

Support needed for National Housing Demonstration

Please see the following request from our colleagues in the Irish Housing Network. Get involved if you can!

“From 13 families on the street last week to deteriorating conditions in hostels, it’s clear the homeless and housing crisis is only getting worse. Proposals to move families to warehouses such as Bargaintown, rising rents and more evictions are only the start of a worsening crisis. Inner City Helping Homeless have called for a national homeless demonstration on the 17th of June, supported so far by the Irish Housing Network and open to all groups to support. As the crisis gets worse, it is time to start working together. The 17th is only the beginning.


Get Involved
We need your help to organise and promote the national demo. On Thursday the 8th June, at 7pm we will have a public meeting, with information on how to get involved. It will be in Lloyds Bar, Amiens Street. Detail are here:


Otherwise Please contact National Homeless Demonstration on facebook, Irish Housing Network or Inner City Homeless or email Homelessdemo@protonmail.com or outreach.ihn@gmail.com to get involved

We need help recruiting volunteers , contacting groups around the country, leafleting, postering, door knocking and setting up stalls. social media and media promotion and organising the logistics for the day such PA, Stewards etc.

Our Demands
There are immediate issues that have be dealt in Emergency accommodation to tackle the terrible conditions and horrible mistreatment of residents.

Emergency accommodation Independent review: Independent human rights and care review of all from private to charity and state run
Emergency Accommodation, as a center of care: 24hr access, Fully funded response team & wrap around supports centering mental health, security and privacy for all residents, full and enforceable complaint procedures implemented.
No to Family Hubs. Warehousing families is not a solution. Homes not hubs

We need to tackle the causes of homeless and the wider housing crisis

No evictions and security of tenure Private Rental Market: No Economic Evictions. Security of Tenure and affordable rents for all
Build and Buy Social housing: Build social housing for all. Usage of 183,000 empty houses as social housing. Buy portfolios from NAMA.
Mortgages Write down. On negative equity for those in mortgage distress in their single family home”.

Thank you,

The IHN Outreach team







Call for Papers for SWAN UK conference

Call for papers


2017’s conference is the 8th and 9th of April. The key themes for this year will be refugees and racism; welfare reform; anti-privatisation and international perspectives.


The Social Work Action Network (SWAN) is a radical, campaigning organisation of social work and social care practitioners, students, service users, carers and academics, united by our concern that social work practice is being undermined by managerialism and marketisation, by the stigmatisation of service users and by welfare cuts and restrictions.


The SWAN conference is the largest annual radical and critical Social Work conference in Europe with over a decade of bringing together educators, service users, practitioners and all those concerned with social work and social justice. Previous presentations have included leading journalists and campaigners, veterans of struggles such as the miners dispute and service user led organisations, in addition to leading academics and thinkers in this field.


This year’s conference will take place in Middlesbrough in North East England. Over half of Middlesbrough is made up of areas that are the most deprived in England. Additionally Middlesbrough has the highest proportion of resident asylum seekers and refugees in the UK . The challenges of practicing from a social justice perspective, in such areas of multiple deprivations, form a central focus of the conference.


We welcome presentations (20 mins) or more interactive workshops (60 mins) from ALL, including practitioners, service user and social justice organisations, students, educators and trade unionists.


We are honoured this year to work alongside The Other Perspective, a refugee social enterprise, who will share a meal with us on Saturday evening in the student union, and provide the catering. Given the heavy involvement of Swan in anti-racism campaigning and social work in Calais over the past 18 months, this is a fitting partnership.


The conference will be held at the School of Health and Social Care at Teesside University, and there is ample parking on site for cars and coaches. There are lots of hotels and B+B options to suit most budgets in the local area (Travel Lodge/Jurys Inn etc.), and the campus is an approx. 11 minute walk from the train station. Regional airports include Durham Tees valley (20 mins) and Newcastle (60 mins). National rail links are good and Middlesbrough is approximately 3.5 hours from London or Edinburgh by train.



SWAN keep the cost of this conference as low as possible. Tickets can be purchased here and range from £15 to £35 for the full weekend, including Saturday’s meal.  Asylum seekers and refugees attend for FREE.

Address for proposals:

Please send proposals of no more than 300 words to swanconference2017@gmail.com. All proposals will be responded to by 12 March 2017 or sooner. See you in Teeside!

Social Work Action Network and Home Sweet Home

Hi all,

As you all must be aware, Home Sweet Home launched a superb action to highlight the serious inadequacy of the government response to the now out of control homelessness issue here in Ireland. Since it began it’s action, Home Sweet Home (HSH), which includes membership from Irish Housing Network (IHN), the Artists and Trade Unionists, and a huge number of volunteers, has provided a range of vital supports and services to residents of Apollo House, and through it’s partnership with the PeterMcVerryTrust also. HSH has also been providing support through it’s outreach service, to those who are forced to sleep rough in Dublin city, due to the continued lack of suitable and affordable housing options.

SWAN Ireland is a member of the IHN and some of our members have been busy volunteering with this action, or helping behind the scenes. If you have been involved with Apollo House in any way, we’d love to hear from you! Please email us at socialworkactionnetworkireland@gmail.com, or PM us on facebook as we’d love to hear about your experiences and try and liaise with you about Home Sweet Home and about any other future actions. We want to build the SWAN Ireland movement, so that we can ensure that the values of  partnership, empowerment and social justice are to the forefront of all care work.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Support for Appollo House!

Please see this post from the Irish Housing Network who are seeking support services for Appollo House. If you are able to help out in anyway please email outreach.ihn@gmail.com. Tonight someone with first aid training, CPR and/or someone who works in homeless or community services.

******** Call Out For Volunteers *************

We are contacting you to asking for support for direct action being taken in Dublin to tackle the homeless crisis.

Last night the Irish Housing Network supported Home Sweet Home in an action to intervene in the housing crisis and save lives. Apollo House, a building that has been left vacant for 6 years was opened to people who were otherwise sleeping rough on the streets.
The action was taken as a response to the deaths on our streets. The action was taken to ensure dignity for people left vulnerable and unsupported by government. The Irish Housing Network believes that this crisis is not about resources but about lack of political will to put the needs of the people above private interest.

There are 3 ways you can help

1) You can directly volunteer for this action, just fill out the form at the link here

2) You can join any of the teams that will be there to support this action, these are admin, maintenance, security, support (physical and emotional), donation/supplies inside and media, artist group, finance, legal and outreach outside.. Please reply indicating the team you want to be in.

3) Finally If you can’t, for whatever reason, do any of these we would ask you/your group to publically support the action, by directly publically stating your support for direct action or using the action to raise any of the issues with the housing, homeless and accommodation crisis.

Please leave your, Name, number, email and which of 1,2,3 you can do.


Issue 3 Frontline hot off the net!

The latest edition of SWAN Ireland’s Frontline bulletin is now available to download from the following link  frontline-dec-2016-issue . In this exciting new edition we have excellent contributions from a number of other Networks and contributors from Ireland and abroad who champion issues of social justice! The bulletin deliberates over the continuing and embedded ‘care-less’ approach institutionalised within many of Ireland’s state systems and hears from those who are championing radical and critical responses to these injustices. We hear the views of the Care Leavers Ireland Network on what they see as essential to ensuring radical change to Ireland’s care system. The Irish Housing Network  suggest a collaborative approach in responding to the housing crisis and increasing homelessness, with a role for SWAN members in challenging housing injustice. We hear about the ongoing battles for recognition ( material) and respect from SPARK, as lone parent families continue to experience increased rates of poverty and injustice. We also hear about why it is essential that we keep on remembering those who tragically died in the CarrickMines fire, in the battle to ensure the rights of travellers are recognised in Ireland. And… much more.. go on, have a look and please, do get back to us with your views on any of the issues discussed within. We’d love to hear from you!