The diversity of roles, tasks and education of palliative care social workers in Europe
Best practice for patients with life-limiting illness with dependent children
Marshall S, Fearnley R, Bristowe K, Harding R. The perspectives of children and young people affected by parental life-limiting illness: An integrative review and thematic synthesis. Palliative Medicine. 2021;35(2):246-260. doi:10.1177/0269216320967590
Marshall S, Fearnley R, Bristowe K, Harding R. ‘It’s not just all about the fancy words and the adults’: Recommendations for practice from a qualitative interview study with children and young people with a parent with a life-limiting illness. Palliative Medicine. 2022;36(8):1263-1272. doi:10.1177/02692163221105564
Palliative care social workers specialise in working with adults and children who are at the end of their life, their families, those they are close to, and their communities. They use skills and knowledge to help people to deal with the impact of what is happening to them, including loss and bereavement, and to have a good life and a good death. They work in partnership with people referred into services and they work alongside other professions, agencies, organisations and as part of the wider community. Palliative care social workers may work in hospices or hospitals, in the community, or in prisons.
Palliative care social workers recognise and respond to the impact of diversity, disadvantage and discrimination on people’s situation in relation to gender, culture, ethnicity, age, disability, sexuality, religion and social class. They acknowledge and respect that people and communities choose to live and die in different ways. Palliative care social workers support the idea that end of life and bereavement care is a human right. They advocate strongly on behalf of dying people, families and closest ones, unpaid carers, friends and communities to ensure that their needs are identified and met. (Source: Association of Palliative Care Social Workers). For full document please follow the link below.
This palliative care social work taskforce was established in 2009 with the following aims and objectives in mind.
Aims and Objectives
- To offer leadership to palliative care social workers across Europe
- To identify the diversity of tasks and roles
- To facilitate specialist education to social workers delivering palliative care
- To deliver post-graduate training to social workers in palliative care
- To survey palliative care social workers regarding priorities, needs and changes
- To improve knowledge of working with children and young people pre or post bereavement
Prof. Audrey Roulston
PhD, PGCHET, MSc, PG Dip SW, BA Honours
Professor of Social Work in Palliative Care.
School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work.
Queen’s University Belfast
Dr Steve Marshall
- Maria Wasner – Germany
- Jose Van Nus – The Netherlands
- Irene Murphy – Ireland
- Petruta Anania – Romania
- Inger Benkel – Sweden
- Marie Mackova – Czech Republic
- Karl Bitschnau – Austria – EAPC Board link
- Patricia Dobrik – Slovakia
- Tania Piccione – Italy
Susan Cadell – Canada
- The Association of Palliative Care Social Workers UK
- The Northern Ireland Association of Palliative Care Social Workers
- 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.
2022: Submission of publications for peer review: (a) Scoping review on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on palliative care social workers, (b) online survey of palliative care social workers during the pandemic, and (c) the challenges of social work practitioners and academics co-producing research.