The diversity of roles, tasks and education of palliative care social workers in Europe

Background

The taskforce was established beginning of the year 2009.

 We have evidence from our survey  that the role of specialist social workers has been under threat and yet the evidence from Service users is that they value their interventions particularly their advocacy and knowledge of family dynamics . There is also a tendency to see the needs of patients and families in terms of psychological not psychosocial. This belies the knowledge that death and dying are social events. Social Workers basic training about working with families makes them uniquely positioned to see the patient within his family and social networks. Many palliative care social workers are lone workers, and this task force provides them with a focus and information.

Aims and Objectives

  1. To offer leadership to social workers in End of Life and Palliative Care across Europe
  2. To identify the diversity of tasks and roles (Completed and paper published in 2020)
  3. To consider the provision of specialist education
  4. To produce a curriculum for postgraduate education.
  5. Survey palliative care social workers re adaption of hospices to working in the pandemic ( in progress )
  6. To improve knowledge and skills of palliative care s/workers working with children and young people facing bereavement

Membership

Photo of Audrey Roulston

Audrey Roulston

Co-Chair

PhD, PGCHET, MSc, PG Dip SW, BA Honours

Senior Lecturer in Social Work (Specialising in palliative, end of life care and bereavement)
Queen’s University Belfast
Northern Ireland

click here to contact by email

Pam Firth

Co-Chair

Independent Consultant in Psychosocial Palliative Care.
International Palliative Care Social Work 

click here to contact by email

Steering Committee

  • Maria Wasner – Germany
  • Jose Van Nus – The Netherlands
  • Irene Murphy – Ireland
  • Carla Reigada – Portugal
  • Petruta Anania – Romania
  • Inger Benkel – Sweden
  • Marie Mackova – Czech Republic
  • Karl Bitschnau – Austria – EAPC Board link
  • Steve Marshall – UK
  • Patricia Dobrik – Slovakia
  • Tania Piccione – Italy
  • Susanne Kiepke-Ziemes – Germany

Advisory member

  • Susan Cadell – Canada

Partners

  • The Association of Palliative Care Social Workers UK

  • Pam Firth is a founder member of the new World Hospice and Palliative Care Social Work Network

  • The task force leaders are in touch with palliative care social work groups in USA, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Holland, Portugal, Ireland and Romania.

Milestones

RECENT

2019 Sept: Commencement of in depth look at the Education needs of Palliative Care

2019 July: Survey of diversity of roles  results and analysis published and completed.

2019 May: Meet the Expert session at the World Congress in Berlin. Focus on palliative care social work with the LGBT community

2020-2021 Five new members have joined the task force

 2021 Decision made to proceed to become a reference group

Publications

Hughes S, Firth P, Oliviere D. Core competencies for palliative care social work in Europe: an EAPC White Paper-part 1. European Journal of Palliative Care. 2014 Nov 7;21(6):300-5.

Portuguese translation is available to view here Translated from the article first published in the European Journal of Palliative Care, 2014, (21) 6. Kindly reproduced by permission of the publishers of the journal, who retain the copyright. All rights reserved. 
Traduzido do artigo publicado pela primeira vez no European Journal of Palliative Care, 2014, (21) 6. Por gentileza, reproduzido com permissão dos editores da revista, que mantêm os direitos autorais. Todos os direitos reservados. 

Hughes S, Firth P, Oliviere D. Core competencies for palliative care social work in Europe: an EAPC White Paper-part 2. European Journal of Palliative Care. 2015;22(1):38-44.

Portuguese translation is available to view here Translated from the article first published in the European Journal of Palliative Care, 2015, (22).1 Kindly reproduced by permission of the publishers of the journal, who retain the copyright. All rights reserved. 
Traduzido do artigo publicado pela primeira vez no European Journal of Palliative Care, 2015, (22) 1. Por gentileza, reproduzido com permissão dos editores da revista, que mantêm os direitos autorais. Todos os direitos reservados.

EAPC Blog Post (June 19, 2019) APCP Social Work Task Force translates ‘Core competencies for palliative care social work in Europe’ into Portuguese 

Bitschnau, K.W., Firth, P. and Wasner, M. (2020) Social work in hospice and palliative care in Europe: Findings from an EAPC survey. Palliative and Supportive Care, pp.1-8. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1478951520000279