As an employee of the HSE you are a Designated Officer under Children First and have a contractual responsibility to ensure that all child protection and welfare concerns are reported correctly.
In the case of CUH/CUMH the Medical Social Work Department acts as the Designated Liaison Person to outside agencies; therefore doctors working in the Emergency Department in CUH must ensure that child protection and welfare concerns are referred to Medical Social Work via the ICM system either by you or a nursing colleague.
The idea of Children First is that nobody carries the full burden of child protection but it is also important that you are aware of both your obligations and those of the agency.
This obligation relates to persons aged 0-18years so don’t forget 16-18 year old patients or adult patients who are responsible for children.
There is an out of hours social work service for children deemed to be at immediate and serious risk of harm.
As well as initial assessment/crisis intervention Medical Social Workers provide ongoing therapeutic work to patients on an outpatient basis e.g. bereaved parents, PND, oncology patients. In addition the Medical Social Work department is here to work with you, offer a consultation service e.g. around issues of consent and provide any training/answer any queries or concerns that you may have.
Within the Emergency Department CUH there is a dedicated Medical Social Work Service and access to Senior Medical Social Work support Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm.
Cases that must be referred to the Medical Social Work Department as protocol include:
- All child protection and welfare concerns – note adult presentations that may place a child at risk e.g. alcohol/drugs/significant mental health concerns
- Child Psychiatry Presentations (under 18yo)
- Death of a Child (under 18yo)
- Death of an adult that directly impacts a child e.g. death of a parent/primary carer
- Abuse of Vulnerable Adults – any persons over 65yo or an adult with a physical, intellectual or sensory disability experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect
- Domestic Abuse – all patients should be screened for abuse where possible and all incidences of domestic abuse should be referred to MSW
Contact (MSW in CUH ED)
- Katy Twomey – A/Social Work Team Leader –VPN: 65617
- ED Medical Social Worker – Bleep 649
Out of Hours Service
For children who are deemed at risk of immediate and serious harm there is an out of hours Social Work Service operated by the Child & Family Agency this service can be accessed via the local Garda station.
Social Welfare Enquiries:
The Medical Social Work Department CUH does not deal directly with any social welfare claims or enquiries. Service users seeking support in relation to welfare issues should be directed to their local Social Welfare office or advised to contact citizen’s information at www.welfare.ie or www.citizensinformation.ie.