19 episodes

Hosted by the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (the Social Care Council), and presented by broadcaster Dr Wendy Austin, this podcast series showcases conversations and interviews with people in the social work and social care community, as well as from across the health and social care system. We discuss things that matter to social workers and social care workers, inform their learning and development, address common questions, and talk about what we can do to best support the safe delivery of quality health and social care in Northern Ireland.

Care to chat? A podcast from the Northern Ireland Social Care Council Northern Ireland Social Care Council

    • Government

Hosted by the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (the Social Care Council), and presented by broadcaster Dr Wendy Austin, this podcast series showcases conversations and interviews with people in the social work and social care community, as well as from across the health and social care system. We discuss things that matter to social workers and social care workers, inform their learning and development, address common questions, and talk about what we can do to best support the safe delivery of quality health and social care in Northern Ireland.

    Conversations from across the garden wall, the world and the end of life – Social work and loneliness

    Conversations from across the garden wall, the world and the end of life – Social work and loneliness

    This week is Loneliness Awareness week, so our next Care to Chat episode is a worthwhile listen. This year’s theme, ‘Random Acts of Connection’, encourages everyone to increase simple, everyday moments of connection which can help us build relationships with others and feel happier and less lonely. Loneliness is a significant problem in our communities and often arises from complex and multifaceted issues linked to mental and physical ill- health, discrimination, inequality and exclusion. So, how can social workers help people who are experiencing loneliness?



    In our latest podcast Dr Wendy Austin MBE guides a conversation to find out more about why a newly qualified social worker, an early career social worker and a team leader ask the people they support about loneliness.



    Jeanine Toner, Team Manager, Northern Ireland Refugee Support Service with Barnardo’s, Steven McMillan, Community Older People’s Team with Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and Aislinn Delaney, Social Work Lead with the NI Hospice share how they use their skills and relationship centred practice to have important and sometimes difficult conversations about loneliness in very diverse settings working with older people, refugees and people with life-limiting illnesses.

    • 43 min
    ‘By social workers, for social workers’ – a leadership framework for social workers

    ‘By social workers, for social workers’ – a leadership framework for social workers

    In our first episode of 2024, we focus on social work and leadership. There is a big conversation going on across the social work profession, around the Social Work Leadership Framework, a framework to help shape how leadership applies to social workers in Northern Ireland and how it makes a positive impact on their practice. This episode features Aine Morrison, Chief Social Worker, Department of Health, Marita McGuiness, Assistant Director for Social Work and Social Care Governance, Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Eileen McKay, Deputy Executive Director of Social Work, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and Louise Kearney, Children’s Services Manager, Action for Children. They answer questions about what the Leadership Framework is and why it’s important for social work to have one.

    • 31 min
    Human rights and social work – making it real in practice

    Human rights and social work – making it real in practice

    In this final episode in the Northern Ireland Social Care Council’s ‘Care to chat’ 2023 podcast series hosted by Dr Wendy Austin MBE, we are taking another look at social work and human rights specifically in the context of children’s safeguarding and young people in care. Experienced professionals contribute to the discussion including Jane Hynes, Senior Social Worker, Learning and Improvement Team, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Geraldine McGuigan, Manager, Voypic, Suzanne Cunningham, Assistant Director of Children’s Services, RQIA and Dr Nazia Latif, Right Practice.



    This episode is a follow on from our previous episode (see previous related episode), where we talked with human rights expert Dr Nazia Latif. It explores further human rights in social work, and guests discuss how to make human rights real in practice.



    ‘Care to chat?’ will return with lots more important conversations in social care and social work in 2024. Have an idea for a future episode? Contact us on comms@niscc.hscni.net with your suggestions.

    • 38 min
    Leadership in social work – what does it mean for you?

    Leadership in social work – what does it mean for you?

    Our new ‘Care to chat’ podcast episode focusses again on leadership – which is a crucial part of how we get health and social care right. This time we are looking at it from within the profession of social work. Leadership from within social work is even more important given the diverse area of support social workers provide for individuals, families and communities.



    In this episode the social work leaders in Northern Ireland, Maura Dargan, Executive Director of Social Work and Divisional Director of the Children’s and Young Peoples Division, Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Michelle Janes, Director, Barnardos NI and Vivian McConvey, former Chief Executive, Patient Client Council, sit down with host Dr Wendy Austin MBE and talk about the breath of social work leadership across services, what leadership means in social work and that its time to look at leadership from a different and more integrated point of view.

    • 38 min
    ‘So, you think you know the Social Care Council’ – 21 years on  

    ‘So, you think you know the Social Care Council’ – 21 years on  

    On the latest episode of ‘Care to chat?’ podcast, we welcome the Northern Ireland Social Care Council’s Senior Leadership Team to talk about the role of the Social Care Council, and the value of regulation for social workers and social care workers and most importantly for people receiving care and support.



    As the Social Care Council reaches the end of its 21st year, Dr Wendy Austin MBE is joined by Patricia Higgins, CEO, Marian O’Rourke, Director of Regulation and Standards and Declan McAllister, Director of Registration and Corporate Services. She encourages them reflect on their own careers, the last 21 years and how the Social Care Council’s role now in supporting the social work and social care workforce is more important than ever.

    • 47 min
    Compassionate leadership in the Northern Ireland health and social care system 

    Compassionate leadership in the Northern Ireland health and social care system 

    On the latest episode of ‘Care to chat?’, a podcast from the Northern Ireland Social Care Council’, tackles the topic of ‘Compassionate leadership’ and why this is so important right now.

    Prof. Michael West, CBE Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology at Lancaster University, contributes alongside senior leaders from across health and social care in Northern Ireland who are working on your behalf to help the system work better for us all.

    Dr Wendy Austin MBE explores how compassion towards service users, colleagues and yourself, creates compassionate cultures in health and social ensuring better outcomes for service users.

    • 48 min

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